this post is inspired by certain life incidents that have often made me think to such an extent that it irritates the crap out of me.
i’ve often been labelled a feminist. and it has, simply speaking, pissed me right off. the first time i got called a feminist i had to look the word up in a fat oxford dictionary. and from what i understood of the definition, i could not agree with myself being labelled as such in absolute terms. the next few times it happened happened after a long long break. during this break, i used to go to school where the uniform demanded that i be covered in loosely fitting clothes, a large dupatta and a scarf, (other facts of the context are that the school was co-ed, and that i used to be very active participant in competitions of almost every sort, especially sports). anyway, so the next time it happened i was 3 years into university, and at an internship, where the rest of the 6 interns were all girls and just one guy. it was this guy who called me a feminist, which made me stop whatever i was doing, taken slightly aback, and look at myself objectively. the only things i could come up with were that i was active, enthusiastic, and vocal about things i believed in. which i consider an incomplete definition of feminism.
over the course of time, i then tried to observe myself in everything i did. and even though i come from and live in a background where the majority of men are generally brought up to be chauvinistic and the majority of women are brought up to believe that it’s alright to be subdued even if it means their basic human rights are being trampled over, honestly speaking, not once did i find myself to be a feminist as per definition. not in any sense of the word actually.
because as far as i’ve seen feminists to be, they have to pick a bone with EVERY freakin thing and make an issue out of it: they’ll take the issue of education, and decorate it with an absolutely unnecessary “adjective” to make it “female education”. they’ll take marriage, and turn the spotlight on “the poor woman”. they’ll take abortion and label it “cruelty on women”.
NO freakin matter what the facts of the case are.
the facts of the case may very well be that a family has happily & collectively decided to spend their little funds on the education of their boy rather than their girl (beyond a certain point) because the boy has to support them and the girl is just not doing well at studies and does not have a temperament or potential for doing good. the facts of the case may equally likely be that “the poor woman” getting married is actually getting married to the love of her life who respects her, values her, loves her for who she is (and it is perfectly possible and okay to find such a partner, mind you feminists – there is no harm in allowing a man to take care of you as his wife; this choice is not a reflection on the woman’s lack of ability to take care of herself because if god forbid such a time comes, she will face the hardships and find life in the rest of her time anyway). the facts of the case may well be that the pregnancy NEEDED to be terminated due to potential health risks.
frankly speaking, i dont believe there is the need for anything called feminism. there should be only personism if you know what i mean: (staying within certain moral boundaries and guided by common sense regarding what’s best for one and what isn’t) every person should be allowed to do what they want to do (be it the choice of career, choice of education, choice of clothes – choice in any matter). any person (man/woman), who displays enough talent and potential for it, should be happily supported to pursue their choice of hobby and turn it into passion & career, be it a girl who wants to join the race of the corporate world, or a guy who wants to become a fashion journalist or an artist, or a girl who wants to pursue sports, or a guy who wants to pursue dance, or a person of either gender who wants to pursue religious studies as their major. just, whatever. whoever. their choice.
in fact, now that i think of it, i believe feminism as a term likely came about when women who were not allowed to do something which should not have been denied them merely based on their gender, went ahead and did it anyway or became vocal about their resentment at such curbing, and men who disagreed with them started labeling them feminist. which, as a process (how it happened / came about), makes sense. but women who then “choose” to be active feminists are also quite wrong.
who is one woman to adamantly try to convince another against choosing marriage and kids or the choice of not pursuing further studies or a career, anyway? who is one woman to try to do this without regard to what makes the other woman happy?
i know i dont try to convince my sister to drop all her cooking experiments because she should stand up against anyone trying to tell her she should cook because it is her job. i dont try to convince my friends who cover their head to stop covering their head because it is a form of suppression as has become popular. i dont tell someone not to have kids yet, or to stop after 3 kids, and i dont tell someone they should reach for higher rungs in the corporate ladder. because it’s not my decision to make. i may stand up for the notion that no one has the right to tell anyone else what their ‘job’ is because they think so, because, i believe, ‘jobs’ are derivatives of necessity – case in point: a single dad may love cooking & clean for his kids because that is what gives him satisfaction; case in point: a household of women with no dad and no brother to support them will have to go out and get educated so they may secure jobs and secure a better future – simple as that, and that is what makes me believe that i am not a feminist.
so. i dont believe i’m a feminist. and i dont get why all the hype there is about “feminism”. i dont see any hype about anything called “masculism”, and i think the simple reason for that is that guys dont create a scene out of everything. there will be guys who will be discouraged from pursuing ladies fashion designing or dance, and that is unfair to them, i totally agree. but i dont see any concept of “masculism”. feminists need to calm down.
[after thought: there is also this thing about feminists doing things in the name of “standing up for women’s rights” that actually pose further problems for women themselves. for instance, raising a hue and cry over a father/brother/husband imposing, say, curfew on their daughter’s daily routine, not realizing that perhaps the family lives in a dangerous place where hoodlums are commonly found. or other such things. one should simply leave each person and each family to their own self, unless you have something positive to offer, such as assistance with them trying to achieve something, or an attempt at trying to counter injustice happening there. otherwise, sorry to say, but anything which is not in line with someone’s own goals, objectives and wishes, if imposed on them, especially by an outsider, for something the outsiders strongly and adamantly believe in, wont be welcome anywhere].
(March 11, 2013) PS. ‘Feminism’ is a term coined by men & women who are threatened by the fact that a woman may be right in pointing out that a man can’t demand a sandwich. Men who are scared to accept their share of responsibility, men & women who are not fair enough to realize that no one can define anyone’s roles for them based on their gender alone (point already elaborated above). When people are threatened by the truth, by justice, they give it names like feminism, ridiculing the truth.
PPS. And that is why nobody needs ‘feminism’ (whether you speak from pov of Islam, or from pov of human rights literature – and frankly i dont get what the difference between islam and human rights is when islam is nought BUT a way of life in the guise of a religion based on and revolving around human rights.