Feminism, the word might sound familiar, the definition might be similar for all but the interpretations in this patriarchal world, still vary. The connotations are stronger than what the words can express as it is much more than just a movement; it is the pain, the suffering, and the constant struggle to attain the apparent right of equality.
The definition explains it as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. Here the word to emphasize is ‘equality’, equality of sexes. With a fight that has become much stronger in the recent past and opinions that have the ability to be overflown throughout in seconds, the question of right and wrong arise eventually. There is a huge line of discrimination between ‘equality and authority’ and hence, ‘feminist and feminazi’ and that’s where most people, even the ones on a higher pedestal, take the wrong turn. Equality needs to be cultivated in every walk of life, especially in the domestic front. This has a whole set of steps. From the complete removal of female foeticide to the normalizing of female education, from the treatment of wives and daughters to the abatement of set rules for their duties and responsibilities.
Society has no right to have a default list made; based on what they think should happen as per the conditioning of their past life. The most basic learning that is attached to this movement is the importance of ‘unlearning’. Unlearning what has been going on and understanding that females are also individuals, ones with their own dreams, wishes, and goals before being attached to any human-made relationships.
Such a big movement needs a transformation of each and everyone who thinks glorifying the sacrifices of women is right, asking them to take responsibilities which they aren’t ready to be the law of nature, giving them privileges to let them be safe and adhere to equal opportunities is the correct way to deal with the problem because it is not. It does not mean being a homemaker and looking forward to having a married life is demeaning in any sense, or it is a matter of great sacrifice, it is just about what you wish for.
Understanding the physical distinction of a male and female body is essential, but the essence of equal rights, duties, responsibilities, and opportunities, actually knits together the movement. True feminism is in no way about demeaning men, making them feel inferior or insensitive creatures. It is supposed to be a movement of uplifting the ones who need it, without putting any harm to the character of other sexes. And anything done against the actual essence turns into the misuse of taking authority in the name of justice and distorting the actual concept.
It is definitely true that the ratio of crime against women is much higher than men’s. The studies show 1 in 3 women have experienced some kind of violence or exploitation at some point in their lives. But still, it is not ethically right to take every male member as the part of the same herd, to consider them all consciously dead. Fighting for the right of women, their self-respect, and their honor is the need of the hour and justice should prevail where needed. But let us first understand the root cause, the basic level where the discrimination starts, every household, especially in our and other developing countries.
Every time someone tries to show how to behave like a lady, every time you are asked to dress a certain way, every time you need approvals for decisions that solely depend on your choices, every time you are sold off with dowry, or you are seen no more than a feeder and caretaker, the society abolishes your right as an individual and here the problem starts.
Let us all join hands and write our tale, show that equality can prevail, that the problem has to be cured and not the victim, that the true essence will be maintained and that we all are ready to become feminists who start working with the first baby steps.
Diksha Mago | Allahabad State University, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh