On the 20th of November 2014, Emma Watson – the UN Women and Goodwill Ambassador – said that “feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” This was the dawn of the #HeforShe crusade that aimed at instilling feminist values in the people of the world with a prospect of a better world.

On the International Women’s Day, 8th of March 2014, Malala Yousafzai very earnestly said, “We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” This was the outset of a new revolution seeking equal rights to education for all women in the world.

These statements by such dignified public figures seem certainly convincing. However, the meaning; in the very crux of feminism, that ‘true’ feminists hold, appears to be dissipating continuously in the worldwide view, and there is an explanation why.

Feminists today, in general, have an atrocious image – as man-hating, crop-haired harridans that tend towards the conclusion that, women who don’t sign up for the movement of feminism are simply hostages to the oppression of the patriarchy. These feminists are exasperated by men who wish to remotely have an opinion about anything involving feminine issues. This modern-day movement forbids women from conceding numerous undeniable truths, for fear that utterance of them will encourage discrimination. Feminism is – or can be – so distrustful that it can’t acknowledge that there is a difficulty with being less than forthright about the veritable and immovable polarities in the lives of many women. It has become a stereotype that too many women fall into and it ultimately sets the movement back even further. This itself perpetuates the most damaging wedge of all – between those willing to sign up for feminism, and those who have their reasonable doubts. What’s more, why would someone want to be trapped in the most damaging wedge of the prevailing feminist hypocrisy? Where every other feminist step is reduced to an idea that has been mostly ignored, a bit of the ‘boy who cried wolf’ syndrome. I can give you a rundown of contradictory articulation feminists in general use;

  • “Women are just as competent as men! Yet, unwind the gauges for us so that we can contend.”
  • “We don’t have to conform to gender roles. I’ll never cook or clean for a man. But I still expect them to provide for me and buy me things.”
  • “The idea of masculinity is toxic and ought to be discarded. A real man should be strong and supportive.”
  • “Women have all the duty of men. But if I hit a man, he should never hit me back. And if we both get drunk, it’s his job to turn down sex. Otherwise, he raped me.”

More times than often, when I come across such remarks; be it social media or in real-life, I immediately get boiling with rage, and why would I not. Its rhetoric is extremely misleading for the next generation of women. What meaning of the word will every one of our little girls gain if they see feminism through the same harsh light as we did; angry women burning bras and strolling near-naked in the streets (?)

Be that as it may, what must feminism really be? It must be a battle against gender inequality and not the subjugation of men’s rights. It must attempt to galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for this change. Because, how can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited.
Demeaning men is not the best way to enhance equality. Saying that women’s issues should be exclusively dictated by women is not the way to enhance equality. Being hateful and spiteful is not the way to enhance equality. And hence, all feminists must extend their invitation to the opposite sex. Because, if feminism is about gender equality, it is our concern too.

I’ve seen my dad’s part as a parent being valued less by society in spite I needing his presence as a kid as much as my mum’s. I’ve seen young boys experiencing mental illnesses, not able to ask for help, for fear that it would make them less of a man. There are 800,000 people who bite the dust of suicide every year out of which the majority are men. I see men made fragile and insecure by distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the advantages of equality either. We don’t often talk about men being in prison by gender stereotypes. But I can see that they are, and when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all see gender as a gamut rather than two sets of restricting goals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are we can all be freer before the doomsday.

By | 2017-01-30T22:41:08+00:00 January 30th, 2017|Categories: Social|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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