In the current scenario of the world, Feminism is at its zenith. From twitter to talks, and Facebook to books, #feminism has made its place. It’s not just an idea or a concept anymore, it is materializing into a social movement. A lot of societal beings, everyday, imbibe feminism; but how many of them do so, in its true sense? What is understood today and believed to be feminism, by the masses, is it really? There is a fine line between Feminism and Misandry, and often one doesn’t see the difference between the two.
The Oxford dictionary defines feminism as ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes‘ but the blogosphere is filled with a gazillion more definitions. Surprisingly, feminism is a term that is vastly defined and not all relate to the traditional meaning. Each individual has their own perspective on what feminism sums up to. It seems as though, feminism today, is caricatured by each person as their own idea of what it should be instead of what it really is.
Patriarchy is a major issue, not only in the Third World countries, but on a global level. In our First World countries, as we call them, patriarchy is masked under Benevolent sexism. To those, for whom this is an alien term, let me throw some light. Benevolent sexism is diplomatically showing superiority, while making the opposite gender feel superior. For example : A man telling a woman, she is more nurturing and loving and thus she should raise children.
Patriarchy is what led to Feminism, but unfortunately I see it all going down the wrong path. I am an unbiased supporter of equal rights for both the genders, but to me, that holds true in each and every aspect. What a majority of the Modern-Day Feminists want is not equality but Superiority. My point may sound absurd at this point, but read along and I shall explain my point of view on the trend. There are a lot of scenarios, to take into account and elaborate, but below I focus on three simple and common ones.
Example 1 :
When a couple (by couple, I mean a man and a woman, irrespective of what relationship they share) goes out for a meal, it is expected by majority of the women that the man must take care of the check. It is considered to be the etiquettes of a Gentleman. Keeping in mind the feminist demands of equality, they should be paying the bill too, because they are equals to men. Equality means same rules apply to every individual, so that should be the case here too. Interestingly, this form of equality doesn’t apply to most of the feminists. The tradition holds its roots to the times when women didn’t earn because they didn’t work and thus men would be the ones to pay the bill. With changed scenarios, women are now working and earning, so they should be equally responsible for paying the check.
Example 2 :
It is acceptable for a woman to marry a wealthy and well settled man and share his success and fortune without having to work for it. But have we seen it happen the other way round? Would it be as acceptable for men as it is for women? Calling for equality, should give men too, the same rights as women. It should be acceptable for a man to marry a wealthy woman, and share her success and fortune without working and without having the society look down upon him and start calling him names. Either that or women shouldn’t be entitled to this special privilege anymore. If a woman fails at her career, she has this option and she isn’t a failure in the society anymore. Not sure how many men have the same choice.
Example 3 :
The culture of men holding doors open for women, giving up their seats etc is expected to be continued. Equality would mean Men not having to do any of these, or women having to do the same? What do Modern-Day feminists think of that? I am guessing equality doesn’t apply here, because then they would be losing the superiority. A lot of other things fall in this category too, ex : free drinks for women at bars, Female only buses/trains etc. We don’t see any of these for men now, do we?
What is unacceptable is that the feminism today is not about equality but about superiority. Modern -Day Feminism has led to coining of terms such as :
– Bropropriating: Stealing an idea from a woman and putting it into the world as your own.
– Mansplain (verb) mansplainy (adjective): When a man explains something to a woman in a condescending way when he either 1) doesn’t know anything about it or 2) knows far less than the woman he is talking to.
Manterrupting: When a man interrupts a woman, especially excessively.
Manspreading: When men take up excess space by sitting with their legs far apart.
These are just a few from a huge pool of many more such terms. It seems as though Modern – day feminism is nothing but Misandry. At the rate which the social movement is rising, it seems that soon there shall be a time where we would have to fight of equality for men.
My intention isn’t to hurt anyone, nor am I an anti-feminist. I am all in for feminism, as long as it is believed for in its true sense and not the adulterated version. The title states the current state, of how feminism is turning into misandry without people even realizing it. Where are we really going? We need to stop and get a reality check before it’s too late. We all need to decide whether we choose feminism or misandry. Understanding feminism and it’s need is very important, for anyone who calls themselves a feminist. There is an old proverb that goes ‘ HALF KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS’ and it definitely holds true.
In closing, I would just like to say, it’s maybe time to for a Fourth Wave in feminism, for the good ; Awareness of what feminism really is, and what it means to be a feminist. We need to spin a society, where no gender wishes to suppress the other, and all individuals are treated equally, irrespective of their gender or any other parameter.
I realize the sensitivity of the issue, and the need for the change to be brought about. I will continue to treat women as equals in every walk, but I will also raise my voice against misandry. I urge everyone else to do the same, it’s time we gave women their well deserved place and treated them as equals, but that doesn’t mean you should give in to ill-logical demands. Understand what equality is, stand up against discrimination when you see one, make others aware.
We’re the youth, the future of the society. It’s on us, how to weave the future, so let’s unanimously create a beautiful future, for the better of the society. Let’s understand each other and build each other instead of pushing each other down.
I would like to end on this beautiful quote :
“A feminist is a person who believes in the power of women, just as much as they believe in the power of anyone else. It’s equality, it’s fairness, and I think it’s a great thing to be a part of” – Zendaya
© Manali Jobanputra, All Rights Reserved.