Updated: Jul 25
We often tend to confuse the two concepts- Feminism and Pseudo-Feminism. If we do a thorough research of the two, our perceptions on both might change extremely.
Men and women are born different. They have different biological structures. So, we cannot say that they are physically or biologically equal, but we can demand for equal (social, political, etc.) rights for them. Feminism at its core is about equality of men and women, not “sameness”. Feminism is basically defined as a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define,establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal and social equality of the sexes. Article 15 of the Constitution of India,1949 is Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and feminists are fighting to protect this article with respect to sexes. Pseudo feminists are people who claims to be a feminist yet ignores the main point of feminism, i.e., equality. They will tend to blather on about how terrible men are, or assume how men do not face social issues in regards to their gender. Their motive is simply to promote misandry.
We all agree that feminists worked basically for women because in those times, women were the ones who faced social inequality. Feminists try to bring them equal to other genders, but they do not demand for extra rights for women. Feminism is fighting for equal rights alongside men, whereas pseudo feminism is saying women deserve more respect and it also means blaming men for all the problems.
People tend to confuse the two terms and that is the reason why most of the people do not want to support feminism today, as they consider feminism as gender-biased concept. We can gain the attention of all genders only if we promise to work for all of them. If we keep blaming men for all the issues prevailing in the society, we cannot expect them to stand with us in the fight for equality.
The term feminism might sound gender-biased as it seems to be related to females but it is named so because when the concept of feminism emerged, the society was entirely patriarchal and the women were facing social injustice so it was important to work entirely for their enlistment by giving them equal rights, providing them education, etc. The first woman feminist, in context of India, was Savitri Bai Phule (1831-1897), who started the first school for girls in the subcontinent. The Feminists in India seek gender equality through: the right to work for equal wages, the right to equal access to health and education and equal political rights. Indian feminists have fought against culture-specific issues within India’s patriarchal society, such as inheritance laws.
Ann C. Scales (1952-2012) has contributed a lot when it comes to the concepts of feminism. She was the founder of the legal field of feminist jurisprudence, and coined the term feminist jurisprudence in 1977.
In an article, “Towards a Feminist Jurisprudence”, Indiana Law Journal, 1981, she clearly states that the need for a feminist jurisprudence is focused most sharply by the issue of pregnancy.
Women face most of the discrimination because of pregnancy and child-bearing. Although Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitle her of full paid absence from work, but the discrimination faced by them is while offering the jobs. They are not offered jobs due to these issues and this has been the concern of feminists from a very long time.
Feminism is about recognizing that both men and women can be the victims of sexual assault and it is traumatic for both. Pseudo-feminism is the vacuous belief that men cannot be raped, or cannot be traumatized by it. Section 375 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines rape where it clearly mentions that rape can be committed by a man to a woman but not by a woman to a man. Feminism is about including men too into this definition but pseudo feminists do not support this notion.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 does not include men when it comes to domestic violence. The pseudo feminists support this by saying that women are physically weak and men are physically strong, so it is not practically possible for a woman to do domestic violence against a man, but feminists support the notion of including both under the ambit of this act.
Generalizing both the terms( Feminism and Pseudo-Feminism) would not be very just. We need feminists for the better functioning of our society but pseudo feminists might prove to be a potential threat to the society.