Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:
SERIOUS RANTS AHEAD. DON’T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU THINK YOU CAN’T TAKE IT.
These are the ones I get slammed for quite often:
- If you’re following a certain faith, do it with utmost sincerity and devotion. Some customs and traditions were put down there by our ancestors for a reason. Going about questioning them and trying to find scientific evidence changes a ‘faith’ into a ‘science’.
- It’s a cruel world out there for women. Don’t go by what all these activists scream their throats out on TV. If a woman is not careful and doesn’t look after herself, she’s going to have something very bad and undesirable happen to her. Every man you see on the street is not a gentleman. You never know what monsters lurk behind those calm facades, waiting to pounce at the first given opportunity. Feminism and women’s lib is all fine until you’re the one at the receiving end. All these activists can go on going on protests and hunger strikes after something has happened. The one who actually faces humiliation and a lifetime of mental trauma is the one who trusted these activists.
- There are some things that are better off being private affairs of women and women alone – menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth. Discussing them with men on public forums and holding up bloodied sanitary napkins for pictures posted on social media is not women’s liberation. It is just making a mockery of womanhood itself.
- I don’t endorse the usage of cuss words in conversation-whether casual or formal. And no, I don’t think it’s ‘cool’. In fact, I get very offended and might even walk away mid-sentence.
- I don’t endorse women drinking alcohol or smoking in public…esp. Indian women. To me, it is rather unbecoming. It is my opinion and that’s all.
- I don’t support abortion unless it is a medical emergency. Nobody has the right to kill a living being just because it’s an inconvenience. If you didn’t want the baby, then don’t go about doing stuff making them in the first place. There are millions of people out there who pray day and night to be blessed with a child. And there is an equal number of more people who burn their unborn babies in the womb itself. It’s something that disturbs me no end.
- I hate caste-based reservations. Reservations ought to be based on one’s economic status, and not on whether you had ancestors three generations ago who were abused by higher caste people.
- A woman who believes in excessive skin-show to attract people is one that is not capable of attracting people with her intelligence. Such individuals bore me no end and I feel sorry for them for having to resort to such limits.
End of rant post.
I received a comment from a fellow Quoran that I responded to. Sharing it here as I feel it is relevant and might answer many similar questions that may pop up in the minds of people who read my answer. I did not want my response to get buried under other comments and replies too. Hence, sharing the original comment (without naming the Quoran for the sake of manners) was necessary.
Interesting that all the issues you have ‘serious problems’ with involve women who choose to live like men have been living for centuries. I’m sure your regressive opinions win you a lot of upvotes and popularity, but you’re an extremely judgemental person who’s especially biased against women. There, end of my rant. Don’t care if you downvote or if an army of your supporters comes to heap abuse.
I expressed to another person who commented that this response was rather rude, to which the following comment followed:
I’m making an observation. I don’t know how it’s rude to call someone judgemental when they are clearly passing judgements against a section of women. Being traditional and wearing kanjeevarams does not make you a good person, and wearing ‘revealing clothes’ does not make someone a bad person. It’s also very easy to be snarky about feminism without having an actual argument. Feminism means equal rights for all. It doesn’t mean superiority of females or whatever. And when you put regressive views on social media then please expect to be called out for it. Also, Hinduism teaches us to accept everybody and their way of life. It does not have space for dogma and prejudice. I can sit here and poke holes in your arguments all afternoon, but it’s clear that you won’t have any logical comebacks. I guess I am surprised that in this day and age an educated woman can spread hatred against other women. How old are you? My mother is 55 and even she isn’t so biased.
The question reads “What are your most controversial or unpopular opinions?” I have only answered this question, knowing fully well that they are both controversial and unpopular. There are so many questions and answers and discussions here on Quora, and elsewhere on the internet on each one of those bullet points I mentioned. I consciously stay away from them. My opinions are my own based on what life has taught me. Life does not, fortunately or unfortunately, teach the same lessons to everyone. And my answer is not an encyclopedia entry. It is only an opinion. Period.
This statement you wrote <quote>’I’m sure your regressive opinions win you a lot of upvotes and popularity, but you’re an extremely judgemental person who’s especially biased against women’<unquote> was quite hurtful.Firstly, I had listed out those opinions of mine that are often looked down upon and I have received a lot of hate for it. They are not in any way ‘popular’ and I am well aware of it. And I most definitely do not write my answers to gain ‘upvotes’. Had that been the case, I could just have parroted the loudest voices of the public. I could have been one of the most popular people on Quora in no time. But I choose to stick to my principles, no matter how acceptable or unacceptable they may be to people around me. They are mine and mine alone. I don’t force anyone to follow what I deem is right. As a free thinking, educated adult, I believe that I have full right to think for myself and to have my own understanding about what is right and what is wrong for me.
You referred to me as to being ‘extremely judgemental’ by reading this answer, or say a few answers of mine? My views are based on what life has thrown at me…not at you. Then how can you expect them to be the same as yours? It’s just not logical. Just because my views are different from yours, I am ‘extremely judgemental’? How much do you know about me? How much do you know about how and why I have arrived at those conclusions? And yet, you firmly decided that I am nothing but ‘extremely judgemental’. That hurt.
And why on earth would I be biased against women? I am one who believes in the concept of universal sisterhood. I was raised in a family that glorified and celebrated womanhood. In our families, women are kept at a higher pedestal than men. We are cherished and loved and revered. I was taught about how a woman is dignity and elegance personified. We are Shaaktas who have Devi Shakti as the Supreme Deity. We worship and revere the sacred feminine. When I look around me today, all I see is nothing but sheer mockery of that very womanhood. The number of women who go to unimaginable levels just to ‘live like men’ is appalling. Why should we live like men? Why can’t we get dignity by being just the way we are? Why isn’t a woman celebrated for just being herself? According to me, that is how a woman has to be respected – without having to resort to try and be like a man to get that respect. Knowingly or unknowingly, by such actions, we are telling the world that even if it takes us to be like man, we’ll do it…to be respected. So…in order to be respected, we have to be a man. Otherwise? Aren’t we stage whispering to the entire world that men are superior beings and that we are trying real hard to be like men so that we can hope to get some respect in our society? Like just how self-demeaning is that??
Why, I personally consider that we are much superior to men. I used to tell my mother that women are like the deputies of God on earth. A woman creates a life, nurtures it and builds a home and a family. Things that a man cannot do. If women remain in their dignity, I’m sure they will get the respect they deserve. The more women try to ‘go out there and beat them to it’, men are going to overlook the fact that you are a woman and they will see you more as a competitor…a system put down by nature. A physically weaker but mentally much stronger competitor who can be cowed down only by brute force. I hope you get the drift.
Like you said, Hinduism does give ample freedom to all those who follow it. There are purists, there are moderates and there are rebels. There’s space for everyone. What I wrote is, again, my opinion. I don’t force anybody to follow it. But I will and there’s nothing anybody can do to stop me from believing in what I think is the right thing to do.
I didn’t intend this reply to be so long. Honestly, I didn’t plan a ‘comeback’ and I’m not even sure if any of what I have written above seems ‘logical’ to you. But these are things I believe in. And again, I am not asking anyone to believe in them. As a personal policy, I do not offer my opinions or my advice to anyone unless they specifically ask me. If they ask me, then they ought to be prepared to hear the truth about what I feel, and not expect to hear what they want to hear. I am a Sagittarian and I don’t tell too many lies to please people.
If you have read until here, I thank you sincerely for your patience. As to how old I am…maybe old enough to be your older sister? That’s all 🙂 My kind regards and pranams to your mother.