Feminism: Time to rethink your assumptions!
अति सर्वत्र वर्जयेत् (Excess of anything is bad). I am not going to discard the prominence of the term “Feminism’ just because the concept has been hijacked and distorted by the extreme views of mainstream propagandists of the issue, which borders on misandry. Hence, अति सर्वत्र वर्जयेत्! Likewise, opposition to this idea of feminism is slowly merging into the opposition of concept itself and that needs to be checked.
We are back to where we were a decade or even a century back. There are still disputes on the basic rights of women, on issues such as divorce without paying alimony under the garb of religious practices, the right to be in the Armed forces (combat roles), there are grave concerns about under-representation for women in our law making institution and workplaces in general, female infanticide is still a reality.
I am myself a modern day progressive woman who has been associated with various women welfare causes on ground. I have been observing matters related to gender equality for quite a while now and I have to admit there is very little understanding about this topic.
Oxford dictionary defines feminism as an advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. It is also considered to be a belief that women are and should be treated as potential intellectual equals and social equals to men. These people can be either male or female human beings, although the ideology is commonly (and perhaps falsely) associated mainly with women.
It saddens me the most that today it has become fashionable to misuse the term ‘feminism’. In the truest sense of the word, feminism is one where there are no fixed set of rules to be followed in order to become a core practice other than the belief in social, political and economical equality of the sexes.
I believe a feminist can be categorized into various categories but in the broader sense of the word, I see only two kinds: Radical and Moderates.
It is common for any ideology to be hijacked by extremes. Radicals who hijack feminism by indulging in frivolous protests and bringing ideas that makes no sense are the ones doing the biggest disservice to the cause of feminism. And then there are perpetual Feminists bashers who only criticize without offering any solution.
The contributions of these radicals and Feminists- bashers to the society and causes of women is a big ZERO. It is high time we must learn to ignore such people who are living a privileged life and only want to see the world from the prism of their comfort. To understand real issues of women one must need to have an open mind. Someone who lacks these qualities can never understand Feminism.
That is why I hate the hatred for the idea of feminism in the first place. If it is all about equality it has to be welcomed by all ideally. Even the proponents of third-wave feminism agree and claim that it allows women to define feminism by incorporating their own identities into the belief system of what feminism is and what it can become through one’s own perspective. It is all about breaking the stereotypes.
Let me further explain Feminism-
- There are no Gods or saints of Feminism that you must follow to become one.
- There are pros and cons of this unlimited freedom that this movement offers to it followers.
- Since there are no set rules, radicals may indulge in extreme things that cannot be considered logical. BEWARE!
Feminism in India
Women across the globe have for centuries fought for their rights. While the Western World has achieved a lot to cite as tangible outcomes, India however has still a long way to go. In India, the talk of feminism has grown stronger and stronger and not the outcomes. This after 70 years of Independence is definitely no achievement that we should be proud of. The ground reality that exists today is that we are still far away from attaining feminism what most people want and gender equality what I am hoping for. Indian Feminism should not be seen from western perspective though as our social issues are different.
Women in India are still restricted to household work. Those who oppose feminism do not even acknowledge the issue women at large are facing and rather use feminism as a weapon to train their guns against those who believe in it. These ignoramuses would mock anyone who offers to explain Feminism to them or questions prevailing discrimination. Dare you bring up this issue and you would be given tags like Feminists (As if it is some abuse) , SJW, Libtard, etc. This Gender inequality Index – http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/GII will tell you how much work need to be done to end the existing discrimination in society based on gender.
A lot of people vehemently oppose to the idea of feminism and present the arguments that do not make sense and here’s why:
- Some people believe that a feminist hate men to start off which is a wrong premise.
- There is no disparity in the status of men and women and therefore feminism is not needed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
- A typical feminist movement is against existing family structures and it will overturn time-honored traditions, religious beliefs and established gender roles. This is a debatable point, but a feminist can be a responsible daughter , loving girlfriend/wife and caring mother. This stereotyping must end.
Now is the time when women with right ideas should come forward without the fear of getting labelled or mocked and define their idea of feminism and do their bit in changing the society for good.
Also, yes, Feminism will challenge the existing structure of society, it will disrupt traditions if those traditions are anti-women. That is what we are trying to achieve with this movement, For example Triple Talaq, that is also a tradition. You will have to address all the anti-women practices that are existing in the society whether you like it or not.
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