Of late I have been reading (and hearing) a lot of people say, “Oh God! I’m not a feminist. I don’t hate men.”
That, to me, is pure unadulterated ignorance. I saw a post on Facebook the other day, that said : Saying that is like saying, “I don’t want water, but I would love some H2O”.
So I wanted to list a few things that DON’T make you a feminist:
1) Hating men
I do consider myself to be a feminist but why on earth would I hate men? There are some absolutely wonderful male friends and male relatives in my life who I am very thankful for and no way I would want to replace them with female counterparts. (Hate patriarchy, not men. If a lot of men have learnt to think in a certain way that’s detrimental to women’s progress, we have society to blame – and there is no denying that both men and women of earlier generations try hard to uphold them even now). Only women, more precisely, mothers, can bring about a change by not favouring the male child over the female child like it happens in a lot of families in India even now.
2) Being a lesbian
I call myself a feminist and I’m pretty sure I’m straight and I have homosexual friends who proudly call themselves feminists. So you see, sexual orientation has nothing to do with your association with feminism.
3) Believing in supremacy of one gender
It’s really not something so shallow and silly like 90s Bollywood songs “girls are best/ jaan lo/ boys are best/ maan lo”. Each gender had its strong and weak points. We must accept that and find ways to utilise the differences to compliment each other instead of arrogantly claiming one gender to be better than the other.
4) Saying women should rule the world
Erm… pretty sure that’s not one of the tenets of feminism. But yes, women definitely want to be on a level playing field when it comes to running for that position.
But feel free to declare that you are not a feminist if:
1) You encourage female infanticide
If you are in favour of killing a foetus just because of its gender, you are a horrible person. Please do not get married; please do not multiply. Period.
2) If you don’t think women should work in offices because they “belong” at home
Stone age called, they want you back 😎
I will never understand why women are/were not allowed to work after marriage. Double incomes mean luxuries that you could never afford with a single income hence better standard of living; and with a social life of her own, a more harmonious relationship. However, I do know some women who would rather be a homemaker, and that’s absolutely fine because the right to decide what a person wants to do with their life, is entirely theirs (as long as they are not doing anything illegal, of course).
3) You don’t believe in equal pay for equal work
For example, say a male colleague and I are both Marketing Managers with the same firm with the exact same responsibilities, why should he get paid more just because of his gender? I’m all for performance based payments / incentives, but getting paid more just because you are a man, is unfair.
4) You truly believe in male supremacy
I’ve got nothing for you. Your issues are too deep-rooted for anything I say to make you open your mind and think at all.
I know, over the years some people have used the word ‘feminist’ to mean ‘man-hater’ which has resulted its developing a negative connotation, but anyone reading this has had the privilege of education and has the ability of thinking with clarity and reasoning. About time we put that to good use because feminism is everybody’s business – irrespective of gender.