On the account of much promoted International Women’s Day, here is a quick reminder of what exactly #Feminism is and how it is significant. After reading quite a lot of intolerant messages from men and even few women on Feminism and how unjustified it is, I thought we should all really understand what that much hyped, overused and highly misunderstood concept really is!
1. It isn’t about “My Choice” (I’ll do whatever). It is about “My opportunities”. So many arguments, social media feuds over this one! The basic essence of Feminism is helping all sections of people (both men and women) understand how righteous and fair it is to let the oceans of opportunities be open for all. It isn’t about “I can do everything”. It is about “I want to do it so please let me!” It is a sincere attempt to convince people around to let a woman take up education or a career choice or a sport based on her interest. To eliminate backward thoughts like – “You are a female and you cannot/shouldn’t pursue that”.
It is purely about the opportunities around us being open to everyone who is interested in – independent of one’s gender.
2. It isn’t about women demanding for extra rights or extra attention. It is about imploring to be acknowledged! So much talk on gender equality. But is it really “Equality” if a section of women demands for better privileges just for owning the tag of a “woman”? Absolutely NOT! It is and should be an attempt to be heard and succeed when worked hard. It is a request to everyone around to shower the same results of hard work on a woman as they do for a man. To eliminate excuses like – “You are a female so this is how much (lesser) you’ll be paid”/”You are a female so we cannot promote you to that cadre”.
It is a genuine outcry to help everyone realize that we deserve our fruits of hard work. If one is committed, works hard and delivers great results, encourage that someone’s progression – irrespective of that one’s gender.
3. It isn’t about what women should wear or shouldn’t. It is about requesting you all not to “want to own what you see”. Just because you like what you see on a woman, doesn’t give you a right to grab it and have it. Even women admire men who carry themselves well or are handsome or are smart – every woman has her own definition to like something. But that doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that she can just grope him and do whatever. Same must apply for a man.
It is an honest attempt to educate morons not to feel the sense of ownership should they like something that they see. This applies to both the genders, but predominantly to alert/train women since they have been on the receiving end rather higher than men. But not to start a twitter war or how many women raped men. With every other traumatizing restriction in place in the society, this ordeal becomes much more unbearable which is where the efforts should lie to ease it. Yet, many review a rape with discussion points like, “What was she doing so late at night?” “Who asked her to dress like that?” “Who asked her to fight back?” If YOU can have such strong opinions on a victim despite being an opposite gender, please understand where all the strong “defenses” come from – especially from the ones who suffer molestations day in and day out. We aren’t against your opinion. We just want you to hear us out too.
4. It isn’t about demanding not to be judged for the number of boyfriends a woman has over time or the drinks she has. It is a humble request not to pressurize any family where a woman’s engagement has been broken or a husband passes away. It will be a difficult time to begin with. But statements like, “Oh lord, who will marry her now?” “Oh no, how will she live her life now? Who will provide her safety?” change the tangent of grief totally. Feminism is a request to every man and woman to encourage anyone to move on with their life after dealing with their grief – in whichever way they want to, not owing to the social obligations.
It is a sincere request to provide privacy and not brand the lady’s life or her family’s life forever. Only then will all those lives that are cheated on or blackmailed on be saved from the countless suicides and mental depressions.
5. It isn’t about rubbing all those biological differences on a man’s face! It is a feeble attempt to educate everyone and remove myths and taboos around menstrual cycles or pregnancies or menopauses. It is an attempt to help men understand women better, and help them be more empathetic. Not sympathetic. It isn’t about being arrogant and stating “I can do that, despite my biological changes”. It is about showing the stronger side and inspiring greater goodness and changes even at the most challenging times.
It is not about raising the bar higher for every other woman by performing stunts in those “biological days”. It is about helping a brother, father, husband or a son understand why his sister, daughter, wife or a mother isn’t as charmingly active as she usually is and support her by creating a more positive atmosphere than disowning/disrespecting her for that period of time. Because we all know – life needs to be given birth and not without a price. While a woman partakes in it directly, if the rest positively contribute, the world gets only a better place.
6. Lastly, feminism is certainly not about “I can say anything and everything”. Nope. But a progressive request to be taken seriously and be to be heard. It is a plea to let women have a say in major decisions – especially the ones concerning their own. Like their marriage, kids, career, education, lifestyle etc. The next time you hear a female member talk politics, news or any worldly matter, instead of “What would you know? You sit at home”, listen. If they are opinionated be considerate enough to hear out their opinions rather than brushing them off just because of their gender.
It is to allow anyone to walkout or take charge of their own life being considerate to everyone around at the same time – irrespective of gender. And engage in healthy discussion points. Basically to eliminate statements like, “How dare you raise your voice, you woman” or “How dare you talk back to a man!”
Overall – feminism is an attempt to lead the society towards a much more progressive and healthy direction eradicating negative inhibitions and welcoming positive changes. It isn’t about which gender is the greater one. It is about understanding that both the genders are different in their own beautiful ways and embracing those differences. It is about living together in harmony with this beautiful understanding and mutual respect for another. Respect – being the focus.
I want to live those years where there is no need for an International Women’s Day or an International Men’s Day to educate everyone or urge the importance of harmony. Hope – is all that I carry.