We human beings either male, female or other have the right to live with dignity, respect and freely without any sorts of undue disturbances in our path and way of living. However, to be the part of conflict, to undergo certain disturbances, to be victimized somewhere becomes part of life and life experiences. Different social movements are the result of conflict and clash of interest in the society.
Feminism is the belief in social, economic and political equality where men and women should have equal rights as well as opportunities. Feminism promotes gender equality. It’s about genders and their equal rights and opportunities. It advocates about inclusivity, not particularly about women. It is the idea of working towards achieving global gender equality. But in our society many people have misunderstood its real meanings.
There is thinking that feminism is the ideology where women are given extreme priority than men. It is a wrong concept. Feminism is about women becoming equal, but not contradicting to development of society and all its members. Everyone is born equal, regardless of caste, gender, race or sexuality.
Feminism is about working against the system built to keep certain groups of people oppressed and driving towards equality for everyone. Not only did feminism influence gender equality but also in race, caste and ethnicities. Our deep political, socio-economic, psychological structure of the society have given rise to the revolutionary feminist movement and feminism since our societal structure has portrayed men as dominant, powerful, leader and aggressive whereas woman as dependent, help seeker and soft hearted and more often housewife. Let’s not get driven only towards females, being male, female and other as a part of society we all are homemakers at micro level and society makers at macro level.
Feminism is generally perceived as a movement solely based on women and it is true too but the misconception occurs when we perceive it as eliminating men and men’s rights. Believing feminism as the platform that eliminates men and men rights is totally the wrong conception and misleading perception towards this idea, since its ultimate goal is to bring equality and unity in a society.
There are many women who totally believe in feminism since she was not given opportunity or was victim of violence or shares the value that women where historically discriminated and some believe it only for the sake of being known. In this 21st century, we perceive that true feminism is the true equality of both men and women, without it being limited or restricted.
We can see many young men and women growing up today that have been raised in more feminist households, where men and women do a share of work in the house. They both have opportunities for education and jobs.
Many people seek some degree of equality between the genders in both the private and public sphere. This manifest itself in terms of a more equitable representation of men and women within the field of employment and the political process.
In domestic background, gender equality may be said to happen when men and women take on a shared level of responsibility. Mainstream feminists lean to be extremely supportive of gender parity in all its forms. However, there is cunning eminence to be made here between liberal and radical feminists.
Liberal feminists firmly believe in equality of opportunity between the genders. From liberal perspective, equal opportunities assure that everyone fulfils their potential and thereby leads a life by liberty. Whereas, radical feminists take a different mode. They are more dogmatic in their authorization of a society built around almost dominance of females. Their argument rests upon the premise that men and women benefit from this approach.
There are many people who advocate that men and women can never have equal opportunities since men and women are not the same in terms of their physical ability, body structure and all. Men and women are not the same but equality is being advocated here rather than becoming the same.
Becoming equal and having equal and positively sanctioned access is far different than becoming the same. Discussing men’s right or socio-economic and political rights of all class of people along with women’s right could keep forward the feminist agenda by creating unity between both genders.
Feminism doesn’t attack upon men’s rights but attacks upon patriarchy and the weak and helpless portrayal of female in a society. If we see deeply, male are also somewhere the victim of patriarchy since it is widely perceived that men are strong, they don’t cry, they don’t depend and they don’t cook, they don’t clean and other related things which in fact have made victim to the males which do not keep up to society’s so called discriminatory standards. Feminism actually fights toxic expectations on behalf of both men and women.
The Dutch activist Jens Van Tricht has argued in his book ‘Why Feminism is Good for Men’, that feminism is not just about improving the position and status of women, but also about freeing men(and women) from the restrictive codes that hold them back. Actually for men, it may provide the inspiration and courage for shifting towards more co-operative and equal relationships and friendships, greater sharing of care and work responsibilities, and working to reduce organised and individual violence.
Feminism includes uplifting women and encouraging them as well as men too. Society has different perceptions to it. Due to plethora of reasons, women suffer more than men and therefore get various opportunities but this doesn’t mean that men are being ignored or not getting priority. Feminism ideology promote and see the balance between genders.
Feminism has to be understood as the concept favouring equality achieving through equity principles. There is now a stack of grounds that men benefit from living in more gender – equal societies and that policies promoting gender equality improve the quality of life of everyone, not just for women. A concern with gender is seen as necessarily and automatically involving the development of a feminist critique.
Men and women are like bricks and cement, both are not the same but equally important to build a house. In the same manner feminism is to bring about equality in terms of different opportunities, to have respect and have no barriers for both men and women. Men’s participation in gender justice movement could strengthen feminist efforts up to some extent. Feminism is about giving men and women a full cadre of choices about what they can do, they want to do and how they can achieve those goals.
There is predominant importance to end the multiple forms of gender violence and ensure equal access to quality education and health, economic resources and participation in political life for person of all groups. It is also substantive to attain equal opportunities in access to employment and emplacement at leadership and decision making level in every field. Ensuring the scale, pace, and irreversibility of change towards gender equality and women’s rights requires feminist approaches that address the causes of gender equality.
Feminism is not about women’s rights in isolation, so let’s change our perception and misconception towards it. Therefore, we female the initiator, and men as supporters, together are the homemakers. Thus, it is the wrong thinking that feminism puts women in superior level and men inferior level. Feminism is the concept where both are equally important for the development of society and nation.
(Shah and Aryal are the students of BA.LLB. Second Year in Kathmandu School of Law Dadhikot, Bhaktapur.)
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