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People sometimes describe me as a feminist. I often wonder if that’s true or not. Of course, I have several beliefs and opinions that can be considered “feminist”. But when others refer to feminism, they have a very different set of criteria in mind. One of my friends recently told me that I think only from the women’s perspective, which was disturbing (this was a girl). This is precisely what bothers me about being called a feminist. People have this idea that a feminist is a synonym for “man-hater”. And also, I can’t help but wonder if the term “feminism” is correct. I think “humanist” would be more precise, because it means valuing every human being in spite of his or her differences- gender, race, etc. Actually, I prefer calling myself an individualist; I believe in the right to individuality, to differ, to have opinions, and to live in a way that does not jeopardise others’ individuality. Anyway, here is a list of my views. This is just me. After reading this, you may conclude me to be a feminist, humanist or individualist; it is up to you.
• I believe in equal opportunity, as well as equal responsibility. I think you should not wait for someone to take care of you or to grant you equal opportunities. If you want something, stand up and ask for it, or strive for it until you realise your goal. No one can take care of you, only you can. Positive discrimination can only be effective to a certain extent.
• It is very much annoying and unacceptable to me if I am prohibited from doing something I want to (that is harmless to anyone) just because I am a girl. However, most of the time I don’t care what others say is socially right.
• I don’t hate men. Some people think I am a man-hating feminist. That is most certainly not true! Moreover, I think boys make good friends.
• I don’t hate being a girl, and I don’t want to be masculine. And I am certainly not against “feminine concepts” like love, marriage or motherhood. Only, it is all a personal choice. There should be no pressure in these things.
• Also, there should be no pressure on women to prove that they are worthy and strong by being a careerist. Those who want to be one should be one and those who don’t should not be looked down upon. I think this is one of the major misconceptions regarding feminism. Often it becomes unfair on those women (and men) who are not inclined to have a job. Not having a job doesn’t necessarily mean that the person does not have a hobby or purpose in life. Feminism does not mean that women who wish to be homemakers should be made to feel worthless.
• There is no absolute right or wrong. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. No one has the right to impose their beliefs on others or to ridicule someone for their beliefs.
• I don’t care if people use slang or swear words although I dislike them and think they are immature.
• I don’t have a problem with adult people having pre-marital sex (although I don’t believe in having sex with many people to check “sexual compatibility”, and I don’t like to either). However, I have a big problem with people having irresponsible sex and opting for abortion. People who cannot take responsibility should not have done that in the first place. Would you cut a limb off just because you got an unwanted tattoo?
• One’s career should be one’s own choice and responsibility. There should be no pressure to choose a career as soon as possible and start making money. Education should be for the sake of knowledge and because one wants to learn and know. It is not that there is no need to think of money. Of course, everyone needs money, but if they have knowledge of something that they are truly interested in, the process of making a living will be far more enjoyable.
• I am a free spirit and a non-conformist. I do not care about fitting in, or being acceptable. And being free spirited does not mean being an extrovert. In fact, I am very much introverted. And I do not like to pretend that I know what my friends are talking about, when I really don’t.
• I like being different and enjoy it, instead of being what society thinks is cool. I like being “uncool”.
• I have very few friends and I don’t regret it because a person with too many friends will often find it difficult to say “no” too many times. (After all, friendship is all about give and take!) But I don’t have patience for social pleasantries and find it draining. So I prefer having very few friends who accept me with all my shortcomings.
• I am wary of clingy people. They are like energy-parasites. They will be all emotional and flattering when they want you to do something for them. And some will declare you as their best friend, even though you rarely hang out together! They are very difficult to escape from. So, I try to avoid them as much as possible.
• I do not like people pleasers. They are unable to stand up for them and are surely headed for disappointment if they think others will be as accommodating.

Phew! Well, I could go on and on, but enough for now. I think that is enough detail for now. So what am I? A feminist, humanist, or individualist? Or something else? I guess I am just me, a free spirit! 🙂

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