What do feminists really want?

The word Feminist comes from the word ‘Feminism’ which means ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes’. Naturally, feminists are those people who support women’s rights and fight for their equality. One thing which comes to our mind when we connect Hollywood to feminism is the life of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. But were they really feminists? Just because they survived the industry on their own, it doesn’t make them the ambassadors of women’s equality. In fact, Audrey Hepburn has even been quoted as saying “I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself”.  It is strange that here, she compares herself to a man. Because according to her, to live your life the way you want – only men can do that. But, isn’t that sexist?

Let us come to the main point. What are these feminists really fighting for? They say they want equality and the same rights as men do, and wishing to gain all the things that men already have. I feel that even though there is a lot of space for the improvement of women’s rights, there is always someone who has to be superior to the other. Like the food chain, for example. The human is always on the top – And only he/she can be.

I feel that people, who call themselves feminists, even though they are fighting for a good cause, are somewhat confused as to what they really want. They want to be treated as equals, but want special treatment at times too. They expect men to be chivalrous – to open doors for women, to carry heavy bags for them, et al. So isn’t that gender stereotyping? You want men to behave as ‘men’ – rough and tough, chivalrous, tall, dark and handsome. But when someone pinpoints women about their stereotypes, they become aggressive and call men sexist! How in the world is that fair?!

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I think women of this century have taken the word ‘feminism’ to an extreme. In earlier times, famous feminists and suffragists such as Jane Adams and Lucy Burns fought for women’s education, their basic right to vote etc. However during the past few years, being a feminist has become completely different. It has become more about bringing the other sex down – We aren’t fighting for ourselves, we’re fighting at the idea that men have it better than us. And there’s a huge difference in that. You might think I’m an anti feminist. But that’s not the case. I’m all for women’s equality, but right now with the kind of trend that is being set by the so called ‘feminists’, it has become a bit overwhelming.  In today’s time, it is almost like a crime to say anything against women, or you’ll be labeled as an anti feminist – No matter what the woman has done. She won’t ever be blamed. We shouldn’t fight for our rights because we want to be at par with the men.  We should fight so that women, in the present as well as in the future, can live a comfortable life and are able to express themselves without being questioned. This isn’t a fight between men and women – It is solely about a cause concerning the society as a whole.  Bringing the men down just to show women as superior doesn’t mean that you have achieved your objectives.

Before calling yourself a feminist, you should know what you’re really fighting for. Check your facts before you go around thrashing men for silly reasons. It is better to not comment if you’re unsure about something but at least don’t pretend to be a feminist if you don’t anything about it. Recently, Lena Dunham, who is a self proclaimed feminist, appeared on the cover of Vogue. Her picture was heavily retouched, including slimming down of her body. Since she so vocal about women’s issues, why did she not object to such photos? Isn’t she promoting an unrealistic image for women?

When it comes to men, we hardly see them expressing any concern for their rights. And why would they? They’ve always got whatever they wanted, without even working for it. But sometimes it makes us think – Do men really even care about their own rights? It might have something to do with the fact that they were always considered superior. But even when we fit them into stereotypes (like how men aren’t supposed to cry), they never seem to complain about it. Is this kind of ignorance good? Do they not require any kind of agency through which they can talk about their rights? It is a question which has no answer. It makes us women wonder – Is ignorance really the best policy? I don’t think so. If feminists in the 18th or 19th century were ignorant about this cause, women wouldn’t be where they are now. We all owe it to them. It’s not wrong to be a feminist – just know what you are fighting for.

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