Posted on March 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Bollywood Featured What's Happenin'

"Informed Women are Empowering the Less Advantaged Ones for a Better World" – Vinta Nanda

Men and women are said to be created equally but that may still be one for the books. Over a century of collectively fighting for a place in society, true feminist continue to struggle to find a suitable place in society. Popular writer, director and philanthropist Vinta Nanda, who wrote India’s first ever television series Tara and co-founder of Asian Center for Entertainment Education (ACEE), describes her struggle as a woman in a man’s world and how she defeated the odds to reach the platform she is at today.

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“The word feminist is completely misunderstood in India. In a culture where popular and mainstream entertainment objectifies young girls and women, the idea of feminism is alien.In a culture where the final destination for most girl children born is marriage followed by a lifetime of devotion to their husbands, feminism is meaningless. It’s an man’s world out here and however educated and dynamic women maybe, there is a threshold which they are not permitted to cross and if they dare to assert themselves, there are systems and practices institutionalized over ages which are already there to show women their perceived place and control them.

Power is skewed in favor of the male gender and there is no possibility in sight where one can see that norms can be shifted. Many efforts have been made since India’s independence to empower women and create ground for equality but despite India being one of the first countries to have a woman as the head of the state, progress comes to a standstill at every one of those moments when there is a possibility of a woman breaking the glass ceiling and achieving self determination for herself.

I have not only been verbally abused and defamed for being considered feminist, but I have had to deal with bunches of men ganging up against me and trying to bring me to my knees whenever I have attempted to push prevailing boundaries and rise above my male counterparts at work. They have abused me to my face and I have been asked to leave the country. I have been told that there is no place for a woman like me in India when I have asserted myself and refused to dumb down my intelligence just to give a male colleague a position above myself because it is expected of me to do. I have been made to feel embarrassed, I have been humiliated. But none of the above has stopped me nor will it ever hold me back from expressing myself and writing with honesty. To all those who try to stop women from progressing, I would like to say to them that they should watch out.

Informed women are reaching out to their sisters less advantaged than themselves and empowering them today like never before. Women are helping other women out in various ways. There are many boys and many men who are joining forces with women and supporting their cause and the day is not far when those people (both men as well as women) who believe that men are a superior gender, will be not only marginalized but will also find themselves isolated in the discourse.

The world is changing fast and women belonging to younger generations that mine, are fully prepared to achieve their personal as well as professional goals unflinchingly and unapologetically. Every single hurt of the past which I nurse is a reminder to me of how powerful and how special I as well as women like me are. However at the end I would like to say that gender inequality is only just a microcosm of the larger reality in which discrimination is a real social evil and that it gives vent to the worst fault with the human species; which is the inherent need for human beings to be more important than the others around them. Once supremacists, be them men or be them women, realize that they are mentally sick, and when they start getting themselves treated for it, the world will become a more equal place.”