Understand feminism before undue criticism

Recent criticism and hate speech on  Aurat March and the ideology of feminism compelled me to write words down. We as a society hype things in such a negative way that the issue at hand loses its significance and ultimately meaning. We propagate agendas for our own sake and then use it for our own purposes and interests.

One thing, which is obvious, we have no tolerance to at least silently observe someone’s perspective on the other side of the screen. Why? Because the gadgets we have in our hands are full of content. We see what we want to see, listen to what we want to listen to, predict what we want to predict. Hence, make a rigid opinion that doesn’t change that is why we don’t want to listen and start bombarding someone with own opinion.

Feminism for every individual is different. Some are clearly against it, and some are in support for centuries. There are different sub-ideologies that have marked a place in society through media. What feminism actually is? If you research it, different definitions pop up, of which the collective version is, advocacy of women rights on the basis of equality of sexes without gender discrimination or, equality of sexes on social, political and economical factors. So, the agenda is to have equal rights and opportunities as of man.

You cannot comprehend the essence of feminism unless you go through it from historical and cultural perspectives. Keep the bias aside and come up with neutrality to realise the pain women suffer in their lives.

Aurat march where women from different diversities, sectors, and classes gather to voice issues women face was massively backlashed last year and this year on media and different platforms. Feminism is not about fighting men or surpassing them, it’s about to have equal rights. Equality and freedom as they have.

People use religion for counter-arguments. Now, as we belong to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and follow religion for eternal blessings but unfortunately it is used to exploit others. Women are direct target of personal description of religion. Reality is that the Last Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) already secured the rights of women. Yes, he surely did! The question arises, are we following religion exactly the way it was implemented?

Are we offering five times a day? Are we at the urge of morals or humanity prophet taught us? Are we covering our heads or lowering our gaze? No, right? Then why do we use it to advocate issues where women demand equal opportunities and rights?

Why do you need to understand feminism?

Let’s start with social factors. I born in a family, where my elders liberated me. They gave me social freedom, economic independence, taught me self-worth self-love, and gave equal education as a son of the family would have. They raised me, and taught me self-sufficiency and determined me to achieve more. Now, how many girls of my age belong to the families having the same mindset?

Aurat March and the feminism approach is for all those who are deprived of such basic values and rights. We just see mainstream cities where every other girl is well aware of her rights, what about those who lack it?

Every other girl is a rape victim, every other woman is a domestic violence victim. There are a number of harassment cases, there are burns of taking no dowry, there are acid attacks on those who refuse the proposal of street guys, and there are honor killings. There is character assassination, there are judgmental views about those wear jeans. There is workplace harassment. There are early marriages. There are marital rapes and sexual reproductive health issues. There are workplace discriminations. Make a research about it, men would have more wages, than women. Do we still say feminism is propaganda of burgers and liberal kids?

We live in a society where a chicken leg is given to a son, and daughters have to eat after her father and brother finishes their meal. There is still a pressure on her to look gorgeous, no matter how educated she is, otherwise a man will reject her. She is still not independent enough to look after her children alone.

Her voice is still silenced in front of all members because she has low decision power. She earns bread and butter for family, but her money has no prosperity. (Barkat)  She is reproductively ill, and cannot tell this to her husband, otherwise he will marry a second woman. Buses and roads are still not safe for her. Stand for 15 minutes on a road and watch the gaze coming her way.

This is high time, we need to watch our words and start working together for the real cause. To shut all these discriminations and stand united. You or I might belong from privileged families but still, there are burns and scars on faces. Aurat March is a narrative of every girl who is oppressed by society and asks rights, freedom, and opportunities either for her or for her sister.

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