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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!
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
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...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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