Feminism is a controversial topic. Even though many of us claim to be feminists not everyone understands exactly what it means. I have always been a feminist for as long as I can remember. This is my point of view.
As a kid I used to hate being born as a girl. I believe every woman has at least once in her life wished she were born male, especially the ladies like myself who were born and brought up in Asian countries. On many occasions when I wanted to go somewhere or do something, a comment I often used to get is, “you are a girl! You can’t do that,” or “you can’t go there”. However, it was perfectly OK for my brother to do the same things just because “he’s a boy!” I’m sure many ladies have heard the same, and in my case it made me rebellious! A quality I am highly grateful for.
If someone, including my parents or relatives, said I couldn’t do something just because I was a girl, that was a reason for me to do it just to prove to them as well as myself, that I could. I may have hated being a girl as a child, but today I love that I was born female. It has given me more power of will, as I had to drag myself through tough situations. It has made me stronger than I ever believed was possible.
I managed to complete my education and get a good job, something a guy in my age would be able to achieve easily, and what I found out is that in some areas I had even exceeded them. I have to thank my family and friends for this for supporting me through each step. However, what most of us don’t realise is that this itself is not feminism.
Feminism is gender equality. It does not mean in any way that I need to be treated better than a male. It simply means that I want to be treated as an equal! It simply means that women deserve the same love and respect that men get, not more, not less!
In my opinion, the little things matter. Today, I am in a country that gender discrimination hardly exist. Here, the little things are appreciated. Assume you are living with your partner and in the modern world you are both working full time. There is no rule that the female has to be the one to wake up every morning and cook. Either they can take turns, or cook together as a couple. The relationship between you grows by this. I also know so many couples that take turns to wake up in the middle of the night to feed their toddler. Simply so every other day you can take turns getting a good night’s sleep. This is mutual understanding and respect. The mother shouldn’t always be the one to change a baby’s diaper. The father can do so too and in most countries, they don’t! Australia thankfully, is one step ahead and I am glad men here are understanding and affectionate towards their partners.
Sometimes I go for client meetings with my boss or colleagues. If I’m the first to reach the building, I open the door for whoever is behind me, male or female and they do vice versa if they are in front. Opening the door for someone is simple good manners, not a gender thing.
If I go out with a group of friends I don’t expect the guys to settle the bill. I am happy to and I always have paid for my own food. And guys, it doesn’t hurt your manhood to let a lady pay the bill every once a while. I understand that if you pay you feel like you are a well-mannered person, which you probably are, and maybe you are trying to impress a girl, but it’s ok to let a lady pay, or even split the bill to whatever you ordered.
I don’t know how things happened 20 years ago, but today women aren’t impressed by money. Today women are in a position to earn their own living. Thus, they are better impressed by humanity, not wealth. Having said that, if you are the only one doing a job there then you should offer to pay the bill. If the person you are with is not doing a job or earning much, regardless of if they are male or female, then paying the bill is just humanity. It is not a male vs. female thing or a feminist thing. I have paid the bill many times even when I go out with guy friends of mine, and in the same way they have paid bills for me too. This is based on nothing but mutual understanding.
Concerts and clubs have “ladies walk in free” offers most of the time. This is a marketing stunt. If more ladies walk in to a place more gents flood in, bringing the income to these companies. It’s the natural way of life and companies earn billions out of them. They can afford to let in a few people free for each event and they choose to let it be women. This is gender discrimination against men! I would like to let everyone know that if I’m interested in going for a show I’m most happy to pay for my own ticket. I have done this in the past and I have also out of my own pocket, bought concert tickets for my male friends as well. I’m happy and proud that I’m able to do so. We cannot change the world in a day, but we can start by doing what we can to step up.
The point I’m trying to make is feminism does not mean girls get better treatment than guys. It means that we want to be treated as equals. It means that we like to share our life with everyone. It means that gender defined roles such as ‘men go to work’ and ‘women cook and clean’ have to end. It means that we can share and care for one other and help each other in any way we can simply because humanity trumps gender. And that is, in my opinion what it means to be a feminist.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; ‘And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”
God created us as equals. Lets not disappoint him.