Feminism Mar 05, 2015

After watching the first episode of the acclaimed Catalan television show Pulseres Vermelles (otherwise known as The Red Band Society in English) which is centred on the trials and tribulations faced by a group of sickly children admitted into the same hospital, there was one scene that stayed with me for the rest of the night. In the show, it is revealed multiple times that there are six types of people in every group of friends: 

1. The leader 

2. The second leader 

3. The clever one 

4. The handsome one 

5. The indispensable one

6. The girl

It struck me as rather strange because the girl was the only one who was defined by her gender while the other five members were defined by their other characteristics or abilities. I did not know what to conclude from this. Should I be offended? Did this portrayal signify that the girl could not be any of the other types or did it mean that she could be a combination of all? I decided not to look too much into it as it was just a television show meant for entertainment purposes and if I may add, has quite an interesting storyline. However, it did get me thinking; how common is this view? What did being a girl mean to different people? Most importantly, why are girls still undermined even in the 21st century?

Feminism; the advocacy of women’s right on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men. This word appears in conversations and articles on a daily basis, especially after the push for gender equality during the middle of the 20th century. Although many people have acquainted themselves with the word, few really know what it means. As a matter of fact, the definition means drastically different things to females in different parts of the world. For women in a first world country, having equal rights could correspond to receiving equivalent salary to their male counterparts. In many underdeveloped countries the fight for feminism is a fight for the opportunity to live. 

Raising awareness has never been easier, now with the help of technology the demographic has widened and projecting an idea or message to millions of people is easily accomplished within a few clicks. The progression is evident and people have opened their eyes and minds to the endless possibilities of what could happen by granting women equal opportunities. Yet, I feel I must reiterate: equal opportunities. Quite frankly, many people have abused this power. Although it may seem fairly straightforward, there are a plethora of individuals who have misconceptions about what it means to have equal rights. Physically abusing a male but claiming that any act of abuse towards a female is unjust, would be an example. Another common case is the misinterpretation of feminism being the act of making females the superior gender. Whatever the discrimination may be, the consequences should evenly apply to both males and females. 

Overall, feminism is a growing cause and should be supported whenever possible. Without a doubt, thanks to the advancements in knowledge, society and technology, equal rights are almost within our grasp and maybe even, in the near future we could establish a world that is fair to everyone and in every aspect. Maybe then we could attain world peace. It simply goes back to the basics: treat others the way you wish to be treated. 

By: Masoomeh Sherazee

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