Friday, 29 January 2016

Feminism- How Well Do We Understand The Term?

Just like bans, intolerance and many more high-profile words that India became familiar with in 2015, feminism was something that was highlighted a lot and talked about by many. Right from the common man to the celebrities, people have been expressing their views on feminism and supporting it. But how many of us actually know the meaning of the term or understand it completely? Well, quite a few!

Because it is called ‘feminism’, most people have confused the term to be a movement that supports women in India and across the world, uplifts them and gives them the power to rise against injustice, violence and ill-treatment, especially by men. Despite being spoken about multiple times in the media, people have often confused the term and celebrities are not an exception to this.

Okay, so the debate on feminism started with the controversial video of Deepika Padukone ‘My Choice’ that was released by Vogue last year. While half the women across the world came out supporting the video, it also received an equal amount of criticism from both men and women. Many women, during this period, stated in their comments, statuses and write ups on social media that they supported Deepika Padukone for her boldness in the video and that they were feminists.

The world argued on the video and the concept of feminism which means the empowerment of women, without discriminating between both the sexes. However, it still remains one of the most misunderstood terms worldwide and people still believe feminism is all about giving the right of saying anything and behaving anyhow to women.

And what can be a better example of this than the recent controversial statement made by Priyanka Chopra in an interview? The Quantico star who has largely been making news for her exceptional talent and roles these days recently commented in an interview that she does not need a man in her life except for giving birth to children.

Okay, I am not slamming the statement or criticizing it in any way because I know she is an independent, modern women and I also acknowledge the fact that women can be completely self-dependent and live a happy and content life alone. In fact, I believe it is the human tendency to adapt to circumstances, be it quicker or later. “I can’t live without him/her” is actually an overstatement and a myth. It is a fact that we can live without anyone in this world as far as we get food, water and oxygen on time.

But what spoiled the interview was Priyanka’s statement that if her man cheated on her, she would probably beat the shit out of him. Now that is an unacceptable statement. And certainly not expected and acceptable from a popular star like Priyanka! Beating the shit out of anyone is not a problem to any solution and, I personally feel that anyone making such a remark must think twice before saying it, especially when it is a public figure like a Bollywood celebrity.

No, I am not glorifying cheating or supporting it in any way. Cheating on someone is certainly unacceptable but there are better ways to deal with it. It does not give anyone a right to get violent or beat the shit out of someone, be it a man or a woman.

And, imagine if such a statement had been made by any male Bollywood actor. The entire industry along with the common women would have definitely made the star apologize. And even worse, if such a statement had been made by a common man, women have literally beaten the shit out of him for making such a comment. But here, since Priyanka is a woman, she was not slammed as much as any male star would have, even though she received criticism for it. Why?

Feminism is a highly misunderstood term in India and across the world, particularly by women. Yes, I agree that women have been subjected to torture, violence and ghastly crimes in India since traditional times and taking a stand for them is essential. But that does not mean a woman has the right to degrade a man or ‘beat the shit out of him’. Feminism stands in favour of women but it does not mean degrading or disrespecting men. 

Please, think twice before you make such comments. And, by the way, it is not only women who get subjected to violence, molestation and rapes around the world. Even men are subjected to this kind of shit, the only difference is that such cases get rarely reported because men are too shy to admit that they were tortured, molested or raped. There are many women who have made an unethical use of the special rights provided to them by the Constitution and misused their womanhood to cheat men, take revenge on them and get them punished.

And this needs to stop. Violence needs to stop. Be it in the case of women or men, violence simply needs to stop. We must start respecting both the genders equally. And that’s when we will actually do justice to the term ‘feminism’!