I’m unapologetically a feminist. Therefore, I’ve always been inundated with questions ranging from “How did you become a feminist?” To “Are you anti-men?”
So, clearing the air and giving rest to all the brouhaha surrounding this issue, here’s my two cents.
Firstly, let me clarify that when I say feminism, I do not speak of it as the ‘trend’ or ‘fad’ that is taking over the world. It is neither a fashion statement nor an attempt to be “in” or considered “cool”. It’s also not a ringing endorsement to celebrities who call themselves feminists without even knowing what it means.
Feminism, simply put, is the understanding that every person deserves to be treated equally and fairly, based on his worth and not his gender, colour, caste, creed or race. Arguably, this should be common sense and the norm, rather than something to be advocated for. However, we’re far from living in a utopian society. Thus, the need for feminism. It’s a call to abolish inequality. It’s a call to acknowledge basic human rights. It’s a call to recognise talent, value and worth, not how or where you were born. It’s that simple.
Coming to the pressing issue of how or why I became a feminist – Let me tell you that it is not a religion that I converted to, not an agenda that I discussed tabled over a conference, nor a propoganda I signed up and subscribed for.
I’m a lawyer by education and a writer by disposition. Both of these happened long before feminism caught on as the next big thing. Maybe even before I knew there was a word with a meaning like that. Yet, I chose professions and vocations that did not discriminate by gender. I’m not a lawyeress or a writeress. I find it degrading that we need to segregate actors into actors/actresses and the like. Why does one’s profession need such a delineation if it weren’t for the purpose of according an unequal treatment in some sense or the other? It’s not as if the non classification of a lady artist as an actress would have led to believe she were a man when I see her on the big screen? Does it even matter if a character is played by a man or a woman as long as it is portrayed impeccably?
So, I guess it is sufficient to say I did not become a feminist. I was born one. I was raised as one and I will continue to live as one till feminism is no longer needed. Till all people are, indeed, considered equal. I’m a feminist by nature and by intent. If only the world knew better, they’d be feminists too and systematically abolish all biases that make one man consider himself to be more entitled than his brother.
I apologise for the long ranting but I do firmly believe this needed to be said. Thank you for reading.