By: Hamna Jalal
Despite all the technological developments, fast working environments and new ideas emerging with each passing day for a better society, the term feminism remains misunderstood. The latest technology is opted instantly but to care about equality of rights is a matter complicated enough to not get oneself indulged in it. Since emergence, the term feminism has always been a debatable topic and the question of whether it is good to be called a feminist or not, a perplexing statement. Pondering upon it from historic as well as contemporary perspective might prove helpful in interpreting this with subtlety.
Feminism has been defined in many ways, some link it to US movements while, others find it a criticism of inequality, women must suffer from. Putting it simple, there are women wanting their voices to be heard when raised, wishes to be fulfilled, desires to be respected and works to be appreciated but cannot achieve any of these just because they are gendered female.
La Feminite is the first attempt made in France back in 1880s to question patriarchy and highlight women’s deprivations. Then, the term travelled through the world firming its place in each country it passes through. Latin word, Femina or Feminism argues that women are bigger than biological bodies-reflection of biological differences between the two genders and considering female gender weak, determination of potential on the basis of gender and an competing environment to make one gender take the all, contribute to an ill society which can never be successful. Gender does not have anything to do with power, potential has. Feminism covers little things from our everyday life which involve oppression on the part of men. It demands an environment which treats both genders alike. Feminism fights for political, economic and social equality.
Maltreatment of women may not necessarily mean hindering their careers and financial independence but, to look at it from a broader perspective, it means to allow women choose their path, to make decisions on their own, to stop every act that might make them feel unimportant part of society. Choice and decision are the central focus. A woman can be a strong feminist and a stay-at-home wife. Or, she can be a feminist and a career persuader.
Fight for equality has been complimented by countless pieces of writings regarded as feminist literature which has landmark importance in literature. The genre is not only followed by women but, also men. With all the panic emerging higher with each Aurat March, it is automatically proven that literature is the only media where treatment of women as human beings can be ensured.
A woman persuading a career is usually frowned upon to have put her domestic responsibilities to her second priority. To break such stereotypes, feminist literature characterizes such women who not only live an independent life but also, get the perks of happy families. Family support is an essential ingredient in enabling women achieve their dreams. To make this possible, feminism is not limited to female gender only. The main goal of feminism is women but, the journey involves each and every member of the society who matters. A society with equal opportunities is what feminism demands and equal contribution by all the genders is what feminism needs to be successful.
Understanding the term truly is all a society needs to accept feminism as a crucial element because nobody likes disparity because of genders.
The writer is a media student and can be reached at [email protected]