Feminism is a controversial concept and a state of societal phenomena that practically exists everywhere in the world. As the word suggests, feminism is a pro-women regulation that needs to be restored in socities where women face unabashed injustice, sometimes even at the cost of villages (in India) having no women at all!
It must also be noted that Third World countries are not the only ones facing the problem of the backward status of women. No denial when it comes to the patriarchy in India; yet, issues such as low representation, ‘its a man’s job’ and similar statements are prevalent in every part of the world. Again, no denial when it comes to a man’s physical superiority but as per morality and physical appearance of women, it is down right horrendous to term a woman weak. Humans are made like that so accept the differences – and this is where misinterpretations occur.
Let us take the concept of Feminist Approach in politics as an example. In the early 40s, the Feminist Approach took birth in America and Europe and women started coming out, talking out loud about equal representation in politics and also socially. It was a good move and somewhere, politically correct yet it soon started declining. Take a look around and you can hardly think of many women political leaders, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto being the exceptions along with some other great women.
So what really went wrong with the Feminist Approach?
The point that I am making here is something that crosses our mind most of the time, yet we tend to ignore it when it comes to feminism. Take a look at the popular, stereotypical conception of feminism: Women’s rights! Women empowerment! Reservation for women!
Most ‘feminists’ talk of the above concepts in order to raise the bar for women in society. It may not be entirely wrong, but some facts are in a desperate need of being cleared out in the open. Feminism does not mean like a man. It means, like myself as a woman on par with every kind of humans. Feminism in essence means equality – an extremely rational and ideal societal concept widely accepted all over the world and the French. Pun intended.
A soon to be released movie, Mardaani, stars one of the most volatile actresses in India – Rani Mukerji. Now, now. I am not talking ‘Bollywood’ here (I prefer it being called the Hindi Film Industry). Mardaani means man-like, like a man. But Rani, why like a man? The trailer portrays a dashing heroine bashing goons up and being all badass with a mouthful of abuses. Although the title of the film is a huge turn off (as per my opinion), I would like to give it a benefit of doubt like I do for most things. No brownie points for guessing what the producers were really thinking, the movie may be good. Rani Mukerji is a brilliant actress so naturally, there is an expectation.
So coming back to the point, feminism has almost at all times been projected in a way that actually declares women weak than fighting for the rational, rightful position they must possess in society. What the film trailer portrays is a woman being a man – that is exactly why the Feminist Approach diminished, women wanting to be like men.
When it comes to me, I am a feminist of the true sense. Women may be physically weaker in comparison with men (legitimate reasons exist as an ‘excuse’, narrow people) and some job types may actually be inappropriate for them; but they do not have to beg to be who they are. I believe in feminism in the sense of equality which really is its true essence. If you believe in gender equality, you are a feminist.
Give it a thought.
Shine On 💫