Feminism has become one of the most misunderstood words of the century. It is popular to represent everything possible except what it actually signifies, so I decided to shed some light on the basics of feminism.

I am a feminist and all I want is to be treated equal and fair. I do not wish to have an upper hand on men, and I am equally against being under their thumb as well. Feminism has lost its real essence due to the burgeoning exploitation of this equality movement, that resulted in its demonisation.

Here is what the term actually means:

“Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

A real feminist is not out to set all men to fire, to say the least. Being a feminist has made me the target of a plethora of nonsensical questions which actually deserve an answer, so here it goes.

Can a feminist cook?

Yes, she can! Feminism is about the equality of sexes and it has nothing to do with what you do to feed yourself. If you like to cook, there is nothing non-feministic about cooking for your loved ones. What would be wrong is if you are forced to cook or if you are told that you are responsible to cook or any other reason other than that you like to cook. As long as you would love to do it, you can do it. Whenever you don’t want to do it, hire someone to do it for you. Easy peasy.

How should a feminist react if a man keeps the door held open for her?

She should thank him because opening a door for someone is polite. She should also hold the door open for her male colleagues whenever required because that is being polite. Everybody loves the door held for them. I have received thanks from a lot of guys if I hold the door for them. That’s it. No fuss required about that.

What is a feminist’s response to the male reasoning that women are physically weaker and thus require male protection?

Well, women are proven to have lower upper-body strength than men, but does that put us in a peril when we are out alone? Theoretically, No. Practically, Yes. If you are out alone at night, you are sometimes likely to attract danger. However, isn’t it true for guys as well? I hear news every now and then that some man got mugged or robbed in the middle of the day. Does that make him any less of a man? Is it logical to say why couldn’t he protect himself since he is a man? No, these are silly questions.

See, the thing is that being concerned for the people you love is a legitimate feeling. However, it is not good to clip someone’s wings in fear of their fall. In these times, everyone is potentially in danger at all times if that’s the case, so just let it be. You want to play your part? Well, drop a girl if it is late at night and drop your guy friend too because we do not want anyone in danger. Danger is not gender-biased, so why should we be in taking preventive measures, right?

Should a feminist be the sole decision maker of her life, no matter what?

Umm, No. And same applies to males as well. If the decision is about something like choosing your career, everybody is entitled to make an independent decision. However, if you have to make a choice for your future with your partner (for example), you need to consider their choices and suggestions as well.

Remember feminism is not to enforce some female-dominated society in a violent response to the existent male domination. It is about a balanced society and thus leads to the natural requirement that anyone who will be affected by a decision should have a say in it. It is the corporate equivalent of consulting each member of the team before making a team decision. Hearing out others will not make you any less of a feminist but for what it’s worth, it will surely make you an excellent decision maker.

What do feminists think about the reserved seats for girls in public transportation?

I find it silly. There is no point in reserving seats for girls. Seats should be reserved for someone in need which can not be predicted by gender. I would always give my seat for a pregnant lady just as much as I would offer it to a sweating and panting guy with a huge backpack. If you believe in equality, then first learn to treat everyone equally.

What is wrong with a girl saying that she does not believe in feminism? Everyone is entitled to an opinion, after all!

There is nothing wrong at all with a girl proclaiming that she does not believe in feminism. However, how would you feel when the citizens of a free country proclaim that they do not care if the nation is a slave or not? It sucks, doesn’t it? It sounds like some dark humour against the sacrifices of countless freedom fighters and activists who fought for freedom. It counts as an act of ingratitude.

Similarly, when an educated girl stays ignorant to the history of women rights and claims that she ‘does not’ believe in feminism, she is indirectly saying that she does not respect the struggle and cause of all the activists whose efforts gave her the right to talk in the first place. A right that was actually violated in the bygone times.

What can one do for this?

Believe in equality and treat everyone equally. If you are a girl, stop judging the girl next to you for her skirt and the guy next to you for his tears. If you are a guy, always consider that the girl next to you can easily be a better driver than you. Just know that we are not here to win or defeat each other. We have to co-exist, and that requires equality of status and of opportunity in all senses.

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