The word “feminism” has undoubtedly achieved many different connotations by now, many of them distorted and manipulated. We have seen the result of such misrepresentation and misappropriation leading to the defamation of the ideology itself. The word has become so accessible and well known without the theory behind it gaining much popularity or reaching the masses that it has become much easier to manipulate the meaning of the term.
In simple words, feminism is all about speaking up for equality of marginalized genders. Since historical times women have been marginalized along with people belonging to the third gender or people with different sexual orientations. It speaks up for women. Intersectional feminism or the third wave of feminism do give importance to women and people with different sexual orientations.
Often, I see many men and women demonizing the term feminism and feminists. It is prevalent to see the comment #fakefeminist in posts or information where the issue does not revolve around feminism itself or the woman has not committed anything wrong on any gender specifically. It has become easy to identify all the negative activities of women or the activities which are considered to be harmful as a result of ‘feminism’.
It has become the goal to point out faults in every action associated with women, whether they are related to the idea of feminism or not. It is quite true when it is said that being angry at imperfect feminism has become more common than raising a voice against the systemic patriarchal notions and misogyny.
Another way the whole theory is getting misappropriated is when a story is put up, or a voice is raised against some injustice committed against women and the whole narrative is then diluted with all kinds of information where people point out how similar kinds of injustices are also committed on men.
Here, it should be clear to everyone that feminism is not against men or men’s rights. Putting out men’s issues, which are equally genuine, right at the opposite end of women’s issues and to negate the whole narrative of those issues is a result of misinformation and not going through in-depth research on the theory of feminism.
These issues must be addressed in a structured way which will pave ways for healthier discussions on topics whether it is related to men or women. The whole collective should be together in understanding these crucial aspects which will then help us in overcoming hate and misappropriation of these critical ideologies. Understanding the theory is very important so that it does not get exploited or misused by any of the genders.