To say that being politically correct in this generation of micro-second information-driven people is an understatement. Mind you, political correctness is not just a term that talks of educated and literate individuals, but also people who may not have the privilege that we do of increasing our knowledge. It ranges from being able to offend the “least” number of marginalised communities when you talk to your friends, to also taking a stand when your Dad says “faggot” one too many times at home. Needless to say, all of us end up abusing, insulting, and facilitating a further alienation of a significant percentage of our 7 billion population, which includes people who are homosexual, who are non-white, who have physical or mental disabilities, who are elderly, and who are female. Yes. It is women I am talking about (if it wasn’t obvious enough).
I don’t need to “grow a pair” in order to get over my social anxiety. I am not being a “sissy” by choosing to not drink tonight with my friends. I am not going to “man up” to get on top of my class academically. Basically, I DO NOT NEED A PENIS TO BE POWERFUL OR CONFIDENT OR COURAGEOUS OR BRAVE OR BELIEVE IN MYSELF. I have heard this, read this, and also, unfortunately, been a party to this misogynistic culture of promoting the penis as a symbol of strength and force. Not anymore. I do not agree with any part of it, because I have seen men run away from problems and I have seen women fight for what they believe in, even if it means putting themselves on the line. We’ve pushed you out of our bodies, men. What are you so entitled to with a piece of meat between your legs?
I am not here to emasculate you as men or to make women feel superior, but to make you aware of the language and values that you hold, and share with people, that propagate a sense of inferiority and helplessness when it comes to women. Women have been fighting for their rights to be seen, heard, and understood as equal human beings as men have always had a natural privilege of. Women have worked with, nurtured, prioritised, and encouraged millions who are related to them, but often with no recognition of her importance. Women have been on the back-burner for way too long, and every time they speak up, they are harassed, threatened, raped, murdered, burned, sold, married off, beaten, violated, or shot. Women have been silenced all throughout history, and by using slangs like “don’t be a pussy”, “have some balls”, “sissy”, “bitch”, “cunt”, or “whore”, we are dehumanising them and silencing them further. Why do you want to target them? Why do you want to make yourself feel better by putting women down? Why don’t you use a penis as a slang pejorative for someone who is considered weak or powerless or a mere sex object?
I have a vagina, and I am very proud of it. You should be, too. For me, it has enough strength to take out an entire human being, to fight for my rights, to punch bullies, to work towards my dreams, to be who I am, to be fearless, to be independent, to be powerful, to laugh, to cry, to support myself and my parents, to love, and to be brave. My vagina is courageous enough for me. I will not insult it by slangs used by ALL of us in our daily lives, and by letting people get away with it because it is “just a joke”. Call me butt-hurt (I know “meninists” and “feminist haters” already are saying it in their patriarchal minds), but I will not let you go unless you understand the sentiment and importance behind it. It just doesn’t make sense to be one of the thousands who support misogyny through their vocabulary, and then also be a hypocrite and say: “You can’t insult women. They are equal human beings.” So the next time you want me to be brave enough to face the crowd, tell me: “Ipsita, why don’t you just believe in your vagina?”. Maybe then I’ll set the stage on fire.