When the skies engineered the birth of humans, they did not badge them as superior or inferior, stronger or weaker, breadwinner or homemaker. These nomenclatures were introduced by the masses themselves. And, I’ve never been able to understand the logic behind the categorizations. For a woman gives birth to a child, she’s considered to be weaker sex. I’m baffled!
God created two sexes, which came to be typecast as man and woman. There’s always been ‘man’ in every bit, mankind, manhood. Women never had any recognition since the big bang eon. They have always been subsidiary.
I start from the very beginning- the account of a woman’s life in Indian society. As a girl is born, she is considered to be burden, a responsibility. In most of the regions, she’s averted since her birth. We live in a society where girls are not welcomed as boys are. A girl’s free rein and choices are retrenched. During her growing years, she’s been told to be cautious of the bad world, never ramble alone, get home early, act as gracefully as a swan, learn to cook, spin, grind and a thousand things. After she reaches a certain age, they think it’s an offense to keep her with them and send them to another house to sire an unknown man whom they call her husband and his unknown family as their servile subordinate. What not she does in that unknown house, serve them, become a bed warmer to the man, bear him children, and then serve them and serve and serve for the rest of her life with no urge to fulfill her own dreams.
How proud we feel of the culture, values and ethics of our society and our country! A little girl is deprived of education because it’s more important for her brother to study. A girl of 13 is made to marry a man of 40. An ignorant teenage girl bleeds after losing her virginity. A fetus of unwanted daughter is dropped off. A little girl is made to bear children before she had time to play. A lady works 24 hours a day, seven days a week with zero wages to make her husband and her children happy. And do these women ask to be free? Do they ever demand a single thing? Does that little girl ever dream of a better future? Does she ever think, she looks sexy or not? Not, really! What all she could think of is some pieces of bread, her child’s sustenance and nothing more.
This account doesn’t belong to an epoch. It is still the plight of more than half of the women in the country. The social analysts purport that the times have changed and the status of women in the country has ameliorated. There have been lot of improvements but still today, only 37 % of the women in the country are able to live their lives freely and the 63% of them spend their lives as caged birds. They say change occurs in a piecemeal and you cannot expect to get the situations changed hastily, and they’ve been saying this for years and years.
They say it’s the duty of a woman to fulfill domestic chores, to satisfy her man, to serve her in-laws, to keep her eyes lowered, be meek and keep having children. And who are these contactors of society? Who has given them right to set rules for women? They have no right to keep women uneducated, submissive and under-control.
I recall the words of great poet Rabindranath Tagore on this predicament of women in our society.
“O Lord Why have you not given woman the right to conquer her destiny?
Why does she have to wait head bowed,
By the roadside, Waiting with tired patience,
Hoping for a miracle in the morrow?”
But, there’s no miracle going to happen. Women need to stand up for themselves. We need to be dauntless fighting for ourselves. We do not need men to put us on a pedestal, apotheosize us, make us goddesses or hold us in their arms. What we really need is just equality. To change the nation’s mentality and eradicate this shameless inequality from the roots and minds of people.
That little girl needs to study, play, be carefree, happy and a girl of her own choice. That lady working 24*7 a day for her family needs to dream for herself. A woman with a long veil on her face just want to get out of that suffocating environment. A sister needs to enjoy the same affluence that her brother gets to. A working woman in the office needs same respect from the fellow workers and the same wages as the opposite sex.
The plight of woman in the Modern India is an enigma. On one side, she’s working, earning and is at the apex of success, on the other she’s cramped. But, she’s not going to accept the problems as a part of her fate. She’s a woman and she’ll fight back.
They say I’m the weaker sex, a delicate bud, a dependent flower shoot and what not. It infuriates the hell out of me. It’s been enough and I’m not ready to carry more of such conventional ludicrous tags. I’m a girl. I’m not the weaker sex, am as stronger as the opposite sex. I have the right to do whatever my heart asks me to. To marry or not to; to have children or not to have them. I can drink, smoke, party late-night and no one is supposed to judge me on that. I’m not dependent on the man whom I’m supposed to marry to feed my stomach. I can be self-sufficient. I’m not bound to serve my spouse’s family. Not being able to cook doesn’t make me less of a woman. If I cook, I cook not to enhance my marriage resume but I like it. I have this beautiful gift of life and I have the choice to live it on my own terms.
I want to roam freely on the roads in the nights. I don’t want the passer-bys, the neighbours, the vendors to scan throughout my body parts. It gets hard to breathe when they stare at me, when they molest me with their eyes scanning my body. I want don’t want my mother to get sleepless nights when I’m out alone, I want her to be unfazed. I want to breathe fresh pacified air wherever I go. I want to fall as free drops of water.
It’s been enough for the gender gaps and dividing sexes. Aren’t we tired of the gender differences? There’s this one thing which is the biggest setback in the development of our nation. How can you expect half of the mass to soar into the skies when the other half is chained to earth?
I am not going to be a stereotype, a trophy or a prisoner of patriarchy. I’m just another human being. There’s no difference between you and me and this is what needs to understood essentially.
“I’m a woman, I can fend off evil and vicious with all my skills surreptitious.”
My path is full of obstructions I’m aware, this won’t make me scare.
I’ll fight back and come out of the wrack
For I’m a woman of substance, I strive for equality.”