I got countless messages and mails on Women’s Day. Somehow they did not move me ……
One of the most infamous lines of Tulsidas were
Dhol,gawar,sudra,pashu, nari sakal tadana ke adhikari
A drum, a village idiot, an animal and a woman, all need to be beaten ….. have the right to expect being beaten ….
Times have changed. Apart from the drum (unless its the electronic sort) none of the others need to be beaten. However the other alternative is also a stick …. in the form of a crutch. That is what reservations are, these stuff like “Ladies first” and the oh so patronizing platitudes about the gentler sex are.
I dont agree with them. I dont believe we women are lesser than men, or on contrary, better than men …, or less corrupt or less blood thirsty. We are just different.
Once as a child, I heard one of the ladies who belonged to my mother’s kitty and card parties defend her decision to enroll and keep her handicapped child in a school meant for normal children
“If I put him in a school meant for handicapped people, I will cripple him from day one. He will only learn to beg and then demand special concessions.”
No, she did not think that she was being a bad mother, she insisted that it was good for him …. and it was! The boy (Nirmal remember those days?) learnt to play cricket, wield a hockey stick and also to study with normal kids. He is blind from one eye, had a club foot, could not write with his right hand but so what? What he learnt was that he was no less than the other kids. So what if he could not make it in the team, he was equal to other kids and that made him a winner! Today he is in the IAS and doing well for himself.
My BFF (best female friend) is the scholarly idealistic type. She is out to save the world …. hmmmm just realized that may be ~ just maybe ~ I am one of her countless missions … I need to call her up for clarification. Sorry for the digression – I type the way I think
Anyhow ~ she insists that Women’s Day is important for a lot of women in really bad circumstances. I cant see that! Women’s Day or Reservation of any sort is a label. It cripples us mentally. Just read what IHM says in her blog about her maid . The maid she talks about has more empowerment in her little finger than a whole lot of the Main bechari abala naari types – born to more affluent circumstances and having more education have in their entire persons.
I think we should have a Liberation and Empowerment Day for humans. A day to remind men that they do not need to save the world and bring in the bacon and look macho. For men to understand that its okay, they do not need to hide the fact that they also find the world hard, cruel and overwhelming. For them to be okay with crying or being soft, and not have others point fingers and say “Dude that is so G A Y Y Y !!”
We, as women, need that so much! When guys unbend, they will stop freaking out and trying to control us or shove us back into the restrictive moulds, in anger, in fear and with force and violence. The mould is outdated and one that many women have already broken and crawled out of – some in anger, some in desperation and so many of us in pain and for our very survival.
Women have evolved, we have changed a lot, in spite of Ekta Kapoor and our mothers/mother in laws. Those that are stuck in the restrictive mould are drawing inspiration from others that have grown out of it.
What we need is a Liberation and Empowerment Day for both sexes. We need our men, they need us. We need a joint day and together we need to learn the lesson that I found in IHM’s blog
The lady in question may be a maid by profession – but to me she is a sage! She is truly empowered and we – no not as men or as women, but as humans and thinking beings – have a lot to learn from her.
Its all about the mind, the attitude and not about being a woman or a man. I think the “abala naari” bit is overdone, and I think the “man as superior sex” is overdone too. It imposes role models and burdens that are quite unnnecessary. True empowerment would do away with labels and help us meet at the same platform as equals – different but equal.
This is a call for true equality here. Wish we get it – in my lifetime.