MY QUEST TO UNDERSTAND FEMINISM
In a nuclear family of 5 members, we are 3 siblings 2 sisters and one younger brother. Though my parents left no stone unturned to make us sisters understand that they love us all equally, each time when I had to give up a thing for my brother reason given he is younger, I was concerned. Concerned for both of us not being treated equally, concerned if being younger is not the only commendation he has, concerned what if my parents are gender biased.
So it all started since childhood and till the time I joined college, I fought vehemently for my rights whenever the situation aroused, got offended on gender based jokes, put my opinions out even to strangers sensing slightest of the discrimination, raised my voice at male friends for making joke of some random girl and therefore I proudly tagged myself as FEMINIST.
Let me explain here what I understood what feminism is about, feminism is about demanding equal rights and opportunities for women in everything, having a say in all matters and having the right to put out their opinion on everything. I being the outspoken advocate for equality was aware of every tiny debate going on about feminism at my time, heard every feminist on the block and all those debates filled me in with the notion of female species being superior to male species which the present myself do not believe in anymore.
By the way I do not believe in debates anymore, “In my opinion debates are a literate medium of wasting time. At the end of any debate nothing changes, the participating parties just depart with the same opinion they started with, one just argues to defend one self’s beliefs”.
Coming back to the quest to my stand on gender equality, at some point I was very sure that a woman is no less than a man and she never needs a man ever for anything. And behold I strictly lived by the code, every little detail mattered as a matter of fact the decisions made by other females bothered me if not matched my standards of feminism. For e.g. if a lady decided to quit his job to be with her husband or if a lady decided to change her surname after marriage or if a lady asked her male friend to drop her to home in late hours, I got offended. Basically I was offended at the silliest of things which were not even my business.
Luckily then I started with the job and moved places, met numerous people male and female, read wonderful books and articles and eventually realized that my so righteous so aggressive emotion of feminism was instilled by some polished and well-articulated speeches of celebrities and were based on the unreal situations.
The real world needs more work and less talk. The real situation is when a girl has been pressurized to leave the love of her life and marry the one chosen by the family because her father is a heart patient, when she does have an opinion but if she will put it she will be blamed of breaking the house by her in-laws, when she is forced to marry someone she doesn’t like because she is 29 and getting old, when she is forced to stay in an abused marriage while she doesn’t want to and I can continue listing numerous more. All these are very real incidents happened to my dear friends and cherry on top is all these ladies were professionally educated and working in top MNC’s.
All of them were aware about their rights as an individual but couldn’t do a thing about it. The situations can’t be dealt by just knowing about your rights. The ideal way to practice feminism is to act in real situations and no other human can do it better than a woman herself.
Feminism for a woman is about having a choice and the right to make a choice for her. Have the courage to stand for yourself and start doing what you believe in. To claim equal gender rights one need not to degrade the other gender.
And as a Feminist your role should be to make the women around aware about their rights and power, if they are not. No other person can fight a battle with the same fervour as the person it actually belongs to. So if needed give them a little push, let them know what they are capable of and let them fight for their choice.