Sunday Feature By Jhilam Adhikary

How to be a Feminist

It is easy to be a feminist. But prejudice, speculations and shame exist. And all the negative ideologies surrounding it, make little feminists lose way in a mist. They think it’s a risk. Too much loss of time and energy. They think they need to show it and prove it. Wearing suits, shorts and figure-free jersey. Either just wearing pink or never touching it. While all it would have taken is, wearing anything with big pockets and some flexibility. That’s how it had once started, with the dirty work clothes of the women proletariat. They owned it. They had their pockets and they used it. Lesbians represent themselves with overalls and that is their reason. Wear whatever you want. Wear shorts or blood red lipstick. Whatever you are ashamed to wear, wear it. The birth of feminism should be the end of fears. There is nothing to be embarrasses about. Burn your bra or wear it with pride, it is your choice. The freedom to choose is what we are fighting for. There will always be many slogans to write and shout about. There will always be many walks, marches and parades with banners and flags. But you don’t need to hold the torch high to let all men see the light. You don’t have to fight and scream at the top of your voice. That’s not the only way to become a feminist. You can simply just have a cause and support it. Feminism can take minutes too sometimes, with maybe a positive comment on a post or one quick reply to show validation and support. If you relate, you say so. And pass your time simply liking and sharing some good feminist posts. Or maybe you can defend your hoes by blocking and reporting some sexist misogynists, trolls and transphobes. If someone says Trans women aren’t women enough, break their nose. Make fun of sexism. Laugh out loud and make others laugh too. Back up your queer buddies on their videos. Show love the way people don’t anymore. Don’t let social media turn into the hobbit hole of trolls. You can read the books of feminist authors. Or write and send a little letter perhaps to some feminist in prison. Killers receive more letters than fighting women. Assure the activist to continue, be her cheer and reason. Teach feminism and be happy and angry when you do it. Spread it. Write about it. Sing it. Watch movies about it. Eat with each other. Feminists give feminists company. Show them we aren’t lonely and alone. Support the counter ideology and accept it as your own. Not every issue is debatable. Discrimination is inevitable. So stick together and stay strong. Remember, Feminism is a spectrum and no anger is invalid. No feminist is crazy. Even if a woman generalizes and hates all men, there has to be a reason, so listen. No feminists has ever ‘over reacted’. Over reactions are just a lie patriarchy has invented. Expressing emotions should always be priority and no feminist should be hated for it. Feminists must protect feminists from being gas lighted. Talk to them when they are alone in a crowd. Be with them when they feel unsafe. Support is everything. Support is most important. Represent women in art the way they deserve it. They aren’t just the second sex so prove it. You can paint and draw and sing and listen. Share the works of feminist artists or create positive art yourself. Be shields and protect the bullied. Lifelong sexism and homophobia starts from bullying other kids in schools. That is the rule. Being a feminist is so easy. You can do it even if you are busy. But you don’t understand! The lack of support, assurance and protection is the only tragedy of feminism. Shame is a wall that needs to broken. And to break it bit by bit, along with all the stigmas associated with it, a feminist must be born everyday, to flaunt their presence to the world and beyond. And to encourage others to do the same.

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