‘Feminist’ - a word I have heard many a times during the course of my lifetime. Few years ago, when this word came up during discussion among friends, we ignored it, as if describing yourself as a feminist was a crime. And now, I embrace it. But people still freak out when I use this word. Our lifestyle has evolved. But our perception and our thoughts are still the same. The word ‘feminist’ is partially understood, wrongly perceived and blindly criticized.
‘Feminism’ means advocating for women’s right in social, political and economical ground. Yes, I am a feminist. I choose equality over discrimination. I choose respect over dominance and emancipation over tyranny. Women have long been victim of suppression and domination in different aspects of development. They are to be given opportunities at different levels for their all round development. Give me an opportunity because I am educated, not because I am a woman. If we are to uplift the underprivileged female population, we need to provide them education and awareness, quota system is not the only solution.
We have a female president in the country. Our chief justice and speaker of the house are also female. We have female entrepreneur who have broken the stigma of business world.
It feels ecstatic to have ladies at the top but can we take this as a milestone in women empowerment? It is sad that a woman’s existence is only validated with the existence of her husband and her children’s with the presence of their father.
Male patriarchy in the society is deep rooted. Women have been fighting relentlessly for their rights. A daughter should be taught to fight for her rights, finance herself and marry only when she wants to, not because she is in her twenties.
As a man, your respect for women should not be defined by the length of her dress. As a woman, I prefer to pay my own bills when I go out on a date. I do not shy away when I have to express my opinions and I do not fear to call out the guy who makes me a subject of eve teasing. Salary should be determined by the skills not by the sexes.
I am a woman and that does not always imply I am weak. I don’t carry begging bowl of ‘I am woman so give me this right’ everywhere. Gone are the trends of ‘Ladies First’. I can stay in the queue and wait for my turn. Yes, I am a woman and I am strong. I can write my own destiny and it will never need affirmation from any man. I respect men who have a role to play in my life but I can conquer my own Everest. I voice for equality if I am not treated equal. I am a warrior in my shining armor and I can take the lead in my fight. I do not demand sympathy and next time when someone calls me a feminist, I shall not be stupefied with the remark. Yes, I am a feminist. Are you one?