Feminism Misunderstood …

  • SumoMe

The dictionary defines feminism as advocacy of equality of the sexes and the establishment of the social, political and the economic rights of women. As simple as the definition may sound, the truth is that not many of us really understand what it stands for, much less practice it. The suave intelligentsia around me uses the word as often as they have a conversation, with all connotations possible, the meaning manipulated to suit the mood and situation of the day. One issue that has never failed to touch the nerve and inspire strong sentiments from men and women alike is that of driving. The big question that has gripped the world with no apparent answers is- Are women really bad drivers?? Most of the men that I have met have a strong affirmative answer, supporting their theory with a smirk and an undecipherable jig of head, implying the obvious truth of the matter. Any opposition from my side on this makes me a feminist, even if the argument is purely on reasonable statistical grounds. For starters, insurance companies in many countries charge men more than women, this is because men cost them more as they are more likely to be involved in reckless driving and hence accidents. Statistics also reveal that women are less charged with driving fines, tickets and charges. The urbane and the savvy see feminism in a different light altogether. The lifestyle magazines are full of how the focus of feminism today should be on getting a woman’s needs fulfilled in a romantic relationship. The methods suggested for this revolution can range anywhere from cosmetic surgeries to a chic and expensive wardrobe. While I am in the favour of celebrating the beauty of a woman, I believe it forms a rather small part of their emancipation. Feminism is about empowerment of women and not hot couture. According to an advertisement of a leading cosmetic brand “A woman is incomplete without the use of (their product’s name)”. More than anything, it comes across as a desperate method of persuasive advertising and in the bargain demeans women in general. Another interesting advertisement’s tag line says “You are worth it (the beauty products brand)”. While the ad-makers certainly would have wanted to talk of the high worth of their product, no self respecting woman would like to become ‘worth’ a product. I wonder if these promotions are designed to make us feel good about ourselves and accordingly launch things that are worth our use. Feminism is a part of humanism, purposefully targeting the fairer sex, striving for an egalitarian society. The many ways in which it is endorsed today, raises many questions on its validity and thereby the movement has lost the significance that was once attached to it. More then anything it has now become a concept that is exploited and the customized rendition used for a variety of purposes. I think it’s just a matter of few years before we can see it splitting in sub-movements, each representing the differential ideology adopted. Garima

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