Feminism isn't a bad word, and it is definitely not about hating men. I think, every right thinking man supports feminism. It is about giving equal opportunities to both the sexes.
Let's take the example of Minu – the bright young woman. You wonder where she is. The Minu's of this world end up looking after their husbands, children, and in-laws. Their lives are decided for them. It doesn't matter that they are qualified to be professionals; it is expected of them to give up their careers, their ambitions and take on new responsibilities that are thrust upon them.
Minu could be any woman. Her degrees lie forgotten in some trunk or cupboard. What good is the education that she received if all she ends up doing is learning to cook and keeping her husband and in-laws happy? She is not even given a choice to decide for herself. She is expected to follow diktats because some men don't want their wives to work. Some families will not accept a working daughter-in-law. Parents want her to be settled, because what will society say. It is always about what others want for her, not what she, as an intelligent person wants for herself.
Read children's stories, they're about women looking for their man in shining armor. Young girls are trained from childhood to believe they are lesser than boys. At home, they're not allowed do things that boys are unconditionally allowed to. This is just an example. Isn't it always about what girls should and should not do? They are restrained from a young age. A young school girl may want to be a pilot or a doctor, but by the time she's in college, she's made to think that her future is restricted to being just a wife. Life goals change to finding a husband and getting married.
Are we really equal? We are more than equal to men. The trouble is society is so conditioned to how women should behave and what they should do that it straps them down. Society made rules to restrain women. My thinking is that society is scared of women. It is scared of her in every way – which is why they put so many restrictions on her.
Why do men question or grudge 'privileges' women get? A separate queue or a couple of seats on the bus are not real privileges. Women are physically and biologically different than men. Women get groped etcetera in public places. This is more for her dignity. I would think those few seats aren't enough. We don't ask for a separate road, do we? We don't stand in public and urinate or grope men in crowded buses. We don't want that kind of equality.
Feminism is about respect and equal opportunities. You may turn around and ask then why are reservations required? The answer is simple – it's because we don't receive equal opportunities. It's only recently that women have started getting equal rights under the law. Even property was divided among sons. Whenever any woman has been given an opportunity, she has proven herself, to be equal to any man. Women have had to demand and fight for what is theirs. Do not women in India serve menfolk their food and eat after they're done? Similarly, there are so many things wrong in the way society treats a woman.
"A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak" - Michael Garrett Marino