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01 Dec 2020, Edition - 1967, Tuesday

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Feminism and Equality. Are they both same?

Archana Rohit


India has witnessed tremendous growth in the economic parameters. However, social parameters do not match the pace with the global transformations. The society feels that this volatility in the social system, affects women the most as they are the vulnerable section of the population. To a large extent that may be true. But, does that mean that only one section of the society is the suffering?

Let’s take a deeper look!!

We have been trained since childhood to see the world in binary. Your identity is limited with assigned sex at birth (male, female) which makes us a Cisgenders. In this dichotomy, you shape your identity around the set norms that society has charted out under the umbrella of “male” and “female”. Does that mean that transgender and gender queers have no “right to identity” because they identify themselves with the concept of masculinity and femininity or both at times?

The longest ever Movement in the history has been “Feminist Movement”. It stems from vast diversities. Feminism within India is divided along class, caste, sexuality and disability, and as parts of India develop at a faster rate, increased social and economic inequality is giving rise to new problems.

The rapidly changing socioeconomic context across the country has radical, socialist, cultural, and liberal feminist at hand, the ideas and philosophies seem to be infused with a sense of biasness and stereotyping. (Men to be the bread earner and men having to hold doors for them.)

The challenging part about it is that there’s no easy metric in the social arena for what is equal and what is not. Hence, some institutions or organizations have started women empowerment programs and schemes to earn some brownie points and get in the limelight. I see a major flaw with this, why do we need programs especially for women? In addition, why women do not have issues with getting special privileges? Where is the equality when all we want to be is stand out of the crowd and seek attention for being different?

There should be a Movement against people’s unconscious biases as well as century’s worth of cultural norms and heritage that has favoured only one gender for ages. The battle should be to fight for every individual’s right. To put an end to the oppressiveness of the caste system and to treat people equally regardless of which socio economic strata the person belongs too.

India does not need laws. It needs education. People need to learn to be tolerant towards confronting belief systems and irrational assumptions. Teaching them to be compassionate towards peoples sexuality, biases by being non-judgemental.
In the process of being the superior race or being, equals in we have lost the ability to give people the freedom to find their identity, which is not bound by the sex one is born with. The society needs to be a little liberal and unlearn things that they’ve “known” for decades.

As a whole, we need to understand the concept of gender, gender roles and stereotypes and let people form their own gender preferences. You may be cross dressers, suffering from gender dysphoria, transgender male, transgender female, gay, lesbian, bisexual, eunuch etc. It’s high time to not be sexist and support only feminism. We all should collectively get together and fight for the freedom, which lets us, express ourselves the way we want.

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