Busting the Common Myths About Feminism
One of the most talked about terms these days is ‘Feminism’ and do you know it’s also one of the most misconstrued and misinterpreted term?
In a recent interview, renowned star Kareena Kapoor stated- “I believe in equality. I won’t say I am a feminist. I would say I am a woman. Above all, I am a human being.” Her, controversial statement didn’t go down well on social media and brought immense disappointment for her fans! And well she isn’t the only one! There are many bollywood actors who have hesitated to call themselves ‘Feminists’ in the past.
Parineeti Chopra, who was once the brand ambassador of Beti Bachao Beti Padao campaign, stated- ‘I am very often confused to be a Feminist but I am not’.
In one of her press conferences, Madhuri Dixit Nene once remarked, ‘I don’t think I am a feminist. I am independent and smart, which is what women should be like’ thereby hinting that a woman shouldn’t be feminist.
While most people think that ‘feminism’ is an overused term, what most people don’t know is that it’s semantics is equally misapprehended. It’s the sheer lack of comprehension of the word that leads people to disavow feminism. If not, then why would such public figures just shrug the term off and find it demeaning to be called so?
This brings us to the question WHAT IS FEMINISM ALL ABOUT?
Feminism is a belief that considers men and women equal on all grounds- be it social, political, economical, legal or personal. The person who advocates this belief and seeks equal rights and opportunities for women can be called as a feminist.
While it is important to know who is a feminist, it is equally pertinent to understand what being a feminist does not mean. One of the reasons why these celebrities, want to distance themselves from this word is because of the myths associated with it.
5 Pervasive Myths About Feminism
MYTH1.Feminists hate men
This is one of the most persistent myths about feminism. Feminism is not anti-male nor does it perpetuate hatred for men. It isn’t a battle of sexes but a cause that’s against sexism and sexist oppression. It is as much pro-men as it is pro-women.
MYTH 2. Only women can be Feminist
Feminism as a movement is all inclusive and supportive, not exclusive to women only. Anybody who advocates female liberation and opposes gender discrimination, is a feminist. So if you are a man who believes in equal rights and opportunities for women, guess what? You are a feminist too. And that doesn’t make you any less of a man.
MYTH 3. A Feminist Can’t Be Feminine
Why are you wearing a pink lipstick if you are feminist? Why do you cook or wear heels? These are some of the irrelevant questions that are posed to a feminist woman. Being a feminist doesn’t mean that one can’t be conventionally feminine. In fact, feminism is all about giving women autonomy to choose how she wants to represent herself and empower her to do whatever she likes to. It is a false notion that one needs to disdain all girly things in order to seek one’s rights as a woman.
MYTH 4. Feminism seeks female supremacy over male
Feminism is not about matriarchy winning over patriarchy. Nor is it about females wanting to take over the world, rendering men powerless. Feminists do not want supremacy but EQUALITY – equality for all irrespective of one’s cultural, race, gender, or class background.
MYTH 5. Feminists are against marriage
Gloria Marie Steinem, a recognized American feminist and political activist, was married and there are numerous other married feminists like her. It’s a misconception that feminists disregard marriage. What they don’t believe in, however, is an ‘unequal marriage’. They advocate marriage as an alliance of partnership as against a patriarchal entity.
It is essential for people to know what Feminism is all about, because the number of misconceptions related to it goes beyond this list. The sooner these myths are debunked, the easier it is for everyone to embrace and accept this term with pride and confidence.
Note- I originally wrote this article for mrigaa.com.
Featured Image Credits – theodysseyonline.com