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Saturday, 18 August 2012

Are you a feminist?

Are you a feminist? I bet 99% of you would answer in the negative. Well, let me re-frame the question? Are you against domestic violence or any other form of injustice met out to women? Now, I am sure, each and everyone of you, including an occasional wife-beater will answer in the affirmative. Everybody likes to known as a just and kind human being. Then, why doesn't anyone want to be called a feminist? Because, everyone thinks of a feminist as an ugly, man-hating female. I am a female myself and wouldn't accept the term in my college years, so I don't blame you all.

But feminist is nothing like her media prototype. She might be an attractive, straight female. She could be married with children; someone who loves her husband as well as her male child. In fact, a feminist might be a male who is secure enough to fight the battle with other females. I know, at this point most of you might think, this is crap- all this women empowerment business. There are so many women now-a-days who are not only equal but superior to man in many aspects. Why is the fight still going?
I know that. I am one of those lucky girls who wasn't even aware of any type of injustice against women half my life. No-one has ever discriminated against me ever for any reason. Here's my advice to girls like me. My sleeping beauties, its time to wake up. The world isn't filled with charming princes. In India, female foeticide is a major concern which has led to decrease in the population of females. Worse than that is the plight of many girls who escape the fate and live. Parents who feel it a crime to kill a girl child don't always feel it wrong when they ill-treat the girl child. The poor child is brought up in this world thinking herself an inferior. In spite of all her education such a girl can not shake off the feeling of inferiority. They are like birds who spend so much time in the cage that they almost lose the ability to fly. If you don't trust me, look around you and see for yourself for these commonplace dialogues.
You can't expect life to remain same after marriage. Sacrifices are necessary in life.”
Just one slap or two doesn't mount to physical violence. The husband has a right. Physical violence is only when the wife is beaten up badly.”
It's nice to say that men and women are equal but that can hardly be true.”
I absolutely agree that man and woman aren't the same. I am not blind. I know that there always will be physical differences and also some emotional differences. However, there are no intellectual differences. And there needn't be any social differences. For those who take pride in male strength, I want you to note down that Rani of Jhansi did not fight against an army of British females. She fought against the regular British army for her country, when the so called strong middle class men were scared of the war.
A feminist does not hate men. Actually, feminist is a male or a female who has the courage to fight for the rights of an oppressed female member of our society. Feminist is some one who would help you (If you are a girl) or your sisters (if you are a guy) if and when she needs real help. The rest of the people would just express fake sympathy and gossip behind your back.
Let's now come to few of the feminists who may actually hate men. These are sad people who have tried and failed to find justice for themselves. Such few extremists are a part of every ideology but the ideology is never defined by them. Next time, while sneering anyone and labelling them a feminist have a careful look at yourself in the mirror. You'll see a coward who can't handle someone with more guts than you. A feminist deserves respect for fighting her battle despite of ridicule from the society and the media. A feminist is a person who has the courage to tolerate the mockery of all, to help someone who isn't even related to them. So if someone asks you if you are a feminist, don't deny. It just means you care enough.


  1. Feminist - well defined!
    Well written Dr. Kiran.

  2. I really like your interpretation of feminist. I must admit even I hate this term. Despite being a woman myself, I sometimes consider myself anti-women! Yes, that's right. Let me be very clear - I am totally against injustice, favoritism of any kind towards anyone, violence or anything wrong. But at the same time I wont call myself a 'feminist'. I would rather call myself a sensitive and caring human being. I care for people in general - woman or man. I agree some men are unfaithful to their wives, they beat them, torture them, etc. But my question is how many of such women get out of such marriages? I know many women who stick to their marriages even though they are educated and confident. And another thing - women also cheat on their husbands, women also enjoy other men's attention! So it's not about pitying a women all the time. Both the sexes are equal. Both have equal intelligence, equal confidence and equal ability to be good or bad, moral or immoral.

    1. Thanks. I agree with you. It's not about pitying women. I am a woman too. I'd hate anyone pitying me.It's about equal treatment to all irrespective of gender.

  3. The negative connotation to the term came because of the approach of some of the earliest champions of the movement which began in the west.It is nice that you are able to give a better & humane definition- why not then have this word "Humanist"as against a gender ridden one?

    1. I agree, humanist is a better and more accurate word.


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