#FeministMondays | Past Attack

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***This post was supposed to be published on last Monday. I did put up a #FeministMondays post last week, but it turned out to be way too aggressive and personal for my own liking. An hour after I published the post, I took it down. This post is to replace that. I can always backdate it, but this time I choose not too. Next month on, the #FeministMondays posts will continue to be published on the second Monday of every month***

I recently happened to watch the movie 'Bareilly Ki Barfi' and I loved every bit of it. I would say that this movie is a step towards feminism because of its female lead. Kriti Sanon's Bitti is strong headed, does what she believes is right, has a firm head on her shoulders and her parents support her and accept her the way she is. One scene in the movie keeps coming back to me. The one where a random guy comes to "see" Bitti with the quest of marriage. When they are asked to go out for a while and speak alone, the first thing he asks her is if she's a virgin. She was taken aback as was I, as the viewer. When she asks him the same question he goes on to tell her that it doesn't matter if he's a virgin or not, but it sure as hell matters if she is or not. She replies on the negative and the prospective groom soon vanishes. A few days ago, I chanced upon a quote (if you can call it that) that says, "A man always hopes to be a woman's first love and a woman always hopes to be a man's last love". As I was exposed to both these scenarios, the only word that popped in my mind was "Fu$k".

I have said and maintained it time and again that every one has a past, present and a future. Without either, there wouldn't be the other. Why are some people always hell bent out dredging out the past of women alone? I say people and not men here as I know of an equal number of women who are way too curious about the pasts of other women or fear their own. Don't men have pasts? Don't men have ex lovers? Why is the concept of a man's past negated without the blink of an eye. If a woman has had a past lover, shit hits the fan. What kind of logic is this? I find this utterly stupid and so damn biased. As a woman, I have had quite a few relationships in the past. While most women like to call their exes as a mistake, I wouldn't do that. It was definitely a part of my life back then and while some things work out, some don't. I have no regrets, and definitely I do not feel any guilt over it.

When my wedding was fixed and I was to marry my boyfriend, now husband, many relatives called up my mother-in-law to be and told her that I've had many boyfriends in the past. Yeah, the award for the best family in the world goes to you know who. I did not deny it at all! Strangely enough, nobody called my mother to tell her that her to be son-in-law has had girlfriends in the past. Why? People obviously did not think it mattered enough. My husband and I met when both of us were dealing with a broken relationship. We had nothing to hide from each other and honestly, none of us felt the need to. It was not a conscious decision to list out the details of the past to each other, but when you have established a certain level of comfort with one another, it comes out seamlessly. None of us judged the other, which only elevated the respect we felt for one another. Love happened gradually and soon the past was replaced with a beautiful present and a hopeful future.

When a friend of mine was to marry a girl from my city as part of an arranged marriage, he asked me to help him find out everything about her past. I out rightly denied the lame request. When he found out that she did have a lover in the past, he went on to explore more. He wanted to know what "exactly" had happened between them, which you and I are smart enough to understand what that means. Another male friend of mine, well educated in the city and holding a very good job once told me that he'd never be able to accept a girl if she's not a virgin and that if he finds out about the past of a woman after marriage, he'll just let her go. A few months later, when he told me that he was in love with me I laughed at his face and told him where he could go. I had no intention of being with someone who would take me back to the Eighteenth century.

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The fact that people hold so much importance on a woman's virginity and do not even bother to question that of a man's, shows what is wrong with our society today. Past lovers and what happened to them is only the business of the people involved and that of nobody else. It is a not an unit of measurement to measure the likability or the purity of a woman. If it is, it should be applicable to men too. After all, sexually transmitted diseases are not gender biased! For some reason, educated women who tend to be financially independent are by default considered to be of loose morals and are expected to have a list of men in their past. So be it, what is your problem with it? Is a woman not allowed to fall in love? Is a woman not allowed to have desires? Is a woman not allowed to have a physical relationship before she gets married? When a man can, why can't a woman? For a man, the count of women he beds before he settles for only one in the name of marriage is an achievement. Why is the same thing a matter of shame and embarrassment for a women? Most importantly, why give so much importance to something that now lies buried in the past?

We're entering 2018 and till date educated men and women talk about a woman's virginity as if it is their sole agenda in life. Even if she has had the most platonic relationships in the past, she is subjected to multiple questions. While a man boasts of his past conquests, a woman is expected to hide hers. So many of my friends till date haven't told their husbands of many many years about their past due to the fear or being judged or rejected. Isn't this considered to be cheating? If a man is secure enough, he will have no problems with a woman's past and he'll love and accept her for what she is. So will a woman, but why isn't her side of the story ever considered?


This post is a part of the powerful series #FeministMondays on Naba's blog and you can be a part of it too. On the second Monday of every month, write an impactful post with the hashtag #FeministMondays and link it back to Naba's blog.

11 comments:

  1. Men find it difficult to deal with the fact that the woman they are married to could have been with another man, who may have been 'better' than them. It's all to do with the male ego, Soumya, which cannot digest the fact that they may not measure up to the guy from the past, or that they may not be as accomplished.

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    1. It is the ego alright! But I see many many women obsessing over this too.

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  2. You make complete sense. Every logical person can see what is wrong with the society's difference in accepting the context of virginity and past relationships of a man and a woman. And, yet what has prevailed since time immemorial continues to be the same.

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    1. I wonder if this will ever change.

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  3. It is all about ego. The patriarchal mindset will take some time to dissipate. For some people not having a virgin wife could be an issue. For others, it matters nothing. Don't know what to say. It is such a silly thing, really.

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    1. You said it, Rachna! It is so silly to see men and women obsessing over something so trivial still.

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  4. What can I say, Soumya? I just wrote a #feministmonday post about the ridiculous things men look for in their wives annoyed by what a colleague has said. I don't understand this level of entitlement that men feel. God knows what they are going to do with virginity!

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    1. It is so sad, right? I hope it will change someday.

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  5. It makes no sense at all, to judge any person by a past especially a woman which our society is undoubtedly very good at. Just hoping that as gradually our generation takes over these things will cease to matter but what hurts the most that even the most educated of our generation still hold the same mentality!

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  6. The time has come that society i.e we change our mindset.My friend got divorced just because his wife doubt him that he has extra marital affiar as a result they are separated.He works in private bank

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