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FEMINISM!! IS IT ABOUT EQUALITY - SUMIT SUNIL
FEMINISM: AN UPRISE OF RIGHTS, BUT NOW A MISUNDERSTOOD CONCEPT BY -SUMIT SUNIL
An obnoxious term to all the patriarchs of our country out there , a break to the misogynistic view points of our society , an era of female activists fighting for their rights in the streets , an identity that defines a woman’s voice and her strength , “FEMINISM” has seen a long way though.
The xenophobes and chauvinists of our society says it’s one of the concepts brought in by the western culture. But what is the real meaning of feminism. Is it about making women superior to the opposite sex or is it all about equality.
The rich history of Feminism has been broadly classified into three different movements or waves
- First wave commenced in the early 19th and 20th centuries which focused on combating the legal inequalities.
- Second wave happened in the 1960s -1980s. where women activists debated on bringing about an equal social, cultural and political identity of women in the societies.
- Third wave happened after 1900s which saw the increase in the women activists around the world fighting for their rights.
My love for Indian History says that FEMINISM in India began when the Mughal Princess “ Razia Sultan” ascended the throne of her father in the Delhi Sultanate. She ruled in an era which was fully dominated by men and the women all across the community were in purdah . But she was killed after ruling for a few years as plan of Turkish patriarchal rulers then. Feminism also came into picture when “Queen Laxmi Bai of Jhansi” one of the few women patriots and leaders of Independence and one amongst the first one to ignite the First War of Independence in 1857 who gave up her life in the battlefield so that our country may free from slavery. We should remember that The rise of the passion for Independence started due to the vision and sacrifice of a majestic queen who with her women army fought with the highly trained british force and later sacrificed their blood for the nation , that later became an inspiration for all the freedom fighters.
Later ,the waves of Feminism hit the Indian shores when The Times Group launched the ‘FEMINA’ magazine in the late 1950s , a women centric magazine which earlier talked about fashion , lifestyle, culture. Through the efforts of “Smt. Vimla Patil” the then editor of FEMINA magazine and the chief organizer of FEMINA MISS INDIA changed the directions of winds and Feminism saw a rise in the country , Women leaders and tycoons started emerging . Broadening the scope, the magazine introduced columns that wrote about women’s successes and achievements. Feminism need not neccassariliy should be in an aggressive form, neither it should be submissive. Women being winners and beauty pageants in contests like Miss Universe and Miss World is also a subtle example of feminism. Our Nation is home to many women who have emerged as world famous artists, dancers , business tycoons , political leaders, writers, sportspersons , athletes, chefs, models, actors, diplomats etc. Women like Maharani Gayathri Devi of Jaipur, Indira Nooyi, Sania Mirza, Phogat Sisters, Mary Kom etc. through their success and achievements are being inspiration, as these ladies have cleared paths for the future generations to come. People are changing their mindset and coming out of a set framework that describes the responsibilities and duties of a women in just few points.
The universal definition of Feminism can be stated as the range of political, cultural, ideological movements debating for the equality of sexes. Yes, that’s all about equality. Treating both genders as equal that is paving way and equal opportunities for both the genders. It is not about sacrificing your seat to a women in a bus, train, metro or any other place, not about giving ladies special treatment in queues, not about offering to help picking up her luggage. Neither it’s about paying their bills .As these notions indicates your perception about considering them weak. Your treatment to any person you meet should be on the basis of humanity not on the basis of their gender. This will bring the real meaning of Feminism into applicability. We should remember that Feminism is not about superiority but about equality.