Yesterday I read this report about a new social networking site called State which is designed around the idea of opinion sharing. But unlike Facebook or Twitter, State requires you to choose a “topic” before you can “state” your opinion. I found this idea interesting and hence created an account right away.
As I started exploring the site I came across the topic of Feminism. But as I read the opinions that various users had posted (or “stated”), I started feeling disturbed. The Snapshot section on the right bar depressed me more: the top two words that commenters had used to describe feminism were “destructive” and “sexist”.
Following are two comments which are more or less representative of the discussion:
Being a woman in 2014 is piss easy, you get everything handed to you.
Equal rights were reached years ago, now the feminist goal is female supremacy.
blaming an entire gender for you problems is not about equality
The first comment is a proof of ethnocentrism that dictates many of the discussions about feminism (or any other topic for that matter) and second comment shows that people do not understand what feminism really is. Feminism’s goal is not female supremacy; the goal is to end women’s exploitation so that they can enjoy basic human rights like liberty and equality (Is that too much to ask for?).
Feminism does not say women should be treated better than men. Feminism does not consider men its enemy. Feminism does not fight against men: it fights against patriarchy. There is a difference. Patriarchy is an evil system and both men and women are complicit in its perpetuation — consciously or unconsciously. Feminism’s goal is to end this system of exploitation and control. But it does not want to achieve this by shooting the perpetrators or sending them to jail (we are not Maoists). It aims to change the mindset of people by showing why patriarchy is an unjust system and how it harms both women and men.
Contrary to what the first commenter says, being a woman in 2014 is NOT easy. Women still get raped. They still get beaten by their husbands. Their agency is controlled in myriad ways on a daily basis.
Feminism is misunderstood by many. It is an egalitarian ideology and not a supremacist one. The victory of feminism will benefit both the sexes equally. Men and women have to live together on this planet earth. Both are interdependent. Better life for one means better life for the other too.