So the other day, Priyanka Chopra faced the ire of many fire-breathing (and less draconian) feminists of the world when she said that her new TV show, Quantico was ‘not feminist’ but instead was about ‘empowerment’ and giving ‘females an opportunity to be equal with the boys… really progressive.’ And while PC balked at calling her brand new show the f-word, and she was called a wannabe and a kiss-ass and everything in between, it’s time to evaluate why ‘feminist’ has become a label to run far, far away from. Before you start making plans to call me a woman-hater and a traitor of my own kind, hear me out. I’m quite a feminist myself, I insist on splitting bills on first dates, I open doors for men, women and children alike, I believe in equal opportunities and equal pay for equal work, and I believe that women shouldn’t upload pictures of cute guys on the streets any more than men should of women. I also don’t fancy calling myself a feminist. Although all my beliefs align precisely with what feminism stands for, I choose not to label myself one and that is because of the sort of radical feminism that this brand new f-word has come to be associated with. We’ve all encountered radical feminists. The ones who blame the human beings who have chanced to possess the Y chromosome for all the problems under the sun from sexism and misogyny to global warming and nuclear war. The issue arises when they make claims suggesting that women are entirely blameless even in situations where they should be just as accountable as men. A simple Google search will tell you all that’s wrong with radical feminism (try their views on transgender rights for example). Maybe not all radfems agree with these purported beliefs, maybe most feminists don’t agree with their beliefs either. The damage however, has been done. A lot of women find it difficult to identify themselves as feminists and the blame is not to be borne by radfems alone. The new age feminism of upper class and upper-middle class women is hard for other women to relate to, especially when you have people proclaiming that getting married and raising a family is demeaning, or works against years of feminist activism. It’s time to revaluate, ladies and gentlemen. Why is it that feminism alienates so many of their own? A lot of it has to do with the most vocal of feminists being those who have deviated so far from the course of true feminism that we’re not quite sure what they want anymore. Feminism isn’t just about saying no to bras or asking for men to pay up when they are disrespectful to women (remember the #GiveYourMoneyToWomen fiasco?), it’s about working towards a world where a woman from the remotest of villages in the poorest of economic conditions understands that she is worth just as much as any man. A world where babies are not murdered or abandoned just because they are females. And there you go, Priyanka Chopra. I don’t disagree with you. I understand your issue with labelling yourself and your brand new show something that means a lot more negativity than you are comfortable with. Most women get it and some others pretend to be oblivious to the negative connotations of the word. Pretending doesn’t make it go away though. It’s time to be more vocal about feminism in the true sense of the term and turning that into the norm. We need more Emma Watsons who redefine feminism in the eyes of the world. But really PC, it was an opportunity. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to fix this, and you’d do better, for the women who are willing to give you the benefit of doubt. ——————– About the Author: This article is contributed by Safa Saifudeen, our intern.