I think this line should end with a question mark, not a full stop. Feminism has been around for a long time in our country and around the world. It’s still evolving, and still, a large mass of people struggle to understand the basic idea.
Feminism is defined by Google as “a belief that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men”.This simple term holds a significant meaning in today’s society. Feminism has been made complex over the years and is replete with incorrect and right opinions based solely on what people hear and what they see without any context. These opinions are put to the wrong use and are a danger to our society and also to the future of feminism.
We must look at the past and the present of feminism before understanding or determining its future. Feminism is often misunderstood in India today. Often, Indians think feminism is a Western concept. If we take a closer look at our history and culture. We discover feminism was born in India centuries ago. In our culture, feminism is deeply ingrained. We celebrate the women’s power in form of nine days of Navratri, even when we see the picture of lord shiva today we find lord Parvati sitting next to him at the same level, so when gods didn’t differentiate who are we to believe women or any other gender is below us. The epics MAHABHARATA and RAMAYANA did happen because women’s rights were violated. Feminism is just another name for equality amongst genders, but people have adulterated it too. There is no doubt that there has been a rise in the number of feminists but it this also a hard fact that there has been a rise in pseudo feminists too. I strongly believe that pseudo-feminists are more dangerous to our society compared to anti-feminists. Pseudo-feminists misuse their rights and powers to take advantage of situations and cover their faults, as we have seen in multiple incidents disguised as feminists. It sends a wrong message to society about what feminism is, and people begin to see pseudo-feminists as feminists. Instead of exploiting this, people should understand that feminism is their responsibility from which real benefits can be taken by society to provide equal opportunities and rights for all women.
Feminism as a movement has been particularly been more active in western in the past, it can be seen in four waves. The first wave started in the late 19th century, it was the first-time women were open and began to fight against the oppression they were facing as a gender. The first movement was mainly about basic rights like the right to vote and reproductive rights. the first wave made men recognize that women are also humans, not anyone’s property. The second wave took place in the 1960s, it was built on the back of the first wave. The second was all about the reason why women were oppressed and
taking on the institutions that held them back. the second wave gave the three types of feminism mainstream, radical and cultural. Mainstream meant the reduction of female oppression by giving them rights and access to male-dominant spaces
Cultural had the view that a female is a bit different from a man but they still should be treated equally, they thought there’s a different essence to women but out of all 3, the most dangerous was the radical feminism, which believed that two genders are not same and the only way to get women there right is s to throw away the system that they believe was patriarchy and have a complete social reform and this can only bring liberation to them. Radical feminism was responsible for getting the attention of many important issues like rape and sexual assaults. But in today’s world, However, their limited narrow horizons discouraged their members from dating other feminists, which subsequently led to many misunderstandings about what feminism is. That is our first problem. Radical feminism has somehow come to be seen as the dominant ideology of today’s society. Not only that, it was reduced to a stereotype that portrays all feminism as a kind of misanthropic, bra-burning feminism, and since then discourages identifying future generations of girls, women, and even men as feminists. It also contributes to the pollution of the word feminism itself, which is now heavily associated with certain segments of radical feminism, especially by those who are not educated about the entire roots of feminism. That’s not the only problem, but it’s the one that has the biggest impact. Alienation of future feminists hurts the cause.
So the present is fighting to believe in feminism or not as it doesn’t know what to follow and what’s the difference between right and wrong. By evaluating the past and the present of feminism the question we had, in the beginning, can be answered now, the right direction for feminism and the big thing now should be education in feminism, any misconception in history is solved by educating the masses only. By education. The mindset of the future can be changed from the beginning of their lives by teaching them equality in the stories and chapters they read in their school. Teachings about equal opportunities, not categorizing work based on gender. The education also should involve learning about these topics but also obliviating about the wrong social and cultural practices that are being carried by families from generations that objectify women and restrict their roles in society.
In the end, I would like to conclude that feminism is an idea that has been there for centuries but still hasn’t been accepted or completely understood. Feminism also has to evolve just like any other idea to sat relevant to the upcoming generations because of the increasing numbers of rapes, cases of domestic violence, harassment, and discrimination based on gender. Feminism has to take the path of education as its next big step to get into the heart also minds of people so feminism itself can be the big thing in this world.