Understanding Feminism: Beyond the Obvious

Posted on June 10, 2010

Mridang Lodha:

The oxford dictionary describes feminism as the belief in the rights of women to have political, social and economic equality in society. Theoretically, therefore, feminism appears to be an enlightened movement. In practice however, it’s far removed from that.

Women for centuries have been oppressed and treated as unequals. History is testimony to the atrocities perpetrated against women. Feminism, in this light then, appeared to be the perfect answer to such trends. It was the ideal instrument to guide women towards empowerment and enlightenment.

Feminism has brain washed women into hating qualities that are innately feminine. They have been tuned to change such proclivities for these are viewed as the attributes of weaker beings. Unisex clothing and the changing of Mrs And Miss to a common Ms are just two examples of this broader rot. Labelling a feminist as someone who possesses qualities such as sensitivity and gentleness in vast amounts is seen as an anathema, an insult. Being emotional is something to be apologized for, wanting a strong man to cling to is a thought to be rejected. I view the cry for thirty-three per cent reservation for women in parliament with deep skepticism. For me it is an acknowledgement of women’s inferior status. More alarmingly, it views reservation as being the only medium through which women can achieve commanding positions.

Male traits are no better or worse than female traits, and yet when a woman tries to achieve the former they become unnatural expressions and of far less value than those which are natural to her. Supressing of feminine expression and individuality is the root of the problem. No one really knows what a strong self-assured female is anymore. The feminist movement didn’t allow for the creation of one.

Feminism has done three things at the same time. Firstly, it has stemmed this glorious discovery. Secondly, at one level a new type of women has been created- a woman, who views herself as a victim, chooses to under achieve and who uses the government to give her artificial advantages. Lastly, at another level it has induced a strong current of defensiveness among women who now view power as the attainment of the highest order.

The line between a women’s liberation movement and feminism is very thin and obscure. Yet the former, I believe, does more for the upliftment of women than the latter. Liberation movements view men and women as part of the same setup and seek to reinforce this belongingness. It recognizes women for who they are and strives to improve her status and not create a new prototype of woman altogether.

Admitting the fallacies of feminism doesn’t imply a rejection of it. It has the potential to transform lives only if it changes the way it views the whole notion of equality. It can create a new breed of successful, kind, and optimistic women when it stops admiring qualities prevalent in men and discovers and develops the uniqueness, which represents womanhood. It is time that the shackles of shame, guilt and unnatural living are removed and the discussion of what is the highest expression of a woman begins.

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