I cannot remember the first time I heard the word ‘feminism,’ but I remember the first time the term came alive. I listened to the speaker, intrigued and curious, before turning to Google to confirm what I had just heard. Thankfully, it matched. So, from that day, I identified with the term feminist - a person who believes in the equal rights of men and women.
From then on, I remember often feeling shocked when anyone snickers and proudly says they are not feminists. Why would anyone not agree that everyone should be given equal opportunities? That was always the question to which I would later find an answer — many of them have only listened to the misandrists masked as feminists, especially since they are often the loudest group, quick to shout feminism only when it suits them.
So, when GD, a former colleague, asked why feminism encourages women to disrespect their husbands, I resisted the urge to ask what disrespect meant to him. Instead, I told him feminism has nothing to do with the relationship between husband and wife, and perhaps those women misunderstood or found a convenient excuse for their behaviour.
In its true essence, feminism is just clamouring that everyone, male or female, is given equal socioeconomic and political rights. Feminists are not a group of rude women who hate femininity, who are disagreeable, who hates men, or who wants to appropriate men.
It is about providing equal opportunities for both genders. It is about being able to choose. It’s about merit, irrespective of gender.
It isn’t about equal outcomes because how can the outcome be guaranteed? So, I fail to see how feminism is a basis for demanding that the female soccer team be paid the same as the male soccer team when they don’t generate the same revenue. It’s about fairness and not favouring one gender above the other.
I have found that feminism differs from what many people think it is, but they would know if they did their own research.
So, what is feminism to you?