Earlier, I refrained from writing non-creative stuff on the Factory. But I realised, since I’ve not really defined it as a haven for fiction and poetry, but rather a workshop of ideas, I shouldn’t be restricting ideas. I shouldn’t be putting any tags on my blog.
So here it is. My first non-creative write-up here. Although you could argue that Iratus was hidden social commentary, so it’s technically not the first time I’m doing socio-political commentary here. But still, it was a parody so technically creative.
I’m sorry you won’t be getting another part of Killing the creator today, but it’s something I really want to say.
Now I’ve seen many people, both in real life and on the internet who derise feminism. They say feminism equals sexism towards the female gender. They claim to be ‘humanists’ and not feminists. What they do not realise is that feminism is that so-called humanism.
And the fault isn’t theirs. I blame social media. I blame political and organisational leaders like Mike Buchanan and that US senator who tweeted that she’s not a feminist as it ‘reeks too much of man-hating’ and was subsequently called out by Merriam-Webster (I’ve forgotten her name). Social media has propagated the idea that feminism equals misandry. That feminists want women to rise to the top and crush men in the process.
Now that is one of the most misguided ideas anyone can ever have. If you believe in equal rights and opportunities for men and women, then you’re a feminist. That is the definition of feminism, and not misandry.
Many people confuse the word ‘same’ with ‘equal’. While they may sound like synonyms, they’re actually not, as far as political ideologies are concerned. Men and women are not the ‘same’, sure. Their bodies are different. Their way of thinking is different. It’s a scientific fact that women’s bones are slightly lighter than men’s. It’s just a result of evolution- in the stone age, mostly men went out to hunt so as a result they grew a bit physically stronger.
And stating this fact is not sexism. What is sexism is using this fact to support illogical arguments. Arguments like ‘men and women are not the same so they cannot be equal’. What? I mean, really? If you have two kids, and they have different physical strengths and behavorial patterns, would you keep one of them undernourished simply because they are different and you say that they can’t get stuff equally? No, right? This argument is similar to saying yes to that question.
Now this does not imply that women are weaker than men. Childbirth is one of the most painful things in the world, and women do it. Carrying a growing human being inside your belly for three-quarters of a year and then pushing it out through a tiny hole in your body isn’t a walk in the park. If you talk about mental strength, then there are a whole lot of things. Women get to hear anti-women stuff everyday, and are often not allowed the same amount of freedom as their male counterparts but they go through their daily business without bitching about it frequently. In India, they leave their family after marriage to move in with the boy’s family. They accept what in most cases are total strangers to be their new parents, since most marriages in India are arranged. The world over, they balance both work life and family life. By default, they are expected to take care of the home and they do, even when they do some paid job. My mother does it. Maybe your own mother does it. That is often the reason why women rise to top positions less frequently than men. Because men can work towards achieving the pinnacle of their career, carefree that their spouses will take care of the family and home.
Now, anti-feminists would ask, if feminism equals humanism, why is it not called masculinism or something like that? Why feminism? Isn’t that word sexist?
The point is, it doesn’t need to be called masculinism. The society has traditionally been patriarchal. Men have historically got all the rights a human being is entitled to by default, earlier than women. They already have all those privileges. But women have always got everything much later- be it the right to vote, the right to inherit property, or even a basic human right to be recognised as an independent individual. They have always been considered less than men. And that hasn’t fully gone away. In countries like Saudi Arabia, the situation is appalling, but the new prince is slowly trying to change it all. Recently, women have been allowed to drive and in a country like Saudi Arabia, that’s huge.
But why talk about radical Islamic states when we need to look no further than our own country? The Indian Parliament has people from all sorts of backgrounds, but they’re all men. The highest percentage of women MPs till date is a shocking 10%. In all the fields of work- whether it be a regular office job or a glamorous profession like acting- women are paid less than men for equal amounts of work. I could go on and on, but that’s something the newspapers already tell you, so why bother.
Anti-feminists should really watch this short video series on Youtube called ‘A man’s world’ . It’s in Hindi, but if you don’t speak the language, English captions are available. It has just four episodes, each 15-20 minutes long, so it won’t take much of your time. Wait, why just anti-feminists, everyone should watch it. It’s about a man who is an anti-feminist and believes women get unnecessary privileges.So, one day he wishes for a role-reversal and his wish comes true- gender roles are reversed between men and women. Living in this upside-down world, he realises how wrong he was.
Feminism doesn’t say that you need to treat one gender in a special manner. It simply says that you need to treat both genders equally.
Another thing I really want to emphasise is the twisted meaning feminism has taken on among radical young women, especially in first-world countries. This is the irrational radical feminism, which I derise too. ‘Men can walk around shirtless, so why can’t we?’ ‘Men can pee standing up, so why can’t we?’ ‘All men are demons who should be chased away!’ ‘Women are more special than men and they should be treated so!’
Now I don’t even want to comment on such stupid ideas. Chandler says it better than me.
This is what paints feminism in a bad light. This is what leads people to hate feminism. This is what has come to define feminism, and change it from the noble idea it is to an idiotic rambling. And it’s not feminism at all. It’s as far away from feminism as misogyny. These incredibly insane ideas lead people to believe that feminism is another baseless liberal ideology.
But with feminism, it doesn’t matter whether you’re leftist, rightist or centrist. What does matter is that you’re a human being who believes that all human beings are equal regardless of what gender they belong to.