I would like to start by apologizing to everyone that has lost their faith in feminism, women and men alike, I feel the same exact way right now. What was once a noble movement is slowly turning into a concealment and justification for personal agendas that have nothing to do with the initial intent of the cause.
Sadly, it wasn’t always like this! The real agenda behind feminism is far from what we know and see today. So before you judge, allow me to appeal the case of feminism and share my thoughts on what can be done to redeem the situation.
The Women’s right movement is believed to have been birthed in the early 18th century by a handful of women that came together one afternoon in New York over tea. Bothered and discontent with the many limitations placed upon them by society along with the many freedoms they were denied, these women, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, decided they would not be passive about it.
This was a time where women could not vote, take on positions of leadership be it private or public, receive an education, get job, own property to say the least. These girls had it tough!
Obviously, their speaking out wasn’t taken well but their decision that day caused a ripple effect in history that has since caused paradigm shifts and policy amendments with regards to women’s rights. Over a period of almost two centuries (Yes, it took that long), women have strategize, campaigned, lobbied and marched in an effort to give fellow women a voice.
What has happened to those women of valour throughout the course of this journey is quite grim (think imprisonment, exile, death, etc) and all this because they dared to defy the norm and stand up for what was right.
I am always awestruck by the commitment they had toward fighting for rights they never lived long enough to enjoy. The Upside to all this is their fight was not in vain. Today, we enjoy all these freedoms all thanks to feminism!
Given that background, you can understand why myself or everyone for that matter would respect feminism. However, in today’s world it is used merely as a crutch! Truth is we have lost sight of what really matters in this fight. As a generation we have gone out of touch with what the movement aimed at achieving in the first place.
Only recently was rape prosecuted as a crime of war, millions of young women are still sold into sex slavery every minute, we still have primitive cultures like Female genital Mutilation, Child marriages within communities today, there are still fewer girls than boys getting an education, etc.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) we now have social media platforms that allow us to air our views to much larger audiences and have more influence but we are still hiding behind hashtags and captions. That said, I know there is a lot of change that has come because of these hashtags but there is alot that still needs to be done. In case you are wondering what, kindly refer to list above.
I will give credit where its due, especially to governments that have placed women in relevant decision making positions, women and men who have used their influence, resources and position to impact and improve the lives of women all over the world. To all those, I salute you!
The real question then becomes, How can we then make sure we are not missing the big picture? How can we ensure this generation too leaves a mark for the generations to come.
Let’s work smart!
The picture painted by ‘feminists’ today and I dare say, a wrong one is that it is men vs women. The real issue at hand is not the men, it is mentalities supported by culture and religion throughout generations of the human societies.
Hence, playing us against them is playing to lose. Not to mention that it has done very little to solve the real problem at hand. So instead of creating women-only clubs why don’t we get the men involved this time.
The issues our societies are facing are inherently patriarchal in nature thereby leaving us no other choice but to invite men to the table. Once we have them involved in the decision making we are creating something a much more inclusive movement. Also it’s about time we allowed our actions to speak louder than words and stopped hiding behind hashtags.
The truth of the matter is that all it takes is the willingness. An act as simple as mentoring a young girl within your society could make a huge difference. Also to those of us that don’t quite have the full story of feminism yet, I employ you to look it up, inform yourself and ensure that before you hasten to call yourself a feminist, you are fully aware of what it means and not simply taking credit that isn’t rightfully yours. Let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture, our generation demands it!