Defining the Feminism of Today

I‘ve shared thoughts about feminism many times before. And I feel the need to talk about it. It’s taken me a long time to use the label and call myself a feminist. The label itself comes with a strong legacy and negativity. But more recently, I think that’s okay, because no matter what identity I assume, someone out there will find a way to stereotype me.

We like taking the easy route and simplifying things in order to make ourselves feel better. How you typecast me says more about you than me. Feminism is not a static, smelly lake. It’s an evolving river. We learn and try again. The world is not equal for anyone, but we strive for it, because that’s what hope is.

Defining feminism of today

Illustration inspired by Persepolis

Depending on the culture, childhood experiences and the family background you fed on, your positions on an S-curve may vary. We all have to learn and think about why equality, fairness and justice are values we need in our world. Treating women like they’re invisible does not belong to a single culture. It’s an epidemic everywhere in different forms.

It’s not a question of religion, genetics and everything else you may have been led to believe. It’s a question of asserting power. Why should one color, race or gender believe that they’re entitled or superior? Of course we’re all different and unique, but does that mean that we should believe we’re lesser?

I am in full love with female friendships, but can we kindly banish ladies sitting together in a party while the men drink and talk about “intelligent” world matters? It sounds so 1800s but it still happens. Also, can we stop telling women to dress for a guy? I’m not against vanity but p.l.e.a.s.e. dress for yourself.

Here’s some essential reading on feminism

Why we need to talk about feminism in our worlds:

The enemy of democracy isn’t one person. The enemy of democracy is patriarchal culture. As with the family, where the father of the family decides and has the last word, so a dictator is the father of the nation. If we have more educated women, then we have more educated societies. This is without any “feminist prejudice”—it’s fact. – Marjane Satrapi

Let it be understood forever – all religions are misogynistic and man-made, from an evolutionary and anthropological view always serving men and their patriarchy except for some matriarchal Polynesian or tribal societies. Divine laws are never going to grant the Human Rights that are due to all, not just upper-class, Sunni, men who claim lineage from the Prophet’s family. Secular laws are the ones which will provide for women, and keep the interests of the minorities at heart. – Arshia Malik

Masculine and Feminine – Yin and Yang, is all fine. A woman is a human being first – and nobody should forget that, and she can also have a desire to use her brains and skills and contribute outside the home, just like a man. Also, whether we like it or not, economic dependence is one of the main reasons of subjugation. In this day and age “feminine” shouldn’t necessarily mean what it meant 50 years ago.-  Samie Katch on this atrocious sermon by a man mansplaining feminism to an ignorant actress.

How equal do you feel in your everyday life?

  1. I feel angry by these interactions. I feel that people insult my intelligence by assuming I can’t talk about world matters and need to be relegated to talk about food and children. Not to say that those are dumb topics- just that, they’re not the end of my life/ interests. I can’t understand why we need these separations. These are notoriously common in Indian-settings.

    Waiting for your email! 🙂

  2. I have so many things to share. I’ll write you an email 🙂

    Also, I have observed this ‘…ladies sitting together in a party while the men drink and talk about “intelligent” world matters?’ so much now that I stay away from such social interactions. I feel BORED by them. I have had illuminating bai aka mundane talks with male friends/colleagues and equally dazzling thought provoking conversations about current affairs and fitness with girlfriends. I like the experiences where you cannot label and categorize people easily. That is an equalizer for me.

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