Understanding what real feminism means

“We cannot all succeed if half of us are held back” – Malala Yousafzai

Recent times have seen countless articles, papers, interviews and even movies talking about different viewpoints relating to feminism. It’s one of the most sensitive issues going around and that’s why people are either incredibly outspoken or completely quiet about it. Undoubtedly, it is a topic that is set to shape modern thinking.

Where you stand with concern to your thoughts on feminism, its pros and cons and meanings, may actually decide other aspects of your social life as well! 

However, there seems to be an underlying confusion about what real feminism actually means. As with most popular concepts, multiple meanings seem to have developed which work only to obscure the real notions behind this noble cause. In a nutshell, Feminism is about nothing else but equality.

real feminismMost countries around the world, especially the developing nations,  have patriarchal societies where men are given dominant positions. As with everything, there are exceptions like New Zealand that gave women the ability to vote as far back as 1893.

Contrasting that with countries like Saudi Arabia (the same was granted to women in 2011) and India and it’s clear why the issue needs to be talked about.

But, as mentioned, the message seemed to have gotten lost in translation. So let’s put it in the simplest terms possible. What real feminism asks for is equal rights for women. Not because of any other reason but the fact that equality is a basic right.

So, how’s the message been twisted?

Well, every section has extremists and their thoughts manage to trickle through to society. Some ‘feminists’ believe that women deserve more than equal rights and they also aggressively campaign for the same. Their reasoning is that they’ve suffered under men for too long and now’s the time to turn the tables.

And so, we’re back to square one and the noble thought of real feminism is dotted ill notions. Take a look at the quote above, all of us cannot succeed if half of us are held back. That applies to males as well.

real feminismThe cause may seem too big for the everyman and even out of his reach but a difference first has to be made at the grassroots level. So, what can you do to turn this around?

Here are three simple steps:

  • Just treat women equally.
  • You don’t need to be extra sensitive and cautionary around them.
  • The best about being a feminist that you don’t need to broadcast that to the world, just be the quiet advocator

This is essentially an issue of perception and so it easy is to spread but difficult to turn around. The issue of feminism and the definition of what real feminism is may come to shape this century. It’s one that’s been bubbling under the surface and has begun seeping through.

real feminismThe everyday man and woman, like you and me, will struggle to sometimes see the bigger picture, the history and the future of where this issue may head.

But what we can do is make a change at our level. Whether that’s when we’re with a group of friends or with family, if we can set simple but effective examples that can be followed then that change will indeed be a lasting one.


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