As far as feminism and equal gender rights are concerned, we are probably living in the most confusing times ever. We are progressive outside and yet have such a huge and internalized hangover of the misogynistic patriarchy that we have internalized through years.
We live in a time where even feminism is not the same for everyone. While these progressive ideas of gender equality can make a man a person of greatness, it can make a woman trite and unbearably loud. It seems like, even in our fight for equal rights we are expected to downplay ourselves.
These confusing ideas of feminism mixed with our internalized ideas of patriarchy have made feminism a little sexist. Sounds extreme, but it is true. Were you ever impressed by a man saying the most basic things about women’s rights? Perhaps, you were impressed by a man’s flexibility in spilling the bills, or a man who knows how to cook is suddenly a charming hero in your eyes?
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This is where progressive ideas move from being complex and start being complicated. Have you set separate rules for men even in sexism?
-Does basic feminism sound extremely modern falling from a man’s mouth? -Do you, credit men, for doing the chores you never acknowledge when women do?
-Do you feel privileged when a man doesn’t even tease you?
-Do you think ‘respecting women’ is an elite quality in men?
-Have you confused basic manners with chivalry?
-Do you appreciate men for being emotional people?
Are you fairly surprised when a man is genuine in his feminist ideas?
If you found yourself agreeing to most of them, that is your projection of internalized sexism. Let us start with calling things out for what it is. Here are all the lessons you need to learn to not let your judgments be corrupted by partiality. Here is why you need to not cheer men for the absolute minimum.
1- It romanticizes patriarchy-
Cheering a man to do the minimum is like telling him that he can get away with the bare minimum and even that, with flying colors. There is a quote that says “what you tolerate is what you allow.” Here, it is — How much you cheer for is how you set your standards. With clapping out loud for every time a man shows basic decency, to call him a feminist the first time he talks about women’s rights, making him look great for not being a terrible human being; all of this can look like you are promoting the right things. But actually, you are telling them they just have to not be terrible to be a great man.
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2- Because by clapping for your rights, you make them look like privileges-
Would you jump with joy every time you see something that is already yours? Will you be surprised to see something that you are secure about? That is the same thing with equal rights. The reason we get so excited every time a man shows you some respect or stands up for equal rights is that we were brought up to never expect it. Even as we preach about equal rights and how it is the most basic thing, we are not sure we deserve it or if we should expect it.
3- We are repeating the same mistakes -
The biggest problem with this culture is that we would be literally committing the same mistake and then expect a different result. Our rights are not at the mercy. Our rights are not for someone to give away. Our rights are not for someone else to feel great over. What’s ours cannot be given. I t can only be prevented from being taken away. By putting men on a pedestal for doing their bare minimum, we instantly communicate to ourselves and them that our rights are optional. It is important to understand that just we are not taking our rights FROM the men. We are not asking men to facilitate these rights. We are demanding that we no longer be oppressed and that our due respect and dignity be restored. This is not the time for gratitude or cheer them for the most basic things.
Picture credit- Vox.com
Having said that, it is also important to understand that we stand by men who stand by feminism. The objective here is not to attack men. But to understand how our internalized patriarchy makes us perceive things in a way that supports men more than women, even in feminism. So that was some of the reasons why we need to stop cheering and popping Champagne for the most basic things and the most minimum efforts.
Remember to be kind to everyone who chooses wisdom and equality over ignorance and discrimination. But also learn to differentiate between rights and privileges.
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Originally published at https://www.fuzia.com.