It’s weird how one word in a sentence can make a difference in everyone’s life. I am a feminist and I am proud to be one. What do you understand by the word “Feminist”? Are you a feminist or an anti-feminist? Why do you describe or identify yourself as either of those?
Recently, certain studies have shown that despite the frequent use of the word “Feminism”, It is also the most unpopular and misunderstood word. Just last year there came out a hash tag called #WomenagainstFeminism and I was surprised that more than half of the population behind this movement were women. Most of them posted pictures saying that they do not support feminism because it reinforces the men as agents/women as victims dichotomy. They also said that “I do not support feminism because I like it when a man compliments me about my body”.One post that had made the rounds was “I don’t need feminism because I love masculine men like Christian Grey.”
I would not say that these women are wrong as they have raised pretty valid questions. Also, this movement is not very surprising as from 19 th century itself, number of women groups were against feminism for differing reasons. I just feel that these women are confused because they do not understand the meaning of Feminism.They also feel that feminism demeans stay at home mothers or that if you love to cook and clean for your man it’s wrong. Many others, however, say they repudiate feminism because they support equality. Feminism is not against masculine men or attractive women.
When asked a friend of mine what does she understand by the word feminism? She replied saying that it is a movement where woman fight for their rights and men are against feminism. While researching on the net about feminism, I found that most of them spoke how feminism should not be a movement as it is responsible for women hating men. The main reasons behind these misconceptions are that many public artists and famous women who claim to be feminist end up saying things like Sharon Stone said “The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race”.
This affects the view of both the sexes. Terming that only women face these suppression’s from society is wrong as men equally face much sexist discrimination.
Once a man is accused as a rapist despite of not being responsible for it, He is always seen as a culprit and felon from the eyes of the society. Men often face prejudice for feeling vulnerable or crying. Most societies are not even aware of the alarming numbers of men being raped. If men come forward to talk or reveal about their atrocities they are criticized and judged.We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are, and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control women won’t have to be controlled.
In 1997 Hillary Clinton gave a famous speech about woman’s rights in Beijing but less than 30% audiences were male. “How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” questioned Emma Watson.
The oxford dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” A lot of women misinterpret feminism as anti-man and an art of misandry. Feminism is not victimizing women or hating men; it is a movement which supports the idea that men and women should be social, political, and economic equals. It means that women should be given the right to contest in political and government agendas and initiatives as much as men. It means that women should be paid the same/ equal amount as their fellow male colleagues.
In the end I would just say that you don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist. If you support the idea of equality of both sexes in different aspects then you are automatically a feminist. And if you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it. Feminism is about equality and empowerment and not about hating men. So women and men out there, do your part by being a PROUD FEMINIST.