Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Feminism and Female Chauvinism

               There is a fine line of difference between feminism and female chauvinism. Feminism is what suffragists basically work for - parity of genders, equality between men and women i.e.  equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for men and women. Meanwhile female chauvinism is very similar to male chauvinism, i.e. excessive and blind patriotism towards female community and rights, undue partiality or attachment to female community and finally an attitude of superiority towards men. But it is very easy to get confused between both these concepts. A feminist need not be a female chauvinist and a female chauvinist could very well be nuts. In my opinion, in a country like US, feminism for the most part has gradually gone on to become female chauvinism. This is not really surprising considering the independence people have and comparatively individualistic society. 
             However, in a country like India, there has been a rise in suffragists advocating and fighting for women rights. Yet, here, there is still a male dominance in the society and female chauvinism is not likely to be witnessed much. But there are people who do not clearly understand the difference between feminism and female chauvinism and conveniently assume that feminists are/likely to become female chauvinists. A movie like 'Fire' very well portrayed female chauvinism. However, that is not as common in India as yet as it is in Western countries. But here, feminism itself is seen with negative eyes. The moment you call yourself a feminist, you are looked upon as a female who has no family values and who does not respect tradition and in short, you are not a typical woman who will give up certain things for the so-called sake of family. Though younger generation definitely is getting better in treating women. Yet, female equality still has problems to face. As an example lets take an IT organization where a female gets promoted sooner than other peers. Even if the female is a geek, chances are really high that the women is going to be called arrogant, overbearing, bootlicker and has asskissed her way up. All this, just because men find it difficult to accept that a woman has just shown that she is capable of getting a promotion sooner than her peers by means of hardwork. Similarly, I read on another blog which talks about history and how hindu women were treated back in olden days according to so - called Manu Smruti and other such books or whatever. A religious leader with whom the author of that blog had interacted in person multiple times has been quoted saying that if women are allowed more reservations and more freedom, it would be the beginning of chaos and destruction and women would become uncontrollable. Again I am not surprised. I have heard more than a million times from different men that women should not be given equal rights. First off, in my opinion this just goes to show how much of freaks such men are as they are scared they may lose their self assumed powerful positions in the society. There is no denying the fact that things with respect to parity between men and women are changing. Yet certain aspects of it are yet to change. As I had talked about in another post of mine that women themselves let other women down in several scenarios. 
             Coming back to feminism and female chauvinism. I think female chauvinism gets triggered when there is excessive male chauvinism. After all we are all human beings. But feminists being misunderstood to be female chauvinists is completely unfair. Is it wrong if a woman prefers to be herself, prefers to have her own identity and not to change her identity after a so-called marriage, prefers to have dreams, goals, ambitions and to work towards them, prefers to be treated fairly. Feminists advocate equality of men and women not superiority of women over men. But I feel that society puts more and more pressure on feminists and they feel compelled to turn towards female chauvinism. I mean if for a woman, standing up for herself against atrocities and retaliating back is going to considered female chauvinism, which by the way it is really not, then women are better off being female chauvinists. If on a social network profile, I were to put that I am a feminist, all I would mean is that I want to be treated equally as a human being and that I don't want to beg for rights from men, I just want to take them anyways. Feminists do not aim at putting men down, but they like to live their lives as they want of course keeping in mind their responsibilities just like men. Feminists do not want to be treated inferior because of being women. I want to end this post with just this much. I can go on and on on this topic and I do have the audacity to write much more with respect to how annoyed I feel about being an Indian woman, but I would like to reserve that for another separate post. 

4 comments:

  1. So true....it is getting more and more difficult differentiating between feminism and female chauvinism.In fact looking at the way the laws and other parameters, in India, becoming so anti-men or female centric, very soon a very bad shape of male chauvinism will be seen.

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  2. Well, there are two things here-

    1) A very bad shape of male chauvinism has already been prevalent for ages which is why all these laws and parameters in India combined with female chauvinism and also the very bad shape of male chauvinism which is resulting from this has also in my opinion already begun off-late. The latest murder of a 20 year college girl in New Delhi is an example of this IMO.

    2) Additionally this whole chauvinism crap is a like vicious circle, beginning from an era of male chauvinism which results in rise of female chauvinism which in turn again results in rise of male chauvinism.

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  3. Wow! Excellent post. My name is Hannah Faye. I am an upcoming author from Chicago, Illinois. I have just finished working on a book entitled: Wominion and I would like to share it with you for your opinion. In Wominion, I have attempted to somewhat amusingly present to all women everywhere, female chauvinist or not, a 21st century guide on how they may successfully rise to positions of authority within their own personal lives and ultimately the world.

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  4.      I disagree. Feminism is female chauvinism. What we have seen in the U.S. is only the removal of the mask. Feminism is not and was never the same as equalism. The choice of words is a giveaway.
         I invite you to consider. There are conditions that have favored men and other conditions that have favored women. Feminists have not sought to equalize both. If you look more closely, feminists have wanted to have the advantages that men had (or that they imagined men to have in some cases) but never wanted any of the costs that men paid alone.

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