When it comes to gender-equality, the world has sure come a long way compared to three decades ago. Celebrities, activists and leaders have come out of their way to declare themselves as feminists standing up for equality. By this time, it is safe to say the word ‘Feminism’ has rightfully replace the other ‘F’ word.
When I started learning about feminism, the one quote that struck out to me was one by Dale Spender, “Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties.
Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.
If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?””
Clearly stated as, “the belief that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities.” But, what did people hear? IT IS ANTI-MEN. Well, it is not. It is about being equal, to be able to enjoy the rights without having to fight every single day. This International Women’s Day, let us take out time and realize the real need and understand feminism, instead of whipping up some crazy imaginations!
- Equal Pay for Equal Work:
Well, this is a no-brainer. Be it the entertainment industry or common service jobs, women are paid fairly less than their male counterparts for the same work. Hard work and efforts are equal despite the gender orientation, so why not the pay?
- Women are still ‘inferior’:
Because patriarchy is what runs in the blood, women’s views are thrown down the gutter. While a girl having guy friends is considered a ‘slut,’ a guy roaming with women in both his arms, is a ‘stud.’
- Always the ‘Home-maker’:
I have witnessed some extremely talented girls who wanted to pursue their dreams and heard them talk eagerly about their passion. Guess what they are doing now? Giving birth to kids. And, ask what their brothers are doing? You guessed it right, working abroad. Why? Because home-making is a job for the woman and woman, alone.
- You are how you ‘look’:
Body-shaming has become an ‘oh-so-dear’ pass time. Society has preset standards where they define your beauty by the colour of your skin, size of your waist or shape of your eyebrows. Young girls pressure themselves and turn towards diet pills to look their best according to societal norms.
- Sexual harassment:
No woman can go without saying that she has been violated at least once in her lifetime. Whether it is a catcall on the street or your workplace, you are expected to comply with the wrongs. ‘Cause if you ever speak against, it is either rolling eyes or a resignation.
- Rape culture:
If rape wasn’t bad enough, there’s shaming out to eat you. ‘She was wearing a skirt,’ ‘She was roaming at night,’ ‘She is characterless.’ While victim-blaming is pretty common, no one even bashes a eye on the culprit. Well, just for your kind information, there is no excuse for rape. NEVER!
- Because ‘like a girl’ is just as important as ‘be a man’:
No, calling out your son who cried once as “Don’t be a girl,” or telling him to “man up,” isn’t funny, it is the beginning of a lifetime of gender discrimination. Instead of raising your daughters like your sons, raise your sons like your daughters, every once in a while.
So, while feminism is considered a sin by many, let each of us stand up for what is right. G.D Anderson explains it best, ” Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives her strength.” Doesn’t matter you are a man or a woman; if you are a human, be proud to be a feminist.