For centuries, social revolutionary movements and social practices have been laying the foundation of our society, that it is today. Believes and the need of the hour are the backbone of any movement which is then promoted by a group of people who then spreads it among the masses. But more than this, perception, understanding and interpretation of the masses plays the vital role in taking any movement forward in either direction; negative or positive. History often give accounts of such misinterpretations which have led to massive destruction, one such example is : Johar giving birth to Sati. It all starts with a need but then it converts into a means of living a lifestyle and becomes a forceful act, this happens because of the misinterpretation of the human being. At present, we face the similar situation with Feminist Movement and now it is time to actually understand what exactly FEMINISM is .
Feminist movement is divided in three ages known as “waves”, the first wave solely focused on the women’s right to vote (political rights), the second wave promoted women as equal (legal and professional equality) and worked along the Women’s Liberation Movement, third and the final wave challenged the second wave’s definition of feminism, the feminist argued that all people are equal irrespective of their gender, culture, color and sexuality, hence after this wave we saw the legalization of LGBT society and trans genders.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author, defines 21st century’s feminist “as a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”
People often mistook feminism as a movement of women , by the women and for the women, whenever a lay man thinks of a feminist all he comprehend is a person who hates men deeply. This is the basis on which the whole idea of misconceptions are based. Feminism is not about pushing women forward and pulling men backwards but it is a movement to push each and every person forward so that they can share same level of social status. We often find most of the women saying that I’m a feminist while we find her doing all the anti-feminist activities, on the other hand we find a man who abides by all the feminist notions, and yet he would not commit that he is a feminist. Feminist movement has become more of a gender based movement rather a movement for fair equality.
The other day while I was travelling via metro, I saw an old lady board the train and a middle-aged man offered her his seat, while in the same train across that man sat a group of 3-4 teenage girls who were chatting and bickering about something, they also saw the lady boarding the train but they don’t even so much as twitch from their seats. Now my question here is why it is that a male has to offer his seat and a female does not. This man who was around 40 years or something, working in a cooperate does not deserve to sit because he is man, and they are strong ,right! no matter the age, while these school going teenage girls deserve a seat, because why not! they are females after all. So if we women argue that we are strong, that we can walk in the same shoes as men does then why do we need women coaches or seats or any other special treatments. This only creates more differences instead of abating them.
Men also need to understand that if they let a woman take the forefront it does make him less manly or it does not bruise his abilities. They need to stop judging a woman and start appreciating her for who she really is. A women who speaks up her mind, has an opinion, is confident and tries to do as much work as possible is not an attention seeker, similarly a women who is shy, polite and sweet does not make her a weak and fragile thing. Each and every women is different and we all should respect her. It is necessary for all the sexes to understand, appreciate and respect each other. Instead of being jealous and discourage one another we all should learn to work together, gain something from each other on every step and try to spread something good in return.
“Equal rights for others does not mean less rights for you. It’s not a pie.”
For once if we can move forward from these obnoxious terms like male-female, boy-girl, gay etc. that create disparity and start finding meaning in the terms like friends, family , colleagues, my country folk and all, then maybe we can rise above these social biases. This game is all about perception, maybe if we try to change it then we might not need feminism in the near future, maybe there would be no need to campaign women empowerment and women safety, maybe there would be no need to create special arrangements for anyone. This may seem right now as a parallel world but this can be ours with just a slightest change in our demeanor.