The word feminism has a very negative connotation to it. Mostly because it is believed that feminism is about women taking power away from men, to become the same as men or reject their femininity. That is not what feminism is about, that’s pseudo feminism. Because feminism is beyond that. Feminism is about equality. It is about extirpating the historical disfranchisement and silencing of women. Yet, due to the negative connotation, many people will agree on gender equality, and deny supporting feminism.
The term equalist is also used as a substitute. But supporting equal rights and identifying as a feminist isn’t the same because equalism directly resonates with the sameness of the two genders and associating feminism with sameness is a very narrow-minded attitude. Of course, a man and women are not the same because women are biologically different than men but that doesn’t justify the prejudice against marginalization of women. So, how can you support equality when the playing field has not been leveled in the first place? To explicate this Adichie, a Nigerian writer highlights the importance of why one must advocate for feminism and not equalism. She writes, ‘Why does it have to be you as a woman? Why not you as a human being? This type of question is a way of silencing persons’ specific experiences. Of course, I am a human being but there are particular things that happen to me in this world because I am a woman’ But with great grief, I must add that not just patriarchal men but even some women will express ardent acquiesce against the idea of feminism due to the deeply rooted idea of patriarchy in them. It is high time we all come together and support the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the genders.
Because the day this world starts accepting gender equality is the day when little children in India won’t be married off as a minor , rape culture won’t be normalized , an empowered female would be able to say no to various situations without being afraid of being vocal about their wants in various decisions, gaps in labor force would be eradicated , sexual harassment won’t be something that most women have had already faced before the age of 13, a world where everyone matters, a functional work.
Hence, even though the world is far away from achieving gender equality anytime soon but it surely is moving forward at a good pace and progress is happening. With more people aware about this movement , we all can proceed towards a better functioning world.