Why we need feminism

Feminism is defined as advocating for women’s rights on the grounds of equality. Patriarchy is known as a system or a government where men hold the power. However, Feminists use this word as more of an idea and describe Patriarchy as a power relationship between men and women. We have been hearing these words a lot, in fact we have seen an overuse of such words, especially in recent years, but the main question is whether there is an actual need to keep mentioning them.

We first have to understand the concept of Patriarchy and how common it is. Has anyone ever told you what is “manly” and what isn’t? That is an example Patriarchy.

Telling little boys not to cry? Also Patriarchy.

Having specific roles assigned to you, for example, taking care of children for women, and handling finances for men—Patriarchy.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Honor killings, rape culture and other grave issues, all stem from Patriarchy. To counter them, we need Feminism.

(Forms of Patriarchy in day to day lives)

Feminism has made women more aware of their rights. It has made them realize that being treated as inferior, no matter how it long this system or mindset of men being superior has lasted, is wrong. It has allowed them to make their own decisions regarding their bodies. Women now know that they own their bodies and however they choose to feel about or flaunt them are choices that only they themselves get to make. A lot of work is still required for women to achieve full bodily autonomy, but they have taken the initial steps, protesting for their rights, such as against abortion laws, all thanks to Feminism. One might say that the recent Me Too Movement could have also sprung from it.

Contrary to popular belief, Feminism doesn’t only benefit women. It successfully got rid of laws against men. For example, at one point in the US, the legal drinking age for women was 18 while for men it was 21. This was men were considered more “reckless” and women more “responsible”. Feminism also resulted in fixing the FBI’s definition of Rape. Originally, it did not include many types of sexual assaults and the rape of men. It was "carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will," but then was changed due to the “Rape Is Rape” movement. Furthermore, due to feminism, the burden of war did not only fall on a man’s shoulder. Women were also allowed on frontlines in 2013 in the US (Mic.com).

While we have seen gradual but definite progress in shifting the problematic laws and mindsets of people over decades and centuries, there are still many more steps to be taken and many more fights to be fought united. Thus, for more effective changes like these, and to make this world a better place, we need Feminism.

Authored By: Areeha Afzal

Edited By: Ananya Dutta