I Have a Question: The Feminism Debate


Aristotle once said, “Human beings are curious by nature.” I could not agree more. The inquisitive zeal of mankind, to question new phenomena, find an explanation for old ones and use this knowledge to further pursue their interests or goals, has always fascinated me. It is due to this curiosity that our foraging society evolved into a post industrial one, transforming our world into a global village.

However, this enhanced communication and connectivity is the reason why gradually the inquisitiveness in our society is diminishing.We now see people conforming to trends in the society without questioning the rationale behind these trends; just to get accepted among their peers. But is that the way to go about it? Is this how we are supposed to function? And the most important question is this really bringing our society together or dividing it into extremes? Perplexed by all these concerns, I came up with a way out that can help me in finding the answers to if not all then certainly most of the questions which keep bugging me every now and then.

So, here’s what I have decided, I will share these questions in my blog series, “I have a question” and if any of the reader has answers or anything to say, they can feel free to share it with me. The whole purpose of this series is not just to look for answers but to bring the rationality back (like Justin brought the sexy back). It is to make people understand that following the crowd just to fit in or being different just for the sake of being different does not symbolize cool. Moderation and reasonableness symbolize cool!

The first question that I want to raise in my series is regarding feminism. Now, for you to be able to understand my concern, it is necessary to look at the definition of feminism first. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is defined as, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” or “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.” It is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes and people (men or women) who support feminism are called feminists. This movement has been a compelling factor in furthering the struggle for women empowerment. From no right to vote to now contesting for the presidency of the world’s superpower, women have come a long way in their fight for equal rights. It is the result of the feminist movement that we now see an open debate and increasing awareness regarding women rights in even developing countries.

The case in Pakistan is no different. Recently we have seen a surge of women’s rights activism in Pakistan, of which social media is a significant contributor. As effective as this platform has been in advocating for this cause, there has been a rampant emergence of extremist views directing all out hatred against men. This is the part where I have been unable to understand that why do we need to hate the other gender in order to have as equal rights as they do. How much of this hate mongering “feminazi” phenomena (as described in the social media lingo) is contributing in improving the status of women in our society? How can we preach something without following it? Why do we have to pursue an “Us vs Them” approach for such a primitive and noble cause? How can we eliminate hatred with hatred? Is it the result of this radicalism that we have been unable to put our message across? Is this radicalism undermining the case of feminism in Pakistan or strengthening it? And the last and the most important question, doesn’t positive reinforcement has longer lasting effect than a negative one? If you have answer to any of these questions, then write me at [email protected] and help me in bringing the rationality back!