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I’m a humanist, but that doesn’t make me anti-feminist

First, I would like to salute the men and women, across the globe, who are not afraid to openly embrace their support for the political, educational and other rights related to the equality of women. The constant efforts of these devoted people to help uplift the women from their downfallen and unprivileged position has brightened our daily lives.

More: Women answer: Do you consider yourself a feminist?

If people understand the real meaning and need of feminism, then there would be no problem with this term. However, feminism has started a debate among a good amount of people, including politicians, actors, sportspersons as well as the media.

Did you know that there are many anti-feminism groups in social networking websites, and they have a wide range of members, diverse in caste, color, country, religion and all other imaginable categories?

I felt very unsettled witnessing an outrage of this level against an attempt to bring the less privileged gender to be treated and respected equally. In my research, I noticed a common confusion prevailed among anti-feminists; they did not understand why the feminists are raising their voices to be equal and, at the same time demand chivalry. According to them, rather than backing up the right set of behavior for only women, everybody should support sympathetic and benevolent behavior towards each human being.

I could not agree more with their comment and that is the reason why I do not call myself a feminist.

Anti-feminists must comprehend the necessity of the inception of feminism in the first place. From ancient times, women have gone through the prejudice of every imaginable, as well as, unimaginable kind. They were burnt on the deathbed of their husbands, their heads were forcibly shaved at the time of their husbands’ funeral, they were — and even in present they are — tormented in the name of dowry and the list goes on. If people hadn’t come together and joined forces to demolish these revolting acts, these heinous acts would have been still going on. The passion, dedication and zeal of a few amazing people helped in getting rid of these vices and forced the society to treat women as human beings, and not as somebody’s property.

More: Why listening is the first step to being present

Nevertheless, the backlash against feminism is outrageous, and this term has become a controversial topic.

I respect and admire the feminists and their zeal to bring every lady to the same social status. However, I would rather consider myself a humanist instead of a feminist. Before I initiate another never-ending debate on whether or not these two terms are related, I would like to say that I know these words are not as close to each other as people may think. I am neither taking sides with women nor with men; I am stating that the problems may be solved by using reason and logic. I cannot label each man as a culprit, and similarly, I cannot label each woman innocent.

I call myself a humanist because I, using my reasoning ability, decide whether I wish to support a man or a woman under specific circumstances. I have taken the road of humanism because I cannot see the whole world in only one light. Rather, I choose to believe that every human has a potential for goodness in them, whether they choose the road of righteousness or not is a different issue altogether. Having said that, I am worried that the goodness immersed in either of these terms is lost to the people who take the path of anti-feminism or anti-humanism.

Support the women because they have suffered for a long time, and, in asking for equality they are not attempting to dump men into a pile of garbage. They are only asking for what is rightfully theirs, which is not asking too much. In doing so, you may choose to tag yourself as a feminist or you may not, but going in the other direction without considering their side of the story is wrong. By walking on the path of humanism, I have acquired a liberty to support whichever issue feels right to me. I do not let myself be chained down with a religion, gender, caste or nationality.

Humanism teaches me to try and see the goodness in every individual and asks me to solve each problem using my logic and nothing else. If people follow this road, they may not promote negativity against any individual or group.

More: 3 double standards that make me believe in feminism

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