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“All women are feminists and all feminists are women,” is a general myth, that many consider without knowing what feminism theory really is. So, what is Feminism really? Is it just women fighting for their own rights? Is it just women demanding equality in every field? Instead, Feminism is the fight for equal status of men and women in the society. The feminist movement involves participation of men and women both.
It is indeed just a myth that only women are feminists, instead there have been many examples seen in history where it is clear that men too actively participate in fighting for women’s right and gender equality.
The most recent example of this was observed in Iran where men started the movement to show solidarity towards women in the world, who are forced to wear ‘Hijabs’ and cover their head in public. Men were seen wearing ‘Hijabs’ themselves and posting pictures on social media in order to protest against the law set by the “morality police” in Iran. All the pictures are sent to Masih Alinejad, an Iranian Journalist as well as an activist, living in New York, in response to her campaign, #meninhijab.
This is not the only case where men have been seen showing support towards women movements. India had it’s first feminist in the form of Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy when he worked for the abolishment of ‘Sati’ system, and later to uplift the 19th century oppressed women.
One of the most recent examples of this is Bollywood’s multi-talented superstar, Farhan Akhtar’s Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD) Campaign. It was started in 2013 with an aim to raise social awareness against rape and discrimination against women.
Apart from celebrity campaigns or foundations, it is the local people of India who have risen above the misogyny and patriarchy and offered their support towards gender equality and inspiring women of India.
In the year 2013, Men in Bangalore donned skirts to show support for Indian women in the wake of the “December 16 gang rape” incident. A group of 25 men, wearing skirts joined, a number of activists in the Cubbon Park to establish the fact that a particular style of clothing should not be considered as a signal to invite sexual assault. It was termed as don’t “skirt the issue” walk. A number of indian women achievers showed support to the campaign.
The infamous “Nirbhaya Gang Rape” case turned out to be a movement in itself, and it is one of the biggest example where men and women came together to fight injustice. Thousands of men braved the water cannons and lathi charges to not let the spirit of the movement die.
These are the few examples where men have been seen extending their support towards women and gender equality. There are many such cases around the globe where men have moved way past the patriarchal standards set by the society and proved that sexism has no place in this society.
Yes, it is a fact, that majority of the people still do not really understand the true meaning of feminism as they are yet to come out of the male dominant ideologies. But, on the brighter side, movements and campaigns like these make us realise that there is still hope left for gender equality in the world.
More power to such men who come forward to shout out loud that – men, women, transgender, we all will fight patriarchy together and in the end, Feminism will win.
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