I know what you’re probably thinking. Another damn article about feminism. Why do we keep publishing this “trash”. MangoBaaz is yet again promoting this Western, man-hating agenda and attacking the very foundations of our ideology. Hadh hai. Aa gayi ek aur feminist.
Here’s the thing, though – it’s not a man-hating agenda in the slightest.
A lot of Pakistanis (and people from the rest of the world, of course – not all Pakistanis, you know how it goes) seem to think that by being a feminist or believing in feminism, you’ve signed up for the Amazonian life of not letting men into your sacred island and you spend your life training to go to war with them. As glamorous as the Wonder Woman franchise makes that out to be, that’s not the case.
Feminism quite literally means equality for all genders in terms of social, political and economic factors.
No where in any definition does it say that it is to supersede men and crush them in all areas of life.
What (not all) people confuse it for has a name of its own. It’s called misandry; a word that defines the act of hating men and acting in a way that tries to harm men specifically. And I’m not making this up. A Ph.D. scholar has defined the concept of misandry pretty well, and it has nothing to do with being a feminist.
However, this doesn’t count the half-hearted “I Hate Men” and “Men Are Trash” tweets because let’s face it, we’re all mentally brought down by the patriarchy at some point. Misandry is a genuine, deep-rooted hate; one that can even lead to open expression of hate violence against men.
I really don’t think women would raise up three separate waves of what is essentially a historical movement simply just to dish on men. The patriarchal values that oppress them and try to limit them to being submissive creatures, sure, but not the same people who are unwittingly in the same ocean of toxic masculinity and thinking patterns that we’re all trying to swim out of.
And feminism actually aims to help all, yes ALL, men, women (and other genders) do just that.
Let’s talk about international cases, since men opening up about assault is a rarity here. When renowned actor, Terry Crews, talked about his sexual assault openly, he mentioned that most of the support he received was from women. When Jim Bennett opened up about being sexually assaulted by actress Asia Argento (the very same woman who stepped forward with accusing Harvey Weinstein and fueled the #MeToo Movement), feminist writers stepped up to write about male survivors and how their claims are often shamed and shunned into being buried under the rug, especially if the rapist is female.
As a feminist, I acknowledge that men are abused too – physically, psychologically and sexually, and I stand to help them however I can. I know that men can emote, and have every right to express vulnerability; it’s okay to not have to be strong all the time.
I have two brothers of my own, and what I want to teach them both is that they are strong and can be strong, but not by bottling up their feelings and letting them rot inside them. I do not want this negativity to settle in their bones like lead, to twist them into something that isn’t them and can harm them and (God-forbid) another human being.
Like the feminist writers mentioned above, I’m writing this piece hoping to help the readers in some way, maybe by providing some clarity or allowing them to reflect; on both themselves and their surroundings so they work on bettering both.
As a feminist, I don’t hate men, but I do expect them to support women and help us get the rights we deserve.
Yes, society is changing, but it is gradual. And the fight doesn’t stop until every single one of us is free from the hold the patriarchy has on us. We help each other swim through until all of us are out of the murky water that is the toxicity embedded in our culture, instead of letting one drown for the other to emerge.
I Got Called A Slut And Received Death Threats Online For Being A Feminist And Here’s What That Taught Me
Here Are The Answers To All The “Important Questions” I Get Asked As A Pakistani Feminist
I’d Been Drinking When I Was Sexually Assaulted, But That Doesn’t Make It My Fault
Cover image via images.dawn.com