With feminism ‘in trend’ these days, it’s better to learn what it means rather than bluntly associating the term with something negative. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her non-fiction “We Should All Be Feminists” wrote about being a feminist Nigerian woman. Without any forced intellectual nonsense, she straightforwardly defines feminism and why it is important.
The word “Feminism” is limited by stereotypes. You hate men, you hate makeup, you hate smiling and you are always angry. Absurd. The author took references from Nigerian culture, which is different from our Indian culture but the issue is similar everywhere. She wrote how the certain traits in men are praised but in women are judged. She wrote how things may be different because of changes in policy and law but the attitude and mindset are still the same.
I agree that the “pseudo feminists” these days have widely distorted the actual meaning and aim of feminists. Some social media influencers as well as celebrities are giving their definitions and intellectual explanations to justify their immoral acts. Such things are making feminism just a material of laugh and jokes and memes these days. But my point is there are fake accusations of domestic violence, rape, etc. Does that give anyone the authority to demean the activists fighting against this? Then why Feminists? Isn’t every injustice to women directly or indirectly linked with Patriarchy?
Now, why feminist? And not just “a believer in human rights” Because women, for centuries, are being targeted and oppressed. They need equal ground with men. “The Equal Protection Of Laws” in our constitution very efficiently explained the issue. This is the reason we have the whole Reservation System.
If you think, things are not really like that now, as was in the past. Give it a moment. Look around you. Your mother, aunts, sisters, basically the women. What are they doing? And even if they are working, do they have the same status as the men in the house? You’re privileged; I’m privileged, but what about the masses? Why do fewer women representatives? They are not capable enough to compete when given chance? Forget about others. You’re too smart for a girl. Mathematics and science are not for you. Why fieldwork? How many times you have to face such prejudices?
Feminists are those who believe in the social, political, and economic equality of sexes. There’s no other definition. Nothing like, it’s my choice, leaving the job was my decision, I’m happy with whatever I have. These are excuses. I think that too much dependency of women creates excessive pressure on men. They are expected to be tough, strong, and breadwinners. As much as men, women are too responsible. I have seen multiple women who are privileged and capable enough but not working by choice. Do men have this option? Are they working because they want to? Will society accept a house husband? Isn’t it necessary to earn social and economical status for women too?
Why not raise this generation without any gender specification? Teach them all, how to cook, how to do household work, how to get a job, how to earn etc. Tell them, they are the change maker. Even if we start today, it will take more than half a century to create equality in real terms. So we have a huge responsibility for our shoulders. All of us must do better.
And at last, I want to say, that I highly admire Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writings. And We Should All Be Feminists is no different. A very quick and insightful book to upgrade our knowledge on such a debatable topic.