“An Apology from Indian Men”: Another patriarchal machine
By Syamantakshobhan Basu
“I’m not a woman” is a video created by East India Comedy on sexism, misogyny and rape culture in India. Presented as an apology note from Indian men, represented by singer Meiyang Chang, Rajit Kapoor, Neil Bhoopalam, and stand-up comedian Sorabh Pant, this video went viral on Facebook and Twitter and got 359,784 hits on Youtube.
Here is why it fails in its objective of empowering women:
1.It begins right out with a patronising voice. As Fanon mentions talking down to a mentally disabled person, so exactly this appears to paradoxically put women on a pedestal and then talk down to them.
2.It goes about putting the entire fault of women’s safety on Indian MEN, and not Patriarchy, thereby entirely messing up the issue again.
3.It gives one to believe that it is OK to kill. Not in self-defence(which I am fine with), but in some sort of manic rage, as if that would solve the problem.
4.It apologises on the behalf of Indian men in general, an apology that falls way short of the mark when contrasted with the real attitudes of many men, and therefore hollow. I am, however, still ready to grant this point.
5.It says “I PROMISE TO UPHOLD YOUR RIGHTS”. Alarm bells? Knight in Shining Armour syndrome, disguised. Not, fight alongside you for your rights, but uphold your rights, given to you as a gift on man’s behalf. And don’t tell me political correctness is not important here. If anywhere, then here.
6.It ends on a REALLY over-dramatic tone that takes away from any real affirmation it had garnered for it’s apparently empathic stance.
It has some good points, it has perhaps a good motive, it says some good things, but predominantly it is managing to reinforce the patriarchy, and does so in the guise of actual empathy and understanding.
Woefully inadequate and absolutely undeserving of the praise it is garnering, except for a possibly good intention conveyed through a populist form(which may shame and coax some people into thinking of this situation), I am clearly not getting any good vibes from this.
These are my views, and I gather from the reception that this is getting that it won’t be a popular one. If you can show me any major errors in reasoning, I will gladly take your points and reassess my stance.