Several people will shy away from reading this post today because of the title. Several more will be extremely annoyed with me for mentioning this word. Because ‘feminist’ and ‘feminism’ are two -anti words in today’s generation.

A ‘feminist’ is a one who cuts her hair short, wear pants and refuses to get married or ‘bow’ to a man. Perhaps that definition of the word was drilled into our heads by the generations before us by the women who had to fight for their basic rights, hence took the other extreme.

A ‘feminist’ movie by today’s definition has an ending where woman shoots everyone and walks off into the horizon. Or where is a whisky-drinking, short haired, corporate honcho. And of course, single. Those movies never run and I wonder why they are even made.

Feminism, someone I was talking to a couple of days ago said, does not mean prioritizing women.

The definition merely added another job to the already long list of tasks – of being a man, she added.

If feminism went by the archaic definition, most women today are not. Because the old impression was very anti-feminine.

To my generation, it just means being able to make our choice. We do not even think of it as feminist. It is just something that we do.

But I’ve so often heard the line “I cannot support these feminist ideas.”

This could be in response to a suggestion that she delay getting married/having babies/move to another city on her own/cut her hair a little shorter to keep it healthy.

To many of us, all these things are just a lifestyle choice. It is about knowing who you are, your likes and dislikes. It is a requirement, not a particular fancy, to most of us. We do not think of it as being feminist.

When someone advises a woman about moving away from an abusive husband, about using birth control, about choosing to move to another city for a job, it is not really about feminism. It is about making choices for a better life. Yet, perhaps somewhere, these choices are considered feminist choices.

These little freedoms that we take for granted are the result of someone being branded an extremist.

Feminists always asked for equal rights. They never claimed anybody was better than anybody else. That is an interpretation made by today’s generation. Why? That is a different story… like every freedom fighter, feminists too lost their shine after some victory was achieved perhaps. Like being a Gandhian. Or maybe the extremist behaviour tired some people and it stuck as being annoying.

Whatever be the reason… all they asked for was a chance to fuck up as much as the rest of the world did and not be blamed any more than the next person would be.

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