April 12, 2009

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, "It's a girl." ~Shirley Chisholm

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes." They will say, "Women don't have what it takes." ~Clare Boothe Luce

To tell a woman everything she may not do is to tell her what she can do. ~Spanish Proverb

myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute. ~Rebecca West, "Mr Chesterton in Hysterics: A Study in Prejudice," The Clarion, 14 Nov 1913, reprinted in The Young
Rebecca, 1982

The little rift between the sexes is astonishingly widened by simply teaching one set of catchwords to the girls and another to the boys. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Feminism and its dreaded implications were something which was celebrated in the month of March to it being Woman's History Month. Feminism is often seen to do with women rights and is often associated to symbolize some kind of radicalism as well to be mainly to do with certain sect of women. There have been prejudices with regard to feminism and feminists which has come to the platter of many discussions. The feminist movements started in Europe and later moving to North America and it is only lately that it entered the third world and then to Asia. Feminism has often been seen as a western concept which doesn't find a place in India and the South Asian society and its often seen as a reason for the dismemberment of the culture and society. But history and theory of feminism is something found floating everywhere and that's not something i wanna discuss on my blog.

Well i m here to discuss something related to feminists and people perceptions of them . I have been a big time feminists for years and i have no qualms about admitting it as well. But then when people meet me , they are more or less in denial about me being a feminist. Infact i have observed that preconceived notion floating always with regard to people forever. I feel preconceived notions are something which doom the reality of anyone. I remember people used to be aghast at my religion and my attitude towards life. I remember when i shifted my place after my school to a place which compromised of more traditional people then i used to stay ....people had problems about my religion, to my ambition and to my life. Well just because i could wear anything doesn't mean i can't be from a specific religion....just because i was not married after school and was ambitious doesn't mean i don't qualify to be a perfect girl.......and just because i m a rebel and i don't give a damn , doesn't mean my parents must be sick of me! But that's how preconceived notions are like and they didn't existed only before but they still exist .....and i still fight them......a person's sweetness can also seen to be a fake mask in today's world and that's how the word FEMINISM has become the F-word

Feminist is in its notions in Delhi has often come to mean the LSR girls. the girls spotting a boy cut, Khaddi look who don't give a damn about looking good and in gest who r men haters and last they have to lesbians....... i guess people in india haven't really grasped the meaning of feminism. Feminism doesn't stand for hate or fanaticism.....it never did! Infact Feminism in America flourished along with the black movement.....it was a kind of demand to be recognized as a human and given all the rights which a white man were getting.

But still according to people i don't qualify to be feminist....because

- i sport long black shiny hair
-i dress stylishly and i look good with some amount of makeup
-i don't hate men- on the contrary i have had the best male friends
- i m straight and have been in relationship- gosh thats mean u cant ever be a feminist
- i m proud to be a women and m not tomboyish nor ever wanna be like males

To add to all this is the further conception of only a woman being a feminist. i sometimes wonder what a crap is that. Today i can vouch on this forum that my quest with feminism started back in college and the teacher who made me so enthusiastic about feminism was a male...infact till date he conducts plays related to women empowerment......

So u see another of those conceptions!

Its true Indian society and its concept has been different and that's one reason Feminism is often seen as totally aghast to its culture. Feminism is never about superiority or inferiority but rather about right to choose and then it remains what one chooses freely. But more than anything in India what is feared is equality---whether in house or even in the parliaments. The demand for equality is what is panicking the Indian men......Equality in houses is a demand which is leading to more and more divorces.........and Demand for women rights is still far from becoming election issues even after having powerful women but once its there....there would be more breakdown in systems......as at the end of day its all about Male Ego!

That doesn't mean Men with strong belief don't exist ...They do and they do exist big time......but then they have to come to main frame and so do have is the centrality of the girls who don't cohere to notion of "Typical Feminist" and its only then can Feminism can wipe to be a F Word!

India is changing and so are the concept so i just hope this one F word stop from being the Dreaded word to the word of real uplift in the real arenas of society!

Crossposted@My Personal Blog


  1. i still remember it from ur blog !! loved it so much :)

  2. I Read somewhere..

    The most important aspect of feminism is to "RESPECT THE CHOICE OF A WOMAN"

    ---and I personally feel that's what this whole movement of feminism is all about. Being a literature student I have read about feminism closely so I can say this with conviction that Feminism has got nothing to do with usurping one's own gender and looking down upon another.
    It actually means to stand for EQUALITY which has been an integral part of the theories but has not been achieved in the true sense of the word until now.

    I totally agree with you here that the concept of Feminism is an alien concept in our country. People do tend to relate it specifically with women who are "REBELLIONS" and hate MEN or want to be like them. But the fact remains that feminism is not about trying to be like a Man--but being proud of born as a Woman..

    And..yeah.. I am UNDOUBTEDLY PROUD TO BE ONE..:)
    LOVED the post..:)

  3. completely agreed with your words nabila!
    feminism ,definately is not meant to get superiority over the opposite gender but to raie voice the very basic rights of being cared, being loved, being given the right to live lives freely.. and we are yet to be given this very right of ours!!
    stay blessed!

  4. @ Prats ...thanks one again

    @Chaarz....ur comment is essence of all that i wanted to address through this post....well my quest with feminism too started with my experience as a literature student back in grad.....and the basic premise i learnt was all about choices and not about ne kind of competition spell to uproot the other.....and i m glad there r many more people like me who understand it in the real sense i believe it in ......and i m so glad to have people arnd like u who believe in the same way ....thanks for understanding the really essence of this post....and this makes my purpose of writing it complete :-)

    @Uzra ...thanks so much...Truly Feminism is all about the right to opportunities and rights which we r destined too...but unfortunately many r denied it....As long we have the right to make choice that itself is the achievement then its about the women what choice she makes ....i m proud to be a feminist and more than nething proud to be woman :-)

  5. I never wanted this post to end..... wanted if it could just go on and on and on..... and I could sink deep in feminism, not cause I never have, but cause, I ALWAYS.

    Its a write, that I could reate to ins o much 'ME' sense.

    Would you mind Nabila, if I could just post this link on my blog, my blog which is all about women.

    Please let me know. I want more and more chauvinists to read this, and know what actually 'feminism' is.

    I hate it, when someone stomps over me saying, 'ah! Miss F. !"

    That's like, 'Fuck off dude ! You don't even know feminism is." I hate that .... big time !

    I am so much, so much moved and enlightened by your write .



  6. @ Illashree....u know what....i so wanted ur reaction on this one...i m so glad u actually read it and liked it.....

    And offcourse u can netime post the link on ur blog...because the main purpose of this post more than nething is to remove the misconceptions relating to feminism and feminist...the misconception has made feminists into some kind of fanatics who hate men and are the dreaded species...high time ppl know WE DON'T HATE MEN

    and worse is when i tell someone i m a feminist but i dont freak being in love and have the best of frnds who r male...only thing is i believe in equality.......and they r like o ho that kind...so the safer side for all females who like the word feminism...i m like excuse me thats what feminism is ....gosh i could actually remove the misconceptions off some of those ppl and i will feel i actually achieved something

    thanks a lot for liking it :-)

  7. Hmm.... no boys posted any comments???

    I feel there should nt be any differentiation between men and women....

    Its all in the mind....
    If ur mind is strong and well focused u can achieve anything on this earth no matter u r a man or a woman.....

    It can be debated....
    but i feel this is the only way we can stop this differentiation...

  8. @The Vitruvian Boy ...bingo thats what i wanted to say ....and i m just so glad u understood .....

    even i m like astonished guys of our lounge didnt actually comment :P


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