The inspiration for this year’s, International Women’s Day Campaign comes from a post that I wrote on the 8th of February . “My entire life, most of my interactions have been with men. Teachers, mentors, bosses, assistants I have been surrounded by the male species. Though, I went to a convent school, I kept to myself and the few female friends I made, were also like me, always surrounded by male relatives. Though my work has been about the female energy, my personal life has been a far cry from it. But suddenly, there has been an influx of women in my life and I have started to understand many things about my own kind.
Men have an unspoken understanding, the bro-code as they call it. Women have no set of rules to deal with other women. We are the first ones to pull a woman down. A guy will think twice before saying something unsavory, women can say and do anything to each other. Last year I joined an office, where all the women claimed to be feminists but I never heard them say one nice thing about each other. I realized that as long we are fighting for the victims we all stand together. But when it comes to dealing with someone from our class, who directly affects our lives, the rules change.
The only way we are going to change society, is by changing ourselves. The first step is to make your own set of female rules. I have started to make mine.” My rules were posted earlier as part of the post. I will post them again at some point during the month. But when I started making mine- I also wanted to know what women like me, thought. Not the ones who are ‘well-versed in ideas of the feminine’. Just regular women whose voices are considered unimportant by even the ones who stand up for us. So this campaign is dedicated to the voice of the everyday woman.
I start with a 19- year old, photography student -Aastha Rana.
Q1) What are your views on Feminism?
Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common goal i.e. to define, establish and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal and social rights for women. Feminist movements are required because our society is still a Male dominant society. Women still are not free and we are not considered as equals. We have a right to live our life as we want to live it and not under the pressure of what people might think of our actions.
These movements have helped to promote bodily autonomy and integrity and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence. We need feminism to control the Dominant society in some way.
Q2) Men have their Bro code. If you had to make a set of rules for women what would they be?
For me here are some of the Codes I would like to have with my girl-friends 😀
1. No girl may date her friend’s exs, past crushes.2. No hating on other women that you don’t know. 3. If a girl looks intoxicated beyond repair and needs a friend , Be her friend. 4. We ride together, we die together. 5. Presence is necessary if a friend has been dumped or if she needs a help to kick off somebody’s head. 6. If your best friend is recently dumped, rejected or deemed miserable for any reason, They get a Weekend of doing WHATEVER they want with you as the babysitter. 7. No keeping secrets! 8. Be there to bail out your best friend from a bad date. 9. Share the details !
Q3) One woman who inspires you?
Benazir Bhutto, the ‘Iron Lady’. She inspires me.
© Text-First part Saadiya Kochar
© Text + Photograph-Aastha Rana.