Saturday, 1 August 2015

Will The Real Feminists Please Stand Up?


With this post, I'm treacherously trespassing hostile territory, and fully cognizant of it. I may sacrifice a lifetime of being loved (and may just lose my smile) yet I choose to willingly defy what is fashionable within the modern society, for what is life without dicey risks and public defamation?

This is the world we've painted; the vision we've skewed. A man speaking up against feminism is surely the antagonist. Who the hell is he, an entitled man trying to speak his mind? What does he know what it's like to be a woman?

Nothing he could say can justify the patriarchal history that has led to this movement. The fact that he has the audacity to ostensibly affront would mean he's just another male chauvinist pig, just another born and bred in the 'all men are dogs!' league.

But I'm going to try, and take this not as an attack on any of you, but simply a disquisitive yet confused mind's quest for answers. With an outpour of raging feminism all around me, all I want to know really, is what you want.

Let's get a few things straight - I don't abhor women, on the contrary, I deeply love them (shocker). I believe the world is a much better place with them in it, and in no way support the idea of patriarchy. This world is as much ours as, in the honourable words of Nas, it's yours.

If you're clamoring for equal rights for women, I'm with you. For education, for jobs, for wages, for the freedom and liberty, for independence and individuality, I'm with you. To discriminate in any of these spheres on the basis of gender and not ability is unfair to me, and worth fighting for. All I'm highlighting in this piece, are the different definitions of feminism I've come across, and I'm just looking for the right one.

Having said that, I still fully expect to be hit with 'hard-hitting facts' on why we need feminism, and I humbly implore you to read deep and see that I don't question the need.

So anyway, let's start with the easiest and tune up the band as we go along. There are few feminists who fight for independence on any medium they see, yet expect men to give up seats for them, open doors and drown themselves in chivalry. You know, coast along with the idea that the man should ask a woman on a date, pay for the dinner, propose (or not be considered a 'real man') and treat his woman like a princess.

I say balls to that. 

These actions should be viewed as products of love and respect, rather than convention. In that vein, why is it such a social anomaly to expect a woman to give up a seat, open doors and treat the guy like a prince? The women who try to woo men are labeled and shamed by the same society that lauds the role reversal. Aren't we promoting this divide, placing women on a pedestal, asking men to channel their masculinity to treat them like a prize?

This begs the question whether this pseudo-feminist wants to be treated like a human, or treated like a woman?
Feminism Equality

It has always been so, for women are the undeniably the fairer of the sexes. Why are most Bollywood movies about heroes fighting thugs, Amrish Puri, beasts, wars or dads (or Amrish Puri as a dad) to reach their lady loves? Would Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge have worked if Kajol was on the train and Shah Rukh was pleading with his daddy to let him go? Would Titanic have worked if Kate Winslet had frozen to death while Di Caprio floated off?

Aren’t we subconsciously planting the aforementioned concept through everyday entertainment outlets?

Then there are those, whose entire idea of feminism is jobs, opportunities and benefits solely for women. Aren't we speeding completely to the opposite end of this gender extremist spectrum with this argument? Sure there's a balance that needs to be obtained after years of male domination, but I do feel this is the wrong approach, because didn't beliefs that specifically favoured men create this logjam in the first place? Surely the best way to rectify a mistake isn't to commit the same mistake again but with the roles of the oppressor and oppressed swapped around?

So yeah, where exactly are you going with this?

That would make feminism, literally and beyond, a pro-women movement which baffles the living daylights out of me when I see most feminists claim it a movement for equality for both men and women? Isn't it a movement for equality for just women? Consequently making it a movement for women? Which rather ironically, doesn't make it a movement for equality at all?

Are these issues worth fighting for women? Absolutely. Does that make this a movement for equality among men and women? No.

I don't see the merit in the words that this movement represents men when not many prevalent male discriminatory social, political and pressingly, judicial issues have been raised in front of me. It's very much possible they might have and I never came across it, but then this is a piece laded with my personal opinion, and my personal opinion is centred around the fact that as an educated, connected individual with access to multiple modes of information I'm hard pressed to find feminist advocates protesting male discrimination.

That's just, you know, my personal opinion.

But then, what do I know, entitled male that clearly cannot feel what you feel. I am just, after all, a lonely wanderer looking for answers.