Whenever women stand firm on their feminist beliefs, they are labelled as feminazis who want to control men. Men’s rights activists often paint a cruel picture of feminist women as those who want to push men to the margins. If you agree with this, it is time you rethink feminism and how it has been portrayed in front of you. Because feminism is not about controlling men but about stopping them from controlling women.
In our society, gender discrimination is the norm. It is just impossible for people to envision a society without any power dynamics based on gender. If today men are the ones who are dominating, society pushes feminism away because of the fear that tomorrow women will rule the world. But why is it difficult to envision equality in society without any form of discrimination or oppression? Why can’t we think of becoming a society where women and men are companions, not competitors?
Especially when it comes to relationships, feminism becomes a threat because men end up feeling insecure about being emasculated by their girlfriends or wives. Moreover, in workplaces also if the recruitment of women increases, men feel threatened by the change, thinking that soon they will be outnumbered or unemployed. I recently heard my friend saying that the increased recruitment of women in Bihar police has led to an increase in unemployment among men. Though there is no data supporting his argument, it can easily be concluded that he has been fed the idea of women taking up positions previously occupied by men- in a sense replacing them.
But dear men, you are being misled. Feminism don’t want to rob men of their agency or opportunities, it simply intends to redistribute power equally and level the playing field. Women’s increased participation in various aspects of society is just an effort to create an equal society and provide women with the rights they were deprived of just because of their gender. What men don’t realise is that feminism is an ally, which wants to free them from the clutches of toxic masculinity and patriarchy.
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Feminism wants both men and women to respect each other rather than treating each other based on prejudices. It wants men to see how the privileges bestowed on them by patriarchy are in fact detrimental to their wellbeing and rob them of their agency as well. Men feel compelled to be bread winners for their family, dominate women in their family and act a certain when around other men because their existence is trapped in this idea of manhood which patriarchy has been feeding to their gender for centuries now.
So the bottom line here is that feminism is here to help both men and women and other genders to coexist happily. It is here to create a harmony in which no one is deprived of their rights just because of their gender. Creating and sustaining equality is what feminism aims for. So dear men, stop seeing feminism as a threat and instead use it as tool that makes your own life better.
Views expressed are the author’s own.