Feminism and SocietyBy Sowmya Gopi
December 19, 2018
Why is being a feminist offensive? Why is it always highlighted in the wrong light? Just because it is feminism and not malinism or menilism doesn’t mean it has nothing to do with males or men in general and is only a term favoring women. When we talk of equality we mostly highlight the attributes of women because they are the ones usually given lesser rights. They are the ones suppressed and not considered equal to men. But that isn’t all feminism is about! If women are equal to men then men too are equal to women. If girls can have hobbies similar to what boys can have they too can have hobbies similar to us. These societal boundaries that are set for differently for both genders, that is what is to be rooted out. If a woman can be masculine, a man too has all the right to be feminine. This certain stereotypical mentality that is associated with masculinity is to be challenged. Why can’t men cry and are only taught to make others cry? They too have the right to be sensitive. They too can have emotions. They too can have fears and ambitions and be vulnerable. They don’t have to always wear this mask of being the unbreakable bearer of all the pain. Why should it always be a man taking care of protecting a woman? Why can’t the roles be reversed! What’s wrong if it is so? It feels like a slap on the face on the society when a woman stands superior to a man. No one ever says what’s the actual problem or is there even one. It’s just something new, something different from what they have been believing in, so it becomes wrong.
Yesterday I was watching a TV and I saw this 8- year old boy who likes to serve food, make tea, stitch falls on his mother’s saree and do all this that are considered “a woman’s job” getting scolded by his dad, who says he’d become a woman if he does a woman’s job. Not only that when in school the boy was asked about his hobbies and he mentioned stitching, cooking, making braids, playing with dolls, he was laughed upon and made fun of. Whereas when a fellow student who was a girl mentioned how she likes playing football, video games etc, everyone clapped and she was called a bright future of women today. The poor boy innocently asked the teacher, why can a girl do all the things a boy can do and boys cannot do the vice versa. And who is this society that gets to decide who does what? The boy was shut down by the teacher saying girls wear sarees and churidars will you wear them too? The boy just sat down and thought about it, that how girls get to wear men’s clothes today but a boy can’t even wear a pink color shirt without being Cally tacky or girly. It’s not just this episode that made me think, this is something that I have seen all my life and experience. What I found relatable was how I too am shut down like that poor kid from childhood for questioning the methods of society. A boy is teased upon if he likes “girly” colors, watch “girly” movies, is scared of something as insects, or if he breaks down into tears. People call these men names. It’s just sad how constrained our mentality is. How boys are taught the wrong terms of masculinity every day. Why are kids taught to be in a particular way from a very young age instead of being given the freedom to grow their own way and be themselves? They should be free to be who they want to be. Not forced to like this because that’s what girls do or do that because that’s what boys do. We are the one who brought all these differences and we are the one could change it. I’m no one to say what’s right and what’s wrong but I don’t get the societal definitions of femininity and masculinity. The world has evolved and with it must these vague definitions made up by us.