By Riya Susheyl, ESK S5ENA
The word feminism is often misconceived as a meaningless movement initiated by angry women. “Why do feminists hate men?”, a question that’s brought up a lot when the topic of feminism arises; but shouldn’t the real question be why does a movement for equal rights for women become so misunderstood to the point where it’s still about men? Feminists do not hate men. The whole concept of feminism is promoting gender equality, not female dominance.
Most of us blindly believe that sexism doesn’t exist anymore since it’s the 21st century; dress codes, safety issues, low paying jobs and career opportunities prove otherwise, don’t they? We need to normalize the fact that equal rights for women isn’t a privilege; it’s a birth right every girl is entitled to. It’s agonizing that millions of women still feel the need to struggle to be treated equally or get paid the same salary as any man would, or receive the higher education she deserves, or live life the way she wants.
This judgemental society we live in teaches girls to be elegant, pretty, “lady like” and good daughters, wives, then mothers; how often is it that a girl is taught to be herself, free and happy? Seldom, to be very realistic. The idea of feminism is of eradicating these expectations, such as the beauty standards set by the society in general, which would make life better and easier for everyone. Sadly, feminism, harassment and abuse of women still remains an ever so uncomfortable topic to speak of.
A tiny change can transform the lives of so many girls for the better; for example, offering the same kind of sports for boys and girls in schools, encouraging girls to pursue their dream career and not expecting them to “settle down” with a man in life, promoting women’s independence and accepting them for who they are.
A woman’s worth depends neither on a man, nor does she need one to have an identity of her own.