I have often heard these sentences, “I am not a feminist but a humanist”, “I believe in equality and not feminism” etc. While some make these statements without knowing what the term Feminism actually entails while some make it a point to misrepresent the term because they don’t agree with it and it is shameful, if they say that they do not support equality; so the easiest way to evade that, is to redefine feminism.
This is a blog made for the purpose of clarifying the meaning of the term feminism and explaining how it is different from misandry with which it is often mistaken.
If one googles feminism they will see it, neatly defined as: the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes. This is as opposed to misandry (the opposite of misogyny) which is defined as, dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men. Feminists are not a group of livid women and men who have a special hatred for males and anything associated with it. The reason why it reads feminism despite its equality stance is that, the scales are already tipped in favour of the males. All major cultures in the world are patriarchies where men do not need to hunger for their basic rights. Hence all feminist movements and marches are central to the cause of women’s rights. Those who identify themselves as males also have socio-cultural prejudices against them which need to be fixed. But like I mentioned before, the scales are so shamelessly out of balance that that has become the first priority; to balance it.
The rest of it can be googled and intensely searched on Wikipedia but this is not where this blog ends. The bigger issues are always visible to us: the skewed gender ratio, crimes against women, unequal pay and so on. But I always make it a point to delve deeper into the matter and ponder upon the finer lines of the issues. After all, everything is a culmination of seemingly small but existentially important things like the atom, the grains of sand on earth, people in a democracy. Finer things lead to the bigger ones. Some find it unnecessary but they fail to realise the fact that addressing these issues at the root will help in neutralising the existing, visibly big issues.
As far as the circumventing of the use of the term feminism is concerned, it surprises me a great deal to notice that most people are so tolerant towards patriarchy. We have had centuries of male dominion and chauvinism on this planet without people raising their voices against it. Centuries and centuries….. too long. So long that it makes me question humankind and human intelligence. All of us have grown up in a patriarchal society where the father is the head of the family by default, where invitation cards are written in the name of the oldest male and people hesitate and refuse to write the name of the lady of the household (true story by the way), where the mother’s name isn’t even required for half the things a child enrols into, where so many countries tax women’s sanitary NECESSITIES. I can fill 100 volumes of these instances. This is what we are growing up or growing old in. This mess! Yet feminism is a word that makes people uncomfortable? Even for those who do not know the real principles of feminism, how is it that they live their entire lives witnessing and sometimes condoning male chauvinist activities without so much as a small voice raised against it but they are disapproving of feminism! Is that how insecure the other gender is that the usage of a term can trigger them more than words like nuclear weapon, terrorism and hate? And this is just me talking about the reaction to feminist, misandrist are considered the worst things found in nature while there goes the misogynist, to become the president.
I am a stickler for equality, there are some things that exist on this planet which doesn’t make much sense to me, but as long as it is equally participated in or suffered through, I am cool with it. So it automatically annoyed me to see the militant reaction against misandrists (I do not support it) contrary to misogynists who are not only tolerated but also normalised and justified by others (meh, she/he is a misogynist, so what can we do, we all are at some point, etc.). There are so many hateful content and rhetoric against feminists that it only strengthens the case in favour of feminism. People are more okay with electing sexual offenders than talking about or with feminists, as if it is an abusive term. Really goes to show how much we need it.
This blog wasn’t aimed at people who hate/disrespect women but are afraid to admit it since the world deems it wrong, at least on the outside. Just like many people who are homophobic, racist and islamophobic but are smart enough not to admit it. They might argue that it is their opinion but I would beg to differ. Denying or trifling with someone’s basic rights and freedoms and vilifying and insulting them isn’t an opinion, it is a shameful offence.
This blog is for people who are feminists deep down but due to lack of information got the meaning of feminism wrong. Learn more about it since it is also a part of who you are. If you support equality and if you want things to get better then go out loud and proud about being a feminist. Every voice matters. And do not add that you don’t hate men after every time you identify yourself as one. There is no need for that because hatred for men has a term for itself. Instead preach what feminism really means. And no, feminism isn’t just for women but is inclusive of all genders who believe in equality and humanity.