The F Word

What are you thinking? I think I know what.

But, hold your thoughts!

I am talking about Feminism. The second F word that a lot of people are not comfortable using.

My friends call me a Feminist, is it something to be ashamed of? I don’t think so. I have absolutely no problem in being called a feminist.

I have problem with people not knowing the meaning of feminism and making judgments about it! Or randomly using feminist as word to put down someone or end an argument. This is what I have problem with.

To be honest I do not expect everyone to know about it as well, that is absolutely fine. But, if you do not know about it, why use it? and if you are using the word, why not spend 10 minutes of your life to read about it and understand its actual meaning?

I have heard some random assumptions about the whole concept of feminism and before you assume, women are included in making those assumptions. When I hear those I gasp. I would love to share few assumptions that I have heard about Feminism or feminists.

Myths About Feminism

  • Feminism means giving more importance to women than men.
  • Feminism sees men in low light and Feminists hate Men.
  • Feminism means that physically women are stronger than Men.
  • Feminism is female bias.
  • Feminists are always Women, a Men can not be Feminist – Why? because the word has “Femme” in it, which means woman.

There are many more! All related to one thing that makes Feminism a negative stereotype which it is absolutely not.

What Exactly Feminism Means?

Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes.

OR

The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

This explanation itself is enough to break all the above myths.

Feminism does not mean treating Women superior than men

In fact, it’s exactly the opposite, it means treating both equally. Feminism has always been about equal rights. Equal right to work, to vote, to treat, to study, to drive etc.

Feminists do not hate Men

I love Men πŸ™‚ and I am a feminist. Why would a feminist hate men? Feminism is not about hating anyone, feminism is about giving equal chance to everyone.

However, there are a lot of myths around this. If anyone calls out sexism, that is considered as un cool and that you hate men.We need to make this very clear that it is not about just men or just women, it is about both the sexes coming together and making this world a better and equal place to live. πŸ™‚ Checkout this article that explains this point in more detail.

Feminism does not mean Women are stronger than men

Who told you that? No! It nowhere talks about the appearance or the body. Men and women naturally have different body types, no one can debate that.

If a female body is meant to carry a baby, it will. If men are strong enough to lift a heavy box, they will. No one is contesting that. No one is questioning anyones physical ability or appearance.

All we are contesting is getting equal opportunities at work place or at home. Being treated with equal respect, whether we are home makers or working women. Being given equal study opportunities regardless of the sex.

Feminism is not female bias.

Female bias is the last thing feminism stands for. We do not want to make a world where after 20 years Men are fighting for equal opportunities like women are today. Obviously not!

Feminism is not female bias, it only and only talks about EQUALITY.

Men can also be a Feminist

Why do you think only women have to be feminists? In fact we need more men to be feminist, because that is the only way society will start treating women as equals.

A man who cares about his sister or mother or girlfriend or wife or daughter would definitely want them to have equal shot at everything in life. No one should be deprived of any opportunity just because they belong to a certain Sex.

There are plenty of men who are proudly participating to bring this change of equality. One of few being the famous actor, director, singer, producer Farhan Akhtar has started the initiative called “The Real Mard“.

Why Feminism is misconstrued?

I agree that a lot of people who advocate feminism do not always advocate it the right way. But that should not take away the whole meaning of the concept.

When you have two bars out of which one is lower than the other, the only way to make them equal is by raising the smaller bar not by degrading or pushing the higher bar down. This is very important to understand.

The reason why a lot of people see feminism as negative is because they think it is doing the latter, pushing the higher bar down. If someone is doing that, it is wrong! Feminism means the former, pulling the lower bar up. So there is absolutely nothing negative about this word or the concept.

Conclusion

Feminism was never and will never be about demeaning any cast, sex or gender. It has always been about equality. Giving Men and Women equal social, political, personal and economical stature.

This is not about hating but about giving and loving. Feminism can never be complete without both men and women coming together to make a change for better! We are in it together! It is not a fight among us, but a fight together against inequality.

A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.

Gloria Steinem

I really hope that I was able to make this F word a little less scary to you. Let me know in the comment section below!

37 Comments

  1. sonalisharma09

    Just because a word ends with ‘ists’ people assume it’s a movement of a community or a herd. Many think the same in case of feminist that it’s a weapon of women for using against men. Many a times people question why women are being privileged? I would like to say seriously? It’s difficult for all of them to understand why feminism is needed? Maybe because wrt to India, atleast, over the time women have grown, the graph has grown exponentially however for men not so much. Women from being the mere housewives and child carrier have grown into CEO’s and bread earners. On the other hand, men earlier were the bread earners, and still mostly stay being the same. The graph of liberation for women has increased but not for men so much. This itself defines why women started speaking up becomes a matter of talk, and people don’t like it. Because this was not conceived well, but this is what is called gender parity. Which gave birth to the feminist rights and feminism. I can write more. But I’ll end here.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. potatosandwich

    Great Post as always and on a subject that is often misunderstood thanks to our not so lovely media.
    A long time ago when men were immigrating to other countries for work, the women had an equally important role in preserving the family back home, playing multiple roles.
    Asking for equal rights should be our standard protocol…hopefully one day women will not need to ask for any equality based rights, because it should be a given. I’ve grown up close to my faith of Sikhism and our first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji said the following over 550years ago.

    We are born of woman, we are conceived in the womb of woman, we are engaged and married to woman. We make friendship with woman and the lineage continued because of woman. When one woman dies, we take another one, we are bound with the world through woman. Why should we talk ill of her, who gives birth to kings? The woman is born from woman; there is none without her. Only the One True Lord is without woman” (Guru Nanak, Var Asa, pg. 473)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kiki132

    “When you have two bars out of which one is lower than the other, the only way to make them equal is by raising the smaller bar not by degrading or pushing the higher bar down.”

    This is so true. It is important to understand the concept of feminism within the context of our current society. Women have historically been marginalised, which is why we might have schemes today that aim specifically to improve the position of women. These schemes are not meant to privilege women over men; they are meant to raise women up so that they can be equal to men. This is a point that a lot of people do not understand. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fen

    I love this! Thank you for sharing! Feminism has always been misunderstood by non-feminists and even people who claim they’re feminists despite not having similar beliefs. I’m glad that you were able to shed light on this topic. It was a great read! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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