Perhaps this will be too long for Impressions, but I just had to get it out of my system. Another IWD has come and gone. All the statistics were presented, all the encouragements were spoken, but somehow after the 8th, the 9th turned out to be the 7th again. It seems as if nothing has changed. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve come far, but there is still a lot of work left to be done. There are a lot of problems in this world, but we need to deal with them efficiently and one at the time. There are no bigger or smaller issues, they are all important to discuss. So, consistent with the theme of IWD, in these Impressions, I will write about my perspective of feminism and myself as a feminist, about misogyny, and about representation. To be clear, I’m not trying to persuade anyone of anything, because I know that previously formed convictions are hardly changed or not changed at all.
First of all, I am a feminist. Certainly, I am aware of the connotations the label has among people, but words cannot be blamed if they are used by foul mouths and good ideas are not responsible if they are misinterpreted or modified to suit corrupt interests. However, I’m not an activist. There is a specific type of personality that an activist ought to have, and I don’t. I’m too introverted, too pessimistic, and sometimes too tired of all to be bothered by it any further. But, as a feminist, I stand for the concepts of feminism, even if I do it in my quiet way. Feminism is not about gender equality. There you have it. Feminism is about deconstructing gender as a socially conditioned behaviour for the purpose of liberating oneself from the oppressive social norms. Try saying that three times fast. Specifically, feminism is about liberating women from oppressions stemming from patriarchy. But, what does that really mean? It means that boys can cry, although they are taught not to, and that girls can play with toy cars, and no higher authority has the right to force them in a different direction. However, we know that boys are taught to cover their emotions, and girls are often shamed for not playing with toys or participating in games that don’t reflect their predetermined role in the society. Feminism can benefit everyone, if we all agree to shed the skin that has always been ill-fitted.
Misogyny comes as a result of deeply rooted gender misconceptions and aforementioned repressive norms and lack of will to dismiss them. Now, we can all recognize and condemn macro level misogyny. When a husband beats his wife, when a man abuses a woman or takes her life because of a gender-based reason, it is seen as bad, unacceptable behaviour. However, there is also micro level misogyny, which not a lot of people detect and which happens quite often. The micro level misogyny is, interestingly, practised by both men towards women and by women towards other women or by one woman towards herself. Unfortunately, I witnessed instances of this a few times. Still, the ones that hurt the most belong in the second category, women who are misogynistic among themselves. In fact, I have to admit that my feminism has never been challenged by men, but I have struggled when women were misogynistic. When men are misogynistic, it’s despicable but there is no sense of surprise. But, when a woman deprecates another woman or herself, especially for appraisal of a man, that’s just painful. It makes me wonder what the point was of so many generations fighting hard to get us here. The task has not been fully completed, it seems, and I must not be one of those taking rights we have today for granted and just giving up on striving further.
Finally, there is representation. You may ask why I am writing about this. Because, it is an issue that concerns me and could affect me directly. Women need to talk about issue they have. Also, women are the one that get to determine whether those issues are misogynistic or not, it is the way of appropriation. How can it be achieved? Through education and encouragement. Women must know how to demand their rights, enjoy the privileges and accept the responsibilities. There is nothing wrong about it. It may seem easier to wait for the door to be opened for you, but dear women, you can and should do it yourself.
This turned into a long post. Still, I am glad I that wrote it, and I hope you will be happy that you read it. If you want to discuss it, we can do it. Remember, social pillars that originate from restriction, discrimination, and subjugation are not social values and they have to be taken down. In conclusion, thank you for reading this and be good and well, lads and lasses.