Friday, December 27, 2013

Do we still need feminism?

Feminism is the term used a lot now a days, in many talks, articles, we can find it at many places and like many other terms this term is also slowly getting stereotyped. Somehow feminists are considered as men haters, anti-fashion, people who like to blame all miseries of women on men, who want to make this world female dominant (to take revenge for years of male dominance), etc, etc. Once can find many groups supporting feminism at the same time opposing it, some even hate feminist because of their demand of equality in society. I consider myself feminist and I don't fit into any of these stereotyped definitions, for me feminism is very simple thing, it's advocacy for equal rights for women, treat them equal no more, no less, give them equal opportunities in all fields, encourage their participation at all levels in society, that's all, very simple and anyone who believes in this or in male female equality is feminist according to me.

Actually basic question is why we need feminism? Isn't our society already progressive, technically advanced and civilized? isn't situation of women in most cultures and societies is much better than it was 100s of year ago? then why we still need this thing called feminism? Yes, it's true that we have made tremendous progress in science and technology in last few decades, we have also improved our social settings in most parts of the world compared to what it was just a century ago, but still there are groups which want women to play only certain role in society and family (mostly wife and mother). They are against her total freedom to make her own choices in her life, these groups even want to dictate choices about very personal things like her sexuality, health, fertility, etc. they take shelter of some religious book or some age old beliefs to justify these things, these groups are still very powerful and active and to deal with them we need feminism and we need it very badly even today. So there is no question that we need feminism.

Anyone who thinks that women should get equal rights and opportunities in our society is feminist, anyone who thinks women are no less or more than men is feminist according to me, they don't have to work with some NGO or part of some movement or member of some society, this belief itself is enough to make them feminist. Feminist are not men haters I don't know from where and why this misconception originated, they don't want to bring women dominated culture or society, they just want equal rights for women. Most societies are man dominated that's why sometimes during fight for equal rights of women it seems that this fight is against men, but that's not true, it's not fight against men but it's fight against everyone (including women, religion, traditions, etc.) who think that women are inferior to men and should not be given equal status in society or think that they should only do particular type of jobs. The real fight is against this mentality and backward culture, then doesn't matter who is representing it, mostly they are men that's why I think this impression is created but it's totally wrong impression. Wherever we see gender discrimination we should voice our concern, actually discrimination of any type should be challenged, there should not be place for any kind of discrimination in any progressive, tolerant and inclusive society.

I am proud to be a feminist and I hope more and more people will understand real meaning of this term and will feel proud to call them feminist and work towards getting equal rights for women because we still need feminism.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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