The history of the feminist movement
Feminism is the most controversial topic in today's era, it is misrepresented
and misused in several different ways.
This article aims to talk about the history of feminism around the world and how
its sole motive was to uplift the position of women and to bring them at par
with men and not subject to any controversy.
The feminist movement came into force after the first women's right convention
in 1840s at Seneca falls, New York, during this convention women from all over
the world, discussed the issue of being barred from speaking at an anti-slavery
convention, in the convention Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott along
with other several women, demanded civil, social, political and religious rights
for women in a Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions and this convention
lead to the rise of the iconic movement in the history of the world after this
movement was born it spread in the different parts of the world.
With respect to the development of this movement on 8 March 1911 was the first
time in the history of our world that International Women's Day was celebrated
across Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland for women's suffrage and labour
The revolution part of this revolutionary movement was when In African Nations,
women stood up for their rights. In 1920 the Egyptian society of Physicians went
against tradition by declaring the negative health effects of Female Genital
Mutilation a practice that at least 200 million women and girls alive today have
gone through and today a lot of international organizations are trying to put an
end to that practice.
Similarly, in 1929 Nigeria's Aba women's right was a remarkable protest imitated
by the women where they were persistent that the chiefs shall not publicly shame
them through singing, dancing and banging their heads on the wall.
Their protests not only improved this condition but it forces the chiefs to
resign and the market impositions on the women were to be dropped.
Similarly, in 1945, in Ireland (Dublin), women stood up against unhealthy work
conditions, low wages, overtime and limited leave.
Around 1,500 unionized women went on strike. After three months of the strike
imitated by them, ends on a victory and gave all the Irish women workers what
Another symbol of the feminist movement was wherein 1960 the Dominican Republic,
the Mirabal sisters formed an opposition movement to openly protest the
dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.
On 25 November 1960, the sisters are assassinated.
The public outcry propels the anti-Trujillo movement, toppling the dictatorship
within a year. The day of their brutal murders has since been marked on 25
November to raise awareness on ending violence against women.
After these initiatives, there were a lot of movements all around the world
which prompted the upliftment of women, the same was seen in India when in 2006
in Uttar Pradesh where a group of women called the Gulabi Gang took the matters
into their hands when they saw a man abusing this wife. Today this gang /group
of women tackle the issues of social injustices against the women and inspiring
Over the period the power of media took rise and the position of women kept on
increasing but in a way, this movement whose sole purpose was a positive
upliftment and equality somehow became a controversial topic of today's time.
Feminism was started in order to give equal rights to women and not in order to
take away existing rights from men. It was started in order to give respect to
women and not take away respect from men. The basic objective of feminism has
totally changed, moreover it has become I hate men movement
, which was
never the intention of feminism. There are cases in the current scenarios where
women have falsely accused men in order to satisfy their personal goals.
All these activities of women have ruined the impact and goal of feminism. When
the feminist movement was at its peak, feminist made laws in order to protect
women from domestic violence, but in the current scenarios, there are women who
are misusing the domestic violence laws. In order to analyse the current
scenario, there were discussions held in 2018 related to why dowry laws were
brought into the picture and how they are being misused by women.
Women back then were not allowed to own property, they were not allowed to have
mental and physical freedom, the women were judged and objectified on the basis
of their physical attributes which includes their shape, size, skin colour and
so on. When women first started fighting about this they were looking down upon
the society and their position soon demeaned even more but with intellectuality
and support women were able to overcome these obstacles but with time the word
feminism is losing its essence. The life of the individual is much more than
what is seen and how it is perceived.
The activities happening in the current scenarios are affecting the mental
health of individuals to a greater extent. Women are judged by women, Women are
slut-shamed and body shamed by other women, the greed of becoming the most
popular women of the institution is doing nothing but affecting the mental
health of women which doesn't represent feminism. Women cannot expect support if
they themselves don't respect women and men. Feminism started with equality and
has now become a process of putting people down.
An example of the following explanation; - A video was shared by a Delhi woman
wherein an old lady shamed them for wearing short clothes and that they should
get raped by men. The comment which was passed by the old lady represents
slut-shaming which is non-negotiable to be ignored but after the lady passed the
comment, she herself by slut-shamed, she was threatened, there were indecent
comments which were passed on that old lady and all of this was classified as a
representation of feminism.
Insulting other women because they insulted you cannot be classified as
feminism. Again, feminism stands for equality, not for revenge. Here we do not
try to defend the old lady comments but want to highlight the fact that the way
other women treated the following situation doesn't represent feminism.
One cannot threaten another backing upon the social movement which has a totally
different aim and objection. Controversial cases like these are often ignored
and are not mentioned about because of their controversial nature but these
events highlight factors which shouldn't be ignored as they not only affect the
mental health of the individual but also the way a movement which was started
years ago has evolved in a negative way and is losing the preliminary essence.
To conclude we need to understand that movement was for equality and equal
protection as mentioned in our article 14 of the Constitution and not a
competition among different genders that exists.
- Ram Swaroop & Ors. vs The State of M.P. on 1 November, 2018
- Bawinder Verma vs Richa Sharma on 10 July, 2018
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