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Feminism: A Personal Perspective - Essay Example

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Feminism: A Personal Perspective

In simple words, feminism means to relieve our daughters, sisters and girlfriends of the bothersome burden of being taken for granted, so far so their choices and preferences in life are concerned. To draw a parallel in a male perspective, just ever try to lecture a well informed and self respecting male about what manhood means or what it should mean. There is a 9 in 10 chance that the nave and audacious perpetrator will receive looks of outright indignation and aversion, if not a straightforward rebuttal or gag. There in lies the secret of male dominance. Right from the prehistoric times, men have defied all attempts to define or delineate manhood. Despite the amorous attempts made by romantic novelettes and popular magazines to deify the male ideal of 'tall, dark and handsome (TDH)', it is a fact that a majority of men do not fulfill such credentials. Still they manage to wear their pants with pride and often with arrogance. Sometimes men may temporarily conform to these notions as a gesture of resorting to some sort of mating dance, but it is a fact that there exists no universal definition of manhood. Even if it exists, men are allowed to compensate for not complying with it by making achievements in terms of career and wealth augmentation. Contrary to this, there does exist a universal idea if not definition about womanhood that permeates all the cultures and societies and is engraved deep in the human consciousness. Women often cannot and many a time are not allowed to transcend this idea that brings in its wake a burden of expectations and constraints. There exist definite and stereotypical ideas about what womanhood means and feminism is the field of study that intends to shatter such obnoxious and repressive ideas.
Though women's study intends to place women at the centre of all intellectual enquiries, the thing to be kept in mind is that the fact that feminism defies all stereotypical notions transcends all gender specifications. The fact that feminism intends to liberate women from the shackles of all preconceived notions also assumes the relevance of same rights and prerogatives for men. Feminism intends to revolt against all forms of repression of women and the rights it intends to seek are or should be universal, transcending all gender specifications. Feminists should remember that this ideal is not a philosophical pie in the sky but is infact imperative for the relevance and sustenance of all forms of feminist struggles. "The true form of revolutionary change is never merely the repressive situations that we seek to escape , but the piece of oppressor that is planted deep within each of us (May 196)." It is imperative for the adherents of feminism to not to fall into the male trap of hating men. The very fact of doing so not only justifies and establishes the stereotypical notions about masculinity in our society but at the same time authenticates the stereotypical notions about women. The very act of hating or stereotyping men gives them the opportunity to define what feminism is or should be. Feminism is not about hating the sinner but the sin. It is not about hating men but the repressive norms and institutions engineered by the male dominated society. The very act of hating or degrading men in a stereotypical sense deprives the feminist struggle of all its ...Show more


Any attempt to define feminism is a futile exercise and smacks of gross ignorance and a pathetic lack of awareness pertaining to the contemporary trends and issues. Infact any effort to define feminism undermines the very purpose of engaging in women's studies…
Author : cathrynbarrows
Feminism: A Personal Perspective essay example
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