For a movement as threadbare as feminism, I won’t drill the whole shebang about what it is.
But the contemporary feminism has blown out of proportions. So let me first tell everything I think it isn’t.
Feminism isn’t about not having to shave your legs, or not having the girls section dominantly pink in a toy store, or not wearing high heels or bras or not having to be an epitome of beauty or getting a tattoo without being a slut.
These are the concerns of the select sassy section of the society who have misconstrued emancipation, probably taken it to another level altogether.
We have applied the term to such a wild number to things that the purpose and meaning are long lost.
The modern women have a completely misplaced notion about feminism. They have begun demanding everything in the name of feminism. But what I fail to understand is exactly how will burning bras and walking naked on the roads earn you empowerment? How does exposing your nipples make you the stronger or equal sex, I ask? And, if at all, it does empower you then maybe you should start peeing in public too. And don’t forget to stand and pee for you are equal to men.
For God’s sake, Nature has made us as beautiful humans and we need to maintain the sanctity of some things. By such acts of vehemence, more than feminism we are going against nature.
Then, I have heard modern feminists exhorting women to not let the man pay for them on a date. I heard experiences from my guy friends where they offended a girl by pulling the chair for her and holding open the door. Now I ask, when a mother takes care of her child and a wife loves, pampers her husband and cooks for him, is she being dominating or is it out of pure affection and care? Feminists see Karvachauth as a fast that indicates the submissiveness of women towards men. Feminism celebrates freedom of choice. It is MY CHOICE to fast for the longevity of my husband or not. It shouldn’t earn me the tag of an anti-feminist. Men look at us as beautiful creatures who DESERVE care and being pampered. I can expect chivalry from a man and still be a feminist.
Rather, feminism is a dire need today because a sizeable portion of women is still facing domestic violence. It is needed because most of our maids still don’t get to vote. We need it because the girl child is still aborted at a foetal stage and females are underpaid for the same job as their male counterparts. Women are denied access to healthcare and suffer sexual harassment at the hands of countless males is what primarily calls for feminism.
Secondly, the contemporary feminism, that tells every woman to give up wearing fake eyelashes and not sell their soul to fine china and fit into bold images, also tagging every woman who has any lower standards as anti-feminist, is adulterated with hypocrisy and double standards in leaps and bounds. We come across a large number of posts and articles on the web fervently calling out women to adopt the bold unapologetic image and we are smitten with the idea of assuming a manly role.
But where does this voice disappear when a young and healthy 20-year-old female is offered a seat in buses and metro by a 30-40-year-old male? Where does it fade when she is given an advantage over her male counterparts in a queue? Why should we enjoy more tax leverage than males? Why should the Kellogs Special K ambassador, Deepika Padukone, talk about ‘My body My choice’? And if it is “My body, my choice.” then why do we go back to forcing our boyfriends and husbands to have a particular physique? Why do we ask men to ‘man up’ every time they cry? Women have no qualms about saying all men want is sex but severely criticize a movie like Pyaar Ka Punchnama which generalises female behaviour.
We believe a man to be a rapist or a pedophile at the slightest hint, without a background check, but we come out on the roads with placards when a woman is called a slut. Why can women freely slap and beat up men while it is utterly contemptuous for a man to hit a woman? Since when did respect become gender specific?
You boldly demand equal pay but never mind getting into colleges through reservations. No feminist voice speaks against women getting lighter sentences than men for the same crimes? Have we conceded that we have a weaker mental and physical strength?
We talk about breaking stereotypes but we presumptuously mock at a woman who CHOSE to be a housemaker. If women should not be caretakers by default then courts should also stop looking favourably at them in divorce cases.
It pricked my conscience and logic when Deepika Padukone went on a pedestal and claimed that having an extra-marital affair and sleeping outside marriage is ‘my choice’ and women across India admired her conviction. What equality are we trying to achieve here? Raising women to being at par with men or relegating our standards to as low as that of some men and women? Equality of opportunities to men and women or equality of crimes. If feminism is about equality between men and women, then we should also stand against the advantages we get over men.
Modern feminism has completely taken a detour. It’s probably been assumed and generalised that men are chauvinistic pigs who want to dominate women in every area.
Why do we dismiss those few who have left jobs to fend for their children and assumed the roles of a housemaker so that their wives can work? What about the many who are actually working in the fields of women upliftment?
MISUSE OF FEMINISM
Feminism has granted us a certain power and we have become addictive to its taste. There are many examples of its misuse.
The Rohtak sisters played on the power of feminism and thrashed and harassed some innocent men to gain publicity.
Jasleen Kaur posted a picture of a man on social media who she claimed to have assaulted her and without proper investigation, it spread like wild-fire, with men and women declaring him anti-social.
So many false reports of sexual harassment and dowry are filed by women every year.
GIVE UP VICTIM MENTALITY AND NOT FEMININITY
What needs to be understood is that we don’t have to be masculine to be strong and independent and smart. You have to cultivate this strength of mind and body through personal effort.
I am a woman and I have my palette of choices that I should be given the freedom to make, is what feminism is about. I can choose to wear pink and high heels and shave my legs and STILL be a feminist. I can choose to be a housemaker or a soldier fighting on the front.
I am a woman and I do not want to be equal to a man but be the most successful I can be, being a woman. I deserve what I deserve and it is not because of my anatomy.
Gather your gumption and accept the truth that we are two DIFFERENT GENDERS wired differently both psychologically and physiologically. So stop reflexively blaming your gender every time your boss acknowledges you lesser than that male colleague. You might actually be lacking somewhere. Stop assuming that men are misogynistic haters and every time you fail at something is because you are a woman.
Do not let this fight for equality inculcate in you a victim mentality for then the whole purpose of feminism is lost. There is a difference between having your feelings hurt and having your rights infringed upon.
We demand equal pay as men. We demand equal civil rights as them. We want to be given the same educational opportunities as men. But do you know that men are underpaid too, denied education, sexually harassed and raped, discriminated against too? They are also sold into prostitution and trafficked; being less in number doesn’t make it any less grave.
Has our strength stooped so low that we leech off government and society to get ahead? We cannot blame our dependence and stereotypical nature to our gender. Stop using your sex as a reason to progress.
As long as you can afford it from the sweat of your brow, everything from dressing hot to being a housewife, having or not having kids, marrying or not is your right as a citizen.
This tug of war needs to end. We need to sift feminism from misandrism, that it is soon blending into. I am more than grateful for feminism that allowed my mother to be educated and confident enough to shape my thoughts and here I am openly expressing my views. But, this misconstrued feminism will lead us nowhere.
Sure, injustices need to be called out where they exist. There have to be equal opportunities and choices but not everything needs to be poked to death. Stop taking offence at everything.
Chivalry doesn’t make you the weaker sex, only more valuable. Wearing a bra doesn’t mean women play second fiddle.
Stop disgracing this movement that summoned the sweat and blood of hundreds of women so that you could stand independently.
I WAS BORN A WOMAN, NOT A VICTIM.
Concluding on a positive note, it’s, at least, helping the LGBTQ community because most of my guy friends have decided to turn gay because hell breaks loose when you offend You Know Who.
Picture Credits: Google
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.