The idea of feminism is something that has been subject to controversy and reproval since forever (God knows why). Even today, most people identify feminists as rich, educated, frustrated and overly passionate women who hate men and can’t stand women who wear lipsticks; and think of feminism as much ado about nothing. After all, in a world where children are dying of hunger, countries are on the brink of war and our earth on the verge of destruction, concerns regarding the mode of dressing for women seem trivial and useless. People consider feminism an overrated and ragged affair that needs to be done with. Even women often hesitate from calling themselves feminists. And yet, the irony of the situation is that despite so many speeches, so many discussions, so many workshops, and so many YouTube videos, majority of men and women are blind to what feminism truly represents.
Feminism, in the simplest of worlds, is equality; equality of rights, opportunities and, most importantly, choice. The sole aim of feminism is to achieve equal representation for not just women, but for men and the LGBTQ community as well.
Now the next major question that arises is-Why Feminism?
Why should feminism be prioritized in a world where world peace and sustainable development are the need of the hour? The significance of feminism runs much deeper than what most of us think. In fact, feminism must precede all other all issues. Why? Malala Yousafzai once said, “We cannot succeed when half of us are held back”.Can you imagine the change the world will witness with twice the amount of workforce, twice the amount of efforts and twice the amount of contribution?
The importance of feminism does not end here. Human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, genital mutilation, domestic abuse, harassment at workplace are some of the most severe issues that plague our society today. Arming women with knives, pepper-sprays and self-defense training does not offer a proper solution to these matters. We need to identify the root cause of these crimes. The answer to this is simple-gender inequality. Crimes such as these occur because most of the time the criminals do not of them as crimes but as their right. Since childhood, they are taught that men are superior to women, and women are mere subordinates, only fit for motherhood and household work. They are made to believe that they have the right to dominate women and to get away with such heinous crimes. Now, how is this to be brought to an end? The answer to this too, is simple-feminism. If the spirit of feminism is inculcated in our younger generations in their early years of upbringing; if they are brought up believing that all sexes are to be considered and treated equally; the world can witness an incredible change.
In short, feminism is after all the need of the hour. We must not be ashamed to call ourselves feminists. In fact, by becoming feminists we are, one way or the other, contributing to the world. And as Emma Watson has said, “If you believe in equality, and if you stand for equality, then you are a feminist. Sorry to tell you.”