In an undergraduate girls’ hostel, three room mates who are vocal votaries of the Me Too movement are having an animated discussion in their dorm on the emergence of the #MenToo movement (This is a satirical piece).
Rekha: Folks, what’s happening? Our MeToo agitation was just about becoming popular —and here comes the MenToo stuff! And to boot, can you imagine celeb-women spearheading it?
Liz: I strongly feel that we should bring out an impactful college campaign to bring the focus back on women's issues, at least among students in our college.
Sania: In this internet age, why do we restrict our sphere of influence to just our campus—let’s make it sensational and go viral
The threesome flash a broad smile and give each other a high-five, and shout in chorus, Yeah! –but not loud enough for the alert Warden to hear.
Rekha: I was wondering as to why we should become an appendage of the male.
Sania: What do you mean, Rekha?
Liz: She is right. Look at the English language –we are either a suffix or a prefix. Aren’t we referred to as the female species—and there hidden in our description is a male.
Sania: And what about Women or Woman –that man-fellow is present there again.
Rekha: Come to think of it, from the day we come of age, the man-bondage doesn’t leave us – think menses.
Sania: And what about menstruation?
Rekha: Incidentally, Liz, how are you feeling today, since you are having periods?
Liz: Am still having some pain in my abdomen. O Gosh, he is there again.
Rekha: What about the most memorable phase of our college life: Romance—and here too man has found a refuge.
Sania: Hey girls, can’t we think of anything good about this tribe? Let’s pause and ponder ….Oh hell, that sets the alarm bells ringing again –menopause.
Liz: What’s happening, folks? Is this guy God or what, he appears to be omnipresent. It’s in our womb that creation takes place—and see, the semen takes the credit. And look he’s left his footprint there too.
Sania: Is there any way to save mankind from this intrusion?
Rekha: What did you say, mankind? And in comes our man! How about abolishing this word from our dictionary?
Liz: Let’s use a more gender-neutral word, Humanity.
Sania: Oh dear, he is found his way back again.
Rekha: Did you read in the media sometime back that the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, told a woman at a town hall to use the word “Peoplekind”, not mankind.
Liz: Will we ever get men in authority here who would have the inclination to even think in those lines, leave alone voice their thoughts? What do you say Sania; can we have a "sher" interlude, as our discussion is getting quite heated up.
Sania: Gee whiz, I can think of this old “ghazal”, and it sort of sums up my viewpoint of the male species –
“...Humko unsae hai wafa ki ummeed
Jo nahi jaanate wafa kya hai
Dil-e-nadaan tujhe hua kya hai
Aakhir is dard ki dawa kya hai…”
Rekha: After our Ghazal Princess, how about a mood-changing hymn from you, Liz?
Sania: What happened, you look flustered?
Liz: My God, thinking of hymns, I just noticed that these guys have made their presence in our most private space.
Reha: What do you mean Liz?
Liz: (in a whisper) Hymen…
Sania: Men, Men, Men! Too much, this is, yaar
Rekha: Why should the English language have such an unexplainable bias vis-à-vis our Indian languages? I think we should campaign against this gender-insensitive language.
Liz: Why not make Feminine and Masculine mandatory in lieu of the man-phobic nature of this language?
Rekha: You have given a very pertinent suggestion, because in many of our ancient traditions, I am told, that the concept of “Ardhanarishvara” represents the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe.
Sania: No wonder we have so many names where the feminine prefaces the masculine name, such as, Radhakrishnan, Sitaram, Radheyshyam, Lakshminarayan, Durgadas, Kalidas…
Liz: So folks, let us get back to the basics --we need to launch a multi-faceted campaign on #Men,Too Much.
Rekha: Backed by the hashtag, UninstallMen!!
Sania: And of course, TimesupMen!!!
Sania: Dear me, he is here, there and everywhere.
Rekha: To drive this movement… ah mission, we need a high-profile Mentor, Oops! Let’s say, torchbearer.
Liz: How about Akshay Kumar, he had the guts to do this film focusing on our issues—but wait a minute, it is called Padman! He is ruled out.
Rekha: With Bollywood looking up to Hollywood for inspiration, what more can we expect—because they showed the way to name celluloid mega-heroes: Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Ironman...
Sania: Is our campaign turning out to be a bad omen? Phew, O’ men, can’t you leave us alone!
Rekha: I have a great idea, let's get our campaign launched by the Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD).
Liz: I wonder if she will have the time to spare with two ministries, and frequent constituency visits as she is the giant killer who vanquished the Prince of Amethi.
Sania: Me thinks, even the earlier WCD Minister will do. Am forgetting her name—just Google it, Liz.
Liz: Oh heck! Gals, have a look at the ex-Minister's name.
The threesome stared into the phone screen. The first three alphabets were Man…!!!
Sushil Kumar is currently Co-Founder, Grochange Global & Chief Mentor, Mansions. Earlier roles include Dean, Amrita School of Business, Global Head (M&C)Amrita TV, CEO, Popular Vehicles.