When asked if he was a feminist, Salman Rushdie said “Yes. What else is there to be? Everything else is being an asshole” (The Huffington Post), exactly my point.
I have met men and women alike who are confused if they are a feminist or not. After reading an article they think they are and later after listening to a debate, “Uhh! May be not”. Some of them even say “I am not a feminist but I totally support gender equality”. Silly you! That is exactly what it means. I think it probably has something to do with the term ‘feminine’ in it (You know how everything that is feminine is considered weak. Don’t be such a pussy!).
Have a look at the following definitions of feminism:
“the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way, or the set of activities intended to achieve this state:”
“the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”
“the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”
Basically, feminism is a movement directed at achieving equal rights for all and is not opposed to Masculism (For starters, there is such a concept which is only a few decades old and feminism on the other hand is more than 200 years old). Maybe it is time someone invented a term which means “equal rights for all” that is neither feminine nor masculine. Also, feminism is against patriarchy and sexism. I hope that makes it clear.
Photo by Frank Mago
Now, if you meet someone who thinks feminism is not a thing or feminists are bunch of women who have nothing else to do other than complain about their life, don’t go thrashing him/her. If it is a man he probably doesn’t know. And if it is a woman she has probably learnt to ignore and shrug off things and accepted the society the way it is right from a very young age or is probably playing cool or trying to fit in.
I am a feminist and I need feminism because:
- My gender doesn’t make me weak and I don’t have to prove it every now and then
- 1 in 3 women have been sexually harassed or abused by intimate partner according to this WHO report
- I was denied to be interviewed because the job description clearly (in bold) mentioned, “We have no gender bias but we prefer only male candidates”
- I can be a feminist and still wear heels and padded bras, shave my legs, take selfies and pout while I am at it or not do any of it
- Getting married is considered more important than pursuing a career
- I have seen men flashing their genitals at me on the street
- I don’t want women to play the ‘victim card’
- I enjoy jokes that make fun of women just like those that make fun of men (because when it’s funny, it’s funny)
- I don’t want people telling me what I can or cannot do.
- I decide if I want to work outside or stay at home (that is if someone agrees to pay the bills, of course)
- This list does not end at #10
Gender equality is not a reality, not yet. Each of us deserves to live in a society where everyone gets paid equally, gets heard equally and gets equal opportunity in all spheres of life. I long for a place where everyone gets respected for their work despite their gender.
If all men and women on Earth were feminists, would we even have to put up this fight for equality. Doing anything ‘like a girl’ is no sign of weakness. It’s great to fight like a girl.