Being political, or practicing any kind of socio-political ideology is not a black and white process. It entails constant unlearning, self-reflection and trysts with the problematic standards of the society.
Being feminist is even more complex because gender is an undeniable social identity that is used to dominate, subordinate and oppress. Feminism in today’s context is layered, especially when we take into congnisance the intersectionalities of caste, class, sexuality, and the like. Every establishment starting with family, to workplaces and even governments are heavily influenced by patriarchy, thereby sidelining women and other oppressed genders.
In this context, being feminist means many things. Right from recognizing one’s own privilege, to unseeing toxic gender roles, it involves difficult confrontations with oneself as well as friends, family and colleagues. It is an everyday inward, outward and uphill battle.
Therefore, it is important to encapsulate the paradoxes of being feminist in this day and age. It is a process that is deeply personal and emotional, as much as it is political. Feminists experience various kinds of dualities because they are constantly at war with their conditioning on one hand and their renewed, evolving conscience that strives to be better, on the other.
Having these kinds of complicated feelings is a part of any kind of political transformation in an individual. But feminists perhaps feel doubly isolated in this fight because most of the times, the odds are always stacked up against them.
Keeping in mind all these layers, FII announces “Being Feminist”, a new editorial vertical with a vision to address the dualities, paradoxes and innermost confrontations involved in attempting to be better feminists every day.
Being Feminist will be a fortnightly column, with a new article coming out every alternate Monday. The intention is to document the range of emotions, vulnerabilities and contradictions that every feminist encounters while trying to push through various degrees of patriarchy in private, professional and public spaces.
We hope you enjoy reading and resonate with this discourse.
Also read: ‘I Am A Feminist In My Own Little Corner’: The Ordinary Life Of An Invisible Feminist
Featured Illustration: Ritika Banerjee for Feminism In India