The hijacking of feminism

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

Rebecca West, British author

Eight years ago I believed in what feminism stood for, which is to level the playing field so that women and men are given equal opportunities to excel in whatever they choose to do.

My argument was simple. Women are not inferior to men as we were brought up to think. My generation was raised to believe that we are only good women if we are exemplary wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, care takers … anything for anyone else, but never defining ourselves as an individual outside that realm.

So women my generation grew up never knowing who we really are, what we really want, and we never dared think beyond being that good girl scenario of living our lives for someone else, and getting praised for being all that.

Feminism opened doors for us. At least the feminism of that era. Where we woke up to a reality that hell yeah, we can choose to be whatever we wanted to be. That I don’t have to have guilt or regret if I chose a career path and wanted to run my own business. Or I don’t have to feel less of a person if I chose to be a mother and wife and dedicate my life to my family. Or if I decided to just go live in the jungles and run around with wolves and elephants.

You see, it was always about choice. Not a one-sided narrative of how we should live our lives. No one should be telling us how we should define ourselves. And women generally got told that a lot when I was a young girl.

Don’t do this, don’t do that, behave! Act coy, don’t laugh too loud, shave your armpits, be modest, don’t talk about your periods, don’t argue with your husband, act dumber so men will like you, don’t be arrogant enough to have opinions that are discordant with the general view. Smile all the time. Can you cook well? Can you clean ? Stay at home, don’t loiter around town. No, you cannot go out with your friends, you need to be protected all the time. Why are you not married yet? Be agreeable all the time –succumb and be submissive.

Men on the other hand were raised to be fearless and dominant, and so they succeeded as leaders. It is not a genetical difference, it is a difference born out of social indoctrination.

So when this kind of negativity that suppresses your natural talent, creativity and curiosity is all you hear growing up, you have to be very brave and determined to get out of the mould and start being your own person. In fact the real you is hidden behind layers and layers of false you, the one pretending to be someone else just so you fit in. This is a statement that only women will understand as we live it and have been silent about it because we never had a voice to articulate what we felt inside.

Feminism then with its promise of saying something as simple as “women are people too” became the door to their prison cell opening and them flying off to feel the sunshine on their shoulders. Independence is a beautiful thing and every single one of us deserves it. We deserve to build our lives exactly the way we want to. To contribute the way we want to.

So there started a slow revolution of choice. Women chose between contributing to family or contributing to themselves. And both were not wrong. Because an individual right to choose for himself or herself is the basic foundation of all human rights.

So more women went into areas that were denied them – sports, business, academics, corporate life – and the dynamics changed.

Now if it had remained just like that, everything would still be in balance and harmony. Women could choose to be homemakers or not. But somewhere along the way, a control mechanism set in. The choice was removed and another toxic indoctrination that cannibalised the original intentions of feminism was rolled off.

Feminism got hijacked by the powers that be creating a group of women who hated men and needed to fight them, based on supposed inequalities that kept getting spewed on to young women in schools and universities by a left-leaning system.

“Men get paid less than women”, “The patriarchy and masculinity is toxic”, “Let’s emasculate men and dress them up in frocks and high heels”, “Let’s kill babies through mid -erm abortions and call it my body my choice”.

This is not feminism. It’s not even right. And if we don’t wake up to realise that wolves in sheep’s clothing of political correctness, ‘wokeness’ and ‘gender equality’ are hijacking all that’s good in our cultures, it might be just too late in the next few years.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune. Feedback can reach the writer at beatrice@ibrasiagroup.com

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