Being vocal about feminism does not resonate well in the ears of those who are exposed to the varying shrills and pitches of the ever-present saga of male chauvinism and patriarchal norms.
With the seeds of female segregation sown into young minds at a tender age, being raised with the acceptance to inequality meted out and having admired the chivalry of the young prince and glorifying the beauty of the so-called “well-mannered” princess, who always had to be rescued from the “villain”, our brains are wired in a way that we are continuously stereotyping women and denying them of their aspirations for themselves.
To make my stance clear on the importance of feminism being taught in colleges, let’s define the highly unpopular and widely misinterpreted term: ‘Feminism’. It is an ideology that deals with providing equal opportunities to all genders, whereby nobody’s individual right is violated, no physical or emotional restrictions are created, which hinder both the beings from being the complete and true version of themselves. The term has become widely ambiguous with “man-hating”. But, true to its essence, the real need of the hour is to emphasise upon the basic ideology of feminism, which is equality. Feminism does not suppress men but it lends a helping hand to the oppressed, it does not seek liberation from duties but asks for an inclusion in all duties.
Colleges should take a stand to let the boys and girls embrace the essence of feminism so as to galvanise many men and boys to be the advocates of change. Let men be feminists, so as to outcast the veil of prejudice prevailing in the thoughts of people. We need to perceive gender on a spectrum rather than as two sets of opposing ideals.
Quoting Emma Watson,“When they (men) are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive, in order to be accepted, women will not feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.”
It’s about freedom from prejudice that categorises women as sensitive, and insecure. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive, to be strong. The minds and thoughts shall be broadened to let in a wider spectrum of thoughts and ideologies, wherein we feel normally about men with vulnerabilities and women with a sense of determination.
It’s high time that we talk about intelligence, intellect and innovation rather than the masculine prowess and develop a humane approach to evaluate any circumstance rather than grading it on the basis of gender orientation. Let the term FEMINIST, not be subjected to any mockery but facilitate the congruence of diversified opinions and voices so as to provide a broader outlook towards an otherwise narrow viewpoint.