Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word- Here’s Why

I was recently reading a travel blog by an Indian woman who’s travelling abroad solo. From what I've read of her blog, I've gathered that this young lady is educated, has held a job and lives in the National Capital Region (I’m tying to be as vague as possible). She also happens to be married. The reason why this piece of information is important is because in her blog she talks about how she’s an independent woman, whose husband had no problem whatsoever with her decision to travel solo- which is really sweet and how a marriage should be like. But what caught my attention was one of her posts in which she says she doesn't identify as a feminist. This is when I got a bit annoyed. Okay, so I got very, very annoyed.

What I did next was look up the meaning of the word feminism in the dictionary and here’s what I found- “The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes.” Sounds good to me! So when someone (a man or a woman, because feminism isn't just a woman’s domain) says they’re not a feminist what they’re saying is that they do not believe in equal rights for women. That’s unfair isn't it!

I don’t see any reason why all of us should not be feminists. What’s not to like about feminism? What part of women’s liberation doesn't appeal to you? The right to open a bank account? The right to vote? The right to equal pay? The right to have a say in birth control? The right to wear what you like? The freedom of not being the property of the man you marry? 

I discovered I was a feminist when I was eighteen years old (which by my standards is pretty late). That is also when I realized that the word feminism comes with a lot of unnecessary baggage. It was a dirty word. Feminists were supposed to be angry women who didn't like to dress up and who hated men. Feminists were supposed to be unfeminine, women who burned their bras and had hairy armpits. Something I found rather odd because here I was, a young college girl who loved dressing up and wearing make up and who yet fiercely believed in equality of the sexes. 

I think it’s high time we stop making feminism the new F word. Let's destigmatize the word and reclaim it for what it truly is. There’s a lot of talk about what feminism is, but here’s what its not- Feminism is not about hating men, it’s about loving women and wanting equal rights for them. It’s not about wanting to be in control of everything, but certainly being in control of your own life and choices. It’s not about being angry and unhappy all the time, but about questioning patriarchy and gender stereotypes. And lastly, feminism is not a woman's excuse to not do housework, but about a man thinking nothing odd about cooking dinner, or washing the dishes. 

So, are you a feminist? 

1 comment:

  1. Women should have everything what a man can have. The liberty to do what she loves to do. And thats where feminism stops. I think feminism also deals with considering that women are at present equal to men in general. And the odd cases that we see are the ones we stand against.

    There wont be much of feminists in the coming future, because feminists are everyone and only the antifeminists may exist.