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Many books have been written on the concept of feminism. In fact, many debates have been fought regarding its meaning. So, today we shall have a glimpse of the books which one should read to know the meaning of feminism.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is a book written by a Nigerian-born woman. Basically, this book is in the form of a personal essay and talks about the importance of feminism in the twenty-first century. At the same time, in this book, Adichie stresses the point that “feminist" is not an insult, but rather a label that should be proudly embraced by all.
The Future is Feminist by Mallory Farrugia
This book is all about what it means to be feminist yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Interestingly, this book is a compilation of many articles written by renowned feminist poets, essayists, professors, and activists. If anyone is looking to read strong-minded articles on feminism, then this is the book!
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
This is a book that explores being a feminist while loving things that could seem odd along with the feminist ideology. In this book, Gay pens down about pop culture and her personal experiences, too. In an interview, Gay had said, “In each of these essays, I'm trying to show how feminism influences my life for better or worse. It shows what it's like to move through the world as a woman. It's not even about feminism per se, it's about humanity and empathy."
Feminism is for Everybody by Bell Hooks
In this book, Hooks shows how feminism is not about creating divisions between men and women, rather it is for society as a whole. Moreover, Hooks, in this book, focuses on feminism as a political movement for everybody. So, if you're someone who thinks that feminism is only for women to preach, then you must read this book to enlighten yourself.
Keywords: Feminism, Books, Recommendation, Literature, Movement,
"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
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Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
Renowned feminist activist, author, and a face of the women's rights movement in India, Kamla Bhasin, passed away today morning at the age of 74.
The news of the same was shared by activist Kavita Srivastava on Twitter. The tweet said, "Kamla Bhasin, our dear friend, passed away around 3am today 25th Sept. This is a big setback for the women's movement in India and the South Asian region. She celebrated life whatever the adversity. Kamla you will always live in our hearts. In Sisterhood, which is in deep grief."
Bhasin, since the 1970s, has been an advocate of women's movement not just in India but other South Asian countries as well. In fact, in 2002, she founded a feminist network named as 'Sangat', which only motive was to work with underprivileged women from rural and tribal communities, often by using non-literary tools like plays, songs, and art.
Having a Master's degree in literature, Bhasin has written many books on gender theory and feminism, and interestingly, many of them have been translated into more than 30 languages. Another quick fact revolving around Bhasin is that the chant of 'Azadi', which is often heard at protests and rallies, was first popularised by her as feminist slogan against patriarchy.
Bhasin was awarded with the "Laadli Life Time Achievement Award" in the year 2017 for her commendable work.
Keywords: Kamla Bhasin, Feminism, India, Patriarchy, Literature, Feminist, Women, Rights
By- Khushi Bisht
Corsets have existed for a very long time. It first originated in Italy and was brought to France in the 16th century by Catherine de Medici, King Henry II’s wife. She was a tyrant who forbade women with wide waists from entering court. This prompted rich women to wear their corsets in general.The corset was thought to be an excellent tool for making women look more slender and curvy.
The affluent French women of the period were considered to prefer a smaller waistline, which they accomplished by tightening and holding their waist into a perfect hourglass shape with corsets. There have been several modifications to the corset. It was originally were made of cloth, but upper-class women began to use whale bones to strengthen their bodies. Parts of metal and wood were attached to the fabric as it evolved.
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Wearing a snug corset was a way to demonstrate social standing throughout centuries. Since corsets were cumbersome and limited movement, they showed that the wearer was wealthy enough to employ workers to comply with daily activities. The Victorian era was a period when womanhood trumped versatility and socioeconomic status trumped easement.
The perfect corseted feminine form was all over the print media targeted at women by the mid-nineteenth century. It’s fashion became extremely serious in the 1860s and 70s. The hourglass figure hit its pinnacle in prominence during the Victorian era. The waist was shaped with metal boning.
That time saw a speedy industrial growth and mass manufacturing of corsets became popular, making these garments widely and easily available. Many that were not well-off may now purchase a corset as well.
It was, however, a painful method that often induced women to pass out and potentially distort their body structures. Corsets were highly risky due to their excessive tightness on the body. Women were frequently laced so tightly that their breathing became obstructed, causing them to pass out. The internal organs became so compressed, that it caused weak digestion. The rib cage was deformed as a result of prolonged tight lacing. In some cases the risk caused by wearing the corset also lead to death.
Napoleon Bonaparte, who came to fame after the French Revolution, fought to ban corsets, calling them “decline of humanity.” It became less fashionable by early twentieth century, as the natural figure began to make a resurgence. Improved apparel options emerged, which eliminated the need for corsets. As a result, corsets’ popularity faded with time.
With the emergence of feminism in the 1960s, the corset was gradually phased out.