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Feminism Then, Feminism Now

Updated: Jul 30

FEMINISM, something that started as an equal rights movement for women has now been shaped into a battle of gender identities. Let's say, I can solve a complicated calculus problem. But, who is 'I' here? He/she/they? Who? Also, Why does it matter?! On a surface level, it does not matter. But when we dig deeper we understand that this is not even the battle of gender identities but rather it is about the choice that we need to make between equity and equality. Presuming 'I' here is a 'SHE'. She can solve a calculus problem. Good for her. Maybe if she is good enough she can get a seat in an IIT. Let us say 'I' here is a 'HE'. Good for him too. But here’s a catch. Even after solving the same problem in the same time, correctly in their entrance exam and bagging a close AIR, they might not get the same branch maybe not even the same college. Because there is a reservation for girls. They are privileged here.


This is exactly what EQUITY is. On some level, you might think this is unfair. But when you see a larger picture you understand that this what was needed to be done.



What is the difference between equity and equality? Equity is basically an idea that promotes equality when the battleground is even and leveled.


And as the playing field is not even for all gender identities we see many examples of equity around us. Even though it's hard to digest, it is what it is.



But was equity the original idea of feminism? Well since the very beginning the idea of feminism has been crystal clear, EQUALITY. But today in the name of feminism, we are taking the society towards EQUITY. Because patriarchy is so, so deep-rooted we need equity for women on many grounds.



Let's approach this objectively, Do we need a separate coach for women in the local? Yes! Because women are STILL subjected to eve-teasing. This is one such fair example of Equity. But does this mean that men are not molested? No! They are subjected to such incidents too. But how often do we hear of a man getting raped? However the number of such incidents with men is low compared to women, we still do not hear it as much. Since it's not generalized by our society. Because well, men are heroes and their dignity cannot be touched.

You see where we are wrong? We have collectively failed to understand that men are victims of their own conditioning too. Just like patriarchy has failed women it has failed men too!


‘You are strong.’


‘Why are you crying?’


‘Men do not emote. They are intense and extreme.’


‘Wow! You know how to cook?’


‘Oh! You don’t watch any sport? Man up dude!’


'You wear makeup?'


'Don't cry! Are you a girl?'





Unfortunately, I am sure we have all heard some of these statements somewhere. On an emotional level, men need equity too you know. But this alone can not tone down the argument of feminism. We all have to agree that this male chauvinistic society has failed women much more than men. When men were being trained to be devoid of sentiments they were also being taught that they can exert authority over women. Basically they bartered power with emotions. But what rights were women bartered with? Nothing! They did not have the right to vote, study, work. They were objectified. They were used and thrown. This is what society gave women.



So when they started questioning the society for their rights, basic human rights, was the justice served to them? No. And hence the movement started. A movement to uplift women, uplift women to bring them to the mark that men had already touched. This was FEMINISM. It was a movement against patriarchy and not against men.



Back in the day patriarchy was not just accepted by men it was also accepted by some classes of women. And hence this was a movement to eradicate patriarchy which saw participation from all sexes, be it men or women. Today I see feminists and my mind quickly creates a picture of a person with men-hating propaganda. Back then when the first wave of feminism was hit, It was against the suffrage that women went through. But today feminism, for the most part, is men-hating and the most highlighted argument is that women are better than men. Which is literally opposite to the definition of feminism.



No doubt women still have a long way to go but the kind of equity that women enjoy on many grounds today in the name of feminism is actually really toxic for society. A Woman can post one write-up against a man and he will be questioned left light and center. He will be defamed publically. And this stands true even for a statement that is not backed up by any receipts or proofs. This was the case with Manav Singh*. A high school boy who was falsely accused under rape charges by a girl on her social media handle. And within days he was tagged as a rapist by the social media judiciary. A judiciary that gives the verdict even without any shreds of evidence. And then what happened to him? He committed suicide. Yes, he ended his life.

Read about the whole case here:

https://www.opindia.com/2020/05/manav-singh-suicide-gurugram-bois-locker-room-sexual-abuse-mens-rights/


You see what equity did to that poor boy? This is exactly what the modern face of feminism is. Its nothing but a fancier idea of sexism. We can definitely say that there are only some people who promote this idea and hence they are called Pseudo feminists. But in my opinion, there is no such thing as pseudo feminism. You are either a feminist or a sexist. And these propagandists are the epitome of sexism who hide behind the mask of feminism.

The modern wave of feminism is “ We can do as we please” wave. Of course, you can. No one needs validation. But if you are glorifying smoking, stoning, or drinking in this category then you are mistaken. Yes, you can do as you please but if something is unhealthy it doesn’t become healthy just because men have been doing it. Because that’s the basic argument. A strong female protagonist smokes. Again nothing wrong. But why can’t a woman not exert an unhealthy habit but still be strong? Why does the idea of strength come from If he can do it so can I. He is deteriorating his health, And So will you! Why? Because equality? BS! This is only a twig in the hay.



Another hurdle is when women drag other women down. These are the same women who talk about body positivity and later get botox done. Is there anything wrong with fillers? No! You have money, spend it! Who cares but then don't be a hypocrite and talk about acceptance when you yourself are a victim of beauty standard. They make a huge fuss about how their date should be well-groomed and if the same is being expected from them then that is a huge issue. Why? You can have a type, beard/non-beard, tall, well dressed. If they expect the same then why are they called anti-feminists? Isn't this the same narrative as calling someone anti-national just because they question the government in a democracy.


But there is not all bad. There are some people who actually make sense. Who are above ‘It's her choice’ statement. They have been bringing valid points into the light and are rightly questioning the authorities from time to time.



Objectification of women because of Bollywood songs. Increased awareness of menstrual hygiene. The alien concept of a sole breadwinner and a homemaker. The decreasing wage gap. Normalizing paternal leaves. The argument over tax on sanitary hygiene products and why they should not be luxury but a necessity. Raising voice against domestic violence. And many more.





There is still a lot that has to be rectified on many ends. A lot of questions to be raised. We are on a path that is slightly deflected but I am happy that we are heading forward. Let's do our part and the rest shall prevail.

-Isha

//

(* May the deceased rest in peace)

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