Friday, 24 June 2016

What it's like Being a Feminist

Yes, I know what you are all thinking, there goes another woman spouting crazy about women’s rights and crap, and well I don't care, I'm still writing this. J

Let me start off by making a few things clear:

‘Feminism’, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Here is the link for the definition if you don’t believe me ( Yes, you ignorant mortals, feminism addresses men’s rights and issues as well, only catch here is, talking about these issues when one is talking about women’s issues is not the right way to do it. Call a discussion on the discrimination against men, we can take it up, but most people seem to bring this up as a cause of concern only when there are women’s rights being discussed. Here is a link you can peruse about all the issues tackled by feminism when it comes to men’s issues-  Go on, read it, don’t chose to remain in ignorance when you are being offered knowledge.

No, I do not hate men. (Believe me, some people, even some friends have asked me this). All I can say to you is, please, for goodness sake; do your basic research you ignorant souls. Neither do I mean to convey that I hate men when I speak about the discrimination I face during my day-to-day life. I am addressing a truth that I face, every day of my life.

And for all those out there, who go, ‘No, I am not a feminist, but I support equality’, honestly, your ignorance has no boundaries does it? Again, the definition itself is self-explanatory (Feel free to analyse that one sentence definition again). Agreed, feminism started with women who wanted reforms and rights, this was at a time when women were not even allowed to vote (and P.S- If it weren’t for these ‘feminists’, most women still wouldn’t have any voting rights). Gradually as women started getting equal opportunities and some of their issues started to get addressed, feminism started addressing men’s issues as well (As I pointed out earlier).‘Feminism’, has taken the form of a ‘dirty’ word, that even some women are afraid to use it. Agreed, it has been grossly taken out of context by today’s media, some men and women, BOTH, and some extremists. What most people need to realise is what feminism actually stands for, which I hope will be clear to you (Come to think of it, I don’t particularly care if it does become clear to you or not, you can continue to keep that stick up your ass against feminism).

This one is for all those women out there, who do not identify themselves as feminists (this is completely fine), BUT at the same time criticize feminism - Playwright and pastor Kristine Holmgren writes in The Guardian: “Make no mistake, the work we did to bring about social change was done at great personal sacrifice. Every time a woman rose to speak for freedom of choice, a personal reputation was ruined. Even so, my generation of women thought nothing of defending the rights of other women at the price of our own futures.” (Reference link- These women worked for the simple rights that we have today. If they had been like you, you would be devoid of something as basic as the right to Vote.

A few more things that should have been obvious to you, but then apparently isn’t (make a wild guess why!) -

As a feminist, I do NOT think I am better than a man. I think I am equal and deserve equality. And NO I do not hate men.

As a feminist, I believe a man should be punished for domestic violence. It also means I believe a woman should get punished for domestic violence as well (and not simply cheered on, or ignored).

No, I do not make everything a feminist issue. I call a SPADE a SPADE.

If you find a self-proclaimed feminist, accusing ALL men of being evil, then it’s not called feminism, that’s extremism.

Yes, I am aware some women misuse this new awareness about women’s rights and use it for their own benefits. And NO, that does not make my argument or point any less valid.

Feminazi (or in fact any kind of ‘Nazi’), is a term which I have found only some of the world’s most mindless and insensible people use. It is NOT offensive to me, or to you, but it IS offensive to the millions of Jewish families who went through hell and suffered at the hands of the Nazis.

As a feminist, I do NOT just hold a few men at fault for inequality, I hold the women who propagate the idea that women are any lesser than men, and I hold the education system, mindset and culture at fault too.

As a feminist, I believe that a woman can still be a feminist even if she is devoted to her family and domestic life.

As a feminist, I will speak up against cat calling, eve-teasing, domestic violence, child marriages, dowry deaths, rape, public shaming and any other sort of discrimination against women. I will also stand as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and fight for the recognition of their rights (Surprise, they are humans too). I will also fight for men when they are discriminated against.

Coming to my point, being a feminist and a girl (yes, men can be feminists too, surprise!) can be a test of your patience and your ability to remain silent and ignore the blatant ignorance of people around you. Every day you will face issues where the fact that you are feminist, will be rubbed into you, and most of the times it will be taken in a negative sense. You will be bullied intentionally or unintentionally by your own friends. If you dare speak up on the internet, you will be a victim of cyberbullying. If you are a young student and have dared make your views public, elders will come and preach to you about how it’s not right for a girl to be so vocally opinionated. If you have been eve teased and dared to defend yourself or call them out on it, you will be treated to verbal harassment for at least the next few days. You will also be told, by your own friends, how you should not have reacted because apparently then there will be no difference between you and them (To all of those people, here is the difference, I did not choose to call out a random person (girl) walking on the road and pass sexual innuendos at her, I am not the one choosing to act like an illiterate, that is the difference, just in case it wasn’t clear to you). You will be subjected to feminist jokes and everything will be made into a big show, just because you are a feminist. More than a few times, you will be left to stand alone in your views. You will be made to feel inferior for being a feminist (And just in case you are wondering, yes, ALL of the above are from personal experiences).

But you don’t stand alone. You will meet some people (admittedly very few), who understand you, support you and even believe in the same causes. Yes, you will meet men who are feminists too and not ashamed to declare it. These few men and women will be precious to you, hold on to them, they are perhaps the only ones who will understand you and support you when it comes to standing up for your beliefs. They will be the ones who are there for you when you are in doubt and start to question right from wrong (been there, done that!).

So stand tall, be bold, speak up and don’t give up for the things you believe in. I know I won’t.

Note: If any of my commentaries has offended you, well I don’t care. Maybe you should start wondering why it offended you in the first place. J

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