Feminism- Reality and the Rest

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Every woman is a feminist in her own right and might. Formally, the term is defined as, “The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”, and informally, the new ‘F’ word. 

 
In today’s age, countless connotations of the same have emerged that revolve primarily around the following two notions: the first concerns with women growing and succeeding at the expense of men, and the second propagates that both women and men should be entitled to the same rights of life. While the first one is absolutely bollocks and widely percolated among men and women (even some ‘feminists’), the latter is accurate to the real essence of feminism.

None are concretely aware of the origin of this movement. It is shrouded by history, and seems as if the movement never formally began. Many believe that women’s prolonged suffrage as a result of wars and apathy of the societal norms contributed to it. For instance, authors like Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Elliot among many other, took fiction as their outlet, and have depicted women’s discontent through an ink of change in their era.

As compared to those previous centuries, a lot has changed. Being from an all-girl college, it is not hard to spot feminists and girl-power enthusiasts,  but unfortunately in many (literally) pockets of India (including Chandigarh), there are still women who have to think twice before stepping out after the clock ticks eight; who have to wait till dark to relieve themselves for the fear of lurking danger; who are looked down upon when they refer to themselves as feminists; whose deafening woes slip through the net of silence for nobody considers them important enough to have a voice, and  who are objectified, time and again, in the world of showbiz (ahem, ‘Laila’, ‘Gandi Baat’, ‘Fevicol’ and some other punjabi songs…the list is endless). Because of these ghastly elements still prevailing, the movement of feminism here is far, so far from being ceased. I am not even sure if it has begun.

In India, the lack of acceptance and knowledge of the same is the cause behind no legitimate change. In fact, I personally feel, it is one of the many reasons, that sexual exploitation, eve-teasing, domestic violence, honour killing, female objectification, diminishing representation in parliament and lack of women entrepreneurs, have become a part of routine in India. According to a recent independent survey, it was noticed that people are confused; indifferent, or afraid of the word ‘feminism’. This bespeaks a shocking revelation- none are aware of what feminism really stands for. My friend once said, “Who said men cannot call themselves ‘feminists’? All they have to do is take a ‘real look’ at the womenfolk around, and not as ‘proper patolas’.” 

 
Feminism is simply upholding your rights and goals in a patriarchal society. With Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s Theresa May and if Hilary Clinton clinches the race of presidency in USA, the top 3 world superpowers will be helmed by powerful women- a historic first! World is changing, no doubt, but what’s the point if you won’t be able to see it completely in your lifetime and more importantly, if you won’t be a part of it?

In retrospect, equality of the sexes is unassailable to human kind. To all the girls and boys out there, every woman is a feminist in her own way. The last four words reinstate the same. Feminism should be such that it must never be used as an excuse for something like ‘male-ism’ to crop up. You don’t have to be anti-men to be pro- women. Don’t judge. Don’t be judged. The fact that we have to talk/write about feminism is an indicator that something is yet to be done. The day we’ll have nothing to talk about, will be the day change is here.

About The Author

Sakshi Awasthy

Sakshi Awasthy (MCM DAV 36)

A social recluse. Soldier of fiction. Soliloquist. Either silent or sarcastic. Possesses no interesting version of ESP, but likes to think she has the same glasses as Harry Hart. 

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