Yes, I am a Feminist and Here’s Why

I’ve been graciously given various titles throughout my present lifetime from Miss India Washington back in 2014, a representative for cultural and collegiate organizations, and the title which I created for the world of American Born Proud Desi’s/Indians: ABPD.

These titles all have their own meaning and definitive purpose as to what I felt I needed to do for the people around me, but it wasn’t until just the other day that I was granted yet another title.

A Feminist.

Now, this term has been thrown rather carelessly in society. I know that I hear both genders alike using the term in their own meaning, but I never took mind to it. Partially because I had clouded conception of what it means myself.

But after being called a feminist; I paused and thought to myself for a second that there shouldn’t be a reason why this word should sound derogatory. Why does being a “feminist” sound so wrong and why and when did it become something to be ridiculed?

The definition of a feminist is someone who believes in social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. If you are someone who stands to fight for this, no matter what gender – male or female or unknown… the  fathers, brothers,  sons,  mothers, sisters,  daughters, etc. are constantly fighting for their loved ones equality and rights so then yes, you could potentially be considered a feminist. It’s not just the females fighting for equality and justice of social norms in society, but men too. If you are someone who stands to fight for equality of human beings rights, then you are someone who believes in social, political, and economic equality justice.

“Feminism is the fight towards gender equality.”

A common misperception of feminism is that it the conception that women are better than men; men have always been considered the superior being hence why the evolution of feminism came to be. So in essence, it’s the battle between the sexes. This is cannot be further from the truth. There shouldn’t be one superior gender being and a “true feminist” will tell it to you straight.

It is the “gender feminists” cling onto an ideologically driven, theoretically unsound, and empirically unsupported perspective of the origin and development of sex differences. (Kuhle, 2012) They too are giving feminism/feminist a bad name by discouraging women and men who support sexual equality from identifying themselves as feminist. It’s the gender feminists statistical view of evolution that hinders the search for and understanding of the proximate and ultimate causes of inequality.

“Gender equality is not a womens issue, it is a human issue, and it affects us all.”

All feminists want is equality — “equity feminists” is what it’s called I believe. The equal chance at opportunities that the opposite sex may have leverage. They want equal pay, the chance for their voices to be heard, to be a leader, to walk alone and feel safe. They want the discrimination against women to end. Equity feminism has no a priori stance on the origin or existence of differences between the sexes; it is solely a sociopolitical desire for men’s and women’s legal and social equality.


Just to  quickly recap: as a blogger/journalist, as a person who hold various titles, as a person who speaks up for herself in causes she believes in and acts I stand against – I am deemed feminist. Just to be clear, I, like various other human individuals living a life in this world hears and see things which need to be stopped – if people see that as an attack, then what in the world constitutes misogyny? Is there really any wonder why the overwhelming population want nothing to do with the feminist label? Why 1 out of 5 people consider calling someone a feminist an insult.

As Emma Watson has said, “it is time that we see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves as who we are.”

Feminism shouldn’t be seen as a dirty word. Being a feminist shouldn’t be seen as a insult, and the fact that it is proves how illiterate and how close-minded individuals can be. To save feminism from the wrongful ideological perspective gender feminists feed, I encourage everyone who hold that women should have a the same chance at social, political, and economic rights as men to wholeheartedly and proudly identify themselves as equity feminists (if the sole term “feminist” scares you).

 

So, to the person who called me a feminist: yes, I am a feminist…an equity feminist, and I will fight for ALL GENDERS to have an equal and fair opportunity at what life has to offer them.

 

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Being Weak to Become Strong

Life is full of choices, yet we somehow feel that we are limited in certain aspects of what we do.

There are various norms that are placed in society that we, ourselves as humans created, yet can’t seem to break…

It seems that the only time we are to realize our true potential is when we rise from when we are down. Only when we are our weakest do we realize that we are strong.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” -Criss Jami

Life has thrown me various curve balls. Each one of these experiences have allowed me to have a different outlook in the world; but not without a struggle.

Think of it like a lighthouse, an unshakable tower that you will see standing tall in the midst of a tumultuous storm, grey skies, roaring waves and an angry sea breeze trying to knock it down; but never falters. It will continue to do its duty and be the light to guide those lost at sea.

Too often do we build up walls around ourselves during grief, pain, or challenges, inflating ourselves to be proud people who do not need anyone’s help, people who are getting by just fine…people who are strong enough to weather the storm on their own.

We close ourselves off to feeling anything in the name of self-preservation. We start to distance ourselves from emotions that are foreign and perhaps scare us because of how they make us seem weak, vulnerable in front of those we care about.

But it must be realized that we must allow ourselves to embrace that weakness is OK. It is only through allowing ourselves to feel those daunting emotions that we can be able to invite love to strengthen us…

Actually, it’s rather a beautiful thing for someone to be weak for that reason – for in that moment of weakness, we will rely and depend on others to build us up again, to make us strong, to comfort and encourage us… It is then that a bond is established between you and whomever when you finally learn to accept your weakness. In that moment, transparency, honesty, and open communication win.

Not only have you achieved a new level of personal growth by this point, but you’ve also given the incredible gift of the opportunity to demonstrate their friendship, loyalty, and love for you by simply being there, by being present, and by enacting love…

By bottling up our emotions, we are denying others the chance to show up for us…to support us…We are essentially denying a chance to evolve…

So,for me personally…I made the decision to embrace my emotions and whatever weaknesses and downfalls happen to knock at my door, I welcome them…

If someone wanted to hold me while I cried, I let them.

If someone wanted to be a listening ear, I spoke from the depths of my heart.

If someone asked me how I was doing, I answered with honesty, even if it meant admitting that I was hurting and devastated…

Have you been spending too much time hiding behind walls in an effort to be strong? Have you been distancing yourself from others, fearing they will think you weak? Have you kept your emotions at arm’s length because they intimidate you, scare you, or fill you with uncertainties?

It’s time to give yourself permission to feel. It’s time to embrace the very vulnerability you shun and in doing so and discover the love, joy, and peace that awaits you.

In summary — it’s actually through our weaknesses that we become strong again.

Being the Underdog

What I foresaw as a nightmare…an utter joke…became a reality.

This election 2016 was so divisive for all the wrong reasons. I’m still in utter disbelief that a man such as Donald Trump will be running a nation that is seen as a nation of opportunities.

What was most disappointing — while I was working at my newsrooms office, watching and getting updates of the election live as excruciating as that was — is the fact that this country WILL regret its decision at some point. The people who retaliated during this election…seriously? All for the sake of “change in America.”

I tried keeping my opinion of this 2016 election to myself for the what was the naive hope that this nation would be able to understand its core values but apparently… it looks like we have another Brexit on our hands…

Tonight, millions of those who look like me and my family are left wondering tonight what place -if any- do we have in this country. We are taught since childhood to love and accept one another, to be inclusive and open to ideas, to not bully one another… we are told everything in life will be ok at some point… but tonight… where did all that value go?

CNN Political Commenter, Van Jones, said this best in midst of the panel discussion last night…10,20 years from now…how exactly will we be explaining this election to our predecessors?

What happened  Nov. 9th, 2016 will bring our nation to unprecedented times. There is no telling as to what could potentially happen once the current President-Elect takes office. What this man represents is what those with moral standards attempted to defeat yesterday in votes…We may not have prevailed this battle, but this only means it’s time to hit back harder…

We are going to wake up tomorrow and for the next 4 years to Donald Trump as our president, but understand that WE WILL take this country back. We WILL NOT tolerate racism, we WILL NOT accept sexism, we WILL NOT live in fear of religious prejudice AND WE WILL stand up to any injustice.

Yes, Donald Trump did win the election, but that doesn’t mean we should panic. The world will end someday, but not because of him and not now. We are just the underdogs of the world. Caring about women, minorities, democracy, and liberty and justice for all. We as citizens will have a job from now until things settle: to be moral.

We are each of us keepers of the promise to be moral.

This country has seen wars and grave injustices, slavery and even civil war in its past. Yet we found our way through. Be a rebel against those who are rude by being kind. Heal things, heal others. Inspire people with optimism and truth. But most of all…simply learn to love.

My parents did not drop their lives back in India, their families, friends, memories and traditions to come to a country where they didn’t believe there wasn’t any opportunity. My mother was determined to raise her children in America so much so that she came to this country on her 8th month carrying me in vision that this country will provide the best chance for me to achieve my dreams…

As Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech, “…never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world. Our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek…”  

As upset and derailed as I am, I, along with many others believe there is still hope. There is still a chance we as a nation of individuals with true core values have a chance of taking back the land of opportunities and giving it back to those most deserving of it.

 

“This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” – Hillary Clinton.