Why feminism isn’t the new F-word (misconceptions)

Becoming a parent is a celebration of one’s life. But is it the case if the born child is a girl?
‘Mubarak ho, beti hui hai’ is not actually a greeting for many in the society. But a burden that is imposed on them by destiny.
A girl faces discrimination right from the time when she is in the womb, which continues throughout her life. When a mother is expecting a baby, the family prefers ‘male children’ over female. When a girl is born, she is considered to be a burden. When she is growing, she is the victim of malnutrition as the first right on the food that comes in the family is of a male child. When it comes to her education, her brother’s education is preferred over hers. When it comes to her career, she is forced to keep quiet and just marry. Now, after marriage, this ‘burden’ goes to other family, where she works selflessly and in return gets violence. This cycle of discrimination continues throughout her life and she is expected to bear this all the way.

But, with the changing world, many people have come to support women and break the shackles of this torture and inequality against women. With this develops the concept of ‘Feminism’.

In simple terms, Feminism means the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities in the society.
Feminism means telling the people that the favorite colour of girls is not pink always, that boys can also cry, that girls can also roam on roads at midnight, that girls can pick any job of her wish (then be it a job of a driver only), that girls can also be sole bread earner of the family, that girls are not any less than boys.
Feminism breaks the narrow thinking of people that women are just puppets of male chauvinism. It empowers women to achieve their goals, without any fear.
Feminism acknowledges the discrimination that women faces like income gaps, inequality, gender based violence, body shaming, and the list goes on…
Feminism has changed the society in many ways, like many countries have passed laws relating to income gaps, domestic violence. It brought the women put out of their homes to work, if they choose so. Many movements, like MeToo, have been started to empower women. It has recognized that women’s right are human rights.

This concept has gained much popularity and helped women. Yet, it is misunderstood many a times. So now, we will look at the misinterpretations relating to the concept of Feminism. First misconception is that feminism is understood as being equivalent to matriarchy. But that is not the case. Feminism works towards equality, and not female superiority against any gender.
It is also believed that only women are associated with the Feminist Movement. But, a lot of famous male personalities have come in the support of feminism.
Also, feminists are usually mistaken to be the women who are only career- oriented and do not support women who are at home. If a women works or not, that is completely her own choice and has nothing to do with feminism.
A big misconception revolving in this modernized world is that we don’t need feminism now, it was necessary in the past. But that is surely not the case.
Even during this lockdown period, we can see a steep increase in domestic violence cases. And yet, our society is not free from many social evils against women.
Wearing pink is anti- feminism, is also a misconception. Wearing any colour has nothing to do with feminism. It’s just not the case that those who wear pink are less feminist than those who wear other colors.
Other misconception is that marriage is not accepted by women. It’s not true, in fact most feminists are married, and they don’t oppose marriage, instead they oppose the violence and sexual harassment associated in that marriage, if there is any.
Feminists hate men. That’s another misconception in the society. Feminists just want equal rights in all the spheres and there is no hatred against any gender. If someone tries to demean any sex in the name of feminism, that person sure isn’t a feminist.

With these misconceptions, we can see that there are many challenges to feminism, like we need strong laws for women equality in all the spheres or more precisely, we need strong implementation of these laws. We need to create more awareness amongst people, especially in rural people, not to consider girls a burden on them. We should make them aware about the glories that girls are bringing.

Thus we can say, feminism is the need of the hour to make society women- inclusive. We can see the positive effects of feminism on society, yet there is a long way to go, to make women truly independent and equal.
As G.D. Anderson once said,
” Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.”