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Redefining the Essence of Lost Feminism in India

Feminism is a very overrated concept in India. It is deemed as a paradox.

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April 28, 2017:

Tracing Feminism from the trail of history

Feminism is a paradoxical ideology misunderstood by more than half of the brilliant minds. By definition “Feminism is the advocacy of women’s right on the ground of the equality of sexes”. However, the influencers and gatekeepers play their part really well in playing with the embodiment of the word feminism.

Feminism was coined by the French philosopher, Charles Fourier and can be traced back to have appeared in France for the first time.

India is also a Patriarchal society which by definition represents culture in which males as fathers or husbands are assumed to be in charge. This patrilineal system has subsisted for an indefinite period of time in history and now women have been accustomed to the submissive lifestyle.

Lewd Remarks for Feminists

Lately, I have been receiving slanderous remarks for being a Feminist. Latest amongst them was “Did my parents spoon fed me feminism?”.

“No. My parents did not raise a feminist. It is the society who did that to me and to every woman who feels the same about it”.

Another libellous remark by a man who feels provoked by feminism. “As long as democracy exist feminism thrive. The moment democracy paves the way to dictatorship, feminism will vanish.”

“Men ruled at the time of dictatorship and they still continue to rule, however, the only difference is that dictatorship has shifted to patriarchy.”

Paradoxical Feminism

Feminism is the half-understood concept in the world. What is wrong in raising voice for your own rights and your community’s rights?. As long as men in the society continue to feel offended for a woman taking a stand for herself, nothing can be substituted. On the one side, women try to climb the ladder and rise above the predispositions while on the other side; someone just pulls off the ladder.

As long as men in the society continue to feel offended for a woman taking a stand for herself, nothing can be substituted. On the one side, women try to climb the ladder and rise above the predispositions while on the other side; someone just pulls off the ladder.

Henceforth, I bring forward some points which mistaken as an ideology of Feminism but indeed are fallacious.

Male Bashing

The most obvious connotation by the society about feminism is that it entails ‘belittlement of a man’. Often Feminism is condemned by Men saying that it commands belittling of a man.

The advancement of women’s rights does not mean a ‘belittlement’ of men or their rights. Feminism merely seeks to establish the same rights and privileges for women that men have been holding for centuries – the right to walk freely in public spaces, the right over their own bodies and sexualities, the right to pursue their choice of education and career, to name a few examples. Yes, feminism does expose the privileges that men hold that women do not yet have, and uncloaking this privilege might make some men uncomfortable, as privilege is inextricably linked to oppression. Feminism can never be a paradox as long as women continue to remain oppressed by patriarchy – Feminism in India

It is imperative to know that feminism never edifies to hate men. It is the “Misandry” which ingrains prejudice against men and inculcates hatred towards men.

Feminism is bragged by only Females

Another misconception subsists that only women are termed as Feminist, which is not true. Can’t men be seen on the same side of the struggle? Of course yes, only on the off chance they choose to stand on the same side.

All feminist are career oriented

Feminist do not slander the housewives or domestic work. It recognises the woman who chooses to stick to household work as much as the woman who chooses career above anything else. It respects each individual’s choice regardless of the stereotypical notions.

Feminist condemns Relationships

As Feminism is misinterpreted with misandry, it is obvious to grasp that feminism inculcates a sense of independence in a woman. It should be noted that whether someone believes in relationships or not is completely their choice and not a code of feminism.

Feminism also strives to lessen the problems deep hearted in the society.

What do you think the women of our country still wrestles with?

The women of our country wrestle with multiple issues, which it would be impossible to speak about holistically, given the number of different identities and struggles that the vastness of our country embodies. Women are still being killed for being born, for daring to choose their own partners, for pursuing an education. Violence dogs our footsteps – whether it be sexual violence like street harassment, molestation, and rape, or emotional violence like moral policing, reinforcing regressive stereotypes that demean women and teaching us to be ashamed of everything about our bodies. Our rights to our bodies, and to make free choice are being violated – everyone is constantly telling women what to do. Women from marginalized communities face double marginalization – the oppression comes from multiple sources: their womanhood as well as their caste/class status, their gender identity, their sexual orientation, their disability, etc.- Feminism in India

Marriage 

Most women in India are married at an early age of 18 and are deemed to spend a major part of their lives in childbearing and raising children.

Workforce

It is known that females in India have a ten percent higher drop out rate than males. Since unemployment is higher in India, it becomes easy for the employers to alter the law which deals with women. The Indian culture reprimand women who argue with men.

Constitutional Rights

Indian women often do not take complete benefit of their constitutional rights because of the lack of awareness and information available. Women also tend to have poor use of voting rights because they possess low levels of political awareness and sense of political efficacy, neither are they encouraged to become informed about issues.

Female Infanticide

Female Infanticide is the deliberate killing of a female child by feeding poison or other harmful chemicals. The immoral sex selection even before the child is born pushes gender differences.

Dowry System

Dowry in India is another prevalent custom according to which the bride’s family gives durable goods, cash to bridegroom’s family. Not only this, many times the bride is tormented for dowry and domestically abused.

Literacy

One of the reasons that girls have the lowest share of literacy as against boys is because of the fact that girls are needed to assist in household work. Mothers are illiterate due to which they have to be economically dependent on the man.

Bottom Line

What is the essence of Womanhood? 

The essence of womanhood is that there is no essence of womanhood. Feminism has been fighting the reductive stereotypes that are associated with being a woman for decades. It is these stereotypes, like women ‘naturally’ being more nurturing, emotional, caregiving, etc. that continue to pigeonhole us into certain roles. When women attempt to break out of these roles, they are faced with resistance and violence. Womanhood exists in any form that you can imagine – the only criteria of womanhood is identifying as a woman. The rest is all personal choice and expression – there is no “wrong way” of “being a woman”. – Feminism in India

The predicaments are unfathomable to look forward to and wipe each one of them. Nevertheless, these issues are suppressed and are never paid heed.

– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamishr94

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  • vedika kakar

    Feminism is the equality for all sexes and brace yourself because this is going to be a long rant.
    Feminism means every gender in this entire world deserves equal respect and recognition and EQUALITY FOR ALL GENDERS.
    And I guess feminism should not be taught by the society but at home
    There should be no status difference between a husband and wife, brother and sister or any counterparts of different genders. A gay child is as important as a straight male kid or a lesbian or bisexual daughter. Unless your own you do not get the right to determine any ones sexuality
    Since feminism is a fairly historic term it is for equality of dominant genders of THAT time.
    And males have no right to say feminism as a term is incorrect when the entire human history is called MANKIND.
    Also i u want more feminism in the country offer suggestions- instead of cribbing about the male chauvinist patriarchal society
    *MIC DROP*

    • Tusheeta Kaushik

      Well said Vedika Kakar. 🙂 You can use “humankind” as a neutral alternative to the term “mankind”.

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  • vedika kakar

    Feminism is the equality for all sexes and brace yourself because this is going to be a long rant.
    Feminism means every gender in this entire world deserves equal respect and recognition and EQUALITY FOR ALL GENDERS.
    And I guess feminism should not be taught by the society but at home
    There should be no status difference between a husband and wife, brother and sister or any counterparts of different genders. A gay child is as important as a straight male kid or a lesbian or bisexual daughter. Unless your own you do not get the right to determine any ones sexuality
    Since feminism is a fairly historic term it is for equality of dominant genders of THAT time.
    And males have no right to say feminism as a term is incorrect when the entire human history is called MANKIND.
    Also i u want more feminism in the country offer suggestions- instead of cribbing about the male chauvinist patriarchal society
    *MIC DROP*

    • Tusheeta Kaushik

      Well said Vedika Kakar. 🙂 You can use “humankind” as a neutral alternative to the term “mankind”.

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Make Women’s Day Special With These Gifts

If you are looking for some excellent ideas to make the women of your life extremely special, here are some

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women's day
This is the special day when each person must reflect on how valuable the various women in one's life are. Pixabay

A very special day earmarked by the United Nations to celebrate the womanhood, appreciate all the women achievers, the entire progress made by women in every field and of course, bring in a sense of closeness amidst women from all across the world, the International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th. It is a very special day.

This is the special day when each person must reflect on how valuable the various women in one’s life are. It is that particular day where women must set targets for themselves and reflect on their achievement in the past.

Regardless the gender, everyone should celebrate this special day. It’s not really necessary to make the celebration highly extravagant, rather it could be as simple as making a good meal for the lady of your life or penning down all the thoughts about what the lady of your life means to you.

If you are looking for some excellent ideas to make the women of your life extremely special, here are some-

ALSO READ: A welcome step for women empowerment laws, soon to be introduced law will help to prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages: Rakesh Srivastava

women's day
What could be a better gift for the woman of your life than gifting her a bunch of exotic fresh red Roses?

Give Her A Nice Floral Gifts:

Roses resemble the color of love and admiration and gifting the important women with red Roses show your heartfelt love and respect for them. If you want to make the floral gift more personalized, accompany the roses with the personally written note highlighting about the things you admire about the lady and you would definitely see her glow with the complete happiness on her face.

women's day
Making a meal for the special woman is always a heart touching gesture.

Make A Nice Brunch For Her:

Mornings are definitely the challenging time for most of the women and they take all the responsibilities of cooking, organizing the meals etc and all they do without letting anyone even know about it. How about let her sleep for longer on this special day? You can prepare the entire breakfast and lunch for your woman and give it as a nice surprise to her.

women's day
These days you can easily order the cakes online from the comfort of your home.

Order A Very Delicious Women‘s Day Special Cake:

Any occasion is incomplete without a cake cutting ceremony and the celebration of Women’s day is also not an exception to it. You must make it really memorable with a nice cake cutting celebration. You can easily buy Happy Women’s Day cake from any online store and make a cake cutting ceremony to honor all the achievements of the woman of your life. Most the popular online stores offer some of the excellent discount deals and availing such discount deals could be a great way to save some good amount of cash.

ALSO READ: International Women’s Day: Eight actionable areas for women’s empowerment

Gift Her Something Nice For Her Professional Life:

She is the working woman and she spends a significant amount of time in office so gifting her something related to her regular job will be a nice idea. How about gifting your woman a vintage looking pen or a well-designed notebook for keeping all the tabs of her regular works? She will definitely appreciate these types of gift items.

women's day
Is she a gardening enthusiast?

A Potted Plant:

Does she spend a good amount of time for a gardening purpose on a regular basis? If the answer is yes, buying a potted plant could be an excellent Women’s Day gift idea for her. You can actually expect to see her smiling all day long and every time she waters the plant, she will be remembering you.