Women's Day Special

(Miss)Interpreted Feminism

Aasma Fayaz for BeyondHeadlines

We are what we believe in” goes a saying. But what if our belief is incorrect? Or rather misunderstood and misinterpreted! Feminism is a belief in equality of the sexes – social, political and economic. It is a movement; a commitment to women’s equal rights. If I say, “I am a feminist,” I mean I am non-sexist. It is a concept grounded in the belief that women are oppressed, disadvantaged and marginalised. And their oppression is illegitimate and unjustified. As feminists, we do not demand men to become like women or vice-versa. Feminism is not about placing women higher than men or flaunting superiority. It is about rights – basic, inherent and human rights.

To understand it better and practice it, it is significant to first sensitize both males and females to help them develop an understanding of “gender” and “sex.” At the heart of feminism is this sensitivity. And this does not just mean (man) streaming women but also challenging patriarchy and acknowledging women’s issues. People who are offended at the mere expression of the term do not understand it. Those who call themselves “anti-feminists” need to understand. The onus of training them lies with us even as we shout out loud our feminist slogan “Personal is Political.”

(Aasma Fayaz is a Delhi based Social worker.)

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