Up until 2012 I wouldn't have called myself a feminist. My reason was that I didn't want to put myself in a box or give myself a label. I advocated equality of the sexes. And feminism sounded pretty one sided. Then a sequences of events and shows and speeches changed my mind.
It started with Satyamev Jayate, which made me realize my privileged position in Indian society. I personally hadn't suffered in the hands of gender discrimination. I was lucky enough to have parents who loved me as much as they loved my brother, they didn't discriminate against my education or upbringing. I had equal opportunities in school, college and in my consequent jobs. In my later years I probably have had a brush-off incident but nothing blatant to mention of. However, listening to women on Satyamev Jayate, followed by the brutal Delhi Rape Case, I realized HOW different things are for women in my country. The show shook me to my core. There onwards something changed within me.
Somewhere down the line, I read the best description of the word (feminism) "if we can use the word 'man-kind' for human race, then why can't we use the word 'feminism' for gender equality?" This made total sense to me. I embraced my inner feminist that very second. Soon after Emma Watson's speech, & Kalki's Women's Day performance made my own thoughts and my stand on the issue clearer to myself. I understood that I might not have chosen to give myself that 'label', but I had always been a feminist. I also understood that I do not have to hate men, to be a feminist. I just need to speak-up on behalf of whoever needs justice, when they can't themselves. It is unfortunate that majority of the time that injustice is towards women, but it is not to say that men have equal rights, everywhere, all the time.
Today, I don't shy away from calling myself a feminist. I believe in gender-equality. I aspire to treat every single human being with same respect and courtesy, without a gender prejudice.
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