- Ever since, people have found me talking about Feminism in a positive light. But, never did I write about it and tell people what I actually think. Here is an insight into my thoughts on FEMINISM/EQUALITY/MASCULINISM (Equality, you see)…
I am a male feminist…
For me, Equality isn’t an illusion. It is something that we can attain, through proper educational and social changes in our society. Portraying Men as heroes and Women as the sufferers in human history is something that we should get over now, because we live in an era when Gender Equality is not just a necessity, but a right. Today, Women should not be afraid to go out at night. They should have the freedom to wear whatever they wish. They should be treated like men, equally.
But, this is not Feminism. This is Women Empowerment. And this is where we go wrong.
People, specially in India, often confuse the two terms, Women Empowerment and Feminism. While the former means promotion of women as a whole, the latter means taking a step together. The former thinks of men and women as two different sects of our society, while the latter involves merging of the interests of women and men, and holding hands. The former demands reservation for women (as a way of, for example, girls colleges) and the latter demands equal opportunities.
Even today, in some places, women are not educated, since they are considered below men in those cultures. So, we begin by propagating “feminism” and teaching them that women are equal to men in all aspects. Then we open up local schools, persuade women to join them, provide job opportunities to those women. This is women empowerment. We may even reserve seats in educational institutions for these underprivileged women. However, when even well-to-do women exploit these benefits carved out for those women, that is “women empowerment” gone astray and feminism thrown out the door.
Hence, it is not Women Empowerment that we are fighting for, but FEMINISM. Women Empowerment is only the road that we take.
But some things have gone wrong here. Today, the wrong interpretation of the meaning of women empowerment as social equality has changed things. Today, people are aiming at women empowerment and creating a complex in the minds of men. If it goes on this way, then 30 years down the line, we will be fighting for man empowerment. The goal is not to keep fight for women empowerment, then men empowerment, then again women empowerment and so on, but to stop, think and act!
It is not only our social duty, but also our moral duty to realize that men and women are just two aspects of the environment, each with their bunch of chores. It is not easy to always open doors. It is not easy to make dinner daily.
Women Empowerment means creating videos with women shouting for the empowerment of women. Feminism means including men in that video and talking about equality. Women Empowerment means creating female centered movies. Feminism means equal screen time for men and women. Women Empowerment means pulling chairs for her. Feminism means alternating on pulling chairs for each other.
So, you see, the difference is not huge. But, in the urge to fight back against the system, we have forgotten where to draw lines. We now don’t know where to draw the line. We don’t know where to stop.
Lastly, it is very important for everyone to know that women and men have their own roles in the society. One cannot, under and circumstances, switch with the other. It is important to know that while we fight for Feminism, the idea of Women Empowerment has to be kept aside, so that, we can, instead of focusing on how to increase the role of women in every field, we can focus on what should be done to give equal opportunities to men and women. Because, ladies and gentlemen, Feminism affects men as much as it affects women!
And a word more: If anything goes wrong in this process, then we are to blame ourselves. I mean, we haven’t discovered any red, blue or green aliens to put the blame on! Or have we?
DISCLAIMER: I am a supporter of Feminism and I believe in the fact that if a woman can bear the pain to give birth to a child, she can swing a sword as well as any other man, but I do not believe in the concept of Women Empowerment. Also, I believe that FEMINISM is the wrong word to use. So, let’s just stay EQUAL?