For long we have equated chauvinism with males. After all, we all have been living in a male dominated, patriarchal society for ages. So, male chauvinists were bound to exist in plenty especially since we found women facing obstacles every time they made an attempt to advance in life or tried out something that was slated to be male domain. So, men with conservative views about what women should be or do abounded in plenty. But, are all women the same miserable tortured lot even today? The women, who have waged and won many of their wars with society for equality and rights, do some if not all, stand innocent when it comes to making use of their freedom? Are not some women victimizing the very men they accused of being chauvinists?
Feminism and Female Chauvinism
Feminism came up at the right time to rescue women who were bombarded with stereotypical images of the definition of womanhood. Feminism helped many women to come out of their shells and understand their worth. No wonder, women gradually fought for their rights and became successful albeit after a lot of struggle. But then, we are not discussing the issue of feminism. The matter is about how during the course of the effort to acquire equality, many women have taken over the mantle of chauvinism. Feminism has quietly transformed into female chauvinism. Just like how a group of men (not all mind you) came up with chauvinist ideas about women, women (again, not all) are coming up with chauvinist views about men today. They are displaying the same kind of arrogant superiority over men that used to be displayed before the feminist revolution. There were lesser choices available for women then. Today, women are everywhere – they are free to make their choices be it in the field of education, choice of mate, social set-up and the like. Again, this does not apply to all women; this certainly does not generalize all categories of women. After all, all women cannot be accused of being female chauvinist pigs. Coming back to female chauvinists, if there is a rape then all men are wild animals who know nothing better. Till women get things going smoothly, it’s fine but the moment they are restricted even for valid reasons, they jump up and cry foul.
That’s the carefree-careless-damn it attitude of many a woman today who is successful in life, independent and able to lead her life without the support (emotional and financial) of a man. Why! Women can even get pregnant and bring up a child without the aid of a man today. Technology has advanced so much. It is a different fact that many women still stay caught in a time capsule where they continue to get exploited. There’s no denying that.
Today, the very term feminism is messed up. In fact, many women stay away from being labeled as feminists because they find that those women who cry from the rooftops stating that they are feminists are actually waging a female chauvinist war. The genuine issues of feminism no longer exist. It has become entangled with confused ideas about male and female rivalry as if to say one could live forever in harmony without the other. Today, many women chauvinists misuse their gender to get ahead of the men be it to simply cry ‘wolf!’ or to surge ahead of the human rat race where sexes don’t matter anymore. Female chauvinists want their share of male chivalry and attention, satiation of material and sexual desires but when the same is desired on the other side, then, men are nothing but MCPs (male chauvinist pigs). What the men earn is ‘our money’ while what the women earn is selfishly deemed as ‘my money.’
It is a pity that all the legitimate and deserving success and achievement that women have acquired over the ages is coming to naught just by the arrogant and selfish notion that it is a woman’s right to create and destroy. Sad that real feminism is being murdered right under the eyes of the genuine feminists who clearly know what it feels like to ‘not have’ and then ‘achieve something’ only to lose it due to the hypocritical attitudes of some foolish and egotistical women. These female chauvinists forget that there are several women in the villages, little towns and cities who are silently carrying around the torch of feminism making a difference in the life of so many people without making much hue and cry about it. They are helping those in need irrespective of caste, community, status or gender.
Let us not permit the miniscule victories of life to destroy all that was accomplished to make feminism a living reality.