It is International Women’s Day 2018 and this brings to my mind a whole host of opinions I have about women and the role they play in today’s world. Feminism as a movement started in and around the second half of the twentieth century and since has come leaps and bounds in its approach and the multiple schools of thoughts that it has.
Feminism in India
In India, though, feminism seems to have some trouble in finding its roots. There is a confusion and battle between the equality of opportunity and cultural equality that seems to go on and on even though both the causes fight for the same thing. When a woman speaks out about how she was sexualized form a young age, she is heard but she is also told by some people that she should be working on her life instead of speaking out over petty stuff.
I remember a while ago when I saw a meme comparing a woman who had talked against her sexualization and she was labeled as a ‘fake’ feminist and the women who had worked on the Indian mission to Mars, Mangalyaan, were being celebrated as ‘real’ feminists. I immediately thought that why do the two need to be pitted against each other? Why can’t both of them be real feminists? Agreed, that they are of different types. One is a woman who is speaking out against the most basic forms of discrimination and harassment that women face and the other was serving as an inspiration to every woman in the country that she can achieve whatever she wants with effort and hard work.
Avani Chaturvedi, the first woman pilot to fly a fighter jet solo was celebrated across the country as an achievement and an example of women overcoming the stigma that exists in us but yet again I saw some people talking about how women should do something like this instead of crying patriarchy at every issue. I agree that patriarchy seems to have become a buzzword among people now but it doesn’t make it any less valid. It does make it lose its meaning eventually though but not its validity.
Where Feminism Can Improve.
Another issue I believe that feminists face in India is that most of us are not willing to stand up for the men who have been tormented, harassed or falsely accused of heinous crimes by women. The rampant misuse of the dowry law against some men is well documented across the country and is one of many examples.
That is the thing about feminism in India. There are so many instances of women misusing laws for their own good or for blackmail but then they are easily outnumbered by the number of brutal rape cases that happen in India daily.
Men reporting rape cases committed by women are laughed off here but at the same time, marital rape is not even considered a crime by our law and a large number of people in the country.
When India was fighting for its independence, it was very important for our leaders to ensure that the minorities were protected and represented as well. They needed to ensure that the minorities would not be marginalized once the leaders of the movement achieved their objective. In the same way, it is important for feminists in India and across the world to work along with the male victims of female abuse and unite as one against sexual disparity, both economic and social.
The Future of Feminism and ‘Holistic Feminism’.
This is something I would like to call ‘HOLISTIC FEMINISM’. It is one that takes the issues of men and women in its stride and works to end discrimination both in our daily lives and in the society.
I have put up views on feminism here today. I, as always, would be willing to listen to more opinions and points of views, especially if they are different from mine. I would understand if this post comes off as patronizing or as a distraction from the ‘real’ issues but in my opinion, the day majority of feminists agree to take men along on their struggle instead of against them; that is the day that a successful movement will be at its zenith.
Until then, we fight against the oppressors and the feminazis.