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  • Writer's pictureTrisha Bhattacharya

Defending feminists...

Feminism. Overused/overrated? Yes, when people throw that term around casually without understanding it truly.

Over the years, feminism has gathered support and hate. But feminism is so simple to comprehend, well theoretically. Then, why hate? Some people I have talked to have said that they don't understand feminism or despise feminists and that they are not one. I wonder why? Indeed.

Few months ago, I did a poll on my page asking people if they are feminists. I was glad that out of 22, most of them polled for yes(86%) though I wish they did so with a good understanding of the word and simply not just for chasing a popular term.

I asked the rest 14% to share as to why they didn't consider themselves one.

Here are the responses:

1. "I guess both the sexes are being given equal rights and opportunities. What needs to change is the mentality of the people.

I don't know if this comes under feminism, so voted no.

In fact there's a very, very strong need for people's mentality to change.

Advocating for the equality of rights is what feminism means to me.

Females have all the rights any male enjoys and top of that to encourage females to work, they are given tax rebates and special leaves :-)

It's now the sick mentality of people that needs to change and I believe it will. We are heading in the right direction, see so much has changed in the past 20 years.

Though, is feminism just about fighting for equality of rights or it's about bringing a change in the mentality as well?"

2. "I believe in equality, I believe in the protest that every woman does to win back her respect, dignity in the society.

I believe in the work more than the term."

3. "I am not the one to take sides and to be honest I don't get into debates. It's not like I don't support it but I would rather address the cause of the problem than the targeted victim. I will fight the cause. If bias happens, I will support women. I will not get into equating everything between men and women.

I will do something if there's a PROBLEM, not if there's a differentiation.

See there's a difference between differentiating among the 2 genders and a bias caused by inequality. Pay gaps for the same job is a problem. So yes, I'll fight for that. But if people bring feminism into the discussion about which gender has better drivers or stuff like that

That's stupid.

If debating over it makes progress. Then I'm all for it. But the problem is this topic has been left open to interpretation which has hindered the actual purpose.

Since so many people feel so strongly about it, it automatically comes across sort of like a taboo. It's a question of basic rights and wrongs. But people are so opinionated that it has obscured the whole purpose."

From the 3 responses I got, I had some discussions with them and they themselves finally agreed they are feminists. What I understood from them is that half of us don't know what the real meaning is as it is so blurred by social media and the violent, highly-opinionated, reactive youth out there.

My mom herself says that she believes in actions and helping improve the society for women and that it doesn't seem necessary to equate herself to be called a mere term. But that's the point, you do it, you are called it. One is referred to as the most intellectual species on the earth, has a head, a body, a pair of hands and legs, one is called human. Do you deny? No. Feminists are like that.

I honestly couldn't see the point of not embracing the term. I guess I might know why. This comes from the lack of the correct exposure to the word. My mom once jokingly told me that feminists don't wear fashionable jewelries or don't give importance to looking attractive or stylish because their work is all they do and that is what makes them feminist.

I was outright offended when I heard it because if you go to someone who truly follows feminism they will say feminists can be ANYONE being a good and a fair human. Feminists are made by their thoughtful choices and they can be whoever they ARE. My mom doesn't call herself a feminist because she believes she has not done anything to uplift other women but she does believe in equal rights and is against violence against women. So, do you think she is one? For me, yes. Even her set examples and laid out inspiration for others as a working, independent and curious woman is a way how women around can be uplifted. Feminism demands no specific definition. It is how we define it, how we treat one another irrespective of their sex, race, color, caste and other derogatory ways we divide humans.

In the olden times, women who defied rules and conquered their everyday struggles didn't know of such a title but does that make them any less of a feminist?


  1. It is ok if one doesn't know about it or want to debate on it. Some things might not be their topic of conversation. If you are a feminist, you don't have to impose your beliefs on anyone. I, myself don't know much about feminist theory or literature but modern feminism is all that I know is my feminism- To me it is equality of both the sexes and that people should be able to live on their own terms (obviously be a part of the society) and simply not face biases (exclusive of basic differences between sexes) based on gender.

  2. Hear yourself respond to injustices against humans (fact: men are affected by patriarchy as well and feminism helps men live the way they want to).

  3. Don't change your understanding of feminism based on what pseudo-feminists on the internet claim.

  4. If you don't know what feminism is, search up the definition at least (I am sure you won't be disappointed) before you start believing feminism is all bullshit. People couldn't have had given their lives for bullshit, right? :)

KUDOS! Think, what does your feminism look like?

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