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Why Is Nora Fatehi's Take On Feminism Creating Controversy?

Nora Fatehi said that feminism inherently is great but it has become radical which is dangerous to society. She also added that 'a lot of men have been brainwashed by the feminism era'.

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Rudrani Gupta
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What's Nora Fatehi's BackStory?

Feminism is a broad term. It unshackles, breaks rules and empowers. More than anything it gives the freedom to make choices. However, it receives a lot of criticism for being too radical, breaking traditions and being illogical and unrealistic. Today also feminism received flack from a celebrity, Nora Fatehi who said, "Feminism has fucked up our society. It is dangerous for our society." What do you think? 

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Canadian dancer and actor who has won accolades for her performance in music albums recently shared her views about feminism. She said, "Feminism inherently on the base level is great; the foundation of it is great. I also advocate for women's rights. I also want girls to go to school. I also believe in all these things. However, when feminism becomes radical which is what has happened in the last 15-20 years it's dangerous for the society." 

Fatehi believes that everyone is equal in sentimental things but not in societal things where everyone has different roles to play. Talking about the roles of men and women in society, Fatehi said that she doesn't believe in the idea of not having "male and female dynamics at home" She is against the idea of not needing anybody, being completely independent, not getting married and having kids. 

She said, "Male is a provider and breadwinner and woman is a nurturer. Women are nurturers. Yes, they can have their own life and be independent but to a certain extent. They should also be ready to take on the role of being a mother and a wife and a nurturer just like a man should be ready to take a role of being a provider and a breadwinner and a father and a husband."

She further said, "We call it old-school, traditional way of thinking. I think I call it the normal way of thinking."

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Moreover, Fatehi has stood by her remarks on feminism despite facing backlash on social media. Addressing criticism from a user who accused her of having a superficial understanding of feminism, Fatehi defended her stance, stating that she supports the core principles of feminism but criticises radicalised and toxic forms of the movement, as well as societal extremism in gender roles. She wrote, "I agree thats why i said i support and agree with the foundation of feminism! What i spoke on was about radicalised feminism and toxic feminism and the extremism of gender roles in our society."

Neena Gupta's faltu feminism remark  

This is not the first time that feminism was criticised by empowered female celebrities. In 2023, actor  Neena Gupta made headlines for her comment on feminism. She called the idea of feminism as 'faltu' or useless. She said, "I want to say that it’s not necessary to believe in faltu [useless] feminism or the idea that ‘women are equal to men’. Instead, focus on achieving financial independence and giving attention to your work. If you are a housewife, don’t look down on it. It is an important role. Boost your self-esteem and avoid thinking of yourself as small. That’s the main message I want to convey. Additionally, men and women are not equal. The day men start getting pregnant, that day we will be equal.”

Coming across such criticisms around feminism, I wonder if people really understand the concept. Feminism, as I mentioned earlier, gives the right to make choices. It empowers people without restricting their definition of empowerment. It advocates freedom from any kind of oppression, dictatorship or necessity. 

The definition of roles women and men play in society has changed

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When we look at Nora Fatehi's opinion, it is evident that she doesn't consider being single as a choice women make to be happy but to criticise marriage. Women who are single and independent are not against the concept of marriage or motherhood. They just feel happier being on their own. As far as the responsibility towards society is concerned, why do we assume that a woman can be useful to society only if she becomes a wife and a mother? Wouldn't she contribute in an equal amount if she joined the economy and earned?

Even if a woman gets married, she still has the right to choose whether she wants to work or not, whether she wants to be a homemaker or whether she wants kids or not. All that matters is that women should be unconditionally happy in whatever choice they make and should not be forced to do anything. 

As far as men's role in society is concerned, it is not limited to being a bread-earner, a father or a husband. They have to unlearn toxic masculinity, respect women's choices and support their empowerment. Moreover, just like women, men too have the right to choose if they want to earn or be a homemaker

Feminism advocates the right to choose

Moreover, what does 'radical' even mean? Why do we see it as a negative term or idea? Why can't we see it as a weapon to defy deep-rooted patriarchal traditions? If patriarchy goes to an extent of murdering women, why can't we be 'radical' to oppose it?

It all depends on choice and choosing something doesn't mean rejecting those who choose something else. Feminism is about treating men, women or any gender equally in society. It is high time we understand feminism and embrace it as a saviour for the patriarchal society, not a danger.   

Views expressed by the author are their own

Feminism Nora Fatehi
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