If our backgrounds, hopes, dreams, languages, expressions, bodies and preferences are all different, then how can one feminism define us all? If we insist on boxing women into one monolithic feminism, it is bound to fail many of us, as it will devolve into a competition of who can shout louder.
This is when privilege steps in. An English-speaking, rich, urbane woman will always have more access to amplify her voice over that of the native-language speaking subaltern. This often leads to “saviour complex”. Well-meaning but privileged women start imagining that they can be the representatives of these underrepresented native women and they can “uplift” their lives by advocating “change”, “reform” and “progress”. Underlying this, is the troubling assumption that subalterns lack agency, are too meek to decide for themselves, and share the aspirations of the progressives. This is exactly what is happening in Sabarimala.