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Women are not weak or helpless creatures who need to be coddled or condescended to. This posts looks at how women are actually the stronger sex in some ways.
How many of you knew that women are referred to as the ‘fairer’ sex? First, fairer in terms of color, and then, fairer in terms of letting men live their lives for them. An old saying goes this way : “mukhyo dharmah smrtishu vihito bhartrushushrushaanam hi” – roughly translating to “Women are enjoined to be of service to their husbands”.
It’s 2013, and still more than 90% of the population think the same. Out of it 40% are women. It is sad and irritating at the same time. I’m am a feminist here, but the point is simple. When both men and women come from the same set of sperms, why the inequality? Now you might argue saying that it’s the man who brings the sperm, hence he’s superior. But of what use is an uncooked bun without the oven?
The woman not only contributes an egg but also willingly carries the fetus within her for 9 whole months and endures bone crushing pain in giving the family an heir. Doesn’t that in itself make her superior? I’m afraid not many people think so. Also, she is the only one who knows the exact father of her child. At times, the man does not even know whose child he is raising. So where does the power lie?
The self acceptance of some women that they are supposed to be at least a step below their husbands or brothers is the most painful part. Till date, I have heard of many women being asked to stop their education just so their brothers can get a higher education. And the constant craving for a male offspring has already been discussed here. Why are women considered to be a burden?
Why are women a taboo? Why are they called distractions? A zillion people have raised their voice and a zillion opinions were heard, but none good enough to give a woman her right place. That is right next to a man. Nothing more, nothing less.
No, I do not want to be placed upon a pedestal and offered prayers. All I want is respect for womankind. Why is it, that the kitchen is considered the only safe haven for a woman? And all that is expected of her is to cook, clean, wash, sleep with her husband, get pregnant, have children, take care of them and repeat this entire cycle again and again.
And why is she confined to the corner of her house when she is menstruating? At times it is hard to believe that a woman on her periods is still considered to be impure and by walking around the house she might bring ill omen to the family. Aren’t having periods a sign that the woman is healthy and capable of bearing a child? And when she is called the Lakshmi of the house, how can she be considered as dirty? The only thing that is dirty and impure are the thoughts of people.
Next, a working lady is expected to magically have a perfect work life balance. In short, she is expected to rise by 5 am, clean the house, wash the yard, cook, wake the husband, prepare his breakfast, pack him lunch, send him off, wake the kids, get them ready, prepare their breakfast, pack their lunch, drop them to school, come back home, clean the house again, get ready, pack her lunch, head to work, pay all the bills on her way to work, work at the office for 8 hours, head back home, pick up the kids on her way, prepare a snack for them, help them with their homework, await the husband with a hot cup of tea, prepare dinner, feed the kids, put them to sleep, wash the dishes, sort out the menu for the next day, please her husband in bed, try to get some sleep and wake up at 5 am again. Seriously, how many hours do you think she is blessed with in a day?
And she is only supposed to be used as an object for sexual gratification. If she initiates sex, then she is a whore. If she unwillingly succumbs to a man’s carnal desires, then she’s a wife. The difference between the whore and the wife all lies in the male mind. Do you remember that ‘Baby hai busy, no abaadi’ ad from Idea? The very ad where all men try to get sex while their wives are busy with a 3G phone. Sure, that’s what wives like to do right? Watch TV and videos. If the ad had shown even one single woman trying to get her husband into bed, I’m sure the ad would have been taken off air after the first run. Interesting, isn’t it?
Remember that scene in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ where a group of girls ask a group of boys to tell them one thing that only guys can do and girls can’t. The guys then take off their shirts in public and the girls screech and run away. Just because women can’t take their clothes off in public, does that make men superior? And who defined this anyway?
A man can walk around topless with just boxers and he easily blends into the background; whereas a women in a short skirt or a strappy top is ogled upon. Women should dress decently they say. Why? So that men don’t get aroused and rape them. So let me try to get this right. Women are supposed to dress conservatively as a precaution so that they don’t trigger excess of testosterone in men. After all which man can resist some skin show right? I’m sure Nirbhaya was dressed in a bikini when she boarded that bus or the six year old in Bangalore tried to seduce her skating teacher by wearing a skimpy uniform.
And yes, women do need a male companion to drop them home when it is late. Or they need a security escort while being dropped in a cab. This is not because the women are weak and helpless. It is because the men around are not strong enough to hold on to their temptations or desires. But will this reason ever be considered? I don’t think so.
Mother India, we call her with all respect and celebrate freedom like there is no tomorrow. But what about all the other mothers who have been deprived of their freedom. A woman was not born only so that she could be a wife or a mother. There is absolutely no need for a woman to give up on a career to fulfill parenting duties. If a woman does these, it is out of her own will. You see women are blessed with this annoying trait called ‘maternal instinct’. Be it towards an infant, her husband or her pet. She will do it till the end of time because she wants to. Selflessly.
Imagine giving up about 25-30 years of your existence and willing to spend the rest of your life as someone’s caregiver. Imagine the strength that goes behind such a decision. Isn’t that alone, reason enough to make the woman superior among all living beings?
A woman does not have to dress like a man to get equality. And definitely she does not have to prove something to be considered equal. She is much above a man, she knows it. But in her stupid heart you see, she prefers to stay content with equality.
A version was originally published here.
Pic credit: Kara Harms (Used under a creative commons license)
A bibliophile with a quest for writing, I'm a techie by day. An eternal optimist and a feminist, I believe that once we achieve equality, we can achieve anything in this world. I firmly read more...
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I wanted to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting 'win' moments.
My daughter turned eight years old in January, and among the various gifts she received from friends and family was an absolutely beautiful personal journal for self-growth. A few days ago, she was exploring the pages when she found a section for writing a letter to her future self. She found this intriguing and began jotting down her thoughts animatedly.
My curiosity piqued and she could sense it immediately. She assured me that she would show me the letter soon, and lo behold, she kept her word.
I glanced at her words, expecting to see a mention of her parents in the first sentence. But, to my utter delight, the first thing she had written about was her AMBITION. Yes, the caps here are intentional because I want to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting ‘win’ moments.
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