F-E-M-I-N-I-S-M. This eight-letter word has gained more than its share of publicity in the past few years. It has been used, abused, accepted and abhorred. Some people glorify it as a way of life, others condemn it as something to stay far away from. Yet others have been puzzled by the constant stream of thoughts, opinions and ideas regarding this philosophy, and have no idea what the word even represents.
However, one thing is for sure. The word ‚Äúfeminism‚Äù comes attatched with a long list of misconceptions. Anyone and everyone has attempted to twist the meaning of the word according to their interests, and in the process, it has somehow lost its true significance. This article is, thus, an attempt to clear some of the smoke surrounding this word (honestly, all I can think about is smoke and smog these days) and give a pollution-free picture of what feminism is. For this purpose, I am going to list down WHAT FEMINISM IS NOT:-
1. Sole Territory of Women
Just because the name is ‚Äúfeminism‚Äù does not imply that only women can accept and promote the ideology. Feminism roots for equal political, economic, personal and social rights for women as are given to men. Any person, irrespective of gender, who believes in this ideology, is a feminist. As simple as that.
2. A Word to Shun
I am so irritated by the fact that the word ‚Äúfeminism‚Äù gives such creeps to some people, even women, as they do not wish to be ‚Äúlabeled under a tag‚Äù, that they will go to the extent of saying, ‚ÄúI support equality for both genders but I am not a feminist‚Äù. That‚Äôs like saying ‚ÄúI love Harry Potter but I am not a Potterhead‚Äù. It is one and the same thing.
Feminists are asking for equal rights for men and women, not for the superiority of women over men. Saying that the word should be renamed ‚Äúhumanism‚Äù because ‚Äúeveryone deserves to be equal irrespective of gender‚Äù is a testimony in itself to the fact that you haven‚Äôt really grabbed the concept.
4. Hatred Towards Men
Now this one is for the women in particular, those women who, in the name of feminism, say stuff like ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt need a man in my life. Men are fools. I hate all men.‚Äù Woman, I don‚Äôt know why life has troubled you so much, but please get your facts right. Feminism is not about hating men. Feminism is about changing the way the world perceives women. Men are as important to the world as women. It‚Äôs people like you who make other people fear the word.
5. Sexism Against Men
Sure, feminism is about bringing women to the forefront. But it is also not about proving men wrong, or inferior. If it were so, people like Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar would not have been making such efforts to promote it. You don‚Äôt have to be anti-men to be pro-women.
6. A Belief that Women are Always Right
If something is right, it is right. If something is wrong, it is wrong, irrespective of gender. Feminism is not all about giving power to women. It is about making men and women equal. Feminism entails equal rights and equal power, but also equal duties and equal responsibilities.
Feminism is not a word to shun or fear. It is a word to accept and embrace. It is a way of life to adapt. It is a philosophy to live by. There is nothing wrong with demanding equal rights for men and women. The sooner we understand it, the better.