In my understanding, feminism is a way of thinking and behaving, that encourages one to treat every person with respect and dignity, to avoid falling prey to stereotypes and to strive to achieve to the best of one’s ability, without a false sense of worth or entitlement. When you are a feminist, you don’t automatically assume the worst of men, or women. You let intelligence, hard work, determination and merit take their course. Isn’t that what the world needs most at the moment? Couldn’t we all benefit from a healthy dose of feminism?
It saddens me to read female celebrities being quoted as saying with pride (and some amount of defensiveness) that they are not feminists. And even those who stand by the ideology, feel the need to explain themselves. ‘I’m not that kind of feminist… I am not a man hater… I don’t feel entitled to special privileges for women.’ Why this incessant need to justify? Why should a word, an ideology, that is meant for betterment of the world we live in, be steeped in such strong negative connotations, that even a believer has to explain?
There is nothing wrong with being a feminist. I feel that the people, who are the most vocal in opposing it, are the ones who don’t know much about it. Feminists are not women out to show men down. We are people – from all genders – who do not believe in being sexist. Individual differences are everywhere, however, restricting the opportunities available to a person owing to their gender, is what feminism is opposed to. Being a feminist does not automatically mean that you have to be angry, wronged or full of angst. I am a feminist, and I believe that each person is worthy of my respect and regard, unless proved otherwise. I try my best to base my opinion of people on direct interaction, or at least a credible source of information. I actively avoid stereotypes – especially the negative ones.
You don’t like the word feminism? No problem. Call it anything else. The name does not matter, the thought and the ideology does. We need to rise above the pettiness and understand that we need more people who have their heads on their shoulders. More people who are rational and open-minded and compassionate. That’s not such a bad idea is it?
About the Author
Aditi is a practicing counsellor addressing emotional and psycho-social needs of adults and children. She is currently based in Berlin, and loves to read and write. You can find her blogs at http://creyzeee.blogspot.com and http://demystifying-counsellin
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