The last few years have been very confusing to be a man or a woman. It seems like there is a gender based power struggle going on everywhere; for instance – heinous crimes are being committed against women, there is an increase in crimes against men (yes you read it right), individuals are confined by societal gender roles, popularization of the existence of gender fluidity, and Beyoncé singing, ‘I ain’t sorry’, to name a few. Many are repelled by the F word (in a whisper: Fem**ism). It IS a gender war, isn’t it?
How most people perceive this war is guided by their personal experiences and biases. This makes it harder to understand the issue by discussing only with ones peers. One day almost involuntary I opened up to my colleague Douglas about my dilemma and how I didn’t appreciate Beyoncé singing, ‘I ain’t sorry’. He laughed and explained me the context of the song and what it represents. Next day he brought me a book titled, ‘A Moment of Lift’ by Melinda Gates.
I was so delighted that he thoughtfully got me a book, that I started reading it almost immediately after he left. I was keen to understand the meaning of the F word and expected a better perspective from the author, Melinda Gates. And just like most impactful inspirational moments, this book caught me off guard, and it soon transpired into my moment of lift.
I expected this book to discuss women em*****ment and Fem**ism, as it’s subtitle suggests, instead this book is a collection of the most unbelievable accounts of Melinda’s personal experiences as a co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and as a person. Wherein she candidly shared learnings from her philanthropic work, her ignorance, vulnerability, efforts and emotions.
The central thesis of the book is not Fem**ism, it is in fact, betterment of our communities by loving and respecting each other. In other words, letting everyone irrespective of their gender make decisions for themselves and; including diversity in our community and never letting anyone feel like an outsider. It’s that simple. That simply is empowerment which is synonymously also called
However, there is also a dark side to it. As mentioned earlier, there have also been numerous cases wherein many women are egregiously abusing, disempowering and hurting others by taking undue advantage of their power and trust vested in them, in the pretext of Feminism, which is creating fear, hatred and spreading myths about what Feminism really is.
And since Feminism is a relatively newer concept, we need guidance and at least a role model (if not a few) to educate ourselves on this matter. To help us think, understand and respond to these abusers. And who could be a better person to teach us other than the one who has herself been learning and empowering others for more than twenty years!
This book teaches us that Feminism is creating a power balance amongst all the sound minded adults in our society, this sweeping social restructuring needs to be brought with grace and love, otherwise despite best intentions, it will leave us with anything but goodwill.
The compelling stories in this book are bound to soften your views on how you perceive things and educate you. And if one continues to resist, s/he will eventually be swept away by this force, because, people are beginning to understand the benefits of Feminism.
Going back to my lack of understanding and confusion before I read this book, I feel, now I can differentiate between the notion of Feminism and the real Feminism; and for that I have two people to thank, firstly Douglas for lending me this wonderful book and secondly, Melinda Gates for being who she is. And now I can’t wait to practice what I have learnt, for the rest of my life.
PS: I have understood the context of the song, ‘I ain’t sorry’ by Beyoncé, but I still don’t like it. But I really like some of her other songs!
Hit the like button, if you liked what you read.
Share this with someone who is confused about Feminism.
And follow Contemporology if you love learning.
Merci beaucoup et à bientôt ❤