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Why I Don't Like Feminism

Tanvi Mishra

Posted on August 1, 2020 13:52

3 users

It's not what you think.

Feminism is such a strong word; I close my eyes, and all I see are brave women breaking barriers all around the world, and from all reams of history. From Joan of Arc to Malala Yousafzai, there are innumerable examples of feminist icons. And while I accepted their legacy and the movement behind them, I couldn't help but think:

"I don't like feminism."

I should set the backdrop before the tomatoes pelt my visage. I grew up in an unorthodox household; my mother is an agronomist and my father was an entomologist. I'm certain you can imagine what our evening conversations were like. (TLDR; They're totally why I'm in STEM right now.)

Growing up on a college campus, I saw from an early age, equality between my parents. Both of them worked 9 to 5, and even at home, there was no duty that favored either gender. My mother made Indian one night, my dad made Thai another. If my dad decided to help me braid my hair one day, my mother would teach me to write research papers the next.

I never witnessed the bartering of gender-specific duties, and so I didn't even realize women were perceived to be different from men, apart from obvious anatomical differences.

In school, there were equally talented boys and girls. There was no sport a girl couldn't do, and the boys could certainly take up acting or even arts and crafts if that is what they wanted to do. My only notion of gender disparity was that "pink is a girl's color." And while I did see a mild tilt towards academia in girls and a tilt towards athletics in boys, it was still cordial, respectful, and equal.

Then I grew up.

Learning about femicides, assault, traditional suppression of women in multiple cultures, chauvinism, and more made me realize that I was living in an intricately constructed fantasy that had left me impervious to the reality of the treatment of women. The kid inside of me wanted to shut my eyes and keep my bearing forward, remembering the principles of equality I had been reared with.

But it wasn't fair. I've come to realise that having a unique vantage on what equality could be doesn’t mean I should keep mum on a movement dedicated to empowerment. It means I should speak up.

I haven't truly considered myself an activist of any kind, as I'm not too savvy with social media to raise awareness on that scale. I don't think I've done enough for any movement. Am I a feminist today? I don't think I've done enough to earn that title. But words have always been my forte, so ladies and laddies, this is my testament to you; a step towards the light.

The world you believe in, one where men and women work hand in hand and treat each other with respect; it exists.

I know, for I've seen it.

Tanvi Mishra

Posted on August 1, 2020 13:52

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Source: The Guardian

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