Venus Versus Venus.

strong women 4

The rustling of the leaves around her was playing a mellifluous tune that seemed to soothe her heart. Looking around, she tried to breathe in the beauty of the golden floor of autumn leaves, the dry, prickly, cold wind. It was beautiful. And where there is beauty, there is grief. There is something very mundane and cliche about the companionship of beauty and grief. You cannot escape it. It crosses path with you at least once in your lifetime. And the bitter truth was that her broken heart was conceived by none other than those she called her own. Instead of receiving sincere congratulations , all that had greeted the news of her eagerly anticipated motherhood were the very Asian tenebrous comments of her mother, “Beta hona chahiye taakay susraal myn position strong ho.” (It must be a boy so that your position amongst your in-laws is strengthened.) that were later validated by her mother-in-law as a vocal hope of a grandson to carry on her son’s name. She wondered if they realized that it was not through her that the gender of her child will be determined. She wondered if they were ashamed of their own existence as women.

Happy Women’s Day.

The silent tears of grief and hurt stained the soft track of her cheeks as the conversation that she had earlier with her mother clogged her brain. Fury and disgust had flowed through her veins when she had recounted to her, her first encounter with harassment from the opposite sex, only to be later questioned if her actions in any way whatsoever were indeed not responsible for the unsolicited attention. It was beyond her why it was a universally accepted notion that a woman absolutely MUST have committed an act that had aroused unwanted interest in her. It was beyond her why despite being a woman, her mother was oblivious to it. It was beyond her that despite being a woman, her mother had failed to understand, let alone even acknowledge, her predicament.

Happy Women’s Day.

Silently sipping on her hot tea, she killed her faith in humanity as she overheard a group of her female colleagues conniving to malign another female colleague’s character in hopes of sabotaging her chances at promotion. The green eyed monster was a monster worth fearing.

Happy Women’s Day.

A psychologist by profession, she encountered several cases where one woman played the devil for another – be it the ‘other woman’, the insecure mother-in-law, or even a jealous sister. General observations had mournfully led her to the repulsive conclusion that the vicious cycle of female oppression was conceived, nourished and propagated by none other than women themselves ; women who believed in incarcerating another woman’s dreams and aspirations, women who believed that the only way they can domineer is by being a tyrant oppressor of unlived hopes, women who believed that ‘man’ was an asset, a treasure to be won, women who had absolutely no identity other than A’s daughter, B’s mother, everydayC’s wife. And with that realization, a little part of her every day.

Happy Women’s Day.

Exhausted after the day’s work, she stepped within the comfort of her house, looking forward to a relaxing nap. She should have known better. Her younger brother had returned from work too and was hungry. He must be fed. And she must smilingly forget her aching back and serve him food. Why? Because he is her ‘brother’. He is a ‘boy’.

Happy Women’s Day.

She was told not to work. Why? Because pots and pans were her destiny, and marriage her aim. It was only ‘natural’, she was told. Blindfold us to the fact that it only seems natural because we have been taught to consider it natural, thanks to our society’s very own, clear-cut ideas regarding gender roles, leading to gender stereotyping. If staying at home is synonymous to child-rearing and domestic work, then it should not be forgotten that a home is made a home and not just left a “brick house” by both the husband and wife, i.e. a man and a woman. Therefore, it is their joint and equal responsibility to “stay at home”. The bottom line is that it is every woman’s right to choose between staying at home, between pursuing a full-time career and between juggling them both. The choice should be her’s and her’s alone and should be respected and supported at all costs. Because if a woman chooses to stay at home and look after her children, then that itself is laudable. Again, it does not mean that any woman is forced into it. But again, her arguments and reasoning fell on deaf ears.

Happy Women’s Day.

He always expected his wife to do all his chores, from making a cup of tea to ironing his clothes. After all, that is what he had seen, what he had been taught. His mother did it for his father too. He clearly remembered how his sister would be told to perform even the simplest of his tasks, not because his own limbs were not functioning, but because his status as the male child gave him privileges that his sister could only dream of, and poison her own sense of self-esteem during the torturous process.

Happy Women’s Day.

Staring at her healthy reflection in the mirror, she pondered deeply over the words of her ‘friend’. Running her hand over her wheatish skin, she stifled a sob. She had been sadly mistaken in thinking that the genuineness of her heart, the strength of her character, the goodness of her nature, the intelligence of a mind well read, and the morality of her dogma would define who she was. Her dear ‘friend’ had just pointed out the obvious – a woman’s worth was weighed depending on the adjective that was used to describe her physical attributes only ; pretty, fat, chubby, beautiful, short, tall.

Happy Women’s Day.

Men may be from Mars, and Women may be from Venus.
Before we stand up to fragile male egos, we must deal with our own.
Before we declare all men to be the ultimate threat to female prosperity, we must inhibit the baseless, egoistic vengeance that we women are thriving on.
Before we formulate laws against abusive husbands, we must teach the sons that respect is earned and every human being matters.
Before we rally against female genocide and infanticide, we must embrace the idea of celebrating womanhood.
Before we utter blasphemies disguised as appraisals like “You’re better than a son ” or “You’re not less than a son “, we must embrace the rude awakening that there never was any comparison, that sons and daughters are unique in their own capacities, that a daughter is as good, sometimes even better, than a son.
Before we preach, we must act. And we must act now. Otherwise, this horrendous cycle will fail to meet its Waterloo, and this archaic malpractice will brutally be the death of many innocent souls.

Do not be a mere statistic attending walks and seminars in favour of feminism.
Be the difference that you wish to see.
Bless the change that you wish to catalyse.
It’s a matter of humanity, not feminism.

Yes. Happy Women’s Day.


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