Okay, this is getting ridiculous now. A few weeks ago, I put a black square on Instagram for #BlackoutTuesday. Like, it’s been a while now. But there’s still racism in the world? #BlackLivesMatter is still a thing? It should have ended by now. There were so many black squares on Instagram that day. And it made my timeline SO BORING. Such a huge sacrifice, and it still didn’t make a difference to the systemic violence and discrimination that has been around for centuries. I had thought that was a one-off glitch and wouldn’t happen again. But it has happened again, guys! And I am SO DISTRESSED.
I hope you’re ready for this shocking development. Please sit down, if you aren’t already. This will be difficult.
Against every monsoon pastel instinct in my body, I posted a black and white selfie on Instagram yesterday. I even took the time to copy paste really long hashtags like #empoweringwomen and #womensupportingwomen. Uff, exhausting! And it didn’t work. It’s been 24 hours, and my post has still not empowered women all over the world. I mean, what more will it take?
You know what hurts even more? It took so long to find the right picture of myself for the black and white filter. It’s a lot of work to figure out how to hide my dark circles and make sure my hair still shines without any colour in the picture. It took me a whole day, on a Monday. And I’m generally super busy on Mondays! I have to remind my
maid domestic help that she needs to prioritise me over her own health and control her cough when she’s cleaning. I also have to make sure that b**ch who tried to steal my husband with her low cut dress in March isn’t back on his social media. By the way, she did the black and white challenge too. As if her plunging neckline can empower women! I’m such a mean girl hehehe.
Anyway, you get the gist. Life is a struggle.
So, you know, it really hurts when your efforts just go to waste. And I’ll tell you how I know that the black and white challenge didn’t work. Yesterday, about two hours after I finally posted my picture, I was going to see a friend. From my car, I saw this guy on a bike harassing a girl walking on the side of the road. She was clearly uncomfortable and wasn’t even wearing a short skirt and asking for it. But this guy wouldn’t stop. So I stopped my car, took a deep breath, yelled out to him, and showed him my Instagram post with all the courage in my body. Like, literally shoved it in his face. With my phone on full brightness! He stared, laughed at me, uttered a horrible Hindi gaali, and went after that girl again. I mean, the audacity!
Still in shock, I reached my friend’s house and saw that she was arguing with her mother-in-law about her job and how she needs help with her kids while she’s working. I don’t know why she still works though, her husband is rich enough. Anyway, I digress. In the spirit of #womenempoweringwomen, I went up to Aunty Ji and showed her my post. She even read out the hashtag. And then… she said… oh god, this is going to make me cry. She said, “Yeh kya bakwaas hai?”
My friend was mortified and apologised to me when her MIL left the room in a huff. Then, my friend started telling me all about her struggles with her husband and in-laws who don’t like the fact that she works. I mean, I don’t understand it either, but it’s her choice to make her life difficult, I guess. I just got so bored listening to her ramble on and on about her problems, so I took a quick selfie (black and white, of course) with her and went home to figure out why empowerment was not happening, despite the absence of colours on Instagram. Ugh.
Sorry, took a break to tag the women in my #AllLivesMatter WhatsApp group to do the black and white challenge. I also had to tell one of them to remove her not-so-flattering picture. Activism has to look good, right? Otherwise, what’s the point?
Alright, I’m tired now of being let down by the whole world. If you can figure out why the black and white challenge has betrayed women, please do tell, okay? I really do want empowerment of women!