Right after thermodynamics and time travel, the most misunderstood and overly miss-constructed concept is how we perceive feminism, especially here in India.
In its true sense, feminism is basically women advocating for equal rights on the basis of gender. Back in the day, feminism was about ‘right to vote’ or ‘equal pay’. But now, as we have grown, the idea has grown much bigger than just asking for equal rights. With increasing violence and male dominance, feminism, in 2017, is about the abolishment and condemnation of crimes against women, it is about the criticism of everyday casual sexism that women face in our present social strata.
But, the way feminism and its ideologies have been shredded and torn apart by the popular media is beyond any repair. Anyone being vocal about her/women’s rights will earn tags like feminazi or pseudo feminism or attention-seeker. Meanwhile, the developed nations in the world have made advances in making feminism a reality. There is a stigma attached to the word feminism.
In July, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup saw the Indian Women’s cricket team reaching finals of the tournament. Even though we didn’t win the tournament, the road to finals was interesting. They played like the fine sportsperson they were and we, the audience, looked beyond the gender and enjoyed the game the way they were supposed to be.
This tournament gave hope to the many who thought Indian women are unable to achieve anything in sports. Dipa Karmakar’s feat in 2016 Olympics was heart-warming, even though she came fourth in gymnastics, but she was the first Indian woman to do so in the last 52 years. Extremely popular movies like Dangal showed what women can do.
And yet, these are but baby steps and feminism, in India specially, is yet to walk the talk.