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I am a 43 year-old woman, who at present is a homemaker cum family counsellor. I have been a Feminist ever since I can remember, thanks largely to my parents. I live in Bombay (Mumbai), India. I have majored in Child Development, Marriage & Family Relationship for my masters degree. I have also worked at a Women's Studies Centre for 3 years prior to having my 2 interesting daughters aged 15 & 9 resp. What annoys me most is when well accomplished women turn around & say, yes, I have done well for myself but I am not a feminist. I am just expressing my frustration to you all. What can we do to make these individuals realize that it because of the Women's Movement, the Feminist Movement & its influence on enlightened political leaders like = Mahatma Gandhi, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Raja Ram Mohan Roy (to name a few of India's great individuals) who were men who made it possible for women to avail of the equal opportunities as recorded in the Indian Constitution. Please give me your comments. Thanks, Mini

If it's any comfort, you are not alone in your frustration with women who reap all of the benefits of feminism without acknowledging it's importance in our lives. In America, this phenomenon is often referred to as the "I'm not a feminist, but.....I believe in equal pay, that women should be free from all forms of violence, that men should take more responsibility for the work done in the home......" In fact, this is such a problem that I just wrote something that I hope will combat this--which is a piece called "A Day Without Feminism"--which tries to pretend that feminism never happened and therefore our lives were absent of any of the gains that is has brought. (This is gains for men and women--since that is the intended purpose of feminism, though often not the interpretation.)

The piece I did was specific to the United States, but perhaps you wanted to try to construct a similar thing for your country--and therefore, have it easily accessible the next time someone frustrates you with their lack of knowledge for what feminism has brough them. One of the many unfortunate consequences from this denial is that people then go along thinking that everything is fine and the world is equal--until all of a sudden, they want to start their own business and there are no resources, they want to have an abortion and can't, they want to pursue a given profession or get a raise or a promotion and they can't--then the only place they can turn is to feminism.

So the best thing to do is to alert people to potential--not pie in the sky, but likely--things to come up in their life and ask them what they would do then?

Do these suggestions help? I know that this isn't a definitive answer, but that's only because there is no definitive answer. It's really just a part of the on-going dialogue that we must have in order to have everyone's consciousness raised. Good luck raising those consciousnesses.


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