ByÂ Ojaswini Srivastava:
A hotly debated term in today’s India is ‘a feminist’. Sadly, What is a feminist? Who is a feminist? are the two fundamental questions which people are not taking very seriously.
I consider myself one of them and hence speak on their behalf here.
The first fact clearing required to establish feminism in our country is for people to understand what it is all about since this concept I see is highly misunderstood. Feminists are not people against men, they are against male chauvinism, patriarchy, gender inequality and gender favouritism. Not against men. Every man is invited to be a part of feminism. Carrying this argument forward, let me explain, we are not a herd of men and women against men, but a union of men and women for equality. There is a thin line here, please understand, dear men, we are not taking away anything from you, but only trying to establish equal human rights. We slowly can see how the situations are changing for the better, some instances being – we lately had a woman president in the country, the literacy rate of women has increased than the last decade, widow remarriages are freely taking place and dowry system is revolted against. These pleasant changes show how we are slowly moving to a bright future. (note that I am not forgetting the high number of rapes and sexual assaults on women of our country, it is a crucial part of the feminist struggle). Our fight is not against you men, it is for the humans. I request all those (men and women) not associated with feminism to try and understand what feminism is all about. We are not fighting against men. Our fight is for humanity.
If I ask, do you believe in god? 80% will say yes, 10% will be atheists, and 10% agnostics like me. But if I ask, should all homo sapiens be equals? It has to be a 100% yes since, there can’t be any reasonable theory to deny it. That is what feminists stand for. They are struggling for the world to accept and honour each human as an equal and not let the labels of man and woman drift them apart. In the name of feminism, there are notions being spread like, man is a part of woman, male is a part of female, he is a part of she. But that is all misleading. It is mere wordplay. (This is something like, the word God, seen the other way is Dog. Really does that make sense? It is just wordplay, one baseless argument to put in any anti-atheist debate. Isn’t it?)
Real feminist are not those who wish to identify women above men. The real ones are them who remain free of the view that a man is part of a woman, he should be grateful to her to give him birth, he can’t exist without her and so on. Excuse me because a man’s sperm is inevitably required to reproduce just like a woman requires carrying the child for nine months in her womb. Not digressing too much, the point I wish to make is that all human beings are equal, be it a man or a woman. We have been born in this world to co- exist. So, dependence is natural and essential. Talking of dependence, what are, say, tigers and elephants? Animals … must be your answer, think again. Don’t they differ greatly in habits, origin and character? But they are considered to be equally fit to live in zoos, forests and sanctuaries with equal access to all available resources, and they live like that. Who gave them this understanding of coexistence? Isn’t it we humans who supposedly are the only rational beings? Then why do we not have such an understating among ourselves?
I agree my argument here is absurd and perhaps insignificant. I lack vocabulary to reason why men and women must be equal. Since I too sincerely believe in this humane concept, I fail to understand and reason why those who don’t believe, don’t believe. My point is, a feminist works to get woman equal social, moral, political, economic and religious rights, and it is absolutely rational. We are equal human beings, and must be treated
equally. That is all on a feminist’s list of agendas. We wish for equal recognition, equal rights and equal status. Why do we even need to fight for it? This is the question. Ask yourself, why because you are a man and I a woman makes it a rule that you should be superior and I the inferior. Aren’t we equal in every other way? Other than bodily form, we are exactly the same. We are all children of god, we are all human beings, we are all mortal, we all have five senses, we all live on earth and we all have the same fundamental requirements of existence.
Conclusively, I will remind you again that a feminist is not against men. We never wish to ask you to give up any of your rights. Our endeavour is to defend and define equal rights for woman. If we question any rights that you have, it isn’t because we want you to give them up. It is because we seek to get them too. We need equal human rights. Our society must not be the one where there are any human rights misplaced in the form of male privileges. I leave you hear with this food for thought, ponder over it, and consider being a part of our movement for humanity.