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Feminism: Chapter 1

  • Published at 07:21 pm March 8th, 2018
  • Last updated at 05:34 pm March 27th, 2018
Feminism: Chapter 1
I am not certain if I have done anything remarkable in my life so far other than living my life on my own terms, as per my choices, as I sincerely believe that – as a human being it is my birth right to live my life as I want (as long as I don’t harm others – any living being or the environment). And yes, I am a human being above all. “Female” is my genitalia - my biological status. And that is not even my sexual orientation because as far as my sexual orientation goes - I would like to choose from: straight, bisexual, lesbian or trans and this is my natural-instinctive sense of my rights as a human being. But that’s not how the society, or to be specific, the patriarchy likes to think or expects me or any other human being born with a female genitalia to think. Let me make it clear – patriarchy does not necessarily refer to men exclusively. Women themselves have proven to be very effective members of the Executive Branch of Patriarchy. Even today in 2018, we women are slaves of patriarchy, continuing to disenfranchise ourselves for (I fear, may be) centuries to come. We, women, have been the ultimate binary manifestation - the embodiment of patriarchy since time immemorial: both as victims and the accomplice. "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman" - Simon De Beauvoir makes so much sense now. She also said: “it is not women's inferiority that has determined their historical insignificance: it is their historical insignificance that has doomed them to inferiority.” Even the oldest institutions like religion exclude women as a fundamental element while defining human. It sounds very gender neutral when we say the world belongs to humans. Whenever we mention the very word “human”, it does the job of making anything seem unbiased and contemporary – a perfect match to the new wave that we have been witnessing around the world lately, especially with the rise of “#MeToo” and all. Yes…it feels great! What we are missing out though is that: men have always been the primary and central component in the definition of human and women are more of an extension to that – a biological variant: a second sex! Surprisingly, patriarchy has applied another weapon in the process and it’s their favourite - Feminism, women’s supposedly protective shield. Such an irony!
It sounds very gender neutral when we say the world belongs to humans. Whenever we mention the very word “human”, it does the job of making anything seem unbiased and contemporary
The whole concept of feminism has always been highly controversial and arguable, thanks to patriarchy. We are now so consumed by the debates like – how effective feminism is, is feminism not another sexist/misogynist concept itself, whether feminism is required at all, etc, that we miss out the real picture here. Feminism would not even exist if women were considered humans in the first place. They (patriarchy) make feminism sound like a sin; a forbidden fruit offered by the demons. It is so powerful that it infuses the notion in men in the earliest years of their lives that they are born with this supremacy: that they are God’s paramount creation and it’s their birth right to demean the opposite gender, that it is okay to violate women, that women are born to be their slaves, that they (men) are the mortal gods to the women around the world. Men are simply not capable of knowing the pain of being born as a woman, since their cognitive development as human beings is founded on this despicable notion. Now, what’s more hurting is that we, women, are also susceptible to this immunity: immunity from sensitivity - the very basic understanding of the situation of oppression. Because we are also born to patriarchy and our cognitive development is also founded on this paralyzing oppressive status quo. As soon as a child hits puberty (the society) patriarchy recognizes a boy child to be a man who has attained the society’s acknowledgment and approval of exercising his male reproductive and sexual pleasure rights on the opposite gender while ascribing the “commodity” status to the girls. Patriarchy seems to have infinite power and feminism seems to be too weak to outpower this historical reality of systemic oppression. But that is because we have not even been trying…enough. We have become the elephant that has been tamed despite being the abode of enormous strength and majestic valor. “All oppression creates a state of war. And this is no exception,” - Simon De Beauvoir. And like in any war, there are two clear sides in this one too: patriarchy and feminism. When the latter side in this battle advances, the game will change and feminism will no longer exist. But before that happens, we will have a lot to overcome and the path will not be easy. We, women will lose even more than ever before, to get what we have deserved all along. There will be many more Joan of Arcs. Only this time they will stay alive to take the victory laps.