Published: 08th March 2019
Meet the woman whose feminist meme page is on a LOL in Kerala
Probably the first feminist meme page in Kerala, Too Much Equal is run by a 23-year-old woman, Rose Mary
Casual sexism? Say no more. Rose Mary experiences it every day (Like every other woman out there). Case in point is a few months ago when she told her family about how disinterested she was about getting married and how it is an individual’s choice. One of them was quick to ask "Is it really necessary to ask her permission in such matters?” "I was surprised and I thought 'Okay, it’s not really necessary that you talk or think about my life again'. I don’t think any woman’s daily life goes without at least one sexist comment," says Rose.
So what did she do about it? She didn't have to think too hard. After all, she lived, breathed and LOLed memes.
She the memelord: Rose Mary is a 23-year-old from Kochi
So, she created the Instagram page Too Much Equal, which is probably the only feminist meme page in Kerala. While Kerala has seen meme pages that dealt with politics and even exam preparations previously, we swear one wouldn't have seen a page where every post cracks you up and also makes you think about the issues that women deal with in a patriarchal society. (The writer also promises to give you Rs 1000 if you can successfully point out sexism in any of the posts here).
The response that the 23-year-old, who works in the Kerala Institute of Local Administration, has been receiving is quite overwhelming. The page has more than 11,000 followers now. While it has dealt with the Sabarimala issue and topics like premarital sex and female masturbation, which still raise a lot of eyebrows, Rose is content that people have been receiving the page quite well. " I am really amazed to see that there is zero verbal abuse or threatening on the page like feminist contents are facing in the current internet media society. I think it could be because either the page is followed by the ones who are sensible or the ones who are open to different perspectives or it could be because those are memes, which has the power to say things in a lighter way than actually talking about the issue. Even the people who aren’t feminists write to the page about how the page is enabling them to think about such subjects with fresh perspectives," she says.
Reference: Rima Kallingal's TEDx talk on fish fry and feminism
She also makes it a point to not show any outrage while posting on the page. "The content should be strong and to the point, which has the potential to make people think from a different angle without getting directly offended. Because we need change and mere unleash of anger hasn’t shown a better result," she adds.
We caught up with this meme lord for a chat and she had quite a lot to tell us. Excerpts:
When did the idea of the page hit you? What was the inspiration behind it?
I love memes and the reach that they have is really huge. There are numerous meme pages in Kerala and they do post amazing stuff but a few times, I have noticed that even the most popular of them post sexist content. And as they are popular, their reach is huge and people laugh about it, it’s not a good trend. Humour is something that has a huge impact on society. When the humour which isn’t politically correct reaches to the people and they laugh on it, there is danger in it. Society tends to accept the hidden political incorrectness unknowingly. The idea of 'Too Much Equal' popped up as I was thinking about how I could leverage this trend.
How often do you create memes?
Initially, when the page had a small following, I used to make one or two memes every day and post one every day. But as the page started getting noticed, people started sharing their ideas and memes and now these days it’s such shared memes that we use more than the ones I create. It’s been four months that I have created this page and the initial month it was only my own memes but once the page hit 1000 followers people started sending their content. And that’s when you actually realise people are taking this seriously and they are ready to share their views about the issue. I am happy that I was able to create such a platform.
Are all meme makers women?
No, but most of them are. I am happy that people from across genders are sharing their ideas. That’s a huge change. And that’s how I realised there are a good number of feminist men in our state. And it's not just memes!
Film: Life is Beautiful
What's the story behind the name?
Once the idea of this page got inside my head, the very next thing I thought about was the name for the page. I used to talk or post feminist and gender content even before and most of the criticisms were, “feminism these days are too much" or "they talk too much in detail”. For the patriarchs, misogynists and the conservatives, society is already too much equal. And that’s how I thought I'd sarcastically call it Too Much Equal. So it’s like our society is already too much equal and through this page, we are trying to talk about a few things which aren’t.
Follow the page here for super cool memes: https://www.instagram.com/too_much_equal/