I am a feminist

The topic of discussion of a recent session of “Alternative Future Dialogue” organized by Metaculture was “Gender issues”. This made me think about my stance. I had never tried to take a stance on this before. I was surprised to find that I was a feminist.

However, my concept of feminism is much more deep rooted than in biology of humans.

In the 1975 book “Tao of Physics”, Fritjof Capra writes about the Western culture:

“Our culture has consistently favored yang or masculine values and attitudes and has neglected their complimentary yin or feminine counterparts. We have favored:
• Self-assertion over integration
• Analysis over synthesis
• Rational knowledge over intuitive wisdom
• Science over religion
• Competition over cooperation
• Expansion over conservation, and so on.”

This is the machismo that I see as the problem. Unfortunately, this machismo has spread to even inherently and traditionally more balanced cultures like the Indian.

In my opinion, feminism is favoring:

• Integration over self-assertion
• Synthesis over analysis
• Intuitive wisdom over rational knowledge
• Spirituality over science
• Cooperation over competition
• Conservation over expansion
• Culture over technology
• Arts over science
• Environmental conservation over exploitation
• Peace over war
• Equitable distribution over concentration of wealth
• Forgiveness over revenge
• …

Every human being has these masculine and feminine traits. Bring out and manifesting the feminine in all human beings and the society in all spheres of life is real feminism. This does not force all men to be “masculine” and all women to be “feminine”. This does not force or recommend all men to do “masculine” jobs and all women to do “feminine” jobs. It demands that the entire society and the people favor the “feminine” qualities over the “masculine” ones.

Thus, the fem-lib movements which pushes to manifest the masculinity in women is not feminism. It is the opposite of that. Also, this does not mean that men have to work and women have to stay at home.

I am a feminist. But it has nothing to do with the biological condition of humans.

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  1. A friend pointed this out:

    in Gita, Krishna mentions best feminine qualities – Gita 10.34
    kīrtiḥ śrīr vāk ca nārīṇāṁ smṛtir medhā dhṛtiḥ kṣamā

    Of feminine qualities, I am Fame, Prosperity, Inspiration, Memory, Intelligence, Constancy or faithfulness and Forbearance.

    — Any person having these qualities is said to have feminine nature.