Defining Feminism is a major challenge that world faces. The main reasons for this include, the dilemma between the interchangeable use of the terms of sex and gender. Sex is biological, gender is a social construct. The fact that these terms are misrepresented leads to the rise of various issues, creates set gender roles that prescribes how the members of a particular gender are expected to act or behave. These gender roles have been internalised to such an extent, that considering women to be a ‘weaker sex in need of protection’ has become a norm. The society is highly patriarchate in nature, misogyny is internalised, white male privilege is real. These were a few issues highlighted. Women coming together to fight for basic fundamental freedoms and rights grew to a full-fledged movement and evolved into an ideology called feminism, despite of all these advancements made the society is still apprehensive into accepting femininity. In order to achieve the goals that are set forth by feminists; equal rights, it is important for the society to come together collectively and help itself evolve and bring about a change to the way society perceives gender and sex.
Feminism in international cinema, the most accurate portrayal was in the movie Salt of the Earth. The movie was based on the strike conducted by Mexican mine workers against the discriminatory treatment that were subjected to. The movie talks about race, labour rights, women’s rights and the importance of treating people as equals and fighting for one’s rights irrespective of gender or sex. The movie unusual because except for the lead actress, al the other cast were mineworkers who actually protested in a strike against their ill treatment. The movie showcased the importance of either of the genders to come together and work in order to achieve a common goal. The movie highlighted how women’s rights become a very complex subject when brought together with other social constructs such as race. The movie showcased the struggle of people against gender stereotypes, against racial discrimination and against political oppression.
The infamous case of Angela Davis was one that brought about widespread debate on feminism across the United States. The case was one that stressed on the increasing importance of intersectional feminism. Angela Davis was a black woman who was arrested on false grounds of kidnapping, murder and conspiracy. A prominent feminist icon, she faced discrimination on account of being a woman of colour. She was acquitted of the false allegations levied against her by an all-white jury. She was discriminated on charges of her political ideology being in par with communism. She was an advocate for the rights of women, black women in particular and spoke out strongly against the racism that is prevalent in the American society. Therefore, she was one of the earliest propounders of Intersectional-feminism, which spoke about feminism in relation to other forms of discrimination such as casteist or racial.
The #metoo movement which started as a Hollywood sex scandal grew to what became the world’s biggest movement where women from all walks of life came out and spoke about their experiences of sexual assault especially in workplaces. It was an eye-opener in terms of women’s safety at workplaces. The loopholes in laws, the failure of various governments across the world to make all the members of the society feel safe, the inadequacy in the remedies and punishments were highlighted thanks to the movement. A twitter movement created history in terms of bringing stringent rules and regulations. Social media platforms became a safe space for women to open about their experiences of sexual predation. The entire world was shocked at the heinousness of certain crimes. The #metoo movement became the modern face of feminism, a safe space for women to speak about their issues and a widespread agitation that demanded for protection from sexual predation and any sort of harassment.
Feminism as an ideology is very necessary especially in order to create safe spaces for women and help form a collective where people find it easier to come out and talk about their experiences. The society has a long way to go in terms of securing women’s rights and creating a society where everyone is treated equally. Its time to value a person on the basis of their talents and aptitude rather on the basis of their biological sex.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge