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To be a feminist … in Pakistan | Blog | DAWN.COM

A clarification for Mr. Alam: Okay first of all, the author has completely misunderstood feminism and what it stands for. Every theory, and mind you feminism is a theory, has differing views. One must learn of all the views before choosing one to follow or criticize for that matter.

The main gist of feminism (and I’m explaining it as simply as possible so that it is easy to grasp) is that men and women are equal in their status as human beings in this world. They are entitled to the same social, political, civil, economical and legal rights regardless of gender. For instance, a man and woman working the same job for the same amount of time and giving the same output of work deserve the same wages, irrespective of their gender. Similarly, they deserve the same/ equal respect and acknowledgment for that work.

So I’ll give you another example of a feminist, regardless of gender, in the scenario Mr. Alam gave where he apparently was not required to offer his seat to a standing woman, a feminist would not have offered the seat because both are equal human beings and the feminist was already seated. It’s that simple.

Mr. Alam, on the other hand, simply did not offer the seat out of some deep rooted spite against the woman as if she was responsible, and to blame, because she reminded him of his upbringing which attempted to teach him chivalry.

So again to reiterate my point, women’s rights and human rights go hand in hand. They are one and the same. The only reason they are called out as separate is to put emphasis on them in the hope that they are given the attention they deserve. There is no war of gender. We are all equal – No woman is superior nor beneath a man with respect to rights. That is what feminism demands.

As for this statement: ‘if feminism stands for the rights of women, then we need another ism to safeguard the rights of weak, meek and geek men, yet another for persons of indeterminate sex …and who do they fight against?’ I would like to bring a few terms to the author’s attention after which he is free to educate himself on the terms since he seems to be unaware of them. These terms are Male Rights Activists and LGBT rights. Please feel free to Google them if nothing else and also read up on human rights instruments and you will find that the rights of ‘weak, meek and geek men’ (as Mr. Alam would like to call them) and ‘persons of indeterminate sex’ are also being advocated for.

Like I said before, one must educate oneself on the topic before taking it upon oneself to criticize a whole theory. To do so without learning all the angles and the purpose behind feminism is just bad literature.