The Flipside of being a Feminist

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Feminism is not about hating men as it is often misunderstood and misinterpreted, it’s about believing in gender equality. What most people don’t understand is that men need feminism as much as women. (Well, that’s a different topic altogether and deserves an article for itself!)

Even though it is 2018, life is still difficult for women all around the world. And you know what is even more difficult – being a feminist woman. There are a lot of things that might work against you if you are an unapologetic feminist. Being one myself, I have faced these and I am sure they are relatable AF!

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People fail to understand you

Your friends and family fail to understand you and they think you are too bossy or rude for a woman. Some of the qualities that work for men may as well work against you if you are a woman. You are expected to be polite, docile, homely and not overly ambitious or strong or independent. Elders in your family might not be pleased with your request for equal household work for boys and girls.

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You compare your success with the success of male peers

In your head, you are no less than a man and you compare your career success or financial stability to that of fellow men. You might end up feeling bad about yourself because you can’t compete with men given all the gender politics at work and wage gaps.

You can’t make a lot of friends

While selecting friends, you are choosy and you have so many filters before you let someone in your inner circle. You never have a lot of friends but you are happy to have a few close friends who are like family to you.

You are unable to find a suitable guy

Because you have high standards and you are searching for that perfect guy who believes in gender equality, you often fail to have a love life. You are turned off by sexist men with fragile egos and their constant rant against feminism.

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Your friends lecture you to lower your standards

You know others have set the bar too low and you refuse to do it. Your friends lecture you about ignoring certain sexist traits of a dating/marriage prospect and pursue you to give him a chance.

You feel lonely

You often feel lonely because the majority of the people just get along with the way the world works and never complain. You, on the other hand, want to challenge the status quo and not many people understand or support your beliefs.

Casual/Blatant sexism in corporate life shocks you

You hate being surrounded by sexists at work, men and women equally. Being a woman doesn’t mean you have less number of hours in a day or a brain with limited intellect. When your male peers get that promotion you deserved, you might feel like resigning from that job and going into exile.

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You feel you don’t belong here

You feel that you don’t belong where you were born and raised or even your current place of residence because sexism is all around you. You are fed up with being treated like a second-class citizen in society.

You long for an ideal world

You long for an ideal world where little girls are raised the way little boys are, where no fetus/infant is killed because it’s female, where women are not judged by the choice of their clothes and victims of sexual assault are not blamed whilst the perpetrators roam around freely.

You look for solace in movies and books

Because you know the world is not changing anytime soon, you seek and find solace in books and movies where everything is perfect. You look for a hero in Princess Leia, you aspire to be like Hermione Granger, and you want to kill them all like Daenerys Targaryen.

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You fear you might end up alone

Your biggest fear is that you might end up alone because you reject every dating prospect. You are stubborn and you wouldn’t just settle for anyone as you know you deserve the best.

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I know it is tough to be a feminist and I want you to know that you are braver than you think. Many people out there are working towards gender equality, women’s issues such as safety, health and education. Follow like-minded people on social media, connect with them, read about different non-profits working for these issues, be a part of the change that you want to see in the world and I promise you will be fine.

Note: I hope you realize that I have written this article based on my own experiences as a heterosexual woman.

Author: Richa Khobragade

When not wondering about life and its meaning, Richa can be found volunteering at a local NGO or reading books at her favourite coffee shop.

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