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There is a lot of power in ‘girl power’, so why not make use of it? Let’s celebrate the sisterhoods we have in different places, and own our power.
Men often think women are ‘over-reacting’ to situations that might feel like the end of the world to women. At such times, a woman needs to look at other women for support rather than at men, as they might not know how to help, simply because their privilege blinds them to women’s realities!
That is where another woman can and should step in.
Women, I feel, have the most amazing capacity to achieve, to accomplish what they set out to do. While I do not wish to take away any credit from men or their abilities, I do feel that women by virtue of the sheer diversity of the roles that they have to play, and the responsibilities that they have to discharge, end up accomplishing way more than men can ever hope to do.
Women, by being able to do a lot during their lifetimes, end up being really good at most of it. And when it comes to giving advice, they can draw upon the wide reservoir of their experience to do that.
However though most women are equipped to guide and advise, many times we don’t do that. Maybe we don’t pay too much attention to this, or just decide to overlook it. Something just holds us back from stepping in to save a day for someone. I feel that we don’t need to do that. We need to rise above our insecurities, our jealousies, and be there for each other, whenever, whatever.
As women we can do a lot to empower each other, support each other. Before we start knocking at other doors, we need to look within ourselves to see how much potential we have in us to be there for each other. Believe me there is a lot, we just need to tap it.
For instance, one of the experiences that most women go through in our lives changes us in an irreversible way – childbirth. Life pre and post that experience can never be the same.
I remember the time when my first born was on his way and I wanted to know what would I go through when I was delivering.
My mother who was with me at that time, told me very candidly that I needed to brace myself up to face the worst possible pain and agony of my life. She told me that being in labour was not a very pleasant experience, the only silver lining being the thoughts of the child who is on the way.
Though the conversation left me in a bewildered state in the sense that it left me wondering if I had taken the right decision in getting pregnant, I now feel that it prepared me for the worst. I was under no illusion, no false expectations, and knew what to expect. As a result I ended up handling myself pretty well.
My point is that it was a woman who gave me the right advice at that time.
According to me two women can be and should be the best of friends, and it can be a forever kind of a relationship.
Everyone needs that one go-to person in their lives who can just take them in, with no questions asked and accept them for who they are. I may have a million flaws in me but I want that one person who loves me unconditionally, flaws and all, does not judge me, poses no conditions on the relationship and can relate to my joys and sorrows.
Who better than a woman to do that, simply because she too is probably coming from the same space?
It is a fact that not every one of us is born confident. It is also a fact that life constantly puts us to test, presenting us with situations and circumstances that are not only not in our control but many times unexpected, uncalled for, and even frightening. What is more, as women most of the times we are expected to not only have solutions to a problem, but are also expected to put on that brave face and pretend that all is in control, when actually nothing is. That may make the task even more daunting and at times almost impossible.
I clearly remember the day when my help was late coming back from her weekly off. When I questioned her, she burst into tears. In between her sobs she told me that her husband had taken away all her money from her, and when she had protested he had beaten her up.
While some of us may dismiss this as something that happens in the a ‘lower socio-economic class’, is that really true? Isn’t the so called ‘upper strata’ also guilty of abusing, hitting women for some reason or the other, one of which could be money?
So while I consoled and pacified her I also decided to do something concrete about it. I helped her open a bank account where she could put some of her money, as some part she still wanted to give to her husband.
Mainly because of the stereotypical lives that we women lead, the challenges come all too often, and sometimes at the worst possible times. A call from home when you are dealing with a crisis at work or even the exact opposite situation. A child falling sick, help leaving, some grocery item running out. At such times, we have to take a decision and with very little time. It can be a very stressful situation which most women would be able to relate to.
While it is not correct to let men go scot free out of all these tricky situations, that topic is for another day. My point is that at the time of a crisis someone offering a solution, a guiding light, is what is required. And that someone ideally should be a person who has some experience or the bandwidth to think of a way out.
So who can it be? Your girl friend! Who else?
Even in the work space, especially the corporate work space, women who have made it to the top can very well relate to what those who are starting out would be going through. They will be able to understand the struggle, the issues that the women may be facing. Such successful women can always step forward to share their experiences, their tips and guide the others.
As it is life does not come with a manual, and many of us may be floundering and hesitating or regretting some of our actions. At times one even feels as though one is the only one facing a situation, simply because one does not know about the existence of others, who may have sailed in the same boat. So in this kind of a predicament, all one needs is someone who can and will lend a helping hand, and help us out of the situation.
For instance, I may have had a bad day with my husband, my children, and may be terribly frustrated. At such a time all I want is someone who is willing to hear me out, and empathise with me. I am not looking for a solution, I just want someone to commiserate with me, to understand my plight. And that someone, I feel, cannot be a man. The fact that I am not looking for a solution can only be understood by a woman.
Therefore I feel women should step up their game and be there for each other. There is so much to give, so much to take, and thereby enrich, so why not? We can give our advice, share our deep, dark secrets, we can validate each other. Imagine how heartening it would be if someone could walk up to you and vindicate a decision, ratify a choice, someone who was just like you, someone who had been through a similar situation. Is it so difficult to do it then? Can we not put our judgements, our reservations, our jealousies aside and embrace each other, faults et al? If we don’t do that who else will? Yes you may want to compete, you may want to prove a point, but don’t prove it with someone who is like you. Prove it with those who are trying to put women down. Stand up for each other.
Young or old, rich or poor, do whatever you can for each other. If you have been blessed to get it all, make sure you help others get it too.
After all there is a lot of power in ‘girl power’, so why not make use of it?
I firmly believe that the bond that two women can share with each other is beyond anything that a man and a woman can ever hope to have. I don’t think even an extremely loving man can give a woman what another woman can, simply because a woman can relate to and understand the other one easily. Men can’t get us most of the times. They are from Mars after all.
As they said in Sex and the City, “Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.”
There is no denying that men think differently, react differently, relate to things differently. So while I am not advocating anything drastic or unacceptable I am just imploring upon women to be there for each other, to have each other’s back all the time.
We know so much about each other that it would almost be criminal to not support each other. So girls – go for it, hold each other, have each other’s back, and rule the world.
Remember, we rise by lifting up others.
First published here.
Image source: a still from Angry Indian Goddesses
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Aside from being an educationist teaching at the university level for the last 28 years,
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