Tanaya Dewan(Translated by Tahiya Islam):
Near and dear ones know me as a feminist, so whenever any issue occurs, they all grab the opportunity to have an argument with me. Sometimes, it so happens that the other side is deliberately trying to create a heated argument just to get a reaction!
Some often jokingly say, “You will always take a woman’s side because you are a feminist.”
My question is, what do these people think of feminism?
I think I know what these people understand by feminism. They believe, a feminist is such a woman who will roam around in bikini regardless of the occasion just to prove her feminism. They also believe, fighting for women’s rights ignoring men’s rights, taking a woman’s side even if she is wrong and establishing the opposite scenario in front of others, torturing men in every sense and building a grudge against men with no reason whatsoever define feminism.
There is a group of people (mostly men and at times, women) believe that feminism solely indicates the above mentioned features. If you all think that the meaning of feminism lies within this conception then I will ask you to educate yourself more about feminism.
Let me help those kinds of men and women by stating Wikipedia’s definition about feminism–
“Feminism: (In Bangla= Naribad নারীবাদ) is a philosophy of the twentieth century, which indicates women’s freedom and equality in comparison to men’s in every aspect of civilization. Feminism emphasizes on establishing women’s equality in the society, especially emphasizes on the factual proof of men and women’s equality in every aspect.”
Feminism demands that not only women are more capable than men but also they are no less than men in contributing for the society.
The main purpose of feministic actions is to diminish the prevailing gender inequality in the society. These actions indicated such movements and activities which have the potential to ensure the maximum participation of women in social, political, cultural and economic sectors of the country. Right to vote, right to be the rightful heir, right to be educated, right to have equal respect in a marriage, equal rights in business and politics, equal remuneration for everyone, right to get a maternity leave- these are the fundamental rights believed by a feminist. From the ancient times, women are prone to being tortured. So, feminists believe in and try their best in establishing overall equality for women in the society.
Feminists work for establishing their body rights and respect along with fighting for saving women and young girls from rape, sexual and family abuse. According to several opinions, a feminist can be of any gender; either a man or a woman who strongly believe in the definition of feminism.
After analyzing the definition given by Wikipedia, if there is still any confusion prevails among anyone, then for them, in easiest words- Feminism means ensuring women’s rights physically, mentally, socially, personally, politically, culturally and economically.
Ask your conscience and please let me know, if any of the above mentioned criteria are illogical?
Or are you that egotistic that you are not up for any logical explanations?
Okay, if you do not believe in feminism, I hope you believe in humanity. You should, at least for your own good. My question to you is, if you can think of your own good, then why cannot someone else think the same?
Please do not differentiate between men and women, rather consider everyone as human beings. The way you feel hunger, every other person feels too. The demands that you have, everyone also has those demands. The way you jump when you are happy, others go through those emotions too. More than half of the problems will be reduced if one can put him/herself in others shoes.
The human rights you are thinking of, these exact same rights are expected and wanted by women as human beings. The movements or protests that are conducted by a group of people for the establishment of the women rights are called feminist actions. People who support these movements are known as feminists.
The original article was published in Bengali on July 2, 2017.
Tanaya Dewan completed her BBA and MBA in Finance. She hails from Rangamati, Bangladesh.