In this era where everyone claims to be a ‘feminist’, the meaning of the term has gotten lost. Feminism is not about demeaning or disparage the other gender. It purely means equality of both the genders in every aspect. It is the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men, and be treated in the same way.
But it isn’t only women who need to believe in feminism or to be feminist. You can belong of any gender, support any political party, be of any religion, caste or creed, and still be a feminist. It all sums down to respecting, treating, and giving equal opportunities to both the genders.
But nowadays it is difficult to make one understand the true concept of feminism, especially when patriarchy and misogyny is so ingrained in daily life. In India, even as women are achieving great things, society continues to focus on the woman’s role as wife and mother.
Here are myths that need to be debunked:
1. Feminism is only about supporting women:
Feminism is not only about supporting women but treating both the genders equal. People often confuse or misinterpret feminism with being a feminazi.
2. Feminism is all about humiliating men:
Here’s where we all go wrong. If our basics of a concept are not clear, how can we jump directly to conclusions? Feminism is not about derogating the other gender, but to ensure and encourage both the genders to enjoy equal rights, opportunities, and treatment. Whether on a professional or a personal front, feminism must be implied and executed.
3. Feminism is for the weak:
This is where typical mentalities come into the picture. Believing in feminism or being one doesn’t make you weak. It makes you a broad-minded individual who stands for morality and is brave enough to raise their voice against anything wrong.
4. Riot about being a feminist:
I’m a feminist too but I have never initiated or participated in any such riots. Funny how people assume things and change the entire concept. If you believe in it, let your actions speak louder than words.
5. Social media outcry:
Adding “feminist” in your Instagram or Twitter bio won’t make you one. I’ve seen many youngsters, both men and women overusing or misusing this term to an extent that it becomes a part of their identity. Being a feminist is not supposed to be a part of your identity, it is about belief and virtue of oneself. If you see gender discrimination, moral iniquity, or come across a misogynistic individual, rather than ignoring them, correct them. That’s how our outlook towards feminism and various other things will change.
This Women’s Day, let’s try something new. Let’s inculcate feminism in our children, let’s talk to our elders about the concept, and most importantly, let’s accept that both women and men can change the world!