It is a combative period for humanity. Strife has become so normalised that there is a fear of forgetting the battles that matter.
So this month, Thrive Global India launches an editorial campaign, “March Together”, as an appeal that we hope will go beyond the impermanence of a day dedicated to women—a day increasingly about performative wokeism, angry empowerment debates, beauty deals and shopping discounts. “March Together” rejects the celebration of women reduced to a cliché where they are handed flowers or given the day off. It, instead, aims to discuss building a society where voices of our ancestors and of those yet to dissent can find a home. A world where gates are thrown wide open and no person is forced by societal structures and deeply-ingrained notions to stay out or crouch or bend.
As more and more realise that the day is for equality, against discrimination, and towards a more inclusive world, we progress. And as we progress, so must our conversations. No more are we talking merely about equality for women but for all those who don’t identify with ‘normal’. For instance, a binary concept of gender. Cisgender women and men should be allies to those who are lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, queers, asexuals among others, and join in decimating societal restrictions on them.
“I have lived as a woman for the first 27 years of my life, now I’m living as a man”, Lalit Salve, a Beed police constable who recently underwent a sex reassignment surgery, tells Thrive Global India. When Lalit urges people to look beyond ‘gender’ towards their ‘human’, he represents a changing world. A development where we must all march together with him, not just on March 8, but for the rest of our lives.
Through the stories of Pallavi Barnwal as she tries to understand polyamory or Masaba Gupta as she raises some uncomfortable truths about fashion and body-image, or Sminu Jindal, who flies the flag for accessibility to include the differently-abled, “March Together” brings to you, the reader, the future. The way forward.
Spoiler alert: It’s not a world of restrictive identities but of an expanding canvas of inclusivity.