Jenika Desai, a student of the 11th grade at Singapore International School has always wanted to fight the stereotypes of women and aid in changing the image of them. A critical thinker herself, she understands how easy it is to berate people for the tiniest things but the real beauty comes from the acceptance of a different perspective. She believes that the fight is with the way people think collectively, rather than simply an individual.
“I am a feminist.”
That’s what all the cool kids say these days. I guess it’s fashionable to be politically correct because it means believing in fairness and equality. At the very least, that is the illusion created.
I say this because calling yourself a feminist comes with a responsibility, one that upholds gender equality. More than an average person, a feminist must carefully consider what they are saying and how they react to things. Remember the time you saw a man wearing pink and it irked you, the time you teased a man crying because that’s considered “unmanly,” or the time you laughed at a rape joke. If you do any of these things reconsider calling yourself a feminist. The truth is, we are all so used to living in a patriarchal society we can’t distinguish between the world of a feminist and the real world. We are all so used to the colour pink being associated with girls and crying as a “weak” emotion that only girls are capable of, that we forget about what we are all really fighting for.
The colour pink is just a colour, there is nothing “girly” or “boyish” about it and crying is an emotion that every human being is entitled to regardless of their gender. No gender is weak, no gender is strong, all humans have their ups and downs and all of them have their own preferences. Why create gender roles to marginalise both in situations that suit us the most? Being a feminist is the ability to identify these minute details that have been engraved in our society for generations and chose to challenge these stereotypes and not abide by them. So, the next time you think about feminism carefully consider the honour and responsibility of carrying forward an idea that means more than just any word, more than a belief but it is in fact, a movement and we can all be a part of it and together we shall all scream, “I AM A FEMINIST!”
Opinions are of the writer.