I don’t really like writing about depressing things. I try to keep away from it as much as possible to keep my sanity, intact. But then sometimes certain things create a stir of emotions inside you and you just can’t let these crazy set of emotions wreak havoc inside you. So, here I am to write about something that has hit me hard on my face and punched me on my chest.
This is how it all started. Today, few hours ago I shared a post on FB about how we women have the right to be ourselves, how important it is for men to understand that we women are just human as men, and etc etc. Below the post that I had shared, I noticed men had written disrespectful comments, and opinions against women. This was nothing new to my eyes. But what surprised me or rather shocked me was that women had also written equally insolent remarks against women. That’s when I realized that what we notice today is just a tip of the ice-berg. The problem that we are fighting against finds its roots deeply stretched across the X chromosome. Of course we are dealing with a patriarchal society or a male dominated one as one likes to call it. And it will take some time for us to transform the society we currently survive in. But my problem right now is not the “Y” chromosome at all. I have a bigger worry.Well, let me explain.
When a girl in a short skirt, dark lipstick, or a loud makeup enters a room, who is first one to assassinate her character and label her "A Slut"? Think about it. Haven’t we heard Girl A calling Girl B a loose character, just because Girl B has a dressing sense which doesn't comply with the standards set by Girl A? Don’t we know of aunties who term a girl characterless in their apartment because she talks to boys? Have you never seen or heard of a mother in law setting her daughter in law ablaze because the daughter in law failed to fulfill the dowry requirements? When a girl gets raped, women are the first ones to say, “Oh! She should have refrained from stepping out of the house so late.” And how can I miss the classic one liners by Mothers themselves, “Roti nahin banayegi to shaadi kaun karega?”(if you don’t learn to roll roti’s, no one will marry you.”)There is no exhaustive list; I can go on and on.
Now you see where am I coming from? It’s like we didn’t have enough problems already that we women have waged a war against each other. And after being so discourteous to each other we say we are not being heard. In many parts of our country women themselves feel that it is only after they give birth to a boy that they will be complete as a mother. I agree that it is the societal pressure which leads to this deteriorated thought process. But doesn’t the society also comprise of women?
I recall when I was in Delhi few years ago to see a cousin of mine; she mentioned how worried she is about her old age. She is blessed with two lovely daughters but she told me that she feels inferior to other women who have been “lucky enough to give birth to a son”. I felt disgusted and tried my best to explain her that she must take care of her daughters well and that her daughters have the potential to make it big. But I don’t think I was able to convince her. However, my cousins’ mother in law (who is a very gentle woman) could convince her and my cousin realized that given an opportunity even girls can achieve greater heights. Finally, some sanity prevailed. To tell you, this cousin of mine is a post graduate and was always a very studious girl. On the contrary her mother in law is not a very educated lady. Now, do I even need to tell you which woman in the above case qualifies as “modern or advanced”? That’s when I realized it is not education alone that can help our situation. We require a deeper understanding and empathy for each other. The roots lie in the upbringing that a mother provides to her growing daughter and the legacy that is passed on from one generation to the other.
Think about it, we fight with men in buses because they don’t offer seats to pregnant women. But there is another question that stands upright in front of us, how many women stand up to offer a seat when they see a pregnant lady standing helplessly? The answer lies within each one of us. We women are Shakti and if we decide to stand up for something, no man in this whole wide world can stop us. That is exactly why we have been blessed with the right to create a new life, we are the creators. Men are able to easily exploit us because we have arrogantly refused to stand up for our own gender. We have decided to be judgmental of each other. We have unanimously decided to let go of the divine power of empathy and affection that we are blessed with.
I am in no way defending the mean actions of men or the violence that many women are subjected too by the opposite sex. What they have done to us or have been doing to us is unpardonable. All I am trying to say is that somewhere it is our fault too. We as mothers have so many times made our own daughters feel inferior. We as sisters have been unreasonably kind to our brothers. Haven’t we seen how mothers come running to rescue their rapist son? I know we have truly modern women too. However, the number of such women is so small that in most cases they fall under the minority category and are labeled as “feminists”.
The fact is, before we stage dharnas and shout slogans to change to the mindset of the male population in our society, there is a lot of homework that you and I have to do to change our mindset first. Accept it or not, we have also aggressively participated with men in creating this garbage in our civilization, the stench of which has now polluted our souls. Time has come to wage a war against our ailing attitude too. We need to go back to our basics, again. We need to extend a helping hand to each other. We need to accept each other as women. Because ladies, the bitter truth is that more than this male dominated society, we have failed each other.
I am not completely broken. I am hopeful that someday we will see through the opaque lenses of our eyes. We will shun denial and take responsibility. We will become better friends, mothers, mother –in-laws, etc. And that is when we will be able to transform the men in our society. That is exactly when we will win this war. Nonetheless, today I am sad and hurt. And as I write this, I feel sorry for you and me because as women, we have failed each other, miserably.