Mark × : (Are you a feminist?) (Are you not a feminist?)
Just a couple of weeks ago, internet was appalled at Emma Watson’s topless photo-shoot as an incongruence of her role of UN ambassador and a feminist. Many supported and many objected her but many did both without knowing what feminism exactly is. Apparently, there are two categories of which we speak nowadays: Feminists and Non-feminists. And ironically both classes seems to be unaware of the factuality and myths of not just others but their own as well. Some call themselves feminists and some don’t but what exactly this feminism is over which mass happens to cut and run. So before you believe, learn where you stand!
According to sociology, there are three types of lifestyles generally including patriarchal, matriarchal or symmetrical. Let’s make the definition of patriarchal easier: it is the society where you live (look around yourself, yep that is it). In a patriarchal system, men hold the power in decision making and as major breadwinners whereas matriarchal slogan revolves around women being the upper hand. Give a peek at any history book or history so to speak, “mankind” was only bestowed with the patriarchal system where men rule except the time of Cleopatra or Queen Elizabeth (can’t recall any other, surprise?). Currently, there is a handful of societies led by female thriving for their place in the world. If Mosuo, Minangkabau, Bribri and Garo rings a bell then congratulations you do know your surroundings and next time if asked around you know to look for both ways.
With the passage of time, progression in society and advanced researches in sociological aspect of lifestyle, both patriarchal and matriarchal systems have their defenses to guard.
In the matriarchal system, women are egalitarian at the top of the power structure including the earning and decision making with economic supremacy. Men are considered as if they are deprived of their rights and are dissociated from deserving respect. And so naturally this lifestyle has been practiced in very limited geographical zones but is gradually expanding with the greater challenges faced by women under the umbrella of the patriarchal system.
Patriarchal society seems to be prevalent and experienced in many cultures around the globe. This particular lifestyle advocates the ruling power of men and unable to deliver the rights to the opposite gender. Men in this type of society are hardwired from their childhood as being the superior creature of the universe and since they are being the high power so they can decide for their lives and so does for the poor fragile creature (women). By wearing a crown jewel on their head, men can rule.
Despite having the importance and significance of female figure in their lives, women still are treated as underprivileged and destitute of their very basic rights (health, shelter, and education). This is no exception at the socioeconomic status, women from uneducated and lower class to upwards the educated and upper socioeconomic status’ women have experienced this. However, the educated class have sensed this change of wind’s direction or molded by the awareness of the importance of women and their rights. Now educated people holds the beacon of advocacy for equal rights from social, psychological, political, economic and even sexual right for women. Nowadays, this advocacy has been introduced amongst us as, ‘feminism’.
Feminism has many definitions but class Wikipedia definition is:
“Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.”
Now, people hold two stances over the aspect of feminism. One is people who strive for equal rights under the right wing of patriarchal system and the other party stands up to turn the wheel of supremacy with the matriarchal system in the hands of feminine gender. In the demand for equal rights, the fundamental is that men and women are equal in their lives with liberty. In the symmetrical form of society, men and women stand up for equality in the society through political and economic standing. In this conflict sometimes one or both gender parties set the debate back of equal rights and combat over one’s dominance, superiority, and power over the other gender. In the debate of equality of rights, some self-feminists distort the ideology of feminism by attacking or holding a demand of supremacy by devouring men’s rights. In retaliation or obliviousness, this particular type of group dreamed about ruling the opposite sex as they had ruled over them before. In the end, the cycle repeats itself over and over.
Before we call ourselves an advocate of a certain ideology, we must comprehend the factuality and ground. Feminism stands for equal rights for both men and women without compromising other. Begin with the understanding that it is not a war between genders but the reconciliation of both to establish a symmetrical society standing on the grounds of mutual respect, justice, and equality of rights.
Feature Image Credit: Unsplash