Human world had been subject to discrimination and oppression for a very very long time until the rise of liberalism, which promoted the idea of liberty and freedom and equality for all. Humans have finally begun to look at fellow human from the lens of humanity and not from race or ethnicity or tribalism. Age-old practices based on culture and tradition and patriarchy are in the process of getting replaced by liberal values and reasoning, which makes up the modern world.
However, though everyone believes that all humans are equal and need to be treated equally, some of us still tend to take a soft approach towards the change, simply because of “conditioned thinking” or because of being from the privileged bubble and don’t have the first-hand experience on what does it feel like to be oppressed and treated unequal. Because of that, every time there is a debate and discussion over “how to end discrimination of all form,” they come up with certain arguments which they should not be saying in private or public.
The following are 6 things you should never be telling to any Dalit or any oppressed and marginalized group.
Change does not happen overnight. It will take a time.
What are you trying to imply by that? Are you saying the person should suffer because “change does not happen overnight?” When your life is in hell or you are going through the tough times, it’s natural for you wanting to come out of that as soon as possible. At that moment, what you need is motivation and hope that everything will end soon. You don’t want to hear “it’s not going to end soon, so deal with it, adjust with it,” especially when you know it can be ended soon if people genuinely work towards. As Vladimir Lenin said, “there are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” You never know which week gonna turn into the one.
There is discrimination everywhere, even in USA.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because there is discrimination of some form or other everywhere does not mean we should live with it. Just because USA could not fix it, does not mean we cannot. Maybe, we can find the solution that world can learn from. Until Gandhi, no one thought you could win by non-violent approach. He proved it and now world lives by the template. Moreover, don’t you see people storming the street against discrimination? Which country is better…country where discrimination exists but people protest against or country where discrimination exists but no one protests?
There will always be inequality
YES! There will always be inequality, unfairness, hardship, fights. Since the dawn of humanity, we humans have been solving problems, finding solutions just to end up in another problems, another challenges. It’s like walking through mountains. You climb up a mountain just to meet another mountain. It’s a never ending journey, does not mean we should put no effort to solve the current crisis and problem. Today, whatever we humans have attained are the result of our relentless effort of making this world a better place, not for few but for all the whole humanity. We fix one issue, and then move to next issue, and then next. Thus, just because another form of inequality is waiting for us, does not mean we should live with the current inequality in practice. We should thrive to fix the existing one and prepare for next one. That is how it works and should work.
Don’t create a scene, taking the issue to public
Everyone likes that soft, loyal, non-rebellious individual who takes a soft approach in solving an issue in private, or leaves it quietly. By saying “don’t create a scene…” what you are trying to imply is be that nice and soft person. But remember, you can’t break a mountain without making a noise. So, let there be noise. Better accept, encourage and promote those brave and bold. It may look chaotic for a while but Taj Mahal is not built without mess of debris and construction materials.
Don’t be idealist. Be realistic
What is to be realistic? dictionary definition of being realistic is “having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.” So what is unrealistic in saying “do not discriminate any human based on their caste or race or gender or sexuality?” And what is unrealistic in saying “we must end it as soon as possible?” Asking for equal treatment is not being idealist. Asking for punishment for any wrongdoing is not being idealist. Those who say “don’t be idealist,” are indirectly supporting evil in society and are afraid of those asking the end to it.
As long as there is reservation, there will be discrimination
It’s like saying as long as there is a reservation for woman, there will be sexism. As long as there is a reservation for poor, there will be classism. Reservation is never a solution and is not there for a solution to end any form of discrimination. Reservation is a mere compensation to help oppressed and weak ones and also a protection for the kind till the wings grow. Don’t mix reservation and discrimination, just like how you should not mix rape and dress.
If you cannot be part of a fight, it’s okay, but don’t say or do anything that discourages, demotivates, or disowns any fighter fighting for a change. Like how desperate you will be to run out of heat if you are to put into, like how even a second means 100 years long to wait if you are to sleep over a bed of nails and thorns, living through discrimination, living through inequality and injustice feels the same for the victims. You can’t feel it unless you are one of them.
To fall in love, you should be ready for love
To most of the youth today, if you ask, “will you marry someone from different religion or so-called lower caste or widow?” most of them will have the typical answer “I will if I am in love with the person.” In surface, that sounds legit. But if you go deeper, you will find the reason is different.
Naturally speaking, long before you develop a feeling for someone, there must be a desire and want to get the person. Only if the desires and wants manifest further, you will develop the feeling for the person, otherwise you won’t.
Example: You met a person in a cafe and you liked the person instantly. That’s attraction, but attracted does mean having the desire and want right away. To develop the feeling of “want,” you need to know the person. Now, let’s say the person you liked instantly happened to be from so-called lower caste or widow or of any background that your parents would frown upon. First thing that will play in your head is, “this person is nice and great but can’t think of smooth future without conflict at home and all those drama.” And you will start asking yourself, “do i want to get to that direction?” All that thoughts will kill the desire and want then and there only.
Most of the very same people who say “I will marry if I am in love with the person,” in reality never fall in love with the person as they give up the idea of wanting or desiring the person soon after knowing the caste or religion or widow status calculating the possible complication from family in future.
It’s same as people from certain community never falling in love with someone with the same last name.
Point is, though they are right they would marry anyone if in love, but the social construct will never that easily let them develop the feeling for someone that they see will create unnecessary stress and conflict in future with the family and society.
Many youth today fail to realise this. In comparison to previous generation, of course our generation have moved an inch further and can at least say “will marry if in love,” that earlier generation even would not say that, but still that does not mean our generation have reached the ultimate state of progression.
The ultimate state should be a social construct, where when someone likes a fellow human, s/he can let himself/herself to fall in love without having a second thought or fear of family or society. Until we don’t reach to that level of comfort and freedom, we haven’t actually accomplished true liberty from old-age dogmas and concepts.
Male privileges that many men don’t see
Male privilege is like driving a car. Only those outside can see the car. For the person inside, he is just enjoying his privilege.
Most guys don’t know about male privilege, because for them, it’s normal and usual life and nothing as such “privilege.” They don’t see anything privilege on this gender-specific socially constructed freedom and liberty, that many women are deprived from. To show the reality to such guys, KMAG had asked female followers to share what is male privilege. The following were some of the comments we received.
Calling themselves as the head of the family, and freedoms to select clothes .
Many girls have actually lived through this and are living. You know that “daddy kinda” attitude from your brother even though is younger to you or few years elder to you? And then there is dad already being that daddy. Male privilege is getting that upper hand and self-assigned authoritative position that they can claim for being a male. If you are a male, you are automatically the head of the family with the veto power.
Men remarrying but women vilified for the same action even if she is a widow
This is not the case anymore?? Seriously? Second marriage for woman is still near impossible whereas man can marry any day he wants. We all know Shweta Khadka, a popular Nepali actress how she had to deal with her second marriage. If that is the case of popular figure, imagine what would be the case of ordinary woman. Ignoring small fraction of progressive family, women are still socially conditioned to stay single after divorce or being widow, whereas men can without any societal pressure can marry. That’s the male privilege.
The privilege of walking on the road at any time of the night is the privilege WOMEN MIGHT NEVER GET!
I love nights. Ahead of the sun, cobalt blue fades into pastel robins egg and pink, signalling the end of the night. The night is a time for contemplation. When I can own the world around me in solitary comfort, it’s private emancipation. But then, hey! I don’t have that luxury, whereas my male counterparts have the luxury at any odd hours at night to roam around. I know, I know there is a reason. The security thing right? So who we are unsecured from? Definitely not from girls.
That’s another male privilege that we girls envy. We can never enjoy long night walks because we are “female.”
Serving the “men” of the house first no matter how hungry you are.
It appears to be an unspoken rule that men are entitled to be the first one to be served unless they gave the permission for others to eat. Let’s not even bring where does daughter-in-law fall in the hierarchy. Ya it’s culture! that’s what we are saying, it’s a culture that grants you the privilege that others don’t get to because of being from different gender. Women to cook, women to serve, women to organise, and men get to have their birth-right for being the first one to taste, eat or even finish. What a privilege that they become alpha simply because they are the male.
Men can make mistakes but women can’t
Do you know how uptight we women are to avoid making any mistakes? We all have listened thousands of times that every success is the result of 1000s of mistakes, which means mistakes is the way to grow. Now, how are we women supposed to grow if we are not allowed to make mistakes? We are always being guarded, protected, directed to walk the certain path, do things in certain ways that are proven to be right; we are not supposed to experiment, explore, try things differently because while doing so, if anything wrong happens, “chori manche ko jiwan barbad.” Being male means you have the freedom to make mistakes. That’s the male privilege.
Men don’t have to deal with marriage as soon as he completes bachelor’s or hit the 23-24 age bracket. Women have to.
If you come up with that “girls after 30 will have problem conceiving” logic, then let me ask you this, why it happens mostly in South Asia? No one puts pressure on a 24-years old girl in America or Europe to get married because “otherwise will be hard to conceive.” We, women have to face the parental and the relative pressure for marriage from as early as 22. The pressure of study, career, family and this constituent pressure of marrying and what not. Males don’t have to face that, at least not till they hit 30. That’s the another male privilege that many men don’t seem to understand.
Males don’t get judged for not cooking, not keeping house clean, not doing laundry, not feeding the child but women are even if she is a working women
Taking care of self and that of people you share the room is a basic responsiblity and is not supposed to be assigned per gender, but then male has the privilege to just do nothing yet not be judged but women? Oh, if she fails to, she becomes a terrible wife, terrible mother, terrible human being. Can you feel the male privilege here? Yes, that’s what I am talking about.
Can stay with parents after marriage whereas females have to leave
Do I even need to explain or tell that what a privilege it must be to not have an obligation to leave the house you grew up in?
Last but not the least, being male means you are de facto leader, born intelligent, respected unconditionally, and many more things that we get to see every day in house, in office, in street, where two humans are treated differently purely based on gender they belong to. I understand this privilege granted to you are not something you asked for and you are not to be blamed. Purpose of this post is to merely educate what is male privilege that often many males don’t see and wonder where is inequality and differences in treatment.
What do I think of Nepalese Youth in general
If you don’t fall under the type that I fear, you don’t need to prove the article wrong.
Irony of my life is, I run youth-based media and I fear the very same demography the most. That’s because, I have watched them closely for many years, through their comments and posts on social media, their online and offline activities, have identified their interests and hobbies and life and political philosophies and trust me, they scare me. By saying that, of course, I didn’t mean to generalize the whole youth populace but the specific type.
I am afraid of them, not because they are physically violent, but because they are too wild, uncouth, and insensitive that you don’t know when you will become their memes, you don’t know when you will become their social media posts for nothing. Just say something against their set beliefs and you will become their tea talks. From a nice guy, it does not take a time for you to become the most hated and taunted person — all because you offended them by not speaking their existing thoughts and beliefs. And sometimes, because they simply have problem with whatever you do, out of jealousy or envy, and they just wait for that one mistake from you to amplify their deep-rooted hatred to bring on social media.
This whole society runs on the formula “what others think of you is what I will think of you.” Probably, this is where what-people-will-say came from.
Why are these people like this? I have wondered zillion times. I have wondered while going through posts on Facebook groups like MRR, I have wondered while going through comment sections in local news portals, I have wondered while reading Facebook posts from my “FB friends.” I have wondered while listening to gossips over coffee, I have wondered while watching Youtube videos from them.
It’s like unwritten rule that everyone of them follow — if someone says something that you cannot agree with, mock them, taunt them, insult them. They drag you to their level that you have no option but helplessly pray that no one from your circle gets to see that. You think of your siblings, your relatives, your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues and wonder what they may think of you seeing you being mocked and taunted publicly.
Sadly, the whole society runs on the formula “what others think of you is what I will think of you.” And the taunts and mocks become your new identity. Probably, this is where what-people-will-say came from. Makes sense right? Since you are going to be judged based on what others think of you or say about you, you have to be careful about what people will say.
Slowly, this fear of “what people will say” start crippling you mentally so deep that you knowingly and unknowingly fear to dare, fear to be bold and straight, fear to take a stand against popular opinion, fear to make mistakes, fear to learn from. You rather will choose to be one of the sheep and be loved and adored than be different, try different. Or, you rather choose to be quiet than be judged for speaking or being obvious and apparent to others. You must have heard some people saying “Nepal ma bachera kaam garna jannu parcha.” That’s what they meant — avoid any kind of spotlight if you want to live smoothly in this country.
Funny, most of these youth think that they are educated because they can read and write, they have gone to colleges and succeeded to crack the exams and get the certificate. No matter how toxic their attitude and mentality is, they somehow will find a way to earn their life through some job or business, or at worst, find a job abroad, and what do you need more? You have now source of income, who do you need to care anymore! You are not going to lose your job for throwing your half-baked knowledge on social media or mocking some youtubers or media personality or writing crap on Priyanka Karki’s post or passing anti-gay or racist remark on social media, like how Bronx Restaurant Fires Employee After Anti-Gay Remark to Married Couple.
And, then there are this high-class youth, whose way of bashing you is much sophisticated. They gather over coffee in an expensive cafe or some fancy internet forum and make you a topic. And like always, rest of others build the opinion on the person, based on the opinions of gossipers. Different class, same formula.
However, irrespective of my fear and concern and frustration and resentment against these youth, I love them and care for them, because problem with them is they don’t know what they are doing, and no one to tell them how they actually should be. Class, appropriateness, etiquettes, sophistication are not part of a family for whom scarcity, chaos, and stress are life. Most of these youth are born and raised by parents who never went to college, and they grew up listening to assumption-based opinions rather than facts and research-based in dinner tables and neighborhoods. They went to school and college, but barely learned and understood what’s in curriculum, the purpose and message. Throughout their life, it was all about cracking exam by answering somehow right. As there is a saying, “fruits don’t fall far from the trees.” So what we are seeing actually is the younger version of very same uncle and aunties and elders with baseless opinion on America, on India, on politics, on health, on each and every aspects of life; the very same elders whose favorite self-soothing behavior is mocking and looking down to others just to feel good about self. Only difference being they have college degrees.
Nevertheless, someone has to make the hand dirty to fix it all for generations to come rather than hiding all their life to avoid insults, mockeries, bullying for taking the stand, challenging the established norms and thoughts.
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