Feminism – The Elephant In The Room

The word “feminism” is the most misinterpreted word in today’s sociopolitical scene. Many, including women, hold the notion that feminism is ‘man-hating’. Competing with men, taking away the rights of men, and demanding a women-centric world are some common misconceptions about feminism. Misapprehending the movement, many discard feminism. People misconceive this empowering movement to such an extent that they don’t even make an attempt to learn about it. 

What Is Feminism?

Feminism is an ideology to ensure equality of all sexes in all spheres of life. In other words, it is a liberation from discrimination. Marginalisation in gender has been there since a very long time.  Women/girls are kept away from their basic rights in many parts of the world. Education is one of the rights that most women are not given access to.

We always demanded feminism, even our ancestors did. Our mothers/aunts often say that ‘I wish I was sent to school’. We have been yearning for feminism without knowing it. Today, we are just  offended by the terminology. 

Why We Need Feminism In This Day And Age

People argue the need for feminism in this date, especially when we see women progressing. Since its inception, over the ages, there has been a drastic progress in women’s rights. That doesn’t mean that the issues, including patriarchy, don’t exist.

Studies say that, even in the modern world, one in three women are subjected to violence and coerced into flesh trade. A report by UNESCO estimates that over 100 million girls are kept out of schools. Over 120 million girls are married before the age of 18.

There is no denying that women’s rights are being addressed and talked about more these days. There is still a lot of work to be done. Justice isn’t only for the privileged few. The day when each and every girl gets access to her rights is the day we no longer “need” feminism.

Feminism Is A Movement, Not A Behaviour

First things first, feminism is a movement not a behaviour. You can’t look at the behaviour of one person and judge the movement. For instance, people argue that women misuse their rights through “fake feminism”. If a woman does anything wrong, people tend to blame feminism. 

People can be good and bad, right and wrong. A movement is fixed. Its principles are abiding. Yes, a person can misuse their rights. That doesn’t mean the movement must be maligned. There are millions of people out there who long for basic rights.

Just because me and you are doing fine doesn’t mean everyone else is.

Men Advocating Feminism

Men and women are allies. Even legendary writers like Manto spoke for women’s rights. Backing up women, these men have foreseen the importance of feminism. Penned their thoughts to alleviate women’s problems.

You may say, Sabeeha, you are saying this because you are a woman and you can be biased. I was raised alongside two male siblings who are feminists. I have male friends who advocate feminism.

A day is celebrated to address her issues, a movement is formed to deliver her rights. Even today, girl children are killed in the wombs just for being the wrong sex, menstruation is viewed as impure, and women are objectified. Amid all this, I wonder why we question the need for feminism.

I addressed only a few points here. My intent is to create awareness. Instead of fighting, we need to learn what it really is. We may not be the ones who desperately need it, but there are millions out there who definitely do.

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