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Life & More

ARE YOU A FEMINIST?

Life&More March 8, 2019
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Shreya Garg

Evolution with time is a continuous process. A headway towards egalitarianism or feminism has gained traction, more so, in recent times. But how much of an individual’s conscience and understanding of the concept of feminism has contributed to the making of a world of equals is to be questioned.
FEMINISTS: LEGIT OR IN THE MAKING?
In an age where various frantic hashtags and movements have been dedicated to the cause of feminism, one wonders if the ones who claim to be feminist are truly the legit ones, and not in the run up to becoming one. This misgiving arises for the big question mark that looms over as to what happens to the years of conditioning and understanding that has nurtured our perceptions to view the binary of men and women in our society.


POSITIVE CHANGE BUT POSITIVE ENOUGH?
We have always been a society where women have been long suppressed and oppressed. However, with time people change primarily due to the influences that their experience in the past had on them. One always tends to make mental note of injustices done to them to make sure that their next generation doesn’t get the same treatment. Perhaps this is why, people’s bitter experiences make them a bit more lax and giving in their relationship to other people. The pertinent question is can they qualify themselves as an equal opportunity giver?
Positive changes are there in plenty yet are the changes adequate enough for women to rejoice, feel grateful, fulfilled and maybe truly liberated? Many a times, the hope to solace comes from the circumstantial history of ancestors. It serves as a reminder that their present situation is much better and pleasant. But is this feminism all about? Shouldn’t it be about egalitarianism instead of making do with the existing circumstances? For how long, after all, do we intend to make do? Period spent rejoicing on small freedoms also happens to be a bout of another infliction and deprivation, of less grave nature and perhaps not even palpable to some, and what could be worse than a suffering which is anonymous in nature?
GENESIS OF ESSENCE OF WOMANHOOD
Some say women only become stumbling stones to a level-playing field between women and men. One wonders if it holds true and if so, then what could be the plausible reasons for it. It could be attributed to the years of forced ascetism, early on in their lives, which have corroborated their belief system to an extent that they actually begin to glorify their subjugated lives and give it a meaning, that is, the essence of womanhood. Hence, the explanation of existing role-playing with other women in the most stereotypical fashion.
COMPASSION HELPS, UNDERMINING THE SUFFERING DOESN’T
Victim-hood doesn’t necessarily help one in understanding that a crime of a less grave nature is a crime only. Although we are becoming more aware, and hence realising the importance of parity with changing times but then why is the change so little and made in instalments? When are we going to be out and out an egalitarian society? Developments are made with an idea or goal in mind. One would hope that the developments made so far have a long term goal to be achieved. Then why shall there be any resistance to further developments in the process of achieving the goal? The answer to this is probably because we’re moving with the times. The evolution is more a product of necessity driven change. It is not stemming, so much so, from the humans conscience and understanding of the goodwill of feminism. This explains why our ancestors think we are way better off than they were. This also leads to them becoming an obstruction in the way to progress, for our problems are negated before their graver ordeals. The justification is understandable but, not fair. Here is how one can realise that the understanding of equality is lost on many of us.
For instance, today people are increasingly realising that education for a girl child is essential. However, we have still not achieved a majoritarian view of making girls independent, for we still do stipulate the ‘no job’ and other clauses. This is just one small example among many other small and big ones. So while there is some reason to rejoice but, some reason to worry as well.

IMPACT OF CONDITIONING ON HUMAN MIND
They say years of conditioned attitudes and belief structure makes a person who he is. It could possibly not be easy for people conditioned with stereotypical beliefs, with respect to the quintessential archaic position of women in a society, to really recuperate from their years of well-nurtured regressive beliefs. After all, the conditioned mindset brings along with it certain deep-rooted notions which if changed would enable a person to give in to the inevitable demands of the current environment but with a lingering feeling of disenchantment. For instance, one of the major reasons for the not-so-massive success of the feminist movement and in millennial relationships is owing to the long standing notion of men on how they longed, prefigured and desired their kind of ideal woman. It’s obvious that the ideal woman was uniformly the coy, meek, and a submissive one. Their substance was determined based on their perseverance, patience, and ability to put up with grave atrocities and blatant inequalities. It just so happened that men found their empowerment from their timidity. This conditioning has been etched in the minds of people for long. Which is why the sudden demands in the favour of women is met with a duplicitous response. It means that perhaps men are eventually giving in to the demands of women but grudgingly.
CHANGE IN POWER DYNAMICS
With power dynamics changing in the relationship between opposite sex partners diametrically, the men find themselves unable to cope with the sudden inexplicable demands and fury of hitherto long subjugated women yet they give in. These demands are sudden, probably because the awareness quotient in today’s time is at an all-time high. The realisation that they had let their individualities go for a toss is what compounds the anger in the lives of long submissive women.
This is the thing with inexplicable fury – a product of belated realisation. It confuses the mind of the recipient and makes the giver look like a rebel without a cause. Anyway a rebel is a rebel and with inexplicable sudden fury as its befuddling weapon it has somewhat  got what it wanted but not with an open heart.
BELATED REALISATION SHOULDN’T BE DISCRIMINATED
One could only hope that people truly understand the reasons behind the sudden fury, for it’s a big blow to anyone to discover how they themselves abided by a set of misplaced and non-questioned existing notions for a good amount of their life only to discover how colossally wrong they were. It simply hurts, and their problem is compounded on seeing how they have set a pattern of living for themselves. Seeking to grow out of an existing pattern is not very easy, one is questioned and made to feel helpless. It’s never too late to stand for what one believes in. One can only hope that society too acknowledges and gives equal space for women to grow and flourish.

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