By Moulshree Srivastav
To begin with, I myself am a die-hard feminist and an extremely opinionated woman; I’m neither jittery in voicing my disagreements nor shy in calling out someone if they have been at fault.
But the question is, does being more of these things make me any less of a woman who likes the door being held open for her? Or who wants to be asked out on dates? Or simply somebody who wants to be treated with kindness and basic human decency? Then I’m sorry but the answer is NO.
Feminism and chivalry are not mutually exclusive
In terms of gender equality, we’ve come a long way in the past decade. Women are now being paid a similar income to their male counterparts; they are being offered the same position and power as men in most offices and also, they like being in relationships that feel equal.
Being an aspiring person, I too want these things for myself but there’s also an old-school part of me that loves it when my guy pampers me, like- offering me his jacket when it’s freezing cold, or when he helps me walk down the staircase in my 6-inch stilettos or for that matter, when he snatches the beer bottle from my hand because I’m too drunk to decide for myself.
So yes, I don’t believe that in order to be a feminist I have to sacrifice being treated with warmth and respect. Feminism and chivalry can very well, co-exist.
I like the door being held open for me not because I am a woman but because I’m human and I find it really charming when somebody indulges in such kind gestures to make me feel good.
Feminism isn’t man-hating
During a recent promotional event for her film, popular actress Kareena Kapoor Khan made quite a stir in the media by delivering a somewhat absurd statement. On being asked about her views on feminism, she said and I quote, “I believe in equality but I wouldn’t say I am a feminist.”
As the number of errors in the sentence was made evident by means of various trolls on Twitter, everyone seemed to have missed the most basic implication of her statement: feminism is considered as a bad word and probably, still seen as a threat.
It’s linked with this constant need to prove a point, to emerge powerful, to outshine men but no; feminism isn’t any of these things.
Feminism for women is simply equality: politically, socially and economically. We don’t necessarily have to demean one gender to give equal opportunities to the other.
And it is because of these false notions associated with feminism that we seem to have predisposed ideas about what a feminist woman is supposed or not supposed to want.
Chivalry isn’t contradictory to feminism; they’re both synonymous to being humane
The point is clear, we as women, should not deprive ourselves of simple pleasures in life stating gender equality as the issue. We do not have to lose in order to gain.
Also, as noted by Hillary Clinton that women’s rights are human rights, I believe that a woman expecting a man to be courteous and kind to her is just as normal as any other human demanding the same from their near and dear ones because honestly, if I asked a guy whether he would mind me opening the door for him, what would he possibly say?
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