The word Feminism has become an annoying word to many in the recent years. But after listening to Emma Watson's beautiful speech about it, I hope it is no longer the case! In case you haven't listened to the speech yet, here it is -
The speech came at this hour when it was just needed! "If not now, then when?". And the part where she mentions "how it affects men too" helped me think in a different angle about this whole situation. I realized how men were feeling compelled to portray themselves as strong and the "protector" of the group. This idea takes away his right to express his fears. And words like "man up" have just made such situations more depressing! The other side of the coin is that women are denied of being strong- she is branded as "dominating" or "controlling" if she shows some courage. Knowingly or unknowingly she ends up losing what is called "power". No, this is not a battle for power. Then why does it feel like one? When he calls her "dominating", he means to say that, "I am supposed to be the one in power and why are you trying to control me". And how she interprets is, "You are not entitled to do any courageous acts. Go and clean the house or do the dishes". And if there was one other woman in the room, she would make the situation even worse by saying something like, "We are women. We are not supposed to act this way and piss him off". Then she interprets it as "Piss him off? I am pissed off already and no one seems to care. Aren't a woman's feeling of any worth?". So this goes on and on. In this case, the man might not have even realized that he was acting like a male chauvinist. He does not see his fault since that's how the society expects him to be. Well, if he does not protest when there was another woman in the room, he would feel threatened to his "manhood". He would think that the other lady in the room might think him of being less of a man. So basically he may be just compelled to "snatch" the power when there was no battle for power in the first place.
So what can be done to this problem? Society is being blamed, but who is that? How do we control this issue?
To me, putting the right seeds about this issue to our children will definitely help. Don't limit your daughter since she is a girl. Don't give better privileges to your son for ANYTHING. Make sure your son never thinks that he is in any way better than your daughter. At the same time, don't ridicule him for not scoring better than your daughter being a boy. All this will definitely bring a change in the young minds and we can hope to see less of gender inequality in the next generation. But for this to happen, I urge all the fathers and brothers of this generation to participate in "HeforShe" - http://www.heforshe.org/#take-action
Hoping for a better future!
(Phew, that came out as a serious and long post. Never thought about blogging about this topic but after listening to the speech, how couldn't I?)