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Malaika Arora’s Women’s Day post still glorified women as strong and happy. While, not wrong, it somewhat shames women who try to speak up and out.
On Women’s Day, Malaika Arora took to Instagram and shared a post that all women could relate to. The post said, “The happiest women are the ones who made a choice to love themselves wholly and truly. Women who chose to leave the past behind, worked on their self-esteem and put a high price tag on their self-esteem.
They stopped playing victims. They stopped whining in self-pity and dining in pity parties. They moved past their anger, tears and bitterness. They realised that happiness is a personal choice and responsibility. They chose to be defined by their present, but not their pasts…”
While a lot of women could relate to the post, it had a few issues as well. The post seems to make women look like superwomen who are always strong and positive despite adversities and in the harshest of circumstances. They are constantly expected to pretend that they are strong enough to never be hurt.
The post, though, in good faith, seemed to propagate the belief that if a woman voices being hurt, she is playing the victim card. Or if she speaks up about any issue, she is an angry feminist (or some times, even a Feminazi!) If she is out seeking something, people will, inevitably say things like, ‘aurat hone ka faida utha rahi hai’ (she’s taking advantage of being a woman for her own gains.)
Women are expected to be the jack of all trades and that they need to excel at everything they do is propagated throughout. The image of an ever smiling bahu serving the family despite being tired and working single-handedly in the kitchen is one we have all seen. It is an image etched in our mind due to a number of factors, including TV serials and the stories we have been told. The bahu will take care of her in-laws, her family, her husband, and her children along with their academics. Meanwhile, they are also expected to excel at their own jobs too.
After all this, isn’t it completely natural for her to have a burnout and be exhausted? But no! If she projects these feelings of hers to anyone, she will automatically be tagged as a selfish person who hasn’t learnt anything from her maternal family. She is considered to be a blot to the family who doesn’t care about her family or you know, apne log.
The whole idea that a woman is a superwoman who is fully capable of achieving everything and being perfect is toxic, not just for her but for the ones who spread this view too. She is constantly under stress and the pressure to live up to this expectation and prove her merit to herself and her family.
A woman is thought of to be an incarnation of Durga with ten arms. I mean, only then will she be able to work relentlessly like a superwoman. It is saddening if she does not fulfil the above criterion for a superhuman, she is instantly deemed as a lesser woman. She is judged for not fulfilling her duties and her obligations. Do we even care to ask her what she really wants?
What women want is to be treated as equals- as humans with flesh and bone rather than supernatural demigod entities. They merely want to be treated as humans. The tag of a superwoman comes with its own issues and problems.
Our culture does respect women, but at what cost? We tend to expect things of them that are quite often unrealistic for one person to achieve. This superwoman logic is completely baseless.
There may have been instances in our houses where we’ve seen our mothers, sisters, partners on the verge of breaking down because they had a lot on their plate. Yet gracefully they took everything in their stride and made through this storm. This is what makes it extremely toxic.
Women are eaten up by this whole ideology yet they cannot speak up because they do not want to fall short. It has created an unrealistic atmosphere of constant pressure and stress. I think it is time we change that.
Picture credits: YouTube
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A Journalism student. When not busy with college and assignments, I read a lot. Big
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