Feminism was born the day Patriarchy was created!

 Times have changed, women’s situation has changed – today she has more opportunities, more mobility and more choices. Still her status hasn’t changed!

A woman is secondary at home, secondary at work and has no identity of her own.
WE have confronted, fought, challenged, questioned, convinced, inspired and sometimes decided to let go…The eyes rolling, the eyebrows going up….“: Oh… so YOU are a FEMINIST???” So we thought of sharing our understanding – what Feminism is and what Feminism means to us.

space

“We call ourselves a FEMINIST GROUP, which is a conscious decision, as we believe that:

  •  FEMINISM is the sole answer to Patriarchal oppression
  •  It is the only “ism” which has talked about Women’s Rights as Human Rights
  • It is a human and humanising perspective which believes in justice, equality and freedom with dignity for all.

Feminism for us is a way of life, our inspiration, an ideology, a political movement, an action, a praxis and multilayered transformational politics. Feminism is a spirit, the spirit of an activist, which seeks to validate our personal experiences and subjective feelings. Feminism is about being aware of the structural controls and subjugation by patriarchy,  awareness of women’s oppression and exploitation in society and conscious action to change.  However, in its true essence feminism is a way of life, an ideology, a mindset and a movement. It is a struggle for equality. Flip to the pages of history and you see feminism cannot be contained to a definition. It was, is and will be a subject to change in accordance with time, place and circumstances.

The core of the ideology is the notion that wom_men* across caste, class and religion are equal and should be treated as such. This means challenging the patriarchal system that in different ways has restrained women from controlling their lives and limited their choices. Feminism does not mean replacing patriarchy with matriarchy – nor exclusive for women but concerned for all vulnerable groups. Contrary to the belief, feminism does not put men on the margins, in the fringes. It is our endeavour to involve men so that they can resist the dehumanising pressures of ‘Masculinity’, to translate our struggle, into “everyone’s struggle” to make “A Just World for Everyone”. In Feminism wo_men* are partners in development and equal contributors. Women must first be regarded as humans, equal not inferior to men. It is simply a demand for a society where all humans can have the opportunity to make their choices freely without their sex, religion, caste, class, race or ethnicity being the determining factor. We say that Humanism must first be spelled as Feminism.

The most significant aspect of feminism for us is that it gives us the space to tailor it as per our situation and context; its meaning is not handed down from someone else, somewhere else. Unlike many other ‘isms’, it does not have one founding individual who has determined it. The process thus tends to change according to time and place. It is multifocal, multivocal, speaks many languages, sings many songs, dances to many tunes and expresses itself in many creative forms. Feminism as a school of thought is special in the sense that it is collectively discoverd and evolved. In Feminism one must question oneself as well as others hence, this makes the individual more sensitive. Feminism is inclusive, diverse, non-hierarchical: decisions are made collectively and with shared responsibility.

Feminism is also about recognizing that the choices we make in our personal life is political and political life is personal. It helps us organize ourselves around “her story is my story and my story is hers.” Through feminist ideology we strive for ultimate realization, actualization and empowerment of a woman to exert her rights fearlessly. Feminism is the only school of thought that talks about Women’s Rights as Human Rights. Feminism inspires us and many more women to move from passive acceptance of their life situation to one of active self-determination, to struggle on to create a world of our interests, liking and choices. It is about promoting resilience, healing and emotional and mental well-being of all of us, each one of us survivors of Patriarchy in various forms.  It has dared to break the conspiracy of silence surrounding our lives and lives of many more like and unlike us.

At time feminism is frightening, scary and threatening because it enters the sanctity of home, questions the most intimate human relationships – questions discrimination and injustice by dear and near ones, the very beliefs that we stand on. It attempts to blur the lines of unnecessary dualities between women and men, emotional and rational, nature and internalized culture, constructed femininity and masculinity, object and subject, body and mind, weak and strong.

A lot of people critique us saying- “Ok, the structures are unfair, oppressive so…you tell us what just is. Where are the fair structures that are non-discriminative?”  We don’t have all the answers, but there is a conscious, genuine quest for workable contextual parallels. As a feminist group this process has brought us the peace that enabled us to pin down our realities, our way of living, our pain, our joys, our challenges and our meaning of Feminism!

For us Feminism is a path of empowerment… it is teaching us to become more humane, to get in touch with our own selves and with the universe. It is awareness towards rights and responsibilities. It transcends into Spirituality a practice that takes us towards imbibing qualities of humility, interdependence, coexistence, transparency and accountability. We are up and struggling, knowing that each day is going to bring in new challenges, conscious that what we endeavour to achieve might not be possible in our lifetime. But the joy of living life thus is so immense, that just being a part of that stream is enough for us. Feminism is a human and humanizing perspective which ventures into paths of empowerment, justice and peace.

Feminism is notOlakh_Favicon_new

Home breaker

Anti-men – aversion towards men

Women adopting male values

Replacing of patriarchy with matriarchy

Exclusive for women – concerned for all vulnerable groups

It is a path of Empowerment
It is a spiritual Journey

What is Patriarchy

The word patriarchy literally means the rule of the father, and originally it was used to describe a specific type of male-dominated society – Now it is used more generally to refer to male domination, to the power relationships by which men dominate women, and to characterise a system where man are considered superior and women are kept subordinate in a number of ways. The subordination takes various forms – discrimination, disregard, insult, control, exploitation, oppression, violence – within the family, at the place of work, in society. The double standards of morality, religion and laws which give more rights to men than to women are also based on patriarchy. In a patriarchal system men control women’s productive or labour power, women’s reproduction, women’s sexuality, mobility, property and other economic resources. All of this resulted in sharply increased violence against women. Women’s objectification by the media and the commercialisation of women’s sexuality has reached alarming proportions. In addition, the sex-ratio has been steadily declining in women’s disfavour. If women and men were treated equally, there would be around 105 women for every 100 males. Counting the population in India, there are only 914 women per 1,000 males. this means about 4,52,396 women are “Missing” in India (WHO, 2010) .

*The underscore signifies ‘gender gap’ to include all people who don’t identify themselves as either man or woman.