The brouhaha around modern-day feminism and why very few women want to be labelled as 'feminists'
Oops she did it again!
A few days back, Indian film actress Alia Bhatt was in the news. No, it wasn’t for one of her new releases, nor for a liaison with a fellow actor. It was, wait for it, for one of her comments (again!).
In an interview in Cosmopolitan, she made the following statement:
“I don’t think most people understand what a feminist really means. To be honest, I wouldn’t call myself a feminist, either.”
She also said –
“Wearing dresses or cooking for your family are very superficial issues–they don’t come into the picture of feminism at all!”.
The next thing you know, she was trolled all over the internet.
This is what she tweeted next:
Why the confusion?
Before we add our bit to troll Alia, we need to see where she comes from. The term “Feminism” is being thrown around so much these days, and in the wrong sense, it has come to acquire a negative connotation. More often than not, it is used by male-bashing women who love to portray men as chauvinists, perverts, and misogynists.
The result? Few women want to be labelled as feminists.
However, feminism actually means something entirely different. It means demanding equal rights and pay for women. It means the freedom to choose what you wear without being judged (sorry Alia), breaking free of stereotypes (men cannot wear pink, feminists are against makeup, and the likes), and considered as equal to men in absolutely all aspects, including paying bills. It means not being categorized into baskets called “girlfriend material” and “wife material”, because one took cooking classes while the other did not.
It also means splitting the check on dates (while it is okay for the man to foot the bill occasionally, it’s wrong to make it a practice). It also means giving up free entry and drinks on Ladies nights.
It does not mean being an extremist who doesn’t shave. It does not mean clicktivism (there, used it!) via Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, or doing marches opposite India Gate. And my dear Alia, it need NOT mean being a part of a “feminist campaign”.
To be honest, all women are feminists, to some degree or the other. But until the term “feminist” gets cleared of all its misconstrued implications, only a few of us want to acknowledge it.
So before we troll Alia, Priyanka, or anybody else, let us destigmatize the word so everyone knows what it stands for. As for Alia, its high time she started doing her homework prior to giving interviews.
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