This question or one of its kind was asked by a group member on the platform of a group on Facebook that I am a member of. I started typing a reply to it there, erased it several times and then finally gave up on the idea of saying anything after several attempts. I had no answer to this question, and to trace down the answer I had to sit down with myself for several days. The answer to this question was one that I knew rested somewhere in the corners of my mind but was not yet willing to emerge to my understanding.
I thought about my life journey, my ideas, and their metamorphosis over time which led me to a rather awkward truth- I might have always been a feminist by the definition of it by the time I started all that was taking place in my surroundings and that was at a very early age.
From the very start of times when I didn’t know that there existed a term for what I was feeling, my idea of feminism was not gender related, it was not about the dominance of one gender over another, instead, it was about all those rights that I was denied because I was a girl. Each time I was humiliated or each time my opposite partner was favored even when he was on the wrong front I realized that I was not going to adjust well to this world of definitives, that I might have difficulty in accepting these parameters for wrong and just. So, feminism to me is more about right and wrong and about not depriving oneself of what rightfully belongs to them.
What was interesting was that in the wake of this minute understanding, another truth dawned upon me that among the enforcers of the law of the unjust most of them were not just men but women, women who thought that they have a role to play in their lives by treading on the paths trailed by their male counterparts. So, my feminism was not gender related either, it was about not snatching the right to one’s life, it was more about not exploiting the power the power you might hold at any stage of life.
My feminism sprang up from the very threatening and awfully painful reality check like many individuals and their whole lives were wastefully piped in the tide of time, it affected me deeply that those people couldn’t care less about a human life will be lived in a waste, a human life that is capable of performing wonders. They, men and women along, were okay with it as long as it was serving their short timed purpose of keeping façades of feudal systems, of wrong notions of religion and morality, of social standing. My support of feminism was a fight against all such people; it was a fight for all those people whose lives mattered.
My feminism emerged as hatred towards patriarchy where a girl or a woman was questioned for her being, where she was allowed to kill herself to death but not pursue her dreams and ambitions, or where dreams and ambitions were a sin too. It was hatred towards a matriarchal system where all men were suppressed and treated badly for the wrong doings of a group of men. It was against the generalizations.
My feminism arises from religion exploitation at the hand of every other person in the society, where an individual was denied an access to the rights that the same religion bestowed upon him in the name of religion. Sounds confusing eh? That’s how it feels in real life too.
My feminism was not an act of depriving an individual of their place in life, but it is an aura where I believe none has the right to hold extreme power, where justice must be served but not in name but in meaning, where it must not be about what gender do you belong to but what rightfully belongs to you. It is a certain set of roles for both genders, which might not essentially be same but the difference would not mean dominance over the other. My idea of feminism is the realization that I cannot fight for the rights and justice for others when I am personally for the right to my own life. My feminism is about rendering every individual their due rights, whether it comes under the definition of feminism or not and if not I might coin a term for that- but feminism to me is that every individual, every life matters.