Is Feminism My Hobby?

The semester is officially over. I’m home, and have caught up on the lost hours of sleep. It’s good to be blogging again!

I took a Game Design course this semester. By the end of the semester, all of us were supposed to have made a simple game using Panda3D (the game engine) and python. No, wait! The technical part of the post is over, I promise. Hang on.

Being engineering students, all of us were doing the project at the last minute; finishing it an hour before the demo. My game is basically a Treasure Hunt in a farm-like environment. The final treasure is a book, reinforcing the moral that “Knowledge is the greatest treasure”. It is also  in sync with the book-lover that I am. 🙂

game

After the demo was done (which went well), all of us were discussing each other’s games. As I explained  our concept to a fellow classmate who happens to read my blog, and knows of both, my love of books and my “feminist tendencies”, he exclaimed, “Well, at least it has nothing to do with feminism!”

I was flabbergasted, to say the least. I recovered myself then, but I kept on thinking about it later on. Is feminism something that I merely dabble in, as a recreation, or as a fleeting interest? As far as I understand, the person in question isn’t a chauvinist. But it re-emphasises my belief that there’s still a lot of confusion regarding what feminism is all about.

I made a gender-neutral game. Sure, the player’s character was a male. I didn’t have a lot of choice in the models to be used. But the rest of it? The farm, the creatures, the treasure; they had nothing to do with gender. I can see why the person thought it had nothing to do with feminism. No elements in the game were regarding “Girl Power” or “Injustice” or “Inequality”. The challenges in the game were simply to find gemstones hidden around and not fight for women’s rights.

But you know what? I’m going to claim that it is a feminist game. Why the surprise? Because I used the expressions “gender-neutral” and “feminism” in the same post?

Let me tell you why I claim so. The final treasure is a book, not a sexy lady objectified as a trophy. The game’s concept talks about education, for anybody and everybody. And that is feminism, isn’t it? That I don’t focus on the gender, but instead talk about more important things like knowledge and education.

It’s a pity I still have to say this, feminism is simply about considering both as equal, about both having the same choices. Yes, some may say I’m simplifying the matters, but it really is that simple. The reason that feminism is mixed with women’s rights and inequality is because there is an imbalance. People tell me one should talk of equality and not feminism. They don’t realise it’s the same thing. The word for it is “feminism” because the imbalance is hindering the female population, not the male population.

The way I see it, feminism doesn’t happen to me bursts, or in specific scenarios. It’s not something that I’m interested in at the moment. It’s present all the time. It’s there in whatever I do. Or at least, I hope it’s there, and that I’m not a hypocrite. So yes, my game is feminist. Sorry for the confusion. My actions are feminist. My thoughts are feministic. And if you’re to be politically correct at the very least, yours are feminist too.

It isn’t an interest, or a hobby that I may mention to somebody. It’s so obvious that I don’t have to mention it. Why is that so difficult to grasp for people?

Have you ever been told that feminism is “too strong” a word? Have you noticed the confusion surrounding the word? How do you deal with that?

Note: I’m not bashing the person in question. I’m addressing a general confusion regarding the way feminism is perceived.

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6 thoughts on “Is Feminism My Hobby?

  1. I never get that either. I worry that even the reaction against the word “feminist/feminism” is another way of holding women down, that people (even women!) get uncomfortable when women vocalize the importance of women’s rights. Have you seen this quote?

    “We need to reclaim the word ‘feminism’. We need the word ‘feminism’ back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist – and only 42% of British women – I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?”
    ― Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman

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    • Love this quote! I think every woman who claims she isn’t a feminist needs to read it. What was a simple word with a straightforward meaning once is now so abused that it has perhaps become difficult for people (women) to grasp the real meaning.
      “Oh, so you’re a feminist, huh?” is as good as saying “I don’t believe in democracy and equal rights.” And yet, it’s a fairly common statement.
      There’s another kind too; people who think that feminism is “old-fashioned”, that we don’t need it any more. All the people who feel that as a society we’ve grown past the need of feminism need a serious reality check.

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  2. This was very pleasing to read. The problem with a lot of the media that we face these days is how antagonistically they write/talk about feminism, as if it is anything other than the right to a gender-neutral society.

    I think I just found my new favourite blog. 🙂

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    • 🙂

      Very true. I’ve faced various distorted definitions of what feminism is. The simple definition that I go by is lost under layers of different social perceptions. Although everyone has the right to different opinions, the trouble arises when people become so focused on the technicalities of the definition of the term that they completely miss the point.

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