As mentioned in the English Oxford Dictionary, Feminism is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” It is an idea that men and women should have equal rights. It doesn’t mean oppression for another gender. The basic initiative of any feminist would be to seek women empowerment. We face problems in society like rape, wage gap, female foeticide, physical or sexual harassment at workplace or home. A feminist or rather any other individual’s responsibility would be to focus on these problems and find ways to eliminate them. But is it really happening? Or have we lost the true sense of feminism?
Feminism deals with freedom of one’s own choice, it portrays how self sufficient women really are, and bringing a significant change in the position of women in the society. Modern feminism in the 20th century has taken a wrong turn. It doesn’t deal with the problems faced by women or how they should get equal rights anymore. It’s more about oppressing men and violating their rights. Feminists are blaming men for all the wrong happening to women. If a man stands up defending himself, he’s been called sexist. They forget men have opinions and they have the right to speak too. They are making efforts to make them inferior. And instead of equality, feminists seek superiority. Feminism celebrates the freedom of choice. A woman is known for having the right choices. An individual’s choice to wear a veil or not, to work or be a housewife and take care of her children but feminists impose their own choice on other women expecting them to follow it. It was a year back when Deepika Padukone released a video of ‘My Body, My Choice’. It did not deal with any problems women face but it showed an illogical concept of sex outside marriage or extra marital affair as one’s choice. Since when did women made wrong choices? Or how does this speak of women empowerment? Many Indian women admired it while some criticized it.
Women have to go through problems related with rape or physical assault and demand justice for the same. Despite rape being an unforgivable atrocity what seems to be the popular feminist demand is vengeance instead of justice. In agreement of justice they would demand for committing similar crime in the name of feminism. Feminists engaged in rhetoric and propaganda further aggravating the heightened public scrutiny on the victim. The remedy seems to be worse than the melody. However, is this enactment of popular justice unfallable? They would already decide the penalty of the accused. According to India Today, 53.2% rape cases filed in 2014 were found to be false and in 2015, 900 false reports were filed for seeking revenge. Certainly this doesn’t reveal the true sense of feminism. Feminists or any women’s organization should aid the victim to overcome this trauma and seek justice through legal and formal rights. They should focus on speedy justice and not on ways to look for revenge. Shallow feminists seem to want all the joys of independence without embracing sufficiency. In their argument men pay for restaurant bills is nothing but an act of chivalry.
Using feminism card, women brag about their rights in politics, workplace, education or even reservation of seats in educational institutions. They strongly feel about wage gap in workplace or not getting adequate education. How about some men getting low pay or equally not having an opportunity to study? This is often ignored but it’s true. A woman entering into politics is one of the greatest achievements any nation would witness. It feels great to see a woman who thinks she would represent her own nation. But using feminism or stating she would fight for the rights of women and children, thereby getting the votes of feminists or women aren’t appreciable. She has the responsibility of the whole nation and not a specific gender. A woman is known for her positive traits of unconditional love, concern, care, gratitude, right choices etc which would make her an efficient leader. Using feminism would not make her one.
Though feminism takes a detour but on a positive note, it has brought a significant change in the position of women in the society. Hillary Clinton is making history as the first woman to be nominated in the U.S. presidential elections. In Rio Olympics 2016, PV Sindhu won silver medal and Sakshi Mallik won bronze medal for India. From accepting dowry to accepting medals from them, we’ve come a long way. Women have stepped out of their household and engaged themselves in corporate sector. Women organizations like SEWA (a women’s self help organization for poverty alleviation in India), Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (national level organization) have helped in upliftment of women in rural sector. Government has introduced policies for abolishing female foeticide and infanticide by banning sex determination and promoting women’s education. Serious action is taken against rapists.
Feminism has made people more aware about their rights. It has brought awakening but sadly one cannot sense the essence of equality. It fails to achieve it’s another objective. Women empowerment is a noticeable change. A feminist should work for women’s rights while at the same time respect other’s freedom or choices. A female can wear a veil and still chose to be a feminist. Feminism in true literal sense is freedom of choices, encouraging women’s rights while respecting men’s. It isn’t about detesting another gender. It’s about bringing equality between women and men as no one is greater than another.
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