The word ‘Feminism’ has the strangest of ways to create a deep concoction of anxiety, anger, intense urgency, guilt and thankfully also a good rewind of the struggle of women and all that has been achieved so far. For all the emotions that it generates and consistent harping of naysayers, one can’t ignore the need for the movement/lifestyle/belief plays in our daily life. Consider this, the 2011 gender parity census, the ratio of female to male is 933 to 1000. Almost 67 women don’t exist on the face of this earth! This ratio and the very many stories of female infanticide is enough to make you wonder if the ‘female’ is really welcomed in India.
Women have always had strict gender roles to play- they have been the guardians of tradition since time immemorial- the ideal daughter, wife, ‘bahu’ and of course mother. Thanks to the many women who fought against these restrictive roles most 21st century women (largely in metropolitan cities) enjoy a (what we have come to believe) ‘normal’ life.
But that does not mean that the disparity ends there, 24.81% is the estimate of India’s gender pay gap. Going to a workplace and expecting to be paid equally as our male colleagues FOR THE SAME WORK is still a struggle! And even in 2019 only a small fraction work and contribute to the economy.
The female anatomy is still a cause for discomfort, unlike the male body, the female body oscillates between piousness & over-sexualization as has been exemplified by the media. The female anatomy is yet to find a middle ground.
We need feminism because violence against women is yet another area that isn’t receiving the attention it should be, 80% of women are likely to get sexually assaulted, physically or verbally. Almost feels like there’s no escape from it and it only gets worse, because we blame the victim for the atrocity they had to face. But with movements like #MeToo, many got a chance to speak up and be heard. Only shows that together we can do and achieve great things!
When we define gender roles, we breed toxic masculinity; we try to fit people in neat little boxes and restrict them from being who they want to be. Men and women are both victims of patriarchy, both trying to fulfill their assigned role. We need to realize that we are two sides of the same coin and make our society a better place to live in for everyone, without fear.