Story by Sharaf Momen
We all know Emma Watson right? The one who played Hermione from the Harry Potter series. Well, she just had a groundbreaking interview with Malala Yousafzai, the girl who won the Nobel Peace Prize for standing up for the education rights of 66 million girls from Pakistan being denied of basic rights under a patriarchy. Instead of fangirling, let us take a moment to consider the wise advice we’ve heard from Malala:
“I’m a feminist and you all should be feminists, because feminism is another word for equality.”
Let’s face it. The world is cruel and a movement for the better always has its counter groups. A world where men were believed to dominate females – to place females in a position to think this to be true and succumb to such thoughts, or even be forced into it is unforgivable. Women were never given the same opportunities as men, when they could have potentially been capable of more. As Emma said, to place women under such positions is to take away half or more of what humans are capable of and it prevents us, as a race to advance further to our potential. Women have once been forbid from education. Whenever under financial issues, families preferred to have their sons pursue education and a career rather than their daughters.
Females? As portrayed by stereotypical gender roles, females are said to be only competent in household, domestic lifestyles. Their job is nothing more than to take care of the house and children – to fall inferior to the male population. Although in recent years, the world has finally understood the severity of this issue and has begun to open more opportunities to women, that is, stopped limiting the opportunities all humans should have to only males… Who had the power to judge females to be less of a human, where they are denied of their basic necessities? To be denied of their self-actualisation – that’s revolting, inconsiderate and lacks any reason whatsoever.
Yet, gender-based issues are still running in what we identify to be an advanced, globalised world and it poses issues to everyone. Even till today, jobs are more favouring towards men than women in the business world. In justification of this point, it is evident that not many female composers were written in history, whereas every music book one can possibly flip pages through would have male composers’ names printed confidently into it – because only male composers were given proper license in developing music and teach as well. Sexually active females or females that have been known to have sex once before marriage are identified as sluts. Recently, we’ve generated the term “fuckboy” to describe sexually active men. Keep in mind, that’s not the point of feminism – to defame the other gender so they’re both on equal grounds. The purpose of feminism is to eliminate gender-based roles for all sexes for the benefit of equality.
Furthermore, why is it that the mother is granted child custody over the father, when the father has been proven to be more competent as a parents? Why is it that men were shamed when expressing their emotional issues, and identified to be feminine. We should not be limiting ourselves by categorising some human characteristics into gender roles, because the other genders won’t be effectively able to be as human as they should be allowed to be. Furthermore, lesbians, gays and gender fluid individuals will be effectively able to choose their partners, lifestyles, who they want to adopt and the qualities they want to portray and more without being brought down under the public eye because of their sexuality – because of what the public has painted the perfect figures and figurines to be.
Many wonder, if the term means equality, why is it called “feminism”? Why is it made to sound more directed towards females? Women were denied of many rights only males had. It was never women put before men in education. It was not women who first got the right to vote after years of struggle. Were men pressured or forced to cook, clean and raise the child only? No. Which gender has been subject to most oppression? Females. Whose problems should we start to solve before we step further towards equality? Females. If you were to generate a name for the movement to eliminate such issues, what do you call this movement? Feminism.
We are not a wall people can paint on. We are ourselves. We should not be limited to gender-based roles and should all be equally given human rights. By eliminating the issues among the female gender, we eliminate problems for not only males, but those that are also apart of the LGBT community. I want to be treated on equal grounds. You want to be treated on equal grounds. We are for equality.
We are for feminism.