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Women’s Day should be a day when I dress, party, and have a blast, not because it's just one day out of 365 when I get noticed.
Yahoo! Women’s day around the corner and I am thrilled. After my birthday this is the only day I get loads of messages and wishes over the past few years. Oh! I love being women. Disclaimer: But only on Women’s Day.
My mind has already started racing. How do I start preparing for the day? For starter’s looks do matter and my thought process starts with what do I wear. Naah! Not the typical attire of an everyday professional but more of something that makes me outshine. I rummage through all my dresses to find nothing fits the bill. This calls for a shopping trip definitely. The pile of clothes in my cupboard stares at me as if almost shrieking… Do you need more clothes? What about us. Common! You have plenty whose price tags are also intact.
Ignoring their malicious intentions to kill my enthusiasm, I force shut the cupboard to erase the memory of heaps of dresses lying there trying to grab my attention. As I hurriedly pick my bag for shopping fiesta, the mirror scream-“Sorry I am not magical mirror those wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes, sagging skin and under eye puffs ..It’s just too much for me to conceal. I am an epitome of truth so please visit a parlour. Don’t blame me later”.
Alas! Inner beauty is all but a farce. Its looks, looks and looks that matter. Period. Some things even ChatGPT can’t change. Women’s day looks like an expensive affair but nevertheless I believe women are a precious lot too. I need to shine as after all I represent my clan and can’t let them down. Dress done and now its turn of the shoes to compliment it. My guilt surmounts with the expensive shoes I spot online. The brain sweet-talks and cajoles– Celebrate your presence don’t count the pennies. Live for yourself.
All set and I can’t wait for the day to arrive Just few more days and it would be a blast. Events at workplace followed by lavish lunch, gifts, and evening at club with my gal gang and of course the loads of message I would receive complimenting me on being a woman beyond words( not the way of course my husband means when he says this). Last year’s messages were enough to keep my ego high for couple of months. Surely this year I need a year full load.
Preparations done yet something was amiss. I was not feeling excited the way I normally feel. To build in a mood of enthusiasm, I boasted my lavish purchases and preparation to my husband- “See we women plan meticulously. You men don’t even know when men’s day is. You don’t celebrate your existence and identity the way we do”.
My husband casually replied, “I don’t see a need to celebrate my gender nor prove my existence. I exist that’s it”.
I initially brushed off his reply as callous attitude and an act to hide the underlying guilt of not remembering when is Men’s Day. Somehow the remark kept haunting me the entire day. Some uncanny feeling and a sort of disenchantment was creeping again though I was trying to evade. My thoughts started to drift on a different tangent. Why was I celebrating my existence? Does it symbolise that I have to mark myself and my coterie and continuously ring a bell… We are there too?
What am I dressing for? Why should I look my best? Am I objectifying my gender and affirming association of the pseudo dictate that women are meant to please and hence ornament themselves. Am I acknowledging that women are objects of beauty and need to adorn themselves? What a frivolous way to bring on Women’s Day.
My mind gets clobbered with multitude such reflections. What have we turned women’s day into? A day of fun and frolic, to dress and party. Is it seriously this? A day of giving stretched sermons and preachy feministic discussion.
Publicised events with merchandise crying hoarse –Acknowledge Women. We exist in the same vein as you do.
Shouldn’t we just stop proving –A woman is equal to man. Better than man. If a man can do so can a woman. Let’s stop thinking; proclaiming and saying this. We don’t see the other gender referring to this so why should we? This does not mean we adopt I don’t care what you think about me stance.
It’s when such demands for justification and pressures to keep reiterating the position of woman vanish, that we truly celebrate women’s day. Women’s day would be of course a day when I dress, party, and have a blast. Not because it’s a day out of 365 when I get noticed but it’s a day like any other day in my life when I do the same without expecting to be noticed, appreciated and acknowledged. 365 days my inner mirror tells me who I am. I don’t celebrate my gender nor do I marvel at it. I take it as a mere biological difference and diversity.
For this Women’s Day what we can start doing is believing that dichotomies like male and female exist to only ease out for reference and such as do not imply differences. We created them. So wipe them off.
Begin a new era of progressive thoughts where a woman is neither a poetic entity or a symbol of beauty and poignancy, not a care giver nor a sacrificial symbolisation, not the second handle nor the oppressed one. She is neither weak nor strong as such words do not figure in her dictionary. She is neither from Venus nor cares who is from Mars. She is really beyond words but in this case the words are hers. She knows who she is. Starting this Women’s Day and then everyday thereafter, she has weeded off the boundaries that limited her and yet expected too much of her. Your voices to demean, control, subjugate her are noises for her and she has just shut her ears.
When an eagle soars high we marvel at its flight not at its gender.
PS: The dress and shoes has been bought before the awakening of sorts. So for this last time I am celebrating women day. Party on. Hypocrisy is anyways no genders domain. It is something across the dichotomy. Men listening. Well they seldom do. Another gendered perspective but will address it on men’s day.
Image source: a still from the film English Vinglish
I am a post doctorate in social sciences, specializing in education and a professor at Somaiya Vidyavihar University. My areas of expertise are Research , Life skills and Management of Education. I am a voracious reader read more...
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