Feminism is not what you think it is


A topic which triggers more misconceptions than it dispels, feminism is once again is becoming the reason for heated debate. Thanks to a young actor’s wife and her uninformed take on feminism and motherhood, which she openly expressed recently.

When defined plain language feminism means men and women should be treated equally. But many people fail to understand the simple concept. The star wife is no different, the reason why she recently made some foot-in-the-mouth comments about feminism, motherhood, and working women, during a recent event on Women’s Day.

It’s always laudable to find proud stay-at-home mothers like her, who wear that label with pride. Home makers work round the clock. Their services are priceless and invaluable. It’s not easy to choose a life-long unpaid, unappreciated, and unrewarded job, and yet remain happy throughout. It’s not contenting to successfully fulfill duties with no apparent benefits, holidays, or vacations. Yet she chose to remain a stay-at-home mother. It’s a great accomplishment and worth as much as a professional achievement. The services of both ace homemakers like her and accomplished professionals should be hailed equally, as both are of paramount importance.

When it comes to homemaking and career, choices are subjective and vary for many relevant reasons. While women like her are privileged to remain as stay-at-home mothers, many ordinary women have have to balance both career and motherhood. None of these choices is questionable or inferior. But the actor’s wife made a cardinal mistake by making some ignorant statements about feminism and harsh comments about working mothers. She unapologetically shamed working women who leave their children behind and go out to work. Her comments were insensitive, regressive, and echoed her wrong notion about feminism. Adding fuel to the fire was a strange analogy about her child, and the half-assed opinions on women who stand up for their rights.

In the same breath she urged the world to respect homemaker women and verbally bashed women who chose to work alongside raising their children. She went on and related her choice of being a homemaker to traditions and ideals. It’s a wrong perception. Such conventional ideas are the root cause of most of the discriminations that women face in our society. The comments also reflect her failure to understand the struggle and conflicts that most ordinary women undergo in their daily lives. Neither are they privileged like her nor lucky enough to have a sure shot solution to successfully manage both work and family. They don’t enjoy the luxury to make the so called ‘right ‘choice.

Career or homemaking, every woman has dreams and ambitions of her own. Aspirations about a successful career can never be regarded as a negligence of familial and parenting duties. Apart from fulfilling her ambitions, very often, women have to work to financial well being as well. So, why do we shame such women for their choices and at the same time laud men as hard-working and focused? Why do we make them feel guilty about their choices?

There is nothing “aggressive” and “destructive” in feminism. What she forgot is the fact that feminism is what let her make her “choice”. Shouldn’t she show some gratitude for her freedom to make unapologetic choices? “Feminazi”, the word she used is highly derogatory and demeans the efforts all women who fight for equal rights.

Many women have proven their ability to balance both career and motherhood. But this immature lady didn’t think twice before undermining the laudable efforts of such countless successful working mothers around the world. She is married to a successful film star. She can devote her entire time to her child, and yet find prospective opportunities if needed. But life is not a bed of roses for all. She should try to step away for a moment and look at the reality.

The star-wife is a twenty something woman who has hardly seen enough of life to judge and make such comments. She is not an academic and doesn’t have any credible achievements to boast of. Wondering what was the rationale behind choosing her as a speaker! She could have at least researched for some relevant points before doling out such distasteful statements or judging other women.

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