Recently the Indian men's cricket team played an international match in which the players wore special jerseys with their mothers' names emblazoned on them. The gesture was variously described as "emotive" "never before" and "being used to power social change". For wearing their mothers' names THE ONE TIME.
Well, well. Social change, if it could be brought about by a word printed on a jersey would be so cool, now! What with the various words they sport on their clothes, it sure must bring in a kind of change I'm sure our cricketers approve- the jingle of money flowing into their bank accounts.
See, I really have nothing against cricketers, yo. I'm sure their mothers must have been only too pleased to see their sons sport their names- I know I'd be. But the claim to powering social change? Let's cut the bullshit, shall we?
The strange creature of women's empowerment is the latest buzzword and every media platform worth its bandwidth wants in on it. And if it were as simple as a printed word here or there, who wouldn't want to usher in a social revolution, pray tell.
Just a word of caution, though.
We have idolized mothers since forever and kept them enchained to the kitchen since forever. In fact, if you're so inclined you can check out any of a number of internet posts where the ultimate abuse hurled by a man at women is, "go make me a sandwich". As per the hordes of literate, educated men on the internet, women still belong in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids. For god's sake, you've watched enough Nirupa Roy movies, haven't you?
If you want a real change, get mother's names be the only requirement for a child's identification. Or take your wife's last name on marriage. Or get women equal pay for equal work. Or get compulsory pay for care work at home. Or get housewives a stipend, a kind of basic salary, while you're at it.
Now that would be a real social change. Are you up for it, dude?
A version of this article first appeared on the website of Feminism In India here.