From the heart and soul of a feminist,

let’s talk about feminism:

Let’s clarify something, Feminists are not a group of sexually deprived, spiteful women. Feminists are not a group of scornfully single, complacent women who are unhappy with their lives. To be a feminist is not to go around bashing males and forming an elitist view of the body parts one possesses.

Oh no.

Feminism (in my heart, mind and soul) is as simple as the advocacy for women’s rights and freedoms to be displayed and respected on the same equal floor that mens’ rights are. We want to be free to display ourselves in our truest forms. We want to empower ourselves through our voices, our clothing, our expression and our sexual prowess; and not be belittled or broken apart.

Feminism advocates for choice. The choice to do what makes us happy, be that corporate mogul or dedicated housewife. No one should flinch or judge, mock or ridicule if a woman wants to be a weight lifter, a bouncer, a bodyguard or a garbage truck driver. No one should scorn if a woman wants to empower herself through her body. No one should even think to consider that men and women doing the same job don’t deserve the same pay.

Women should not be subjected, ostracised, oppressed and dehumanised to things that can be pushed around, dressed up and told what to do.

Oh no.

That isn’t why we came to the party.

Instead of belittling the feminist movement, why can’t we work to change society’s inane way of separating genders, and instead come together to celebrate equal opportunity and choice for all?

Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as increasing pay. We must change the way we look at males and females, and restructure our understanding of gender roles. So imbibed in social belief is that gender roles are clearly defined and must be adhered to, that in 2018, we still see that out of the 70% female percentage of medical students in Pakistan, only 50% go onto practice after marriage. This is why, in 2018, we’re still seeing Indian women die during childbirth because they must give birth to a son. This is why, in 2018, women still must learn house chores, be demure and quiet, and submit to their husbands INSTEAD of proudly advocating for what they believe in, using their voices and sharing their thoughts and knowledge.

In 2018, I demand that women be given the right to choose. I demand that women be treated equally – in the boardroom, on the streets, and in the house. I demand that women be given the right to express themselves. I demand that women be given every opportunity they deserve.

In 2018, I will not stop fighting until I see women’s pay checks increase, and the number of reported cases of sexual assault, harassment and indecency inflicted on women decrease. I will not stop fighting until women are asked about their success, ambitions and goals, instead of marriage prospects, children and their husbands.

I deserve proper treatment. Women deserve proper treatment.

And to me, that’s what feminism, and being a feminist is all about. The fight for women’s rights and freedoms irrespective of their skin colour, race and socioeconomic status.

xx Simran

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