To Be (Or Not To Be) – A Feminist And Proud!

The word feminist has always come with a lot of baggage attached to it. Isn't it high time, we stop fearing feminists and start supporting them?

The words feminist and feminism have always come with a lot of baggage attached to them. Isn’t it high time, we stop fearing feminists and start supporting them?

The waves of feminism have to come in chapters to wash and clean the discrimination in the minds. No matter how high the tides are, they fail to flood the bag and baggage from the archaic mentality.

We do live in the so-called postmodern society. And the fellowship of the patriarchy will try every possible way to bog us down from wading through the stock-mentality.

And yes, I know all men are not the same…gah! Neither are the women, animals and plants. I am not generalising any gender, just the gendered mentality that thinks to express a feminist point of view is blasphemy.

There are people, men and women, who think we have succeeded in reforming the discrimination among genders. They think this disparity is just an illusion in this brave new world.

The reality of feminism and patriarchy

Well, snap snap! Wake up and smell the stench of reality! Try to look around. No need to get out of the house. Simple knowledge of letters will do to read the news from all over.

Some changing of channels, listening and trying to understand amid the screaming and yelling will be a kicker to the brains. There are the ones who yell “another feminist bitch” in tweets and comments at every expression of criticism or misogynistic. These are the ones who believe they are calling out a ‘femi-nazi’. They need to jangle their brains and check what they are missing out.

The thing called patriarchy is not a figment of our imagination. It’s very real and persistent.

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

The differences between the genders

I am not gonna negate the difference among the genders. There are differences among individuals because we are different. What I am addressing is discrimination.

We are trying to blend into one another despite the differences because that’s evolution. Had we stuck to what mama had given us, we wouldn’t be building concretes or machines. We have come so far from the genesis that the evolution of human and machine is taking over nature to its displacement.

But some of our minds are still stranded at the garden of Eden. Why?

To the ones who troll the feminists

The people who love trolling feminists, do they really hate feminism or just the sound of it! Having different opinions is something even the feminists understand. They don’t necessarily always agree with one another. However, the verbal lynching just goes on to show the hatred and lack of understanding.

I came across a million comments and point of views that negate the idea of feminism just for the sake of it. Irrespective of the effort to enunciate the history and the belief behind it, the non-believers won’t let go of their stubbornness to not understand.

Many a time I wanna throw some logic at them but held back thinking it was pointless wasting effort on the ears deaf to reason.

A feminist is not the “dark one”

Feminism is not “The Dark One” that naming it is feared upon. Nor is it a swear-word that needs to be beeped. Neither is it a cult where women from all across the world with a special mark on their vaginas convene on inauspicious days. Women don’t wear cherry red capes while chanting against misandry. Feminism is not a dark art, a form of witchery and it definitely is not about hating men.

Instead, it is all about sharing the same space with them in freedom, equality, safety and harmony.

But to bring us up to equality we would certainly need some provisions that may seem to the eyes of the non-believers as “reservation” or “special treatment.”

However, these are truly special. If we carefully think about the slanted structure of discrimination,  we can see that the fractures it has created will need time to recover. And we are not recuperating uninterrupted. Our progress is thwarted from all directions.

I could think that the men who get hives at the mention of the other F-word a.k.a feminism. They treat it as a swear worse than “FU” and are insecure about losing their ascendancy in the social structure.

Why be proud of not being a feminist?

But what shook me is how aggressively some women react and protest against the idea of feminism. When they boast about not being a feminist, what are they so proud of?

If not for feminism they wouldn’t have been making this declaration on a digital platform or declaring anything at all. Women wouldn’t be voting, working, divorcing, remarrying, using technology, contesting elections if not for feminism.

The conveniences that are received without any effort are easy to be taken for granted, scrutinise, criticise and then pretend to relinquish. If there are pseudo-feminist, these are the special kinds of oblivious anti-feminist.

If we regress our mentality more than Indian telly soaps in real life, then we might be landing ourselves in the Handmaid’s Tale sooner than later.

Let’s not generalise being a feminist?

I can understand the scepticism around the extremism of feminism. But like every man is not a misogynist or sexist; anyone who starts a sentence with “I am a feminist too” (and then goes on talking about how reservation is only impeding the progress of women) doesn’t understand jack about feminism. All that glitters is not gold and in the same vein, all feminists are not anal-retentive. You cannot generalise anything.

So, my question is — if you do not believe in feminism, then what do you believe in? Please don’t say humanism. It’s not the same thing. The ones who are so very vehemently protesting feminism, (a safe, free, equal and more than just a liveable space for females that males already enjoy without any struggle or loss) what do they want?

Feminism is NOT special treatment!

Some women are manipulating, for unfair gains, the “special treatment” they have been given. But you cannot negate the suffering of all for these handfuls. If you are not a feminist then you are not disquieted at the violence, assault, indecency against women that is going about high and low.

You can ask why buses have seats reserved for women. But you probably have never experienced the brushing and thrusting of hands and other body parts on you while standing in the bus!

A middle-aged man sitting beside you in an autorickshaw has never had a sudden itch to free the willy. I would happily let go of the reserved seats too when the horny men stop humping every woman they chance upon.

And I will stop praying for separate transportation for women when the random strangers stop flashing more regularly than the flash sales on online shopping sites.

Feminist or anti-feminist?

If as a woman, you want a safe road to walk on, come home when you want to, dress the way you like, reject an indecent proposal undaunted, choose a partner without thinking about consequences, work at an office without being sexually harassed, express opinions about anything without the worry of any kind of threat, then you don’t hate feminism as you like to think.

As for the men, if you want the aforementioned things for the women of your family and don’t force yourselves and your opinions upon women or harass them or stalk them on rejection, you are not all anti-feminist either.

You may have started on the path but need time to acclimatise with the whole concept. Maybe after a certain period of seasoning, you will find yourself understanding the now alien language of feminism.

Then when a girl says, she will never in a sane mind accept a boyfriend like Kabir Sing irl or love is not about slapping each other (that and more is s’n’m), you will not hear their voices as barking. You will try to listen and understand and accept it as a different point of view and respect their opinion.

Well, a woman can hope!

Picture credits: Pixabay

Liked this post?

Join the 100000 women at Women's Web who get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads - you can also start sharing your own ideas and experiences with thousands of other women here!


About the Author

Ipsita Sengupta

Love to read almost everything except Maths and Bio-Chem-Phy of Science. Kind of an introvert. So, when i.e most of the times my speech fails me I try to express myself in read more...

4 Posts | 13,467 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories