While Gretchen Wieners couldn’t make ‘fetch’ happen but one of the most iconic lines of the movie was sure said by her. Rules of feminism vary, for some it may mean not to hit on your friend’s significant other while for the others it probably means adopting a matriarchal society or shunning away the ideas of beauty laid down by the patriarchy. But there are certain broad rules that I adhere to.
1.FEMINIST IS NOT ABOUT BEING SUPERIOR.
Take this with a bitter pill. Feminism in its most rudimentary sense means equality amongst sexes and since it is us women who face the brunt of being a ‘female’, feminism becomes about us. As a feminist I strongly believe that fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ community is a feminist issue. I believe in equal pay for equal work, I don’t want perks just because I have boobs and a vagina. I want perks because I have worked hard and my hard work is recognized! Conversely I also support initiatives taken by government and non-government institutes alike, that reservation for women in parliament? I support it.
2. BEING A FEMINIST IS NOT ABOUT BEING AGGRESSIVE, MASCULINE AND LOUD-MOUTHED LIKE A MAN.
Most of us have an image in our mind when we think of the word ‘Feminist’. Feminist is stereotyped to be a person who hates men, wrecks families, speaks a lot, and does not follow traditions and someone who probably burns bras. While I am the kind of feminist who speaks a lot but that’s usually because I am responding to some sort of chauvinistic bullshit.
You can be docile, soft, and shy and still be a feminist. Why? Because feminism is about equality and till you are supporting it does not matter whether you wear dungaree or a delicate skirt. You don’t have to be ‘masculine’ to be a feminist.
And burning bras? They are expensive and I am a broke student living off my parents’ money at the age of 22.
I hold this very close to my heart and aim to be very conscious about it. It is often said that a woman is a woman’s biggest enemy and I hate it. I believe in the concept of sisterhood. I believe in bringing each other up even if you hate me and probably want to fight me. I don’t care if you are pro-life or love Donald Trump, for me what is important is that you get a platform to speak but don’t mind me when I get on the same platform and very politely and civilly destroy each argument of yours. I believe in a peaceful conversation instead of a heated one.
4. ANALYZE YOUR TRADITIONS.
Traditions, isn’t that important. I am all for culture and traditions but I don’t want to be in a sari and ten kilograms of gold while you walk in a western shirt and trousers. Don’t put the baggage of carrying the traditions and honour of my family on my shoulders alone.
What is again important is if those traditions suit me or not. If they try to destroy my personal sense of identity and try to take away my right to make choices then that tradition needs a tata. Culture is a social construct and is bound to change and reform, my identity is my psychological construct and I cannot change it because it will disrupt my psyche and you don’t want that.
5. REDEFINE BOUNDARIES AND ADDRESS THOSE STEREOTYPES.
Cooking is not just for women, my father makes the best paneer makhani in the world, my mother can’t even compare. I can count ten different chefs and I won’t be able to come up with one single female chef. So why is it that we are constantly using the word women and kitchen in the same sentence? Ever heard of Indira Nooyi, Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington?
We live in a world where any human being (whether man or woman) can do whatever his heart desires. Jeffrey Star does better makeup than I will ever be able to do. It is not fair when you try to keep two different set of occupations and try allotting them to a particular gender. You need to grow out of the mind-set that my hands are good for sewing or for holding a spatula. You also need to stop thinking that a good wife equates to being a good housekeeper.
And lastly, these aren’t the only rules in fact these might not even be rules for someone else. Every woman has a different set of rules for feminism and some might not even be a feminist.
Let me know your rules of feminism.