And believe me I am a feminist; not a bra burning or pink chaddi campaigning type, but a feminist nonetheless. What does being a feminist mean? There is so much confusion regarding what is feminism that it almost always automatically translates to man-hating. I am all for equal rights for men and women, fighting gender bias and stereotyping based on gender. For that matter anyone can be a feminist, not just women; men can be feminist too. My husband is a feminist, my father is a feminist, my brother is a feminist… And to my utter disappointment and shock there are actually more women who are enemies of feminism than men. Truly, if you look around, you will find more women pulling each other down, judging, bad-mouthing and bickering about other women than men.
And another important aspect of feminism I would like to highlight here is that when we advocate equal rights for men and women, we women should also wake up to the fact that we cannot expect a man to give up his seat for a woman; for a woman who is able and healthy that is. Expecting to be treated equally and then expecting a man to give up his seat for a woman is not feminism. Then, it just means that you are agreeing to be treated as a weaker sex, isn’t it. Same goes for reservations in various arenas too. Let’s not confuse between feminism and sexism and let’s be clear on what feminism actually means.
So coming back to my topic, I will empower my daughter in all ways possible and tell her that sky is the limit for her. She can do whatever she wishes and aspires. But I would never tell her that marriage and motherhood aren’t important. But again, it would be her choice ultimately to make that decision.
It irks me to read articles where mothers’ advice their daughters that marriage isn’t important, as in, you don’t need a man in your life to provide for you and take care you. I agree with being financially independent and all, but relating that to marriage isn’t something I agree with. May be in the olden ages, marriage was meant for securing a girl’s future mostly financially but that doesn’t mean we still believe it to be the underlying reason for marriage?
Marriage is coming together of two people who love each other and want each other’s companionship. It is growing to adjust and understand each other’s idiosyncrasies and tolerate each other’s quirks and irritating mannerisms. It is to fall so much in love with each other that you want to bring a new life into this world that you created. It is growing old together, supporting each other through thick and thin; being an emotional rock for each other, staying strong like a pillar of support for each other in stressful times and being there for one another always.
Which other relationship can offer all this and more? And how can we ever think of telling our daughters that marriage isn’t important? Don’t we want them to experience the joy a happy marriage can bring and the unparalleled feeling motherhood can provide? Yes it is true that not all marriages are happy and there are people stuck in abusive and stressful relationships, but giving up on the prospect of marriage due to such cases, is not something that can be a solution.
What does feminism mean to you? Is it shunning all the age old practices related to women? Or is it blindly saying no to everything that was done earlier?
What’s wrong with being a well- educated woman choosing to marry and have kids? Since when did that become regressive?
Thanks for patiently reading through my ranting. Please do share your views on this and follow me if you like what you read.