Today is International Women’s Day!
A day which I’d almost forgotten about in the chaos of Ms. Maneka Gandhi’s statement regarding entry timings yesterday and six girl children being molested since three months in an orphanage in Kerala about which I also got to read about yesterday. Had it not been for my events calendar that has been beaming with notifications since the morning declaring various discounts from a plethora of varied places like Domino’s to Jabong, I precisely would’ve just let this day pass by like any normal Wednesday towards the end of which, I would’ve slept with a perpetual reassurance that the week is almost over.
But today is different. It’s International Women’s Day, one of those fad days when every one from the fairer sex gets together over pointless discussions, much awaited coffees and probably a day when the rugged gender cuts us some slack for one day. This is exactly how our society has become a pinch of money with a stroke of showoff and one is good to go. What really does womanhood mean in it its entirety is not something that many of us even begin to understand.
Womanhood in the present times is the best attire for many to wear as a cloak which reeks of everything that feminism is not but well who would tell these ignorant fools?
There is much jabber about our rights, but nothing too concrete on the ground which not only makes me sad but also wonder that where is it that the society is going wrong in bringing us at parity with males?
(I know Laws exist, but their existence isn’t directly proportional to their implementation and effect)
Do we even want Parity? Or has the question over the years become about surpassing parity and dominating men? Whatever it is, one thing persists that we still are a long way even in this century from saying that women are scrutinised from the same lens as the males are.
Now with a very elaborate mention of the status quo, there are a few observations that I’d like to bring forth to be commemorated on this day of International Importance.
Ever since my intermediate level of education, I always heard my male friends activating their ‘Bro Code’ over half of the things they didn’t want their female counterparts to know. That always puzzled me, ‘Bro Code’- Yeah really! Get with it and we’ll ensure that we girls would get on with a ’Sisters before Misters Code’ too. As I’d bask in that fatal overconfidence, there was always a weak link who’d work entirely opposite to the very idea of the code derived for us females. And then the question would loom, Why can’t we women be loyal to our community?
To elaborate this, I’d steal a line of Sandhya Mridul from one of my favourite movies, ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’- ‘Auraton ki problem hi yea hai, wo ek dusre ko girane mei lagi rehti hai’ (This isn’t verbatim, so don’t even think!)
That line makes apt sense when we see what is thrown to us by the media. There is no channel with a show wherein I’ve personally heard of or seen a mother in law and a daughter in law having a healthy relationship. There is always a constant territoriality issue shown between both these females with a dangerous competition over who scores more points in the eyes of his son or husband. There is a constant pressure to fulfill beauty standards, to look a certain way, to wear certain kinds of clothes and behave a particular way most importantly, created by the Media which feeds on our insecurities and lack of self love and esteem.
Now when all of that is shown to an audience with educational levels spread all across the spectrum, one should be aware enough to know about the process of ‘internalisation’ and its consequences. I sometimes envy the level of commitment that men show towards their gender and would count it as an achievement if we’d start working on that tangent too and even admire how confident the opposite gender generally is in their own selves. Seeking constant validation of our being is the first mistake we women make towards seeking parity, if you don’t trust yourself, the world wouldn’t ever.
But for everybody to understand these very cliched yet prime concepts and for something like this to happen, the socialization patterns of the society need to be restructured. Now how that restructuring has to be done, for that tune into preachy debates happening today and find out!
I feel that there is a larger responsibility that rests on the shoulders of women like all of us reading this post to lift all of those who can become a better version of themselves just by a little nudge, if not a push.
But, I feel that considering the sort of thinking that lurks, of people like our very able politicians, I think we are far from reaching where we envision our destination. When our politicians make statements like, ‘Ladke toh lake hain , apni bahu-betiyon ko sambhalo’, ‘Hostels should be shut after 6pm because the levels of hormonal activity increases’, ’She invited him’, ‘A woman of low character’ and etc etc. the grim picture of our status’s reality glaringly stares at us. Why hasn’t a single politician or authority ever made claims saying, ’This is my constituency, girls can go out whenever they want, I will ensure that they are protected?’ If hooliganism and protection can be shown and lethally ensured in the case of our very controversially famous holy Gau Mata, I am sure we are still better off, or would it be better if I just presume this?
But who will pick this battle up at the cost of losing a majority of voter base which is male dominated? Or even if they would pick it up it would only be under the pretext of distributing cycles and some other luring embodiment of their attempt of seeking votes
Anyway, I don’t want this article to sound like a society bashing which I believe that it does already.
One more issue to be stated and then I believe I’d be able to swiftly proceed to the end.
When I first saw our college, just like everyone else I mistook the AWHO flats to be a part of our institution only ‘Dhoka’!! And after I realised my folly, I made peace with the shape and size of AIL (Well, #Kismat).
But on the first day after all the random useless socialisation, after we returned to our hostels we realised that we were being locked to function in a little designated area called the girls hostel. Ah, I didn’t mind that, because well rules are rules and presumed that they applied to the entire student community. But when I got to know that the only ones being locked were the women and that the very responsible men had a free access to play and use the basketball court, entire multipurpose football ground and volleyball court- It pinched me. (Now I am not implying to jail them too! )
Why are we locked?
I’ve been asking this question to myself, since the first year- (I am a day scholar since the past 4 years, but it irks me for my women community still in college, What an activist! Kaash students politics AIL mei hoti!!!)
And every time I’ve asked this to myself, the only answer I get is because- ’They want to save us from the boys’
Ha well, ‘If that is true, then shouldn’t the boys be saved from becoming the kinds, from whom we have to be saved?’
And hey, our girls basketball team has the most renowned name in the country, What if they want to play at 2 am?
Oh, No why would girls want to play at 2 a.m. , because all they can do is apply face packs and gossip!!
On the event of Women’s Day I just want to tell you-
That it really doesn’t matter what you weigh or look like, it all matters what you think and speak like. There will be various curve balls thrown at you, many doubts raised at your being, but make sure that your footsteps lead to a legacy where the world can say that ‘She persisted’.
With countless ideas from a very rapidly jumping chain of thoughts, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Women’s Day.
So woman Stand by her, because maybe she needs you and not a man to change her life.
The post was written by Kudrat Dutta Chaudhary, V year.