What Challenges Does The Woman Writer Face?

Posted: November 1, 2014
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Apart from the many challenges of the writing process, women writers are burdened with societal norms and limits that they cannot easily challenge, says this post.

Thoughts are never concocted, they just form. Dreams are not fabricated, they just pass. And if you happen to be among the lucky few who have the flair to pen them down, you can call yourself a writer.

The urge to write, comes so spontaneously that if the thoughts are not laid down in black and white, you feel frustrated and disappointed. But how good are you at putting them down just as you had them in your mind?

Some abstract images do form in my mind too. I then try to add some flesh to it, give shape  to it , beautify it with the hues I have in my mind. Like a spider, I work on it day in and day out, until I feel satisfied that I have weaved a pretty cobweb with perfection. But quite often, during the whole process, my mind gets hitched somewhere and some unnecessary inhibitions ruin my chain of thoughts .

The thought that I am a woman, and a that woman needs to write in a certain way, boggles my mind. I sometimes meet roadblocks where I either decide not to go any further or decide to deliberately change the course of my thought process.

The thought that I am a woman, and a that woman needs to write in a certain way, boggles my mind.

Yes, being a woman in this conservative world, where men are the epicenter of all activities, I reach a point sometimes when I feel the necessity to edit, discard, or recreate a thought that ought to conform to the coy-Indian-girl persona!

I would love to write some romantic stories and explain those overt sexual nuances in detail, but my timid mind fears that I would be labelled unchaste. I shudder at the thought of my own loved ones raising their brow in displeasure.

I would love to write about women who rise up and show courage – even to raise their hands at those men who oppress them. But some invisible thread pulls me back each time I venture to write on those lines.

I would love to write poems on love , passion, violence, or anything that is  known to be ‘men’s forte’, but I fear my morality would be questioned if I cross a certain limit.

I would love to write stories of broken trusts, marriages, relationships, divorce, and adultery, but I fear they might be misconstrued as a chunk out of my personal experience and I restrain myself from writing many of them, for saving my dear and near ones from consequential disgrace and lose of good will and prestige. I would love to write on all those subjects without the aid of a pseudonym, for I feel I cannot surrender my creations to a fictitious person. I want to be known for what I am.  But I fear that it might be at the cost of losing some loved ones who would not be able to comprehend the writer in me.

How many of you feel that the way we are socially and culturally programmed curtails the thinker or writer in us?

How many women writers have encountered this chaos in their life? How many of you feel that the way we are socially and culturally programmed curtails the thinker or writer in us?  How many of you have modified your creations to suit the societal outlook? How many of you feel that women writers are expected not to cross a certain point in their writings? Why are women writers overburdened by the fear of so many stigmas cast upon them? Why are they weighed down by so many taboos when it comes to writing one’s own mind ?

I strongly believe that only when this embargo  is shred into pieces and blown off into thin air, when you unleash the words locked in your heart in their fullest fury, could one be regarded as a writer. I am afraid I am yet to break free from these mental shackles.

I revere writers like Kamala Suraiyya who spoke their mind, wrote their mind, and still stood strong. I hope one day I too shall find the courage to write my mind without any chains inhibiting my thought process.

Yes, one day I shall, too… and until then, I shan’t call myself a writer.

Pic credit: Image of a woman writing via Shutterstock.

 

Ash

A legal consultant, settled in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; my first love is and has

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Comments

4 Comments


  1. Srividya Ganapathy -

    What you have written is totally true. We lack the courage of the western women writers. We have very few bold women authors, like Kamala Das for example. It could change slowly, let us keep our hopes up. 🙂

  2. Yup! Lets hope for a slow and steady change in this situation for the sake of a bright future for women’s writing in general…. Let more women writers emerge as strong as these role models before us, who have an independent mind and will to air their opinions and thoughts….

  3. Love what you wrote ! It certainly hit home ! When I started writing I had to rework it constantly, thinking I should only write within the limits prescribed – as you mentioned, by society and culture. But as I continued writing I realized my thoughts aren’t limited so why should my writing be? And am so glad I finally allowed myself to express myself in a manner which is true to me. It brings a sense of such freedom to write exactly what you wish and with it pride towards one’s work.
    You are indeed a beautiful writer as you tapped into your apprehensions and allowed yourself to speak of it, to all of us. So thank you for reminding us of what writing is all about and hope you find bliss in your writing every single time! I sure did while reading this piece ! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Sonali for your encouraging comment… Glad to know that you could break open that shell and show the courage to express yourself truly.. But Looking at the way I keep reverting my write ups in the drafts (without publishing it), I realize I have to go a long way to be there .. :/

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