Feminism, as we all know, has been established over the years as a movement to defend the political, economic and social right of a woman and the people who fought for this cause were termed as feminists. But over the years feminism has evolved and its ideologies have evolved along with it. Many people think that feminism has now become something of a fashion statement. These days’ people think it is an insult to be labeled as a feminist. They would rather prefer labeling themselves as “humanist”, though they advocate women rights. People look down on those who declare themselves as feminists..not just men, even women. In such a scenario, isn’t it time that we start questioning where the real essence of feminism is lost?
Feminism has taken a new dimension.. modern feminism as it is called. It has taken a shift from mere demand of equal rights of men and women to man-hating. Isn’t this activism that has resulted in a change of perception among the people about feminists? When we move on to address other issues in our society like shirking traditional women activities, refusing to take husband’s last name while marriage, and refusing to marry as its supposed to be female servitude, we are forgetting the main reason why we were here in the first place.
Or is it because many feel that women have already empowered themselves that there is no need to address this issue again. True, women have come a long way. We have broken down the walls of our home to which we were confined. And this was possible because of the many women feminists like Kamala Das, Vaidehi etc who weren’t ashamed to call themselves feminists and did their best to bring about change in the society through their writings. We see women rising up to power, ruling the nation, being the reason for the change, but if we take a second and look around we’ll notice that there are still women out there who don’t enjoy these rights. This freedom. They still live under the hegemony of men. Even in our work places many women faces constant oppression and are seen as incapable of doing a task well. Every day we hear news about women being harassed in trains and attack of women and even young girls in pubs. The Women’s Reservation Bill has been pending in Parliament for years. Aren’t these the issues that require immediate attention?
It’s our duty, the duty of those women who enjoy the freedom, who enjoy equal rights to address their problems. We wouldn’t have enjoyed this freedom if those women who came before us never took the bold step to come forward and to speak out for the oppressed. I think it’s time that we stop and redefine feminism again. We would probably want to go back to that old concept and ideologies which explains the concept of feminism in a much better way.