IN CONVERSATION with friends, one often comes across differing views about the state (or status) of women in India vis-a-vis other countries. These range from the slightly disturbing optimism of “the west has won its battles” to the even more disturbing “why should we complain; we don’t have it as bad as some others”. This sort of comparison can be debilitating for the movement. The point is not whether or not some women have it worse than us and how. The point is that women everywhere face different sorts of siege, struggle, censure and confinement for no other reason than the fact that they are women.
The forces that stunt or stymie our growth and sometimes, threaten our very survival, care little about age, body type, class, location and income group. For them, we are defined by our womanhood, and this definition is not to our advantage. The names and faces change from story to story — the overarching principles do not. How the specifics fit into the larger scheme of things is amply evident at the 45th Carnival of Feminists, now up at Feminist Philosophers. It’s a great way to start understanding some of the issues women are facing across the world. Go read.