No, Feminism Doesn’t Ask Women To Emulate Men
The last thing feminism can be accused of doing is to demand from women that they emulate men. Feminism doesn’t’ want women to live like men, but to have rights equal to men. To be able to embrace and enjoy equal degree of social standing and liberty as men do. Yet, time and again many people criticise feminism for coaxing women to “be like men”.
Indian mystic, author and Padma Vibhushan awardee Jaggi Vasudev, famously known as Sadhguru, said at a recent event that in the name of feminism women are desperately trying to be like men. He said, “Fundamentally there is no such thing as superiority and inferiority. Once again this superiority business or this male domination has happened in various societies mainly because we made economics the most important thing. Money is the only value. Now, the go-getter in the family is the only value. Today, in the name of feminism, unfortunately, a whole lot of women are desperately trying to be like men.”
Agreed that money is the root of most evils in our lives today. But instead of asking women to stop running after it as men do, why not ask the society to change its values? In today’s times is it even possible to empower women while they remain financially dependent?
Feminism stands for having rights equal to that of men, and not living like men
One has to ask here, why is financial independence so crucial to women empowerment? Can women have equality unless they attain equal pay?
In an ideal world, it would have been easier to achieve equality without striving for financial independence. A world where unpaid household labour and the rearing of children would have equal footage as to putting food on the table. But sadly, we do not live in an ideal world. We are striving for equality in a world whose rules were set by men, to their advantage, thousands of years ago. We are a long way from the entire population of this world realising that equality and economics among gender mustn’t be co-related.
- According to Indian mystic Sadhguru, “Today, in the name of feminism unfortunately, a whole lot of women are desperately trying to be like men.”
- He feels that male domination is prevalent because we made economics the most important thing.
- The problem is that money is a weapon used by the society to constrain and subdue women. Hence women empowerment isn’t possible unless women gain financial independence.
The world we inhabit runs on money, hence higher education and financial independence are a big part of the struggle for women empowerment. It is so because money is used as a weapon to oppress women and they need their own moolah to have an equal say. It is because of the sexist mindset that there is a gender-based pay gap at workplaces. Isn’t this a proof that money is used to constrain women and subdue them?
What was missing conspicuously from this video was any mention of patriarchy which prompts the society to treat men and women differently.
It is patriarchy which burdens men with the responsibility to earn well for the sake of the family. Their entire social and familial standing revolves around their paycheck. So many men have to give up on their passions to endure a life of stress which comes from being the sole provider of a household. Patriarchy pitches men and women against one another, so merely saying that fundamentally there is no such thing as superior or inferior is not enough. Call out the culprit who instilled this belief in our mindset. The constant oppression which women face due to misogyny will not go away until we get rid of patriarchy.
To have an equilibrium between the two genders, it is important that they have equality in all aspects of lives, finances included. The only way women can stop fighting on that front is when the world stops running on money. Until such a day comes, it is unfair to women to accuse them of running after money in the name of feminism.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.