Friday, August 26, 2016

Feminism, social rights and humanity

Following recent events in France about the Burkini ban, I feel the need to speak my mind. This is something I feel a lot about. Not the ban on covering yourself in particular, but rather, the oppression that is felt in a lot of other aspects as well. I will cover quite a bit of context in this post in regards to my beliefs and so, I request that anyone that does not have something constructive to say or would just like to bash on something, just leave, because I've read a lot of the comments that are posted on all the posts shared on this topic and I've had enough of just watching and doing nothing. 

Firstly, let's talk about feminism, by definition, it is the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of sexes. This means that whatever men do, women can do and women should get equal pay, equal benefits and equal treatment at their work and workplace, and just in life for that matter. By definition's default, we as women do not get to see this equality on a day to day basis and it's frustrating how some people still do find that this is justifiable. 

When people think of feminism, a lot of people think, "loud women who go naked to protest". Don't find this funny? Ask around; a regular Joe or Jane will tell you that. To be honest, being a feminist is underrated and seen as something that would get you into trouble or even seen as a pain in the arse to a lot of people. This is because when people think of a feminist, they think of a woman who wants to attack a man, who is extremely opinionated without concrete grounds to support their case and are just loud noise without action. Here, is where I step in, in my opinion, there are a wide range of feminists and their beliefs can range from extreme to level-headed.

In terms of my belief of feminism, I believe in equity- the act of being fair and impartial. I believe in giving a woman what she is due, whether it be in the sense of respect, salary, and even time. Some things, I do believe a man does better than a woman, but it's due to the physical build of the sexes. A man, is stronger than a woman, with the few exceptions where some women are stronger than a man. So, if I were to carry a box of apples for example, I am not physically capable of doing it without struggling, but a man on the other hand, would be able to quite easily, depending on his build, carry it. When I compare a man and a woman, it's on the average guideline in terms of physical build. But, you and I both agree, assuming that the reader is able to comprehend sound judgement, that everyone is different and in cases where people do not fall in the average category, there are for example, much scrawnier looking people and on another extreme, people who are extremely "jacked".

So, in terms of physical build, I do think that sometimes, a man is better at doing heavy duty work as compared to a woman. But, it doesn't mean that only men should be given the exclusivity of doing something. For example, women are able to be pregnant, and the reasoning behind it is because women have the physical capacity to carry a foetus (baby- I won't get into scientific jargon) in their womb. On some occasions however, we have heard of people having both genitalia- termed hermaphrodites and how a "man" has given birth to a child. This means that however "abnormal" it may sound to people, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, it just means that there are cases which are less heard of. 

But the funny thing about humans are that:
1. They are afraid of what they don't know.
2. Ignorance is sometimes always the option.
3. Stopping things is better than having an option or being sorry. (arose from "Prevention is better than cure"?)
4. Not understanding and not wanting to understand.
5. Stuck in their beliefs.

Almost everything that I have listed above is something that is preventable and if I make my case, is something that can easily be changed if people wanted to. However, from what I've learnt, you can never teach someone who doesn't want to learn. This has been proven many a times when I used to work as a teaching assistant in trying to teach kids. Often, I try to learn why they are the way they are in order to get through to them. But, how many people in the 7.4 billion people can we get through to if there are so may ignorant people in the world? There's only so little or so much a person can do to help another person, but if the person chooses not to do it for themselves, then, no matter what you do, the person just won't change and even if they know it's wrong, it's not something they want to do or want to make the change. 

Hence, in terms of feminism as well, some people don't want this change, some people WANT women to stay home, cook for them, clean after them and it's sad that there are some women whom actually think this way too. I think the thing about change is sometimes, some people don't know that they have the option of doing that and I know that I have been in situations where I have hid from my parents that I had friends who were guys because I did not know that I could be friends with them. I know this may sound silly to a lot of people, but I had been in an single sex school for 11 years of my life and until today, I still find it uncomfortable to be close to men and I try really hard to be friendly around men because all my life I have been taught that men are not good and they are there to do bad things to you and they are not moral beings. 

But even so, I don't hate men, I just don't understand them as well and any opportunity that I have to speak to guys or get a little closer to them, I tend to take them and a lot of times, it has been mistaken that I like them, but in all honesty, I feel like I have no feelings whatsoever towards men except fear at most times. But it seems that most feminists see men as vile creatures but I think feminists are misunderstood by the society and not all men are the same. I don't respect men who think it's okay to make loud remarks about a person's arse and I certainly don't feel sorry for men who get slapped for mistreating a woman. But, it certainly goes both ways. If a man feels that he wouldn't want his mother or sister being catcalled or being treated unfairly, then, he is already a feminist, but a person who doesn't agree on their family members being treated unjustly but other women being treated unfairly is acceptable, are unfortunately twisted, self-centered beings. 

What happened in France was that authorities were asking a woman to remove her veil, something that she chose to do in a public space, something that she chose to wear, somewhere she chose to lie with the whole intention of her privacy and her choice to be respected. 

In all honesty, I hate the sun. I don't like the beach. But if my friends were all to go, I might have gone with them and I would have been in long sleeved clothing and I would have a wide straw hat to cover my face as well. I might go lie down on the sand for awhile just to warm myself up from the cool breeze- sea breeze is colder in the afternoon compared to at night, from the basic geography I've learnt. But I would never ever be caught dead wearing a bikini on a beach, I might wear a bikini in the blue lagoon in Iceland but never in warm climate. That is my preference. I don't like the summer and I dislike the beach. I burn very quickly and easily and I have patchy sun burns all over my body and my worst affected place is my face. 

Judging by the picture and the video that I saw, this was not a choice where she was respected for, the lady next to her and the people around her looks at her with indifference. The impression that are given are of acceptance that someone is being publicly humiliated but nothing is being done by them. So, if I were to be there in my layers of clothing, I would be asked to remove it? I would be asked to remove my clothing because I hate the sun? She is being asked to remove it because they don't agree with her religious beliefs? What gives anyone the right to disagree with someone else's beliefs? If you don't agree with the beliefs then don't practice it, but you still have to respect other people. You go to Dubai, there are so many bikini clad women lying by the beach, I don't see the authorities going there, asking people to cover up.

I think in any sense, whatever belief you hold it's because you want to and because you feel like that is right to you and because you feel love towards whatever belief you're upholding. In this sense, I just don't understand what humanity is like because the thoughts, assumptions and judgement that are brought about are sometimes without reasoning and I personally feel appalled by everything that is happening but I'm a very opinionated person, but I don't contribute in conversations unless asked because people don't want to hear what they don't want to hear. But if I were to be in a conversation in a group of people, I WILL NOT agree with someone just to be liked, if you ask for my opinion, I will give you my two pence worth but the thing is that a lot of people take things too personally. 

If someone were to ask my opinion, my response is to say it in a matter of fact way and I usually don't do this unless I know the person really well and I judge by how the person would take it. So, I would say it in a milder form but I would always give reasoning behind my answer, not just say, "I don't like the dress", rather, "I don't like the dress because the shade of purple does not suit your skin tone and a different shade would suit you better", and this is merely an example. 

But a lot of times, I rather stay away from sensitive topics in order to not get into debates with other people because of a rather personal issue that I fight with. I dislike speaking about religion, politics, feminism, and just about anything that would trigger people's hostility and the reason is because I'm simply fragile. But, that does not mean I am ignorant or that I don't stand up for my rights, but rather I stand up for my rights, I will tell you off if you take advantage of me and I will never ever let myself be in a position where I'm being used ever again but I can easily carry a conversation with someone if they were to listen and then speak rather than to talk over me. Culturally, there are places where this is acceptable but then again, individualistically, I am very different from you as you are different from me and I have just found myself and am happy with who I am at the moment. 

However, that brings me to another topic of "Treat people how you'd want to be treated". I feel that there should be an additional clause behind it, being "But never expect to be treated however you treat others" and then have a whole load of reasons why:
1. They were not raised the way you were.
2. They're still in their immature phase.
3. They don't realise that their actions hurt others.
4. They need time to understand.

and so on and so forth. Because we cannot expect to be treated the way we treat others. If you give a 110%, it does not necessarily mean the other person would too. So, it's important to evaluate yourself on a daily basis or more so frequently to identify the faults in yourself and your dedication and to evaluate your treatment towards others than their treatment towards you. Remember, how other people treat you is a reflection of themselves, but how you treat other people is also a reflection of YOURSELF. So, whatever choices you make even to seek revenge, would be a reflection of yourself. Truth be told, I'm not asking you to forgive other people, I'm still having a hard time to forgive the people who have done really cruel things towards me in the year before, as a lot of people close to me would know. But it's a process and it takes time and understanding and re-evaluating the situation and understanding that not everything is your fault.

I think a lot of people don't understand that with everything from the Stanford rape case, the Trump advocacy, the Burkini ban, the Palestine being taken out as a known country that so much is going on and there are things we can collectively stop and I really would like to go on protests and do as much as I can but it's finding the right channels. I don't want to go on strikes and have no change. But I want to do it no matter what. I look at the "Suffragettes" (watch the movie and read about this), and you know that a lot can be done and I want to work with decision making panels to make a change. But honestly, I'm still working on this because I don't think I know a lot about this or anything, but the little that I know, I try to work with and I try to make a change in myself and the people around me. 

Every day, on my way to the University, I see this and it speaks to me on a different level:

We are all being lied to. We are all being tied to conform, we're being made to believe. I relate life to everything I see, watch, people I talk to and meet and this is the most personal post I have written in forever. I'm very uncomfortable speaking about things that are personal to me as a lot of people would have gauged and many people have labelled me as being uptight, but, honestly, we all need to learn that we're all being lied to. We need to change us. We need to change ourselves and we need to understand that acceptance, tolerance and respect will get us far but tearing each other apart won't.

Till my next post. xx

1 comment:

  1. fuck feminism....bitch please, unreported misandry at best..fuck thrid wave feminism...