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Semantee Chattopadhyay
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As much as feminism is a movement that opens women to choices that are taken away from them by the patriarchy. We often see a misunderstanding between choices and fear of politics. Giving women their reproductive choices is a part of feminism. Practising feminism that isn’t intersectional is a fear of politics. Choice feminism offers a worldview that does not challenge the status quo, that promises to include all women regardless of their choices and that abstains from judgement altogether. Choice feminism seeks to include women. Feminism comes under politics so it has a set of beliefs that do not change whether we like it or not. There was a conversation with someone who shared how everyone can be a feminist as long as they acknowledge that they are feminists. This is a bit problematic. Submission comes from playing the other, playing an unequal part in the relationship because someone else has the power. We cannot say that we are feminists and we are submitting because then we are asking for equality within our relationships. We cannot ask for equality within our relationship and still be submissive. There are criticisms of choice feminism. It is said that feminism is too radical, too exclusionary and too judgemental. Feminism sets on certain points- we won’t compromise, we want to dismantle the patriarchy, etcetera. Feminism is too judgemental. Feminism also has three important features- it says freedom as a capacity to make individual choices, oppression as the inability to choose. As per Feminism in India, “Choice feminism allows any action taken by a woman as an expression of her agency, and that she should be free from any form of judgement since, in making a choice, she is inherently feminist.”
The act of selecting one or more possibilities can be defined as “choice”. Ware is agency can be defined as the degree to which a woman has an influence over making her own choices.