Feminism is the new buzzword entertained by the global village today. Clearly feminism is a much needed notion or rather an awareness to be created in our society, especially in India. A country which ranks 134 in human development index (UNDP), a place where about 26% of the population is below the poverty line and about 45% of the population below the international poverty line, a place where issues of gender discrimination, female infanticide, dowry deaths, makes the headlines every day, a country whose gender ratio is one of the poorest in the world, feminism is the much needed ideology to be inculcated in our society and not at a superficial level but at a strong deeper levels. Initially the word “feminism” meant qualities of women, later on it defined the women movements on liberty and equal rights, and now, it advocates strong beliefs that females are equal to males and hence they should have an equal contribution in social, political, religious and economical spheres of society.
Initially Indian or “Hindustani” culture worshipped female goddesses like lakshmi, saraswati, durga etc. These deities are still worshipped by the Hindus today but the true meaning of the female power that they projected somehow got lost in the way. Many sociologists and theologists have observed that a community which worships a female goddess are far more gender-tolerant and respectable towards females than the ones which worship male gods. But if we critically analyse almost every religion have some or the other rules which interprets that females have an inferior status to males. Hinduism on a whole is ambiguous about the status of females as on one hand it preaches female- “shakti” but on the other preaches certain rules on conduct of life and death which clearly limits the role of females as the less worthy one. Islam has somehow earned a reputation of being unfair to the females but many Islamic feminists believe that the holy Quran is wrongly interpreted and “Allah” considers every human equal but sadly such thought is not entertained by the majority people of that community. The church does not allow females to be the pope and the much barbaric incident of the “Salem- witch hunt”, which as some historians believe was a step to bring down the pagan practices of prayer of these independent females who were losing faith in the church was never properly justified by the church. No one can dispute that Religion is “man-made”& not god made, but clearly this “man” had some major issues of giving females an equal status before god and society.
Well, this “man” definitely does not get the power to determine the status of females before god but got the power to determine the status of females in the society, and this “man” was not wise in doing his job in fact he turned out to be a megalomaniac, and the saddest part was that he succeeded in preaching what he wanted and today’s unjust society validates it’s succession
Whenever there is a war situation between two countries or a dispute between two communities’ females becomes the first victim to the wrath of the enemy, the assault on females becomes a sport in these situations all over the world, even in the mythological stories and characters like Ramayana, Iliad or promiscuous Zeus (Greek mythology) project the same idea.
The government always declare schemes to uplift women and the underprivileged part of the society.” Women” and “underprivileged” come under the same ambit for them. It is as if women are born underprivileged because this is the message the government is giving to the public. Sure there are lot of females who are underprivileged but government and other organizations always create an image of all females being underclass which is not good for the morale of the public.
Females are robed of the credit of their contribution in the society and state. Their potential by and large are underestimated by the entire society even by females themselves which is not a shocker because most of them are raised with the notion that they are inferior to males and their life should only be about taking orders from the men in their lives-father, brother then the husband and finally sons. Even education has not been able to do much to change such a mind set. The domestic art is the only art females have been raised to learn, and of course creating babies is another.
Sure things are changing we have females in every field working hard, soaring high, but it’s just a handful of them. The basic mentality of people has not changed, especially in India. Here parents would want their girls to get married off rather than have ambitious careers and one of the major reasons behind it is the ubiquitous dowry system which takes away most of a girl’s education fund and converts it into a marriage fund. “Trophy wives” and “arm candies” are far more celebrated concept than “female independence”.
The recent slut walk at Delhi was one of the examples of a shallow understanding of feminism in our country. With all due respect these educated females were far more interested in making their clothes morally correct than protesting against issues like female infanticide. A country which does not even allow many of its female child to live and prefer killing them when they are not even born how will they allow them to dress they like.
It has also to be understood that feminism is not chivalry or charity but it is an awareness or moral needed to have a balanced society. It in no way preaches female superiority but advocates equality of gender and rightful position of females in our society. Male and female power needs to work together as equals to evolve our society as something more developed intellectually and passively in every other way. It’s only when the yin and yang of our society be balanced than there will be peace and harmony in this world.