What if there were 20 commandments for being a feminist? Would that be relevant to all, would it change much? It’s just like when the laborers come out against discrimination by the factory owners, they may have not read Karl Marx. But the crux of what they are doing maybe Marxism, and it comes naturally out of their agony. Having said that, there is a lot of interesting reading (both fiction and non-fiction) out there, that can be done. It may have been omitted from our history textbooks, but Feminism is not new. It dates back to the 17th century and is responsible for some of our most basic rights like voting. Not even Indian Feminism, even that’s not new.
So in simple words, I’d say feminism is about speaking for women’s rights and growth.
It is not ‘humanism’ because women are not discriminated as humans. They are discriminated because of the structure of their chromosomes- women. This is just a pacifist philosophy which can only be to be nice to the discriminator.
They will be uncomfortable, obviously, because when we seek equality, we are going to shake the roots of their comfort. We are shaking them (mostly men but not limited to) off their years of comfort, the hell they will be angry, upset and want to shut us up.
It can’t be anti-man. It needs to join hands with supportive men and there are a hell lot of them out there. It needs to be pro-woman. But it also needs to call out women who pull other women down (just for the heck of it).
In the process, feminism cannot bear the burden of justifying or diluting the mistakes feminists/women make as flawed human beings. I won’t take the blame of a flawed feminist. I will call it out and move on.
Also, sometimes you need to see the whole picture and how big a part this flaw is because no one is perfect. Nevertheless, the last thing we need right now is people swiftly pulling someone down (feminazis) because they call themselves a feminist, even when they are putting out the right point. That is an irrational fallacy.
There are good doctors and there are bad doctors. You don’t question health services when you read about a surgeon who forgot a gauge in the patient’s stomach. You can be your version of a feminist and strive to be a better human on the way. But not being a feminist in this world is not a luxury we have.
Why should you be a “feminist” and not a “women’s rights activist” while it means the same thing? It does. You can call a doctor as one who heals, politicians as governance activist. Whatever suits you. But don’t do it because you are scared of the ones calling you ‘feminazis’ or whatever. This is exactly what we need to fight.