Let me first clear the concept of feminism before I tell you why we need it. Lately, feminism has received bad press because most of us are misinformed regarding the very concept of feminism. Feminism is not about the women who hate men. Feminism does not even believe that women are superior to men. They also do not believe that they are victims of societal beliefs. In fact, feminism fights for equality more than any movement that fights for equality. It doesn’t matter what standards are set for females and males. Feminists never wanted to be treated differently but they wanted to be treated equally; as humans.
People have started talking about feminism in negative light. The general belief is that feminism is for females who want to live separately, raise their children on their own and wishes that men never exist. How misinformed or uninformed are we really? We have the most negative media on the face of earth. Denzel Washington once said, “If you don not read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you read the news papers you are misinformed.” In countries like Japan, USA, etc., no matter what the country is going through, on the first page of news paper, you’ll always find some good news. It could be a research, an innovation, a new relationship with some country or some kind of an achievement. Unlike them, our media finds the most depressing news and prints it on the very first page. Thanks to them, we have the most extreme version of feminism existing in this country.
I am not surprised that people are running anti-feminism campaigns. Women take extra effort so they are not called feminists. When we talk about empowering women, one automatically assumes that we need to take something away from men to give it to women. All that the feminists want to do is establish an ideology or practice where an individual is treated according to their strengths and not by their gender. FEMINISM is a bad word that no one wants to associate with. I don’t need feminism, women would say. Women are also empathetic about the gender biases against men. You’ll be surprised! So are feminists. You are demonizing the wrong group. Do we need feminism? I know the answer. But why?
Are you one of the people who think feminism is a matter of past and is not relevant in this era? Are we above all the discrimination that happens based on gender alone? Do we truly believe that we have eliminated the existence of patriarchal society? Even in MNCs today, I see a large number of women working and they are there because they are able. Still, the top chairs are filled by men. Why? Are we extremely able to handle work but not power? Look at politics. Is it not still dominated by men? Not just because they are able; just because they are men.
Growing up in a city and coming from a good family it is easy to take it granted that we have equal opportunities as our male counter parts. Parents, relatives, friends, in-laws, husbands are more than supportive of your talent, achievements and efforts. Also, thanks to all the feminists of the past, this has become possible. Doesn’t it become our responsibility to fight it out for women of next generation or women of this generation from some other parts of the world?
Have we eradicated the belief that a woman will obviously take husband’s name after marriage? Are we comfortable around a professionally successful 35 years old single woman living in the city alone? Are we comfortable with the fact that women like sex as much as men do? We still think women dress up for men. Also, women are made to feel ashamed if they are molested by some random stranger or even their family members. Do we still hear rape cases of 4 year olds, 6 year olds, even few months old baby? Do we still not hear that the woman demanded for divorce because the in-laws tortured her for dowry? It is a shame that many countries still do not have any laws against marital rape.
People are still killing girl child within 1 year of birth. And we thought infanticide was a social evil of the past against which a lot of revolutionaries fought. Thanks to people who killed generations of girl child, men do not have women to marry. It is not only India, a lot of other developing and third world countries are facing male female ratio imbalance. Because of this, crime against women is ever increasing.
These women did not have the voice to speak up. We are lucky that we do. Hence, feminism is still important. People who can, should speak against these evils and get rid of these practices forever. Many women from current generation and future generation need our voice. Some people do not feel that voicing their opinion will be useful and that is okay. As long as you know what is right and can help when needed, you do not have to be a part of ongoing campaign. In fact, if everyone knows what is right and do the right thing we do not need a movement. By right thing, I mean follow and understand the true essence of feminism. We will not have issue with any other human if we follow this.
If you are still asking me why do we need feminism, there’s your answer. The very fact that we are still asking this question, is why we need it!