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Feminism – common misconceptions

Updated on May 12, 2010

By Karishma Hyder

Many of us have lived an entire life or part of it thinking that feminists are crazy people obsessed with the word ‘freedom’ and are all radical in nature. That they have nothing good to contribute to the world and that the word ‘feminist’ is a synonym for ‘females who want rights’. This, however, is not the case. I can list a number of feminists who I can certify are not females. For instance, a male feminist would be John Stuart Mill. While at the same time, a female person can be a misogynist, for example, Queen Victoria.

It needs to be realized that feminists have contributed a lot to the development of law and hence, the world. Women’s right to vote is an issue that we hardly even ponder upon now a days. Did any of you wonder how much women had to fight to get this right that should have been theirs inherently? Did anyone wonder why it took till the passing of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, August 18 in a country like America to give women the right to vote? Do you suppose that the change came over in one day? The change came because of feminist movements.

Till Feminism came
Till Feminism came

It took for the law and people to realize that women have a right to vote till the 20th century. People have been living and dying since Adam and Eve came to this earth. Democracy has been realized for hundreds of years. In this course of time, what made people decide that women did not have the right to vote? On what basis did they defend this chauvinistic perspective? Who gave men the right to decide that only they had the right to vote? This is a prime example where feminists were needed. A wrongful deed continues to be repeated till someone intervenes. Such is stated even in Newton's laws of motion that a body persists its state of rest or of uniform motion unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force. The reason for such unjust rules was quite vague to even them. Feminist movements brought this injustice to the eyes of law and made them realize the flaw in such absurd rule.

People consider feminists to be always fighting for freedom. It is true that they are fighting for freedom but it should be rephrased like, they are fighting to get out of patriarchal societies. Feminist groups have contributed immensely to the development of law. It is due to them that women have the rights to do a lot of things. Even though many would say that feminists have not contributed much to law, rather they have created a perception of development by questioning, for e.g. why is it that an air hostess' grounding age is lower than that of an air host's? Well the answer is that the fight for emancipation of women and the securing of women’s inherent rights is not over. But, it needs to be agreed upon, unanimously, that they have helped women move from point zero to a point further up.


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