Friday, March 25, 2011

Holi, sexism and why next year i am buying a huge water pistol

After I posted this morning I did some reading on other blog and in the newspaper. I wanted to see what other people where writing about Holi. I knew lots of people were annoyed about getting wet and being stuck inside but i had no idea that some people where using Holi as part of the gender debate.

I am actually really pissed off after reading a few articles and I can't think how to structure this article in a way that explains to people why Holi isn't sexist. Holi definitely highlights a huge problem in Nepal but it isn't sexism.

The problem is some women accept their role as victims.

I know, I know, i am a traitor but let me explain. I am guilty of it. On Holi I let my boyfriend stand in front of me and protect me from the water balloons, I let him yell at the children who tried to egg me, I let him be the 'MAN' protecting his 'WOMAN'. Why did i do this? My boyfriend weighs 10kgs less than me. I could easily beat him in a fight. And i didn't even NEED protecting. I can yell at kids myself. I accepted the stereotypical role of a screaming girl who couldn't fight back and i'm kind of annoyed at myself.

SEXISM: both discrimination based on gender and the attitudes, stereotypes, and the cultural elements that promote this discrimination (finallyfeminism101).

I hate discrimination in any form. I really hate it when women themselves support the myth that women are weaker. Most of the articles I read about Holi this week stated how the authors hated sexism because it suggests women are less than men, then in the next paragraph they suggested women should be spared from getting lola'd because they can't defend themselves. This is promoting the sexist view of women as so weak they can't face kids with water! If we want equal treatment then we can't ask for special treatment?

I know what you are all thinking. Girls get hit more by water balloons than boys and that is sexist. Well let's break it down.

Why do girls get targeted more than boys?

Boys fight back. Boys don't cry about it. When a girl gets hit she either runs away or cries. If we don't want to be considered targets then we shouldn't act like victims. 10 year old  kids with balloons don't target men because they might get in trouble, because they are scared of getting hurt. Kids aren't sexist, they are bullies. They are targeting the weak. If you don't want to be a victim don't act like one, chase the kid, yell at them or even better buy a water gun and fight back.

Publishing article saying 'don't hit girls with water balloons it hurts' just adds to the myth that women are weaker. Water balloons hurt men too, is it still ok to hit them? I totally support the idea behind Jord Niroula's article Holi War  that women start standing up for themselves but i don't support hitting kids.

"We will hide inside our house, behind windows, three stories above and hit any men we see – only because they are men. Extra points if we get the sensitive parts" (don't get me wrong I love nepaliketi but i have to disagree with her today).  I'd like to point out that when i was walking around on Holi many of the people throwing water at me where young girls and even old women. Also there are many men who sympathetic are realise that targeting any one who isn't interested in playing Holi is wrong. Comments like this draw a division between women and men, rather than between those who are sensitive to discrimination and those who aren't.

So next year I am going to play Holi again. I will be careful not to hit anyone who isn't already enjoying Holi but I will arm myself with a big water gun and as many water balloons as i can manage. I hope instead of sitting at home waiting for the government to ban Holi, or hoping other men will pressure their friends and brothers into respecting women, we will all recognise we aren't weak and stand up for ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Well said... it sounds like a fun time and maybe next year( or the year after) I will come see it for myself...