Very often we use the word “democratic” to describe the world we live in. But most of us do not actually know what democracy means. It is about people having the same rights and being treated the same way, even though they are born in different countries with different backgrounds, religion, colour, social class or gender.
Is democracy when every voice is heard equally well and is given proper respect or is it when someone does not have the courage to speak out loud? Do you still believe that our world is democratic?
My country is proud to be called the birthplace of democracy and our citizens have the privilege to attend universities in different countries and become degree holders, but no one has stopped to wonder all those years what it feels like to be a boy or a girl, how certain views carried from one generation to the next actually torment us, spoil our integrity, trigger feelings of hatred, diminish our self-esteem and ultimately harm our society leaving indelible traces for the future generations!
It is so easy to avoid things that we do not like to hear, close our ears, turn our backsand live in our utopian world, but that does not solve the fact that every forty-five minutes a woman somewhere out there feels what it really is to be raped. And I would like to ask how are they supposed to continue their lives and remain part of a society that doesn’t actually care.
When I was little, my grand-mother treated my brother differently from my sister and me; and her excuse was “because he was born to be a boy!” When at fourteen I wanted to quit attending classical dance classes, my mother’s opinion was that this is what girls should be doing. When at fifteen, I enjoyed wearing my brother’s clothes and playing video games, my brother’s reaction was to start being more like “the other girls”. When I reached sixteen, my male friends did not have the courage to express their feelings to me clearly because I was too smart and different from the way they expected girls they used to deal with be like.
Situations of anti-feminism can be witnessed everywhere if only we pay more attention. What I am trying to say is that feminism is not about man-hating, it is a problem that men face every day, too. Do you think that it is normal for a man to hide his feelings and not be able to show them to anyone? All those stereotypes have made men’s lives miserable; not letting them see how you feel has the same appeal as being a robot.
We are created to express our feelings as they are. Why is it ok to smile when you are happy but not cry when you are sad? Aren’t both those emotions?
The truth is that one fact influences the other. Because if men realise that they do not have to be aggressive to be accepted, women will not feel compelled to be submissive. Both men and women can be strong, both men and women can be sensitive, and everyone ought to accept that.
You might think, why should we care when no one else does, or why we and not someone else? But believe me, if we start having this kind of thoughts, the world will never become a better place and after many years the problem will be exactly the same. Is this where you want your daughters and sons to live? That is why we should all make our move, because as someone has mentioned, feminism is not about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It is about changing the way the world perceives that strength.