Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The F-word.


Define feminist.

Are you comfortable being called one? Do you wear the label on your sleeve? Is it something you shy away from, or is it something you proclaim you are because it sounds like a nice classification to fall into?

Does being a feminist mean being self-sufficient to a flaw, anti-male and anti-prettythingslikeLVandjimmychoo?

Does being outspoken automatically 'make' you a feminist, or does being a homemaker take away from you being one?

Do you hasten to clarify to people that you're more 'individualist' than feminist, whether/not they ask? Is the term too stifling a cubbyhole for your gender, or do you not want to think of yourself in terms of one at all?


5 people shouted back:

S said...

Here's the thing with feminism. there is no one definition. Each woman has her own reality, and therefore, her own definition. You'll probably spend all your life defining what feminism means to you. It is, in fact, indicated by the questions that you ask yourself, among several other things. For eg, there is one lot, that's us, that asks questions about labels. There is another bigger lot that probably doesn't even know that such a label exists. There are some for whom being outspoken makes them think of themselves as feminists. For others, it's probably the opposite. Who knows?

Personally, it's more than a label -- it's a way of life. It doesn't mean (for me) that you have to walk out on the streets with a banner and protest. Patriarchal domination is something I struggle with on so many basic levels. I'll probably spend my whole life battling that, but I'm just glad that I'm aware. Of the problems that exist on micro and macro levels and in different societies. For me, Cixous's Medusa makes more sense than say, it will for an Armenian woman simply because she probably can't read (Generalizing, I know, but I'm trying to get across a point here). Her notion of feminism -- or what the literate term as feminism -- is complete universes away from mine. And I'm just glad that I can accept that without judgement, without putting either her, or the definition in a box.

crazylittlething said...

I heartily concur. The post was mostly to elicit responses, to see how many people felt the term had negative connotations, how many identified as one and where they individually drew the line between reclaiming/standing up for your rights and being outright female chauvinist pigs.

Individually, one might want to remain single forever, or be a stay-at-home mom, or burn bras, or choose not to protest when over-ruled by someone else. None of this has the power to add/detract from who we are, even if we are increasingly treating job-mindedness and fierce independence a synonym for the perfect Indian woman. I personally feel feminism is when the choice (to do something, or not to) is truly ones own. Its the semantics of the term itself that leads to divergent opinions.

The response on FB's been pretty interesting. :)

BEAUTIFUL tumblr by the way.

Kinger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kinger said...

Feminism is Humanism : I advocate this on- ...

The Visitor said...

Hi Atulaa,

Do you know GB?

I don't know if I would label her a 'Feminist'. She is someone who works towards Gender awareness. Here are some of her posts related to Gender.

Even otherwise she is a good read.

I'd like your opinion of her writing, if you've read them.

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