Feminism: A self-defense mechanism.

Felereen Adorisa Tariang shares her views on Gender and Gender based roles.

People of the world, including women, have begun to cringe at the sound of the word ‘feminism.’ This is because the first thing which comes to mind at the sound of the word ‘feminist’ is ‘Men-hater’. 

No, this is not that genre of feminism that I want to talk about. The question is, ‘Why do some women hate men?’ and ‘What is this genre of feminism that I am talking about?’ Well, to be honest, women do not hate men. As a matter of fact, they naturally love them, they love to be loved and to be in love with them but, the delusion of grandeur of a fine ‘gentleman’ and by ‘fine’, I mean a normal man who would not hurt, leave, cheat or subjugate a woman has been letting most women to loathe men as soon as their delusional bubble is being pricked. So, to put simply, there is no hatred, but they are guarding their precious hearts, self-respect and identities. 

The genre of feminism which I am talking about is one which is all about protecting oneself. It may not sound important but it covers a wide range of problems which most therapists have to deal with every single day – From playboys to serial rapists, which, in between that range, covers cheaters, husbands who sleep around and watch pornography, husbands who think that a woman’s job should be confined within the four walls of a kitchen, men who cannot tolerate women who speak up for their rights, men who impregnate women and leave, men who think that having a very good job can be a ticket to treating their wives like slaves, men who think that a woman cannot lead, men who think that a woman should be sacrificial and should not raise questions, men who use women and to mention in any which way, husbands who prohibit their wives from wearing fancy clothes because of the fear that other men might find them attractive but they themselves stalk women on Instagram, men who objectify women, husbands who are reluctant to show their google search history, husbands who make their wives earn daily wages to make ends meet and come home drunk at night – lashing and manhandling their wives and kids, or simply, a boy who cheats on his girlfriend etc., – and the list goes on. 

These are issues that need to be addressed to all people because we may know someone who is suffering inside, who is hiding her agonies behind that smile. She could be your neighbour, teacher, doctor, friend or someone you may least expect to suffer. She may hide her tormented feelings behind that cloak of a perfect wife, girlfriend, daughter – unable to speak up about things that stifle her or things she thinks are wrong but is too afraid to say. We may have progressed, we may have been lucky enough to live in a generation where women are being given equal rights but sadly, the small basic things which could destroy a woman the most still prevail. From safety to subtle discriminations finding shelter under traditions and duties, we still haven’t progressed at all. 

The saddest part is that people may have misunderstood the idea of ‘mutual respect’ within the institution of a marriage. Some people find the term to be misleading and something related to having less values and roots. But no, that mentality of owning your spouse manifests inhumane characteristics. Mutual respect is the key towards a healthy environment. This article is not meant for judging the choices of women because some prefer independence and some prefer being dependent. Either way, you are precious and you deserve a choice. This article addresses contemporary defects. Hence, in a world where women earn as much as men, a husband cannot think of a woman as not being lady-like just because she does not have cooking skills nor has time to iron his clothes when she has a demanding job. 

What is most important is that she still has time for him and her children. Who cares if she hires a chef when she adheres to her set of values such as loyalty and love for him and her children? A man should not feel threatened because of having a well-established wife as long as there is mutual respect. Living in a society where a male family member must not work nor eat without getting served, the claustrophobia is inexplicable. Families who still think that the male members should not lift a finger should have their brains scanned. An advice to girls who experience this, if you are studying or working and you are being stopped solely to serve lunch or dinner to a male family member, don’t do it. Society may think that you are being disrespectful but biology says that even men have hands and feet and could very well serve themselves lunch or dinner. 

You need to study for that exam and achieve that goal. This is not to offend anyone but sometimes small basic things which we may not even regard to be important are the causes of feminism. When a person who is a part of this kind of a demographic feels that she is being clipped or chained despite knowing the fact that her ability, dignity and self-respect could be celebrated, and given more importance as an individual with a free mind, it leads to feminism. To address this, one need not be a woman, you only need to be a good and responsible human being. 

A woman does not become a feminist for the sake of fashion or if there is any, try to start reasoning things. A woman would have had to encounter a very bad experience in one way or another with a man to become a men-hater which, in other words, may point to trust issues and doubts. Even a radical feminist would have started in the form of protecting oneself. To remind again, this is a genre of feminism which is neither radical nor fashionable, but all about addressing the things we see around us but do not pay much heed to. Hence, if I were to derive the word ‘feminism’ in the form of a derivation equation, we would inevitably see ‘self-defense’ at the end of the equation. 

I want to wish every woman out there a very happy woman’s day and hope that each and every woman, be aware of the issues that other women face. Most importantly, I wish that we will start embracing the idea of ‘mutual respect.’ Live your dreams, be more cautious, live every single day like it is woman’s day (which means that we must appreciate women every day and address their issues every day). A moment of silence to women who hate men for no reason and women who in turn, do the things I have mentioned above to the other gender. 

Last but not least, a huge shoutout to the demographic of men who have never, do not intend to and never will commit any of the things I have mentioned above. 

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