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Feminism Is Not a Dirty Word

Wajeeh is a pro-feminism Public Health expert committed to ensuring equitable access for women to healthcare services in the local community

Feminism isn't asking for much

Feminism and Misandry are different

“I have a dream.”

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you read these words? Allow me to humbly request you to leave my blog immediately if it's not Sir Martin Luther King Jr.

Unfortunately, though, I’m no Martin Luther King. I don’t have a dream. All I have is a crazy idea.

I think of a world that wouldn’t predefine the lives of humankind based on their gender. A society that saw people as people. Not men, not women, just people!

A planet that promises equitable access to opportunities, success, and happiness at large regardless of gender identities.

But wait, I think they have a street name for this idea. What do they call it now? Umm… Aha, Feminism!

Triggered yet?

Feminism aligns with common sense

Feminism is nothing more than a movement that asks for something that aligns with common sense. At the risk of sounding much like a conspiracy theorist, however, I’d say that conscious propaganda is committed to making feminism a “dirty word”.

What escapes my comprehension further, is that the counter-arguments do not always come from men. The world is filled with women that are vocal about their hatred for feminism. It's like a judge rules me innocent in a court of law, but I’m like; that’s interesting, thank you, but how about you sentence me to death instead?

But I wouldn’t dive into that today, since I don’t know the “Why” of it yet. Why do the women oppose feminism? Help me understand and perhaps I’d cover it in a separate blog.

With men, on the other hand, things are more streamlined. I’ve tried talking to several men about feminism. If they find it offensive, they give you their reasons why. A few of the typical reasons, in my experience, include some variation of the following:

  1. Men have rights too. Why doesn’t anybody talk about our rights?
  2. Why the uproar, why does feminism create so much noise?

No, I am not in a mood to drown you under technicalities or crunch your head with philosophies. I just want to try and answer these questions with simple principles borrowed from statistics and psychology. You can see for yourself if it resonates with you.

Let’s begin with statistics

Assume that both men and women have one hundred rights each in total. Out of which, men are currently receiving thirty while women are only getting ten. In a position of power, you have the authority and resources to satisfy twenty of these rights.

Would it be a good strategy to invest the resources to satisfy ten rights each for both genders?

Naturally, you’d be consumed in this delusional equality and rush to answer YES. Statistically speaking, however, you could not be more wrong.

Consider this; you satisfied ten rights for men and ten for women. Men are now getting forty of their rights while women are receiving twenty. Then you use the next batch of resources employing the same strategy. Now you end up with fifty and thirty. Then, it’ll be sixty and forty.

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Do you see the fundamental flaw in your approach?

You started with thirty and ten. There was a discrepancy of twenty. You burned through three sets of all available resources and ended up with sixty and forty. The discrepancy? Still at twenty.

Simply put, even after utilizing all of your resources, you still failed to narrow the difference. Your so-called, equality-based approach, nevertheless, concluded in men receiving the same amount of rights MORE than women.

Statistically speaking, therefore, the net outcome of your strategy comes out to be “ZERO.”

It’s a classic case of triage; a process that an emergency department of a hospital uses to prioritize cases based on clinical need. When a patient is dying of a fatal allergic reaction, the physician doesn’t say, “Could you please continue gasping for air for a few more minutes while I attend to this high schooler who’s got a nasty paper cut on his pinky finger?”

If you were this high schooler, would you stoop to the level of creating a fuss because you have a right to medical attention too?

Now the psychology part

Have you ever heard about the “trickle-down effect”?

It’s rooted in organizational psychology and is widely used in economics. I would slightly alter the model, though, to make it easier for you to understand how it applies to our debate on feminism.

Imagine a large fountain that has a three-tiered design. The top tier is the smallest in terms of volume, and the bottom tier is the largest. Once the water distribution starts at the top, it will take time to fill it up entirely before the water starts to trickle down to the middle tier.

The water distribution will then have to remain sufficient and consistent for the second tier to fill up completely for at least a few drops of water to begin trickling down to the bottom tier.

There’s your answer to why feminism is getting louder; why does it create so much noise. It is only by resorting to an uproar that you can expect at least a few drops of its effects to trickle down and reach the bottom tier – an average woman of the society.

In other words, creating what you are calling “noise” at a broad level may translate into a societal transformation significant enough to impact the lives of the everyday woman. A few of them, perhaps, will start to receive at least some of their fundamental rights that they have been fighting for.

Stop confusing feminism with misandry

If feminism triggers you in a way, chances are that you are either uninformed or misinformed about the movement. In a comment in the 90s, Pat Robertson once said:

The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.

If this is your view of feminism, I’m confident that you’d feel a lot different about it if only you focused on educating yourself. As a simple exercise, research into “Misandry” and you’d realize that all these years, you’ve been fed with the ideas of misandry in the name of feminism. While in reality, the two could not be farther apart.

Feminism does not envision bringing men down. It’s about uplifting and empowering women only. And if anyone tells you otherwise, RUN!

Let’s stop making everything about us for once. Yes, I don’t hate women. I’d like to believe that I’ve never oppressed one. But am I really so naïve to think that oppression against women happens on the individual level?

As men, we are granted countless privileges, many of which stem from years of oppression. It doesn’t matter if you get these privileges by choice or otherwise. What matters is what you choose to do with it.

You can choose to distract yourself with fifty shades of “men have rights too” feat “why doesn’t anyone talk about men’s rights?” Or you can use it to potentially build a society that wouldn’t push the next generation of our women into sobbing “if only I were a boy.”

© 2022 Wajeeh Khan

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