Feminism – Essence and Aims

Feminism is a strategic movement which stands for equal rights and opportunities for women in line with those enjoyed by men in political, economic, social and cultural fields including education and employment. Feminism may also be described as an organized system of activities aimed at achieving women’s rights and preserving their interests. Feminism targets the global vision that men and women deserve equality in opportunities, personal treatments, mutual respect and all rights that men enjoy. Feminism therefore demands that social inequality based on gender and skin colour should be wiped out from the face of Earth.

There is no clear-cut evidence to prove as to when and where exactly feminism originated in the world. Some researchers have made vague presumptions that fight for equal rights for women could be traced to the Middle age period in the Middle East saying that early reforms in Islam allowed women to divorce and claim inheritance. But the presumption is questionable because female gender has been a tool for abuse and oppression in every religion throughout the history and the right to divorce and inheritance could never be regarded as achievements made by feminists in the Middle East in those primitive days. The stated rights in the matter of divorce and inheritance for women ought to have been made available to women by male religionists of the faith and it cannot at any rate be taken as an achievement made by the female.

References in some books written by early female writers show incidents of verbal defence made against sexual abuse and harassments meted out by males. The first such reported reference is in the book “Epître au Dieu d’Amour” penned by French writer Christine de Pizan (AD 1364 – 1430). In that reference, though it lacks clarity, it could be assumed that feminism as a stream of thought to fight for female rights originated during 14th or early 15th Century AD.

In advanced democratic societies, the organised system of feminism could achieve progress in social, cultural, economic, and personal matters as well as in the field of education and employment. Similarly feminist movements in secular-democratic Countries could garner support from various sections of people including male dominated social organisations which helped female genre to vote, to hold public offices, to earn fair and equal pay, to own property and also to achieve equality in matters of matrimony, protection from uncontrolled tirades of rape and sexual harassments.

Of late, certain section of feminist organisations appears encouraging male participation in their fight to achieve social approval and engagement for gender equality. As a result, in general, the present day feminism cannot be taken as a movement confined to females alone: The term ‘feminism’ cannot, in that context, be attributed to a movement of female gender. But some section of feminists furiously oppose the idea of male participation in the movement exhorting that male participation would end up in nauseating problems due to the time-born traditional patriarchy. However, taking into account the need for total security for females and transformation of the society in general,  it is essential that any organised or unorganised feminist movement shall have to go ahead as a united front consisting of both the genders. Then only the traditional practices of male domination including the age old patriarchy could be demolished.

Presently Feminist movement particularly in the Western Countries is divided in terms of Waves as First Wave, Second Wave and Third Wave. Each Wave deals with different issues related to feminism. The First Wave refers to the women’s movement which fought for right to vote during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Second Wave belongs to the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s. It fought for social and legal rights for women. Then the Third Wave is the resurgent operations for achieving what could not be achieved through the first and second Waves. The movement that carries on its efforts since the 1990s is called the Third Wave Feminism.

Whatever be the classifications, feminist movement could spread a strong message among various segments of the society and through it to the conscious of the authorities responsible for the welfare of the people. With the advent of Social Media like, twitter and facebook, the message of feminism could attract wide range of tech-savvy genre and engage them in the movement all across the world.  That forced the governments as well as non-government organisations to introduce pro-active measures for wiping out inequalities and sufferings facing the female gender both in developed as well as underdeveloped countries irrespective of their religion, caste, colour and culture. The achievements could undeniably be attributed to the modern feminist movement, executed by and through female-male participation. The joint-venture entrepreneurship has a long way to tread because of the strong religion-centric, deep-rooted caste system, colour discriminations and economic factors which still rule the roost in Countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, African nations and many other Countries.

As in the case of any other movement, feminism too needs the female-male participation as a gender-free neo-neutral Global Body. The reason behind that concept has rational basis: It is an undeniable truth that due to biological and procreative reasons there are differences between female and male genders. Though women have more communication skills, practical solutions for problems, emotion and empathy towards others and skill to manage stress-situations, the participation of men cannot be denied for men in the prevailing social, cultural and patriarchal domestic situations can do things and matters shrewdly employing muzzle and vocal skills.

All species consist of both male and female genders with an exception of a miniscule lot called the ‘transgender’; but transgender itself is a gender and therefore, it too belongs to the species of homo sapience:  Existence of the species in the survival track of Nature is a joint-venture enterprise carried out through female-male participation. Therefore, any movement to achieve its ultimate targeted growth, female-male participation is a must:  And there lies the global need for tuning ‘Feminism’ into a female-male joint venture entrepreneurship.