Check out the ultimate guide to 16 return-to-work programs in India for women
Feminists don't need to conform to rules about being 'good' feminists. Being a bad feminist has its merits, says this post.
Feminists don’t need to conform to rules about being ‘good’ feminists. Being a bad feminist has its merits, says this post.
The ideology of feminism when defined in a line could staidly be put as – advocating equal opportunities for both men and women socially, economically, and politically. Essential feminism all over the world believes in this basic notion, however feminists also seem to observe certain dos and don’ts which would make a “good feminist”.
A good feminist follows her feminism according to standards, however high or nonsensical they may sound. A good feminist does not allow any kind of personal or individual character traits to delve into her stead-fast and straight-jacketed ideology.
Feminism has always been about freedom. However, feminists today are trying to tie it in the shackles of conduct. Roxanne Gay, author of Bad Feminist – a book of essays examining feminism through the cultural lens writes-
“How do we reconcile the imperfections of feminism with all the good it can do? In truth, feminism is flawed because it is a movement powered by people, and people are inherently flawed. For whatever reason, we hold feminism to an unreasonable standard where the movement must be everything we want and must always make the best choices. When feminism falls short of our expectations, we decide the problem is with feminism rather than with the flawed people who act in the name of the movement…
Feminism, as of late, has suffered from a certain guilt by association because we conflate feminism with women who advocate feminism as part of their personal brand. When these figureheads say what we want to hear, we put them up on the Feminist Pedestal, and when they do something we don’t like, we knock them right off and then say there’s something wrong with feminism because our feminist leaders have failed us…
When these figureheads say what we want to hear, we put them up on the Feminist Pedestal, and when they do something we don’t like, we knock them right off …Never miss real stories from India's women.Register Now
When these figureheads say what we want to hear, we put them up on the Feminist Pedestal, and when they do something we don’t like, we knock them right off …
I openly embrace the label of bad feminist… I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying — trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself: a woman who loves pink and likes to get freaky and sometimes dances her ass off to music she knows, sheknows, is terrible for women and who sometimes plays dumb with repairmen because it’s just easier to let them feel macho than it is to stand on the moral high ground.
I am a bad feminist because I never want to be placed on a Feminist Pedestal. People who are placed on pedestals are expected to pose, perfectly. Then they get knocked off when they f&%k it up. I regularly f&%k it up. Consider me already knocked off.”
Some women shy away from the term because they are scared to be labelled as to be wanting too much, speaking too loud and thrusting themselves too hard. Well, these labels do not define who we are. Feminists can be too girly, too sanskari, too chic, lipstick-loving or beer-gulping.
They can dance to the beats of a Honey Singh song, even if they do not appreciate the lyrics. That does not make them hypocrites, it just makes them individuals, and as Walt Whitman put it- “Do I contradict myself, very well then I contradict myself. I’m large, I contain multitudes.”
To be a feminist, you don’t have to succumb to certain pressures of being the right one, nor do you have to conform to a code of conduct or a daily protocol of shouting from the rooftop to claim your right. You don’t have to be too slutty or too prudish, charming or calculative, a housewife or a office-going woman, submissive or rebellious. All you have to be is yourself. Feminism is about the freedom of mastering your own brand of it, even if you do not have a pulpit to speak about it. There are no right or wrong ways to be a feminist.
If you are letting your human complexities be a part of your feminism, you are a bad feminist. And as Ms. Gay puts it- “Maybe I’m a bad feminist, but I am deeply committed to the issues important to the feminist movement. I have strong opinions about misogyny, sexism that consistently places women at a disadvantage, the inequity in pay, the cult of beauty and thinness, the repeated attacks on reproductive freedom, violence against women, and on and on. I am as committed to fighting fiercely for equality as I am committed to disrupting the notion that there is an essential feminism. I’d rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all”
Pic credit: Bookgrl (Used under a CC license)
A drifter with a conscience. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
Please enter your email address