People often tend to confuse feminism with male bashing but that isn’t true. Anything that talks about equal gender rights is feminism.
“I think it is the new ‘F’ word,” says Meghna Pant while referring to the vastly ‘misunderstood’ concept of feminism. She rues the fact that the term is often misinterpreted, making it a dreaded idea rather than a ‘need-of-the-hour’ battle. “People often tend to confuse feminism with male bashing but that isn’t true. Anything that talks about equal gender rights is feminism,” she says while trying to convince us why the society needs to address the concept and change its mindset. Meghna has set out to do something similar with an upcoming edition of Feminist Rani – an effort to engage, empower and elevate conversations on the subject of feminism beyond its current shell. It is a tricky area, she admits. Especially because a there is a gang of ‘meninists’ as they’ve come to be called, who’re constantly trying to downplay the battle for equality. “Often when I put out a tweet, trolls jump in to say that not only women, but even men go through struggles. They don’t understand that men take for granted many basic rights that women are still fighting for — like education and in some cases the right to live,” she explains.
The special edition of Feminist Rani will have guests such as Danish Hussain, Sharin Bhatti, Harish Iyer, Elsamarie D Silva, Sapna Bhavnani and Aarefa Johri who will share their stories of sexual violence or gender inequality through poetry, prose and discussions. “This is in light of the continuing heinous acts of sexual violence that women in our country have to face every single day. Every day there are reports on molestation, rapes etc and these are only ‘reported’ cases; many such cases even go unreported. What is the state machinery doing to prevent these crimes? If we don’t create awareness right now, nothing will change. The patriarchal mindset is ingrained in such a manner that we need to change the way sons are raised rather than telling our daughters to wear or how to behave,” she adds.
But there’s more than a panel discussion here. An audience member can pitch in too. “We will be having an open mic event after the panel discussions, where we will invite guests to share their experiences and stories. We want to hear their stories apart from sharing our own,” she adds.
Join them for a discussion on January 20, 6.30 pm onwards At White Elephant Arena, Deepak Talkies, Lower Parel