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Posted by: Vaani Chawla on Dec 15, 2020

I thought I was a feminist. Yes, I am a member of Lawyers Club of San Diego. Yes, it’s a feminist organization. Yes, I am on the board. So, you would think I would know all about the ways in which our society has undervalued women. I thought I knew plenty, but I was wrong. 

Recently, the Lawyers Club’s Gender Equity Committee co-chairs suggested that we watch the film “I Am Not An Easy Man,” as a committee activity. I thought it might be like a lot of other films. It would probably portray how women are not paid enough or how qualified women are refused job opportunities. 

I planned my evening. I sat down with my husband, both of us wearing sweatpants, nestled in a blanket on the sofa. I was ready to let the “rom-com”—as the film was billed—wash over me. 

The story begins with a male chauvinist walking along the street, checking out the women who pass by. Whistling at the women, he stares at them and walks right into a metal pole. His head hits the pole with such force, it transports him to a place none of us have ever seen.

He wakes up in a world where women dominate the power structure. Women are presumed to be natural leaders. Women sit with command, their backs upright and shoulders broad, their legs and arms spread apart, taking control of the space around them. Women jog shirtless through the streets because their upper torsos are nothing to hide. Men are insecure about their bodies. Bartenders offer men mild drinks because women can handle a good stiff one. The film points out the multitude of ways gender inequity is expressed in our society. 

The film was mind bending. It took some work to understand how every nuance of every scene was shaking me and telling me to wake up. It made me realize that I am not feminist enough. I have more work to do to recognize how many times I have unwittingly participated in the promotion of gender inequity. I encourage you to watch the film. It will change you too.

Vaani Chawla practices immigration law, is a member of the Lawyers Club of San Diego Board, Co-chair of the Advocacy & Reproductive Justice Committee, and enjoys watching “rom-coms” every now and then.


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