What Is Feminism? And What It Is Not

Posted: November 15, 2015

Ruchika Thukral writes a brief piece on what she think Feminism is and what it is not. Do read and leave your views too.

To all those hypocrites, opportunists and idiots in general, let me give you a 101 on feminism. Since, it’s a widely used hashtag on all kinds of social media on all kinds of posts. Let me tell you, feminism is NOT a hashtag. I’m not going to tell you the history of it, all that second-wave-third-wave shit, the different definitions, opinions, pro-choice, slut-shaming, Carols-Plath-Rowling-Bronte and who not. But, it’s not about all that. It’s about all the things in your head as to what constitutes feminism. Yours and God knows how many people! And, much to my embarrassment, some of them actually call themselves as feminists. So, here we go, in order of what people think.

  • Feminism is not a bra burning, voodoo-shit, witch cult that sacrifices virgin male goats for downfall of men. Seriously, grow up!
  • Feminism is not anti-patriarchy. It’s about equality, not having an upper hand.
  • Feminism is not staying unmarried all your lives.
  • Feminism is not lesbianism.
  • Feminism is not hating men.
  • Feminism is not dressing tomboy.
  • Feminism is not shaving your arms and other sorts of body grooming.
  • Feminism is not posing with a picture with #feminismrocks written on it and asking for likes on Facebook.
  • Feminism is not condemning married women for bowing down to men.
  • Feminism is not getting in multiple, unsafe sexual relationships because you are a ‘feminist. It’s a matter of choice. Use a condom though. Every time.
  • Feminism is not hiring women when they are not talented.
  • Feminism is not asking your boyfriend to do everything and lashing at him for everything.
  • Feminism is not running naked, with ‘SLUT’ written on stomach citing it as a form of protest for women’s rights. Respect other people’s privacy too. There could be little children on streets, yet to learn about birds and bees.
  • Feminism is not wearing pink.
  • Feminism is not aborting your baby without consulting with the father first.
  • Feminism is not hanging a ‘Girl Power’ poster on your bedpost.
  • Feminism is not reading The Bell Jar, when you like Chetan Bhagat.
  • Feminism is not about eating a hundred cupcakes and becoming obese. Size doesn’t matter, but health does. Stay fit!
  • Feminism is not smashing your makeup on roads. Makeup is for you, not for anyone around you. You love makeup, keep it, you don’t, ditch it.
  • Feminism is not condemning fashion models for wearing bikinis or cropped tops or God-knows-what.
  • Feminism is not condemning me for using God in above point instead of Goddess.
  • Feminism is not hating Disney movies on Snowhite-Rapunzel-Sleeping Beauty.
  • Feminism is not condemning boys for being born male. When we ask for equality, this is not in our minds.
  • Feminist is not about saying maadarchod.
  • Feminism is not adopting a hundred cats.
  • Feminism is not waving your used sanitary pad around. That is simply unhygienic, if not weird.
  • Feminism is not asking your man to get sexual gratification but not responding to his needs.
  • Feminism is not wearing black.
  • Feminism is not about watching Orange is the New Black or Sex and The city
  • Feminism is not screaming ‘Honey Singh, Die’.
  • Feminism is not hypocrisy.

All this syapa around the definition of term ‘Feminism’ has led people to think that feminism is some sort of slang, something worse than F-word. I personally have seen that if you say you are a feminist on social media, you get all sorts of comments like, how long are your arm hair, or when are you planning for the slut walk, or why do you wear heels then, or you must not get any action, do you wanna get laid? I mean, guys and girls, its feminism, not abstinence or anything that I personally do not want to do. Feminism is about being a woman who has a mind of her own and being unapologetic about it. And, mind it, unapologetic does not mean ‘shoving your thoughts down someone’s throat’.

Maybe it’s because of the distorted definition that I’ve seen a lot of actresses, big names in industries, Priyanka Chopra, Parineeti Chopra, Deepika Padukone or Twinkle Khanna in her very recent blog, saying that we are not feminists, we don’t hate men, or we believe in equality and are humanitarians, or that we don’t need feminism because women are above men. Since when, feminism became about hating men? Feminism was and is supposed to be about women. Get it right people, feminism is about women equal to men. If you are familiar with mathematical logic, supporting women equals to supporting men. Therefore, supporting women does not equals to hating men, in any kind of universe. Mathematically proved.

When big names like these support feminism, it’s like a statement, ‘OK, she’s supporting this. And, she is not getting paid for it. There must be something in it.’ That kind of thoughts drives this campaign. When women shame feminism, which basically mean they shame the fight for equality for other women, we seriously do some sort of time travel and land back in the 1800s, when women being equal to men were seen something as bad, even repulsive. And, there you have it. All your cries about, domestic violence, lusty stares, unequal pay, poor living conditions, no education, all the effort for betterment of oppressed women in society goes down the drain.

So, when Kalki Koelchin or Kanagana Ranaut announced their feminist ideas, it’s like, ‘OK, It must not be as bad as it seems.’ Because, trust me, it’s not. I see all these people, and groups on social media saying feminism is about accusing people of false rape charges, or getting to rule men, or walking naked. That’s like the worst excuse to shun the campaign that powers the child brides, or the socially outcast widows, or the prepubescent girl who is accused of provoking her rapist.

I’m not going to impress all the wonderful effects of feminism on a family, society, nation level. You might see all that when you see women starting their own businesses, fighting back molestation, or learning to live without all the judgmental handles the society imposes on them. Women have proved to be better at a number of tasks, but that doesn’t mean that I’m asking to literally give all sorts of powers to women, make them leaders, jail all men, etc. Let the better person win. That’s feminism.

So, you can be a feminist and:

  • Decide to leave your job and look after kids.
  • Wear pink and show some skin, if you are comfortable enough with that.
  • Let the man pay for the dinner.
  • Flirt with men, if they are comfortable with that.
  • Support a man falsely charged with rape.
  • Opt to get his surname.
  • Like Pyar Ka Punchnama, PKP2 is really bad, trust me.
  • Be a devotee of Lord Ram even though he left his much-said ideal wife.
  • Enjoy role plays or bondage in bed, because it’s absolutely your opinion.
  • Read Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • Have more men on your team than women.
  • Be a fan of Sunny Leone.
  • Watch Japanese Anime or Batman or He-man or basically any animation series where men and women are shown in highly unrealistic bodies and attire.
  • Do the dishes, if your husband can’t understand that the dishcloth is not washcloth
  • Not be outspoken about everything. Every person has their own voice.
  • Let your daughter play with dolls or any other toy she wants. Same for boys. Don’t insist on having her/him play cricket if it isn’t her wish.
  • Be a sex goddess.
  • Hate being called, a Mahila Mukti Morcha. Friends do that all the time.
  • Think that men are humans.

But, the most important thing. You can be a feminist and it’s not a bad thing.

Cover image via Shutterstock

Crazy thinker, impulsive writer, schizophrenic psychopath.....what!! Ruchi, why would you write that now, huh?

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