A Women’s Day 2018 Reminder: Push Us Down, But We Are Still Standing…

On Women's Day 2018, we take stock and see just how much misogyny still exists - yet, don't forget, despite all the odds, we are still rising here!

On Women’s Day 2018, we take stock and see just how much misogyny still exists – yet, don’t forget, despite all the odds, we are still rising here!

It is 2018.

Have the societal narratives changed at all?

Do women still need men’s approval, to be trailblazers?

The inter-connected society’s deigned largesse of letting a woman be or the grudging acceptance of her multi-dimensional capabilities carefully dressed up as inclusion are proof enough that this restless aspirational woman rankles the staid and the conventional.

She is a woman, one in a million! 

A million ones like her, abound all around.

She is often at loggerheads with the established leitmotifs, forever breaking the set moulds. She is the valiant one, trying to make it in an increasingly polarized and opinionated world. If she dares to have an opinion, she will be trolled round the clock, become a butt of sexist rants, rape threats. She needs to be silenced, you see!

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After marriage, her dreams, take a back seat, as only her world goes topsy-turvy. Most men somehow forget that meeting the deadlines at work, while making perfect round rotis at home takes intense juggling and a great deal of zen. Even if she has domestic hel[ers, overseeing them becomes her duty – men can’t be expected to do ‘womanly’ house chores.

Plus if she chooses to have a kid then it is automatically assumed that she will lose her edge at work, as she will not able to give her 100% to the job at hand. Her tender maternal heart will no longer be ruthlessly competitive.

Obviously, the father is immune from such talk!

Gender agnostic work culture is a pipe dream still.

As  I read here, women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated but are influenced by the intersectional systems of society.

This reminds me – One of my students, a girl, was about to play the nationals in football. When she broke the news, naturally, there were cheers all around, except for a boy. He was flummoxed as he could not believe that the girls could play football and this good!

Obviously, that game changer, Bend It Like Beckham had not been screened in his house.

His response was extremely surprising as he is part of an affluent society, has travelled abroad and lived overseas too. When I say travelled abroad, the child has moved around, got the exposure and seen how the world works.

Many a time, you would expect that experience is an eye-opener. Apparently not!

Can narratives never change? I refuse to believe that!

How many of us remember those ‘Lady-Scientists’ in silk and mogras, exulting at the success of Mangalyaan?

At one go, how many myths were squashed that day! Saree + Science +Flowers! 

We can effectively form approaches in our homes and work towards dismantling patriarchy.

How about doing away with these done-to-death cliches from our daily lexicon?

Don’t be a wimp! Don’t cry like a girl!”

Don’t slouch like a boy! Sit like a lady!

What are you doing with needles and thread? That is a girl’s domain.

Learn to cook, girl! What will happen to you after marriage? Who will feed your family?

Bulk up! You are a boy!! And ditch those hideous pastels.

Watch your weight! Be dainty and dress in pretty pinks.

Study boy, tomorrow you have to fend for your family!

As women creak under the weight of structural violence, or ache at the rampant injustice, affront and monstrosity or choke with the unbearable stench of human disgrace, violation, and abuse,

Let us remember that we were written off much before we exhaled, not given much chance.

Yet here we are, still standing with all our glaring imperfections and glowing accomplishments.

Where we go from here, is up to the dreams that hold us…Together… Triumphant!

Image via Unsplash

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About the Author


Anupama Jain is the author of: * ’Kings Saviours & Scoundrels -Timeless Tales from Katha Sarita Sagara’, listed as one of the best books of 2022 by @Wordsopedia. Rooted in the traditional storytelling of Indian legends, warriors, read more...

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