A Lifetime Sentence of Being Woman

Earlier this month, I tweeted the following:

“More and more it becomes obvious that testosterone and machismo are the biggest problems this world faces. Can we just ban men?”

The reactions I received proved my point and make me firmly NOT apologetic for it. Personal attacks. Rape threats. Attack threats. Abuses. Trolling. It went on for over four days.

One woman badgered me about the sexism (tweets deleted now) and said I was as bad as the men I had complained about earlier, who indulged in casual sexism. When I tweeted later about the attacks coming my way, she called it ‘convenient victimisation‘.

Men who did not attack me badgered me to ‘prove’ that these were rape threats. I was asked how I felt about women drivers. They demanded that I prove these were attacks.

Two male friends got involved and how? By talking down to me, by mansplaining and by telling me not to attack all men. One of them unfollowed me when I retailiated. Another one posted a sly complaining tweet and has not bothered to have a conversation even after I’ve reached out. Why really should I care about men and what they feel? Because if I don’t, I’ll be punished over and over again.

Four people reached out, on the phone. That’s it.Not one of the causes and people I’ve supported over the years said a word. Everyone else continued tweeting as per usual, outraging about the fashionable causes and intellectualising about movie censorship, women’s rights and comedy.

I felt an immense sense of betrayal and shame for days. Why do I want to stand up for the cause of women when they won’t support me but actively take part in attacking me? Why should I support gay rights, transgender rights, environmental activists, social change drivers when not a single one of them gives a f&*( about my safety? I’m just a number to add to their support figures.

I am so disappointed in the world. And every time I express this, I get versions of ‘But why are you so hard on men?’ and ‘Not all men are like that’ and ‘Arre, you are just unlucky. Ignore the trolls, na.’

I don’t have a way to end this post because I don’t want to spew curses on the world I’m superstitious enough to believe that all of it will only rebound on me and well, do I really need any more problems? I’m already a prisoner of a lifetime sentence of being a woman with a voice. No further punishment, please. I’ll learn to STFU eventually.

Update: The trolls have followed me to this blog. What kind of a farce allows people to call themselves feminists while also harassing a woman who said something that men didn’t like?

Update 2Over a month since the original incident happened, I am still getting slammed for that tweet (see some of the comments to this post itself). It just makes men SO angry doesn’t it, that a woman refuses to apologize for saying something they don’t like? To be clear, I’m not denying that the tweet was sexist. But reverse the genders in my tweet and you have the kind of things that get said often but rarely called out. How is men’s needless aggression any superior to women’s (so-called) hysteric reactions?

Advertisements

About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on June 29, 2016, in Being Woman, Confessional and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. nomansplaining

    Commenters are always wrong.but they do not mince words.

    Please ask a trusted friend who knows you for more than 10 years and who does not believe in fake compliments for feedback .
    Q.has my timeline been filled with more angry tweets ,sad poetry now than 5 years ago?

    Yes I know your tweets get a lot of angry replies.but I see a lot of concerned friends getting concerned when they see you worked up.

    Angry ignited by one person’s tweets ,making us so angry ,that we become mean to our friends ,who take the risk of asking about us (99% will remain quiet as they see uncontrollable anger).

    I found the tweet accusing a usual well-wisher of mansplaining mean.we need to know some of our actions during uncontrollable anger will make friends move away.now everyone forgive take unintentional meanness like family does.remember the several you have let go for similar mean actions?

    Mansplaining the term has been used as an ad hominem to silence comments,faulty replies should instead be refuted or just temp muted

    But this can’t be done in episodes of uncontrollable anger imho.

    • @nomansplaining: I’m letting this comment go through to prove exactly what I started off by saying. This, if anyone else is reading, is no friend of mine since he got all the facts wrong. Whatever their issues may be, my friends don’t feel the need to lurk in anonymity and spew venom. And finally, while I’d be the last to judge a person for their poor English, the people I mentioned in my post speak and write better than this. How pathetic are you, little troll?

      • nomansplaining

        your reply proved the point .ideasmithy you are smarter than this!. dont let your anger cloud your reasoning and decision making. attacking the language and name calling,instead of the message is not helping you.
        anyway thanks for your feed back. may be i should put some alphabets in my rasam to improve my english writing skills

      • @nomansplaining: You’re back, little troll? Well done on the Alphabet Sambar reference. How wonderful that you figured out how google works. Or did you just read my blog? Once again, no one I call a friend is such a coward as to lurk in anonymity.

  2. I have often been arrogant towards feminists and have found faults with their language. I have found problems with their views against men in general. than i realized one day, they have started speaking now after millennials of keeping them oppressed. We need to hear their outrage and Angst because maybe we deserve them. maybe because we have killed their dreams long ago. Freedom tot heir choices it must be, we must be ready to hear abuses.We have killed and maimed women for long, least we can do is hear them. i was wrong once but now i am not so. i will hear the abuses and bear them.

    • @loudengineer: “I will hear the abuses and bear them.” – Your words, not mine. Your responses to another woman on Twitter two days ago were abusive and harassment but you obviously didn’t see it that way. I think you’re making it a personal story casting yourself as a tragic hero. This doesn’t help women or feminism the cause but perhaps it makes you feel better about yourself. If you’re looking for gratitude or acknowledgement, please realize that a decent human being should not have to be awarded or proclaimed for according basic human rights to others.

  3. I am sorry that you had this experience, and I am not naive enough to believe that your experience is unique. I honestly do not know what to say beyond that. The tweet that started all this, in my opinion is benign and reasonably funny. It’s much funnier that the `better half’ jokes I am subjected to all the time. And yes, as a man, and for myself (since, fairly, I can not really comment on a woman’s experience in society and 100% of the time I am willing to take your word for it): testosterone and machismo is the biggest source of my problems also. Then again, I have been told I cant really comment because I am not a man. I admit, I am not. I identify as an omnipotent higher power, and my preferred pronoun is ‘M’lord’.

    • @shaunakde: I saw that conversation where someone accused you of not being a man. I didn’t say anything because I’m so tired of battling trolls, indifference and being shamed for wanting to push back. The world sucks.

      • @ideasmith Please do not worry about it. I would rather not be a man, if it means being insensitive to being someone’s problems. I am happy and contended to be labeled anything. I am surrounded by wonderful people who love me for who I am, and I hope that every misguided soul finds some love also. I am really sorry about your experience and, as a whole, the growing apathy in the world.

  4. It’s your right to speak about things and I understand you will not be cowed by stomping on freedom of expression. Both the men and women making vile attacks are pathetic and lack balls to speak, that I am sure, Social media is vicious and many are spineless. I don’t see anything wrong in the tweet. You stoked a healthy debate but some showed their aukaad.

  5. Suddenly Truth

    I hope that you’re trolling because nearly every sentence in this blog post is riddled with logical fallacies, obvious ones nonetheless. I will summarize my criticisms in 3 points; #1: That you are a woman does not make you special and give you a free pass to say whatever the fuck you want to and to expect everyone to agree with you. #2 What is the “cause of women” and what does it have to do with your blatant misandry? #3 if your brand of feminism is about equality, at all, do you not get the irony of mocking and stereotyping men’s endocrine systems (“testosterone and machismo”)? And this isn’t even scratching the surface in the context of what may have made you write this (Muslim gunmen). This is the kind of mentality that would rather blame “testosterone and machismo” than Islam as the motivation for gunning down a bunch of random people. Go on and stereotype the endocrine systems of women if you will, they make fine Muslims. Islam does mean submission after all.

    • @Suddenly Truth: Your response just proves my point. Clearly you didn’t bother reading beyond the first three lines of the post. Or you were so upset by what I said that everything else just went out of the window. Women face statements of this nature every single day from several different quarters. It gets excused away as jokes and women who react to it get blamed, called names. In addition to all that, women are also subjugated for being ‘paranoid’, ‘diffident’ etc. I am not going to explain further since if this message doesn’t get across to you, I don’t think anything I say will.

      I am not sure why you brought up Islam in a conversation that did not have anything to do with religion. If this happens again, your comments will be blocked. This is non-negotiable.

      • Suddenly Truth

        So, was this an attempt at humor? Or do 2 wrongs make a right? (“Women face statements of this nature every single day from several different quarters”)

        I mentioned Islam because you’ve posted this at about the time of the mass shootings in Orlando and Bangladesh. Wasn’t that the context for your blaming testosterone (assuming it wasn’t an attempt at humor)?

      • @Suddenly Truth: You assume wrong. And dare I say, you assume too much. I do not talk about political issues and I most certainly made no comment on the Orlando or Bangladesh shootings, on this blog or on Twitter.

        My point (on the blogpost) was not about vindictiveness. It was to highlight the massive censure a woman comes under for a single statement of the type that most men get away with, several times a day, scott-free.

  6. Suddenly Truth

    You’re not making any sense, nor do you express any remorse for the “single statement of the type that most men get away with”. I’m not buying that, most men don’t say or get away with statements in a similar vein in public. And even if they did, and if that’s your justification for saying what you did, then it is indeed vindictive.

  7. Sudden Truth in life can be senseless and fraught with illogic arguments. This post upsets none and guess our male egos come in the way. So much anger when the debate should be healthy and as sane humans, we shouldn’t entertain insult on a woman, read, human being. I rest my case.

    • Suddenly Truth

      Yeah, I get where she’s coming from but it’s still bizarre… Especially because of the reverse victimization or well, blaming men for just being men/ who may not necessarily do the bad things that other men do. No civilized western man would ever do what Ideasmithy alleges/thinks we get away with all the time.

    • Suddenly Truth

      I like the ideasmithy, that’s why I even read this blog. But it’s hard to call this post anything other than misandry. It’s very hateful and highly illogicial. I don’t have an axe to grind so, …I will just stop talking.

      • @Suddenly Truth: You have been nothing but a troll to my blogs. Go ahead and live inside your illusions of being a blameless, ‘nice guy’. One of these days your comments are going to irritate me enough to take action. Harassing a woman is a crime, you know.

  8. Your tweet wasn’t sexist. Reverse racism/sexism/heterophobia simply cannot exist because of the very nature of oppression.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: