I am a feminist, a hardcore one. But, lately, it has started to feel like an insult to be called one. The only reason I considered myself to be one was because it stood for equality, not superiority over the other sex. Otherwise, this see-saw of one gender having to fight for equal rights can never end. The vicious cycle of rejection, suppression and oppression will continue forever. Yes, the world needs to stop assigning tasks and responsibilities to just a particular gender. A man need not be pressured into taking up a job he does not enjoy or even go out to work if he wants to manage his home. Women need not be tied down to attending kitty parties if that makes zero sense to their lives.
The sense of self-worth and importance must never be associated with who adds more to the gross family income.
Just as charity begins at home, bringing about change at any level and in any format does too. Bringing a difference to the way you behave or towards accepting things you do unwillingly is the key here. If you can't start with practising, acting, being or treating all as equals, at least start with rejecting the ideas you do not align with. Be brave, set examples and try and propagate (not enforce) your beliefs. Don't wake up early if it pains you, don't get a job if you don't want one, get one if you do, meet your near and dear ones as many times as you can, for as long as you would like to and not as is acceptable to your spouse, family, in-laws etc. Cook if you love to, follow traditions if they make you happy, don't follow if they don't. Most importantly never enforce your views and opinions on others.
Not everyone is blessed with an exceptionally understanding set of family, friends or people around and neither is it simple to stand for oneself, I get that, but the more you do it the easier it gets over time.
Being you involves every aspect of your life – be it the dress you choose to wear, those unconventional life choices you make, even the way you laugh, sneeze, burp or fart, just about everything. You certainly should not neglect any aspect; however, you have got to pick your battles wisely. The process of change must be approached logically, setting priorities in place. Another indispensable point to remember here is to try and overcome the desire to avenge the next generation or anyone for that matter simply because you've suffered. One might feel my views aren't feminist enough as per the current trend. What I don't understand is that when support for the movement isn't gender-specific and when we do not mind men joining and supporting the movement, why should we have a problem with feminism encouraging hand in hand progress of all genders?
A male friend of mine spoke about how petrified he is around unknown women these days, not for his safety but for being misjudged. Every time this poor thing enters a train station, he literally walks with his arms up praying to not touch or bump into a woman accidentally.
No form of feminism in my dictionary talks about making life difficult for other innocent beings. It has become synonyms with incessant male bashing. Using the movement for individual benefits is horrible. This is such an appalling curse to the effort generations of women and men have put in for us.