So the other day, while I was having a conversation with this guy friend of mine (Yes, I have friend-s) about something blatantly unintelligent, something along the lines of “It’d be hard to do it, you being a girl and all.” popped up and right there, at that very second, my mind went from Spring in Florence to Winter in Greenland.
You know that feeling when you hear something that’s really stupid but also kinda hurts you in your heart and you just stare into nothingness with your jaw no longer attached to the rest of your skull? Yeah, that happened, except I didn’t stare into nothingness, I just shrugged it off and moved on, ’cause the voices in my head said -” Don’t waste your energy on this guy, it’s not worth it.”
I usually agree with the Voices, cause they’re in my head and anything in my head is kinda awesome, but this time, I remember going home feeling so..let down by my own self. Then I asked my Voices (I had to interrupt them from their tea break, they weren’t very pleased, but who cares) – Why shouldn’t I spend some sort of energy on comments like that? The reason anyone- be it a guy or a girl- says stuff like that is because no one thought it was worth their energy or their time to tell them – “No, that is not right. Please don’t say that”. If no one spends time putting words like that to sleep, aren’t they forever going to float around in the air, waiting for a misogynist Cupid to string them into an arrow and aim at some girl who never sees it coming? I know what your first response is going to be- “I’m sure he didn’t mean any harm, he said that in jest.” Yes, I’m sure he meant no harm as well, but does that justify anyone saying that?
Remember when everyone casually used the word ‘rape’ everywhere? Like ” Man, that exam raped me” or “Arsenal totally raped Chelsea” (If you’re a Chelsea fan, take your butthurt self somewhere else). And remember when thousands rose to the occasion and kindly and aggressively pointed out that you CANNOT use rape for anything other than actual sexual harassment. And despite the alarming number of rape cases in our world, I still know a few buttwipes who would use the word in jest.
What I’m trying to point out is, unless and until you say something about it, no one will ever take feminism seriously. I was one of those naive people who, two years ago, believed that feminism had something to do with women,and only women. If you’re still someone who believes that, then here’s the definition of Feminism to refresh your 1000 AD mind-
“The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”
To further make it easier to process-
- theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
- organised activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
Since I’m a professional mind reader, let me guess what you’re thinking- “It says women’s rights, so its OBVIOUSLY about women, duh”.
Nice reading, A+ for that. But did you notice the “equality of sexes” part in there? I’m guessing not. Let me get straight to the point here. Feminism is about everyone. Its about every single person, irrespective of what gender you are. You could be gender queer and you’re still a very important part of the feminist movement. You could be disabled, and you’re still an integral part of the movement. Here’s a shocker: You could be a guy, and you’re still dear to the movement.
Feminism focuses on equality of the sexes. Please, please, please do not use the word feminist if you mean ” Man,she hates all the guys on this planet, what a feminist bitch.” The word you’re looking for is misandry. Feminism means everyone should have equal wages. Misandry means women should have higher wages than men because we’ve dealt with a lot of shit from you people and now we want you to feel the same way we did. Know your words, people.
Feminism is often misunderstood as a movement against men, when it actually is a movement to empower women. It is a movement that focuses on breaking the shackles the patriarchy had set on us, to free women and anyone who is suppressed, shushed and shoved into the corner. It is not a movement against, it is a movement for.
Why empower women? Because we are just as smart, as capable, as strong, if not more, as people with penises. Empowerment, because for centuries we have been told to be a certain way, behave a certain way, talk a certain way, irrespective of how we really wanted to be. I agree that men, to a certain extent, are also told to behave a certain way. But if you tell me that men have it as bad as women, then I would gladly disagree. Unfortunately, the harsh truth is that half our world is run by misogynists who think anyone who is not a guy is dirt. Which is exactly why feminism is important.
Girls literally bleed out every single month, push out humans out of their vaginas and run homes, and companies. We get catcalled on the streets and we still walk, holding our heads high. Countless numbers of ours get raped, but we still rise against our rapists and fight for justice. We deal with husbands who come home and expect a buffet. We work hard enough to over throw multinational companies. And yet we’re called the weaker sex. Let me give you another example of how much society puts us down.
See what I’m talking about?
No one is asking you to start today and step out and join a feminist rally. The first step you can do is realize that feminism is needed. The second is to promise to respect everyone, their choices and decisions as long as they do not dehumanize people. The third is to never say “You’re just a girl, you can’t do it.”
Here’s a thought before you leave:
“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”
Do you wanna guess who the privileged here is?