If I asked whether you are a feminist or not, what would you say? Will you be able to raise your hand and declare that yes, you are in fact, a proud feminist. I don’t think so. Something tells me that even though it is 2019, most people don’t want to do anything with the term “feminism”.
But why? What is so offensive about this one word that makes people uncomfortable, even squirmish? How can a word have such an impact that its mere mention is enough to bring feelings of resentment?
Before passing a judgment on feminism and its surrounding beliefs, it is befitting to first understand what it actually means.
Feminism is not a new concept. It has now existed for centuries. It refers to a range of notions, ideologies, political and social movements which have only one aim—equality. Feminism stands for equal rights and equal opportunities regardless of one’s gender. Yes, it is that simple of a concept.
The world was took over by the first wave of feminism during the 19th century when women from different generations came together to demand for a right to vote. The second wave focused on women’s liberation movement and the third wave of feminism was a continuation of the second and a reaction to its perceived failures. It seems to be a perfectly legit movement, right? I mean it is just women fighting for their rights. What can be so bad about it? And yet, there is.
Feminism is still snubbed out by majority of the society. Why? Let me just list a few reasons for you:
·Many people believe that equality has already been achieved and feminism is not really needed.
·It is thought of as a radical movement started by beefed-up, and pissed, man-hating women.
·Feminism will lead to destruction of society and its values as we know it.
·It is a conspiracy to put men down.
·It will bring a negative shift in relationships, marriage, society, and culture and power dynamics.
Feminism, a simple demand for equality, is seen as intimidating. It scares some people so much that they have painted it in a negative light. Women who are brave enough to raise their voices for their rights are often a target of ridicule, embarrassment and even violence. They are usually called a feminazi. If some of you have forgotten, Nazis killed millions of people in the name of racial purity. The link between genocidal maniacs and a group of women demanding equality and respect is beyond me. And it should be beyond you too.
We need feminism today. It is not just for the benefit for women. Without feminism men are at a disadvantage too. Patriarchy and toxic masculinity harms men as much as it harms women.
Feminism is not about sameness. The most common argument given against gender equality is that women are biologically inferior. That they are not and cannot be the same as men. Well, trust us champ, we don’t want to be. We just want to be given the same level of opportunities. Feminism is about equality. It does not mean women are better than men. It surely doesn’t have anything to do with male bashing.
It is an extremely hard attempt to make the world a more inclusive place.
Feminism is not just about the right to not shave your legs or the right to go braless. It is about the right of a girl child to be born and to be treated with the same love a boy child is treated with. It is about her right to choose a life that is her own and not dictated by society’s demeaning standards.
Feminism is about a woman’s identity of being more than a possession. It is about her fight to be treated as a human.
So if you believe in equal rights, then you are a feminist.If you believe that it is only right to judge people and give them opportunities based on their skills rather than their genitals, then my friend, you are a feminist.
And what about the scary part? Well, only those people need to be scared who think that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and her only job is to please her husband, and to take care of the children. Only those should feel intimidated by gender equality who derive their false sense of power by demeaning women and by pulling them down. The rest of us can live happily ever after.