What is Feminism?
This is a subject that not many would want to talk about. Somehow, when you see people talking about feminism, it creates a rage amongst the two genders. Such a simple thing and yet so much conflict? Ideally, here’s what Feminism truly means:
“the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”
So, why is it that we are talking about everything but not equality? For those of you who aren’t aware, there are two kinds of Feminists, Radical feminists, and Liberal feminists.
Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male supremacy is eliminated in all social and economic contexts.
Liberal feminism is an individualistic form of feminist theory, which focuses on women’s ability to maintain their equality through their own actions and choices. Its emphasis is on making the legal and political rights of women equal to men.
I do not know which front do you stand on, but I’d like to first say that I am supporting for equality for all and not equality of certain section of the society i.e. men or women. Many will find this bizarre, yet, I continue to differ.
We live in a society which has always been dominated by men. Our decisions have been dominated by their influence and strength and we have known people to have lived through this in our own homes. But the reality is patriarchy was there and it will not be going anywhere soon. The fight is of equal rights, equal opportunities and to be seen as equals and not to bring the other gender down by being ruthless and ungrateful.
Honestly, the meaning of this word in this era is twisted, distorted and majorly misrepresented.
Feminism vs. Reality
I have to write about this subject again for the sole reason that within two days of the first time of me posting my article, it was lost from the servers. In simple words, gone from the face of the digital world. But I am glad that I can do this again because there’s some more perspective on the whole subject.
Growing up was better in the 90’s because our parents were not living in a joint family and they felt that their daughters need to be more independent as they grow up. We have been given liberties to learn and fail and grow out of situations and whenever there were times to fight the ‘gender injustices’ even on a trivial scale, we have learned to take our stand firmly. That’s reality.
Something interesting about feminism currently is that I came across a poll conducted by Refinery29, a popular digital magazine amongst the millennials says that half of the millennial do not identify themselves as feminists. Is it because we think they do not understand feminism or they really do? Probably this will bring in some more light as to the confusion I am describing here.
Off late, a lot of celebrities have been coming out who have been victims of sexual harassment or abuse of any kinds. The #MeToo movement was started by Tarana Burke in 2006, an activist and advocate for young women of colour. She is herself a survivor of sexual violence and #MeToo is a way of helping women and children who are victims of abuse.
On October 15, 2017, Alyssa Milano tweeted with #MeToo and a movement started.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
At the same time, Asia Argento, the leader of this movement, disclosed how Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her. Not too far back, I came across another news where the ‘forbidden reverse’ seemed to have occurred. Asia Argento was accused by Jimmy Bennett of sexual assault. No one has proved their relevant sides yet, but sadly before the law does anything the “Social Police” seems to have declared who the real accused is.
Yes, a movement like is needed. For women to voice against the trauma they might have faced. I do not shy away from saying that I was a part of it too. I felt this was right and there is a need for more people to know and understand what was happening. However, the more the movement grew the more it began to feel like an agenda. Why is it that when a woman accuses a man, the society declares him a culprit? But when a woman is accused by the man, the same society is asking people to wait and be patient to wait for the actual truth to unfold?
In the first place, these things to happen at all are condemned and I can’t imagine what the victims might have to go through. But does it occur to any of us that the accused shouldn’t be presumed and proven guilty until done by law? 1 out of every 10 rape victims are men. Why is the society prejudiced in times when we are more educated and compassionate than ever? Or are we not? If feminism is about gender equality then we must know there are men, women, and transgenders. So, why is it that we are not talking about equality for all?
Who are the good men?
I have met several men in the last 5 years across age groups and one of these men I chose to marry. There’s a big age gap between me and my husband and I know with age comes rigidity. But never once I felt I was being taken for granted for things that a woman is supposed to do because he understands that as working professionals we both have equal responsibilities. Men are men but their are chivalrous men too.
Not just him but all these boys or men I met the one thing common was, they were all respectful of the person I am. Of course, my heart was broken and I have had my share of crushes, but that’s allowed to all of us. But never did I once blame or take an advantage of the situation, nor did my counterpart. Why can we not look at men respectfully who are stay-at-home dads trying to be there for their wives, or cook meals in the house and do other things probably only the woman of the house should do? It’s about perspective.
Who are the good men then? The ones who are chivalrous? The ones who make life easier for you by doing just as much they can? And the men (our dads) who do not help your moms in their daily routine are they bad? How do you tell? Patriarchy has been around for centuries. You may either wish to create a new world where now men are the slaves while women can be greedy and cruel and lead the same story with a role reversal or just rise above all this.
If feminism is about gender equality then we must know there are men, women, and transgenders. So, why is it that we are not talking about equality for all?
There are good men everywhere and it becomes a collective responsibility for all of us to give up all notions of power we have. A woman at a higher position at work or with a great intellect cannot be considered unattainable or arrogant just like a man in a similar position isn’t. The society isn’t ideal because stereotypes haven’t died with people who created them but seem to have lived like fossil. Men and women have individual superior qualities and accepting that increase the moral standards we live with.
Feminism should destroy any and all notions of men and women’s weakness. We need to remind ourselves that there are men who deserve to be called feminists in a real sense. Our children need a better upbringing so the next generation is not radical or aggressive or oppressed but more sound to the idea of equality in the right sense. And the generalized ideas about the people need to be a thing of the past because you and I might never be on the same page but we learn to adjust and accommodate fairly.
For all of us to know that feminism doesn’t assume that all men are hideous and misogynistic, but rather that the world is filled with men who can be and are good people and not all should be condemned for the actions of male rapists and abusers.
Hearing before making a judgment is necessary. When we do not do that, we are making a mistake. You and I are different from the ‘Social Police’ and there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way people think. After all, it is a matter of Freedom of choice in the right direction. And we shouldn’t forget that we’re not two different species but all human beings first, and we have to co-exist.
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