A few weeks back, the husband suggested that we take a day off from work to spend it together without having to worry about feeds and diapers. Before you judge us, let me just tell you that we still love M to bits. So, please remove that almost formed frown from your expression. Yes, yes, go on. Good. Well, moving on. To S’s credit, he had come up with this idea all by himself. And I was only too glad to implement it. God knows we needed it!
So, with M in the crèche, we spent one whole day together, just the two of us, doing what we love. Yes, those very things which we have been doing together for over a decade now. Before you get any ideas, it was just shopping, mall-hopping, watching a movie and then eating at a restaurant of our choice. See, perfectly innocent things.
It was a wonderful, laid back day not to mention a much-needed one. Then for lunch, we went into an Italian Restaurant to eat out together after a really long time (not one after the other which has for us become a norm these days). And I must say the food was really good. It was Italian, one of our favourite cuisines. We absolutely loved everything, right from the starters to the desserts. The food was a fitting end to a great day but then came the check.
No, it wasn’t the amount they charged. Nothing wrong with that. It wasn’t the way they charged. It was the fact that the waiter placed the check holder near my husband. Not at the centre or towards me but near him. That was the annoying blip for that day for me. And that was what got me thinking.
So much is the encumbrance with the words feminism or feminist that even women shirk from… Click To Tweet
Suddenly, I realised that waiters have almost always assumed that the money would be paid by the husband and not me, even when we were courting. An overwhelming majority of times, the check or bill holder was handed to S and not me. Well, it is not so much this action that irked me but the realisation of what it meant. Yes, that they subconsciously thought I couldn’t and wouldn’t possibly be the one to pay for our lunch or dinner.
Often when I talk about gender issues, I’m told that I’m reading too much into it. Any talk about feminism and the need for it makes people uncomfortable. So much is the encumbrance with the words feminism or feminist that even women shirk from identifying themselves with either.
The fact is that certain aspects of my life are affected negatively and unfairly because I’m a woman. The same is true for millions and millions of other women probably. And I have a problem with that as should you, I think. That is why I insist and wish for gender parity. That is why I’m not ashamed, scared or confused about being a feminist (and it has got nothing to do with hating men. Apparently, this needs to be added as a disclaimer every time).
I believe we should all be feminists, man and woman alike. Yes, so that next time when you, a woman, are out with a man at a restaurant, the waiter politely places the check at the centre of the table and not assume that only the man can buy dinner. Or, asks who would be paying instead of assuming that it almost certainly had to be the man. Yes, we should all be feminists because it’s about us all.
This post is the first in the #IAmAFeminist series on the blog. Inspired by a TEDx talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists, I intend to talk about the need for feminism through my posts, posts on my experience and observation as a female.