Why do we need Feminism?



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yashvisingh1999

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Feminism. One of the most talked about things in modern world, yet it is something that doesn't get talked about enough. Whenever the word "feminism" is said, people often get uncomfortable. After a lot of thought, I have come to the conclusion that one of the biggest reason is the word itself. It's difficult because people just assume that the word "feminism" inherently means for women. I am here to tell you that it’s not. Feminism is an umbrella term which demands fair chance for everyone, irrespective of their gender, race or caste. In simple words, it just means that if you call yourself a feminist, you stand up for women who get asked to make sexual advances to reach to a higher post. You stand up for men who always bottle up their feelings and spend their life trying to prove their masculinity. You stand up for dalits who get assaulted everyday just for belonging to a certain caste. You stand up for black people who get denied jobs because of their “threatening” appearance. You stand up for LGBTQ+ who get called confused and fetishized daily. So what is stopping you from calling yourself a feminist?

The society we live in, is obsessed with the downfall of women. One of the most evident examples of this can be seen in entertainment industry. So many women come and go, but how come we are still stuck in a world where Brad Pitt & Shahrukh Khan are still the “ideal” lovers even after decades since they made their debut meanwhile we saw many women like Katrina Kaif, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone reach the peak of their careers and now they are somewhere we barely know. So how does this happen? Media/tabloids have a habit of over-exposing female celebrities. They over-expose her by keeping her in spotlight 24/7 & let’s be honest…..it is annoying when a certain celebrity is on your face all the time. Jameela Jamil has explained this vicious cycle perfectly;

“The system is- build her up, over-congratulate her, over-expose her till people get sick of her face, take her out of context, make rumors and destroy. And then? Move on to the next.”

This is done to demonize and hyperbolize the “downfall” that media often creates to sell papers because our society loves to see a woman disgraced. This is the pattern for many women, once you see it, you can’t ignore it. This is just one of the many situations which wouldn’t exist if “equality” existed.

Recently I watched a k-drama “Because This is My First Life”, and I was actually so happy to see that Asian countries are starting to talk about the sexual harassment women have to face and “play along” just so they won’t be labeled a bitch or lose their job. In that show, there was a woman in her early thirties working as someone’s assistant. In office employees get togethers, or meetings, she was often the subject where she was asked what men she has been hanging out with or if she is wearing a bra or not, and how many women must be facing this everyday? Growing up as a woman, means you are supposed to help out your mom on household chores, serve food to the male members in the family first and the talks of “dream wedding” among relatives, wearing a proper outfit which makes you look elegant and not “slutty” because “men will be men”. In order to prevent these scenarios for future generation, feminism is needed. The thing is women themselves don’t want to label themselves as feminists because of the misrepresentation in media. When people think of feminists, they think of angry-bra burning women who never experienced love from a father or a brother, hence the label of “man hater”. Feminism just means that you want all unheard voices to have a platform, that you believe in political, social and economic equality of all genders; and all decent people should want these things! You don’t have to identify as a woman to be a feminist, anyone can be a feminist.

Chimimand Ngozi Adichi, a renowned feminist writer, gave a TedXTalk titled, “We should all be feminists”. She rightfully said that the word feminist is not an insult, but rather a label that should be embraced by all because feminism advocates for equality AND equity between all genders, in all aspects of life. Feminism feels “too much” because when you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression. Empowering women doesn’t mean taking opportunities from men, but being inclusive and  bringing more seats to the table.

Everything that I wrote above, I don’t intend it to be consumed blindly by everyone but I hope every single person in this world develops a critical lense before they see and hear anything that is shown or happens around them. One should form their own opinions based on facts and information from reliable sources, and even then, one should be open to criticism and acknowledge the fact that just because something is a popular belief, doesn’t mean it is right.

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