How Not To Be A Feminist

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and are not representative of the platform itself.

The Feminist movement has swept the world in its wake; however, we see people debating feminism and its relevance much more than what it actually entails. Given the high degree of debate feminism has brought forward in the world (especially in a country like Pakistan, where oppression on the basis of gender is still structurally reinforced), we see people trying to overrule its presence, and some denying its existence completely (shocking, I know). As a result of these aforementioned factors, the following should serve as a guide on ‘How not to be a Feminist’ 

  1.  Stay Misinformed:

For centuries, this world and its feministic inhabitants have seen a wide array of people confusing facts with opinions; we’ve been the forefront figures in having to literally dissect opinions of other people and portray accurately what feminism entails. Regardless of our tireless efforts, our joyous anti-feminists have not disappointed; they have led on their legacy of misinformation and have been quite successful in spreading it to their counterparts. Furthermore, this misinformation transgresses all possibilities; meninists, for example, tend to forget that the movement originated as a way to support female participation in all aspects of society, which now (rather ironically) counters the feministic movement.

Now, here are some actual facts and figures: In view of the current socio-economic climate, it will take 108 years to close the gender gap according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report. In addition to that, only 6 countries in the global sphere grant women equal legal work rights as men, which shockingly juxtaposes with the 187 countries where gender-based discrimination still continues to exist. Thus, feminism appears as a movement to tackle grave issues that affect women ranging from the gender pay gap, access to reproductive healthcare, protection against sexual assault as well as  violence, and gender representation in the media.

  1.  Be a snake in disguise:

Here’s to the ones that think being pseudo-feminist places them on a superior pedestal to the rest of society. News flash: it does not. We see right through you. Feminism as a movement was created to progress the rights of women and equalize the parity between genders; pseudo feminists, on the other hand, engage in support without real activity, thus, the essence of the movement is lost. Similarly, these groups of people tend to support certain ideas to their convenience to stay in the limelight and are driven by the desire to get attention whilst benefiting from their passive participation in the movement. 

As Hannah Montana once said “you get the best of both worlds,” for this matter however, you simply can not. Having catered to multiple snakes, we are quite literally experts in this regard, and guarantee that you are not as subtle as you think.

    3. Argue without conclusion:

Arguments, the finest forms of combat anti-feminists equip themselves with, or so they think. For centuries, feminists have been the face of bearing countless arguments from the opposing side. Similarly, what feminists have been trying to detail is that arguments without conclusions are fruitless and thus aim at doing nothing. 

‘But feminists hate men,’ is perhaps the most falsely held notion by anti-feminists. Feminism tackles the dismantling of all systems of oppression, thus laying out ground for both men and women for equal rights. According to a WHO report, it is a fact that in more gender-equal societies, men are half as likely to be depressed and less likely to commit suicide. 

   4. Pretend problems don’t exist:

We all wish we lived in a world where problems didn’t exist. However, since this is not ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,’ we can not use expecto patronum to get through our problems (sigh). Subsequently, we need reforms and policies that cause the community to progress, which is not possible unless women are granted equal opportunities in work and education.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah once said, “No Nation can rise to the heights of glory unless her women stand side by side with men.” Regretfully, the societal toxicity engulfing our nation has led us far away from this ideology, where honour killings and acid attacks plague women, and rarely make it to the headlines. However, banning advertisements, social platforms and video games are a common occurrence (yes, really).

Even after knowing all this, an often asked question is ‘Why do we still need feminism?’ 

In order to understand this, we need to know the gravity of the current situation that affects women globally; a pay gap of 23% between men and women still continues to exist, women are still politically underrepresented in many countries and issues of domestic violence and other forms of violence still exist. We can not ignore these problems, as Audre Lorde once said, 

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”

Given the recent rise in prejudice against women, it is eminent that societal progression is governed by equal participation by the genders. 

And here’s to hoping reverse psychology bears its fruit.

Hania Bajwa
TLC Writer

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