Friday, 8 May 2015

Modern Feminism = Equality?



This article addresses a very sensitive topic, especially for women.  We are going to look at the concept of Feminism, origin and necessity of the idea and it’s modern transformation.

Feminism is a movement and not a nuisance
As Wikipedia says, Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women.

The origin of these movements and ideologies lies in the fact that our society has been male dominated (patriarchal) for a long time.  For such a society, women’s standing up for their rights of equality seems like a nuisance, instead of a fair call.
However, the proponents of feminism based it on the fundamental idea of equality for all.  Taking into account the reality of Indian villages and small cities where women are still treated as second grade citizens, feminism has always been a necessity.

Feminism and Affirmative action
Affirmative action (vaguely similar to reservation in India) for oppressed and backward classes of the society is closely related to the concept of feminism in the sense that they both seek to provide favorable conditions for the section they want to benefit by violating the principle of equal opportunities.  Simply put, they use inequality in competition to provide equality in standard of life.


Modern Feminism
There is no such real term as modern feminism; I am using this term, as I could not find anything more suitable. Although the original motivation for feminism still applies and there is still a lot of work to be done, it is growing into something undesirable in some sections of the society.

The original concept behind feminism was and will be of equality rather than preferential treatment or superiority. The cases where men see women as inferior are the majority, but, I have come across women who put all men (except may be their brothers and father) into the same bucket of being perverts, dominating or extremely rude. The negative traits mentioned here are individual characteristics and have equal probability of being present in women as in men.

It’s a known and researched fact that media has been commoditizing women in India. They are not portrayed as source of inspiration, rather, as source of pleasure or a thing to use. The so-called modern Indian woman has so accepted this portrayal so blindly that if a man tries to challenge this image (sometimes it’s not a challenge, but just a display of male dominance, but as women, we should learn to differentiate between the two), he is hated, scolded and put in the same bucket of having an orthodox patriarchal mind set.
As I already mentioned that feminism does not promote preferential treatment either (there is a difference between preferential treatment and affirmative action). Recently, on social media, I saw a girl beating a man who was teasing her after police arrested him. There is no problem in standing up against eve teasing, but feminism does not give you permission to break the law, unless you need it for self-defense.

Conclusion


The idea is that the concept of feminism is very fundamental in the sense that it only demands equal treatment for women as men, and it should be promoted in a male dominated society. However, women should also learn to treat men as equals, rather than inferior (or superior).  Promote equality through affirmative action not preferential treatment. 

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