Leading Bollywood actresses have recently made public statements rejecting the idea that they are feminists, mirroring remarks by top U.S. actresses such as Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep. “I think of myself as a humanist because I think it’s less alienating,” Sarandon recently said. Despite believing in feminism’s core premise, gender equality, many women are nonetheless eschewing the term due to associations with the views of radical feminists who demonize men, babies, and marriage. But filmmaker Megha Ramaswamy argues this ‘I-am-not-a-feminist’ wave is an insult to the women who fought for centuries for the rights women now enjoy. “It’s almost like saying, ‘I am empowered and educated so I don’t need feminism any more.’ Feminist is not a dirty word,” says Ramaswamy. “These women who are disowning feminism only show how disinformed they are to make such statements in a country like India, where women are still fighting suppression at so many levels.” Internet culture especially is increasingly turning feminism into a loaded term, but it’s an important label not to reject. To do so is to forget how far women have come, and how far there still is to go.
Read the full story at The Times of India.