Feminism, Atheism and Me

Posted May 9th, 2003 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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What is Feminism…??
I am not even going to attempt to answer THAT question….It means different things for everybody. What I am going to write down here is what feminism is feminism for ME..
For me:
Feminism is not trivial things like saying chairman instead of chair person ( these might be important but hell….there is a whole lot of things to change that’s more important!)
Feminism is not earning more than a man
Feminism is not “ not wearing bras”
Feminism is not being a lesbian
Feminism is not being a man hater
Feminism is not having cropped hair, unwaxed legs or unbleached face

Feminism is personal
It just means wanting to be free. Being free itself is a funny word. In a society no person can be really “free” You have to co-exist. But being a feminist for me means being an individual in the midst of society.
It means having your own thoughts and convictions and more importantly ability to believe in them in spite of other people
It is trying to be free from the mindless conditioning that society inflicts on you.
It means ability to understand that I am a woman and be proud of that fact.
It means resisting stereotyping that I have to do something or not to something just because I am a female. I may do something that is considered “feminine” but it will be because I WANT to do it.
It means the confidence to take your own decision and having done that to stand by it. If your decision eventually turns out to be wrong, it means the strength to realize that it was a mistake and to own up to it despite the “I told you so” looks of others.

Feminism is a firm belief that I am EQUAL to men.  But  then again there is a quote by Timothy Leary who said “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”

Read some other people’s take on being a feminist

Atheism

First of all I do not believe in GOD and I do not believe in RELIGION either.  I strongly believe that they are different topics in itself. I believe that there are people who are religious…. that is they believe in the concept of a personal god and the customs and traditions that govern their religion. Then there are people believe in god as a “supernatural” force and do not ascribe to any outward manifestation of religion. Dictionary tells me that people who do not believe in the former are called atheists and the latter are infidels.

To sum it up there are people who believe in god and then there are those who are religious and both are not mutually exclusive. Both kinds of people puzzle me. And I am sure I am a puzzle to many as well. Whenever I mention that I do not believe in GOD , there are a few questions ,I am always asked. So here is presenting an FAQ on this topic

”Ok then tell me who created you?”.
I credit those people with enough intelligence to assume that they are not expecting a biology lecture filled with those X and Y’s. And here is my response to this. It has been repeated enough number of times by far more wiser people than I have but it doesn’t matter. Years ago when people believed earth was flat, and then slowly researchers proved that earth was not flat but round. The people then must have thought it blasphemous to even think otherwise. So similarly years afterwards researchers will prove how exactly life originated. It is something that is not proved precisely till now although there are several excellent theories. Till it is proved I prefer to think that there must be a scientific explanation for it and you think that it is GOD.

“You are saying that just to appear fashionable”
Now, that one makes me laugh. Ofcourse I am proud of the fact that I am an atheist..but it is more like being proud of your personal convictions. I am not putting on an act and I do not pray in the privacy of the bathroom. That’s the way I am

“You don’t realize how much peace of mind you get by praying”
Possibly true, but I am at peace with myself most of the time. I suffer all the qualms, fears, anxieties, terrors felt by most people my age. If they resort to prayers for their peace of mind , Its up to them, I think it is praiseworthy that I do not need such a support system and I assume I eventually get the same peace of mind as them in about probably the same timeframe as well ,without resort to prayers or divine intervention.

“You cannot see the wind or see atoms”, still you believe in that don’t you?
That’s another famous question… And one which I find to very difficult to explain. I could explain in detail about seeing the effects of winds or feeling the wind or the fact that atoms have been broken down by researchers and that they could channelise atoms to behave in a certain manner. I do not have to personally see every single object in the world before I believe in it. I know I am contradicting myself but I also pointed out earlier that this was the toughest question to answer. As long as the explanation is consistent, rational and logical — I can believe in it. And the idea on believing in a God you can’t see is just not that.

“God tells you the right path to live”
Well no …religious books do and I admit they talk sense sometimes, But I got most of my code of ethics from Enid Blyton!!! And that was not far off either. If I am an honest individual and live a reasonably blameless life WITHOUT fearing the wrath of god or hell…am I not supposed to be commended for being “good” for doing it just cos I want to and not cos religion or god compel me to do so.

Religion is another matter.  And that is a topic for another mail….

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