ALL THINGS ASIDE, the lifelong war that brown women have had with feminism won’t end anytime soon. It makes it difficult to win this war because our biggest opponent is a woman too. Yes! Our biggest opponent is another woman with severely internalized misogyny.
Misogyny is almost the substrate that brown societies stand on. We hate women. We don’t want to have a girl-child. We don’t want to educate her if we end up having her. We pray for her future but don’t invest in it. We worry for her but don’t actively do anything to ward off the dangers that she could potentially meet when she goes out in this world.
Misogyny also is making patriarchy stronger everyday. Not for nothing are women oppressed everyday in apparently well-to-do brown families and lead mediocre, barely alive lives. It’s sad and without a real solution in sight.
With the advent of social media and the nuanced awareness that we’ve become proud and scared of simultaneously, women became aware of the presence of other women. They started seeing allies in other women. They started rooting for each other and made exceptions for each other. Women built a sisterhood but more importantly, they built an identity as a gender.
My analysis of millennials is biased because I am classified as a millennial and Xennial and Generation X and Y’er too. But we have changed some of today’s women’s struggles. We have shifted her struggles from equal work opportunities to her quest for having a voice. This is progress even if sometimes overlooked as inconsequential. There was a time when women were overlooked for jobs but now we have a fairer chance than before. Our debates of equity and equality are slowly bearing fruit.
But then we have set-backs. Then the #metoo movement starts. Then we find out that it’s not that women are happy. It’s that they’re swallowing their tears. Why? Because no one would believe them if they told them. Yes! The horror of sexual abuse is hard to live through and hard to believe. I know why people have difficulty believing victims. We can’t believe that we are animalistic in our needs and behaviors.
And more set-backs. Like doubting Hilary and Harris to not be good enough. How can a woman run the biggest country of the world? Again, women are taxed with proving themselves without being given a chance.
More set-backs! Why is Serena’s motherhood more important than mine? “What if she won a Grand Slam event eight weeks pregnant? I worked throughout my pregnancy too”. See how internalized misogyny doesn’t let us give credit? Trust me if GOAT doesn’t get our acknowledgment, the Mexican woman working in the back kitchen at base salary isn’t going to get her rights ever. The world really starts from the top.
And then a brown woman, peace ambassador for the United Nations, tweets an inflammatory comment when two contentiously stupid countries are at the brink of a nuclear war. She phrases it to inflame people even though has friends in both India and Pakistan by her own admission. She gets called out and responds by gaslighting the Pakistani who asked her the question.
She gaslights by becoming the victim. She gaslights by turning it around. She gaslights by having the mic forcibly taken from the girl. She gaslights by saying “Girl, don’t yell!”.
Everyday women fight against internalized misogyny and gaslighting that men inflict on us. Everyday a woman tells a woman she’s enough. Everyday a woman uplifts another woman. Everyday feminism comes miles forward. Everyday it’s pushed back by a Priyanka Chopra who charged at a person who asked a legitimate question.
My advice to celebrities who are on the last leg of their celebrity! Try to exit like Michelle Obama exited. She left the White House more loved than when she entered it. She left with grace, poise, love and compassion that was mirrored by her White House. She exuded acceptance may be because she knew the pain of not feeling accepted. Try to end a career like her with your head held high, people asking when your book would be out, women modeling their lives after you, girls aspiring to be you, men wanting to be with you. Don’t be just a name that has a rhetoric of hate and condescension and the elitist culture . Don’t be a fake celebrity.
Dear Priyanka! You could’ve said something that would’ve been a mic-drop moment. Instead you said something that became a “shame shame” moment.
I’m done venting.