Are you a feminist?
Well, a few days ago, as I was going through my Facebook newsfeed, I found a page called “Women against Feminism”, intrigued and quite frankly, I was shocked to see that page had over 31,000 likes. While I went through the photos and posts of that page, I noticed a common thing on that page which is: most of the people were from developed nations who thought that feminism is just for women who live in oppressed societies, and for women who want to wear short clothes. That’s it! Appalled by it, I showed it to my roommate who helped me shed by bias and look at it objectively. As I argued with her that feminism was none of that, it stood for equal treatment not better treatment; it does not want female supremacy, in fact, it endeavors to build a society in which your gender does not play a role in getting you a job and it is as important for men as for women. She countered me with one very simple statement that “Feminism does not mean that to everyone else. For men all feminists are femininazis, who are extremely vociferous and hate men and advocate female supremacy, though most of the men support gender equality.”
Also, most women, whether they call themselves a feminist, they perceive feminism is an ideal which will guarantee them better salary, better representation, better opportunities. What they fail to understand is that feminism stands for equal not better! Some people think that feminism should be re-branded to rid it of its negative connotations, they agree the ideals behind feminism are indeed correct but feel that it carries a lot of baggage.
Feminism theory is one of the most diverse and widely debated theory. People always tend to differ as to what does being a feminist actually entail. But most of the modern day feminists do agree with some basic feminist ideas. These include: gender equality, expanding human choice, eliminating gender stratification, promoting sexual freedom and ending gender violence. So when one looks at feminism in this context, it does comes off as an acceptable and valid principle in today’s age. Having said that, I do believe that feminism is saddled with negative connotations but the right way of doing away with it is definitely by not re-branding it. The word “feminism” itself has a very rich history and to do away with it will be like forgoing the things which feminism achieved like voting and equal rights. However, I feel that the criticism of feminism would actually help it grow, for every man or women who have a wrong idea in their mind, I am pretty sure there would be one who who would correct them. For every person who opposes it there would be one who stands for it, for every person who claims to be a feminist but does not show that via his/her action there would be one who does. It’s time that you be the one! So in the end I would just like to ask you one thing- “Are you a feminist?”
About the Author: This article is contributed by Alifya Vora, our intern.