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Feminism- Myth and Reality

  • Date Submitted: 02/17/2012 11:03 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.2 
  • Words: 2831
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“One of the most enduring clichés about India is that it is a country of contradictions. Like all clichés, this one too has a grain of truth in it. At the heart of the contradiction stand Indian women: for it is true to say that they are among the most oppressed in the world, and it is equally true to say that they are among the most liberated, the most articulate and perhaps even the most free.
Can these two realities be simultaneously true?”
It would not be overstating the case to say that feminism has been one of the most far reaching movements this century, whose influence has been felt in every area of social, political and cultural life worldwide. Indeed, feminism has achieved the dubious distinction of becoming an utterly familiar part of our cultural landscape. We all know, or think we know, what feminism means, and we all, to a greater or lesser extent, pay it lip service. But what, exactly, is feminism? A general definition might state that it is the belief that women, purely and simply because they are women, are treated inequitably within a society which is organised to prioritise male viewpoints and concerns. Within this patriarchal paradigm, women become everything men are not (or do not want to be seen to be): where men are regarded as strong, women are weak; where men are rational, they are emotional; where men are active, they are passive; and so on. Under this rationale, which aligns them everywhere with negativity, women are denied equal access to the world of public concerns as well as of cultural representation. Put simply, feminism seeks to change this situation. Feminism has always been a dynamic and multifaceted movement. Although, as has already been stated, it can very generally be categorised as the struggle to increase women’s access to equality in a male-dominated culture. There has never been a universally agreed agenda for feminism. Exactly what ‘equality’ means for women, the means by which it is to be achieved, even the exact...

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