To, (not so) dear (radical) feminists — Part 1
There is a kind of bizarre stupidity that is not Donald Trump that lately I have begun to find sadly funny.
Correction — the so-called modern feminism that comes in the bubble-wrap of rhetoric, frivolity and an unsubstantiated plight.
There are a lot of problems with the millennial-y version of feminism — one of them is how it epitomises the idea of womanhood which always sees a woman as the ultimate victim of the patriarchy. I understand that life doesn’t exactly seem like a picnic when we have to get our armpits waxed, or wear a bra, or scrape through the four-day dreaded menstrual cycle, or stay at home late night; what I don’t, however, is how the aforementioned could be reduced to a battle cry for equality in silly feminist campaigns (Glitter armpits, Free the Nipple, Piss for Equality, Free-Bleeding) that don’t even merit all the time or brains or space that they end up hogging otherwise.
The bone of contention is that feminism fiercely advocates that women be treated like men. Or that women are equal to men. That’s kinda silly because you don’t say that eight is equal to sixty — nine, or that a cat is a dog, (or that Trump is a human being), because the truth is that they are not. I could be blasted off the face of this earth if I say that women are not equal to men (which now I already have. Ahm.), but the way I look at it, there is nothing wrong with having, and most importantly celebrating, the uniqueness — the strength as well as limitations — that both the sexes particularly in regard to their bodies come with. Women bleed, men don’t. Women have breasts, that’s why they wear a bra. Men don’t. You don’t talk of equality here because a.) the last time I checked the rules of equations, having no breasts is not equal to having breasts, and b.) There are better things to do and better battles to be fought for rather than flashing a mushrooming garden of stinking armpits or #FreeingTheNipples in the name of equality.
Likewise, letting your armpit/arms/legs hair grow is completely a matter of choice; go ahead if that is what you want. What is unwarranted is wearing the radicalism up your sleeves and forcing the idea down others’ throat who might want a more hygienic way of life. Just saying.
A few years ago, I went to a shopping mall with a dark-skinned friend, and the salesman asked her to buy a slightly blander version of gaudy orange because it “would have looked better on her”. Both my friend and I went up in arms against the sales guy for making a downright sexist and racist comment, only to realise a few years later that he was right, because gaudy orange would have looked like a catastrophe on her. He wasn’t making a sexist comment; he was just telling the truth.
Unless you are one of those who dresses up to prove a point to the “incredibly misogynistic and sexist” society instead of looking and feeling good about yourself, orange would have oiled the wheels of well, probably another ridiculous feminist campaign, like #OrangeIsTheNewPink. And who knows, orange would have went on to signify “empowerment”.
Feminism is becoming as much about wallowing in grief and revelling in narcissism as it is about seeking equality and freedom. Funny things like feminist campaigns have begun to be transpired out of a want to indulge in the grievance business and scouting for a (silly) reason to merit the victimhood when you are no longer one — a victim that is.
I have nothing against women wanting to claim their space in a society that still tries to clamp down on their freedom. I genuinely believe women should be allowed the freedom they are entitled to. I don’t see any issues looking at feminism as a choice to pursue the freedom. But a mindless, blind pursuit without considering the ramifications of the choice made could end in ways you wouldn’t want to face. Feminism is being allowed to party late night just like a guy. It could be about wearing short dresses and skirts. It could be giving the guy in the bar a competition with vodka-and-whiskey bottoms-up. But then, it should also be as much about owning up to the consequences of the choice. Because the world is not ideal and there are monsters out there.
I don’t intend to say that modern feminism greedily eyes everything that looks and smells like attention. But there is a line between empowerment and a sense of superiority that all the rabble-rousing seems to be blurring. Charting a thought — out, logical discourse before the Nazis brandish it loosely on social media and debates could be a way out for rightly advocating the cause, it its most non-sensationalised, rational and righteous way.