Mar 8, 2009

Because I am a woman

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, 'She doesn’t have what it takes.' They will say, 'Women don’t have what it takes.'

Gender apartheid exists. Yes, it does. So? So nothing. Let's go deal with it. Women are and women will. The challenge lies in the 'how's and 'when's.

In over 60 years of our democratic history, each ruling government has deliberately and insidiously ensured that women remain invisible and silent. How mahaan does that make our Bharat? Why have we not all hung our heads in shame? Why does nobody speak up? Is it because we actually believe a woman's worth is actually nothing? Do we see women as dispensable, of which kind many are available? The answer was 'yes' 60 years ago. Today, it remains just that. Not that it still affects us. We continue to pretend all is well.

Our President is a woman. Our chief of the ruling party is a woman. We have formidable women chief ministers. Women are increasingly joining their male counterparts as the nation's workforce. Isn't that enough cause for celebration? In this day and age, celebrating the achievement of less than 2% of the female population in India is ridiculous to the point of being laughable.

It is no longer astonishing how depressingly low we estimate the worth of our women, even as we reveres the Goddess in her various forms! So how does that happen? It happens because we are too busy deluding ourselves that all is hunky-dory. That beyond the beatings and burnings lies a good heart that 'loves' women and wants them to 'improve'.

Well, guess what? The beatings and burnings worked. The new and improved woman has arrived. But, alas, there still is no celebration, really. She isn't what we exactly wished for, now, is she? To 'man'kind's eternal horror, the new and improved versions came equipped with a mind - to think! Too bad. What do we do about this? Can we again control her? Should we create a remote for this mind? Why, of course. It ain't too tough to teach her a lesson. We've been doing that for ever since we care to remember!

So we go right ahead. We strip her clothes. We kick and punch her. We fondle her and feel her up. And when all that does not satiate us, we rape and plunder her. That, if nothing else, teaches her a lesson.

Yes. It teaches her the lesson that she must stand for herself, because no one else can. It teaches her the lesson that if they unite, along with real men (who respect women and therefore earn respect for themselves), their numbers will multiply. It teaches her the lesson that she must do things with freedom, no matter how hard it is. It teaches her the lesson that she must always stand on the side of truth and justice, no matter what it costs. It teaches her the lesson that she alone owns her honour; no one has a claim to it and it cannot be ever taken away from her. Most importantly, it teaches her the lesson that she does actually possess a mind to learn these lessons with.

With elections just round the corner, we do not hear a single political party address women's issues, not even their pet topic - women's reservation. It is as if women don't exist - not even as a vote bank. They may talk pretty about some obscure temples or mosques that no one really cares for. They may invoke the dependable ideology of Hindutva or minority-appeasement to fill their vote-hungry coffers. They may play the divisive card and arouse the dormant pride in their voters for their region (read party). But they fail to see that the society they so earnestly solicit votes from is one that marginalises half its population. Such a a society can see nothing but decline.

Domestic violence is our best kept dirty secret. Not a single politician has recognised this skeleton in their closet, or the devastating effects it has on their voters. As long as our women continue to be either battered or ignored, we cannot call ourselves a civilisation, let alone a developing one. Pratibha Patil may come and go, but her own kind only goes, never comes. So, all in all, a thoroughly depressing scenario for the erstwhile 'sone ki chidiya'. Oh come on, of course not.

SRK once said, "Hamari filmon ki tarah hamari zindagi mein bhi, end tak sab kuch theek-thaak ho jata hai. Aur agar aisa na ho, to ye samjho ki kahaani abhi khatam nahin hui. Picture abhi baaki hai." Yes, there are more reels to go. This year, this year, we subvert the usual gender agenda - a literal gender bender. The eternally enslaved and exploited woman will always find her crusader. But the new age truly and completely belongs to the dangerously liberated and obnoxiously loud-mouthed woman. You don't like her? Then its time you learnt to live with her.

The new and improved 'desi girl' has decided she isn't going to wait for help - she will help herself. She is not the martyr - she is the marauder out to reclaim her life. The knight in shining armour has finally been laid to rest, bless his soul. The change is here, and the change is her. Maa di laadli bigad gayi, so, enna rascala, mind it!

Happy Women's Day!

10 comments:

Indyeah said...

great post Surbhi!yeah the new desi girls are set to kick ass:D

Happy Women's Day to you too!:)

Usha Pisharody said...

*A bow and a curtsy*

Loved this post! Yes ... for anything and everything, a woman needs to prove herself twice over, and be half its worth!

The close of the post was awesome, and inspiring! Thank you!

And Happy Women's Day to us!

Indyeah said...

err...did I leave a comment here?didnt see any message about it being saved..:(


anyway here's wishing you a Happy Women's Day again:))
((hugs))

Indian Home Maker said...

Surbhi this is a fabulous post, I feel like clapping!!

"With elections just round the corner, we do not hear a single political party address women's issues, not even their pet topic - women's reservation. It is as if women don't exist - not even as a vote bank." was a painful realisation... then you end with ...
The new and improved 'desi girl' has decided she isn't going to wait for help - she will help herself. ... The knight in shining armour has finally been laid to rest, bless his soul. The change is here, and the change is her. Maa di laadli bigad gayi, so, enna rascala, mind it!

Your best post till date, I just, so so love it...

This is the attitude that is going to take us forward.

R.K. said...

Hello Surbhi !!

Happy Women's Day !!
Happy Women's Week !!
Happy Women's Month !!
Happy Women's Year !!
Happy Women's Life !!

Women own blog-sphere too !!
Be it IHM, Nimmy, Indyeah, Surbhi, and i dont know many more would be there. All do a lot of research before writing.

I just got to imagine a weird idea. For one day, interchange sexes of all. Can you even imagine that, where would the world go ?? But I know one thing. In that situation, men wont need to fight (Perhaps :) ) ...

Take Care !

Monika said...

*CLAPS*

lovely post

happy womens day

nimis540 said...

Bravo! Well put Surbhi..


//Domestic violence is our best kept dirty secret.

Oh well,it is.And we have a tons of laws,but sadly,the system is roten and these laws are just dummies..

//The new and improved 'desi girl' has decided she isn't going to wait for help - she will help herself.

Yes,there is no point waiting for somebody.Our destiny is on our hands..But many are not that brave to resist all that condemps from dear ones you know...


Came here from IHM's 'enna rascala' reference :)

Good day

Solilo said...

That first line itself is so strong and right. Often we speak and for all.

Don’t even mention about our President. I am so ashamed of that woman. Politics and power have no gender or I should say they are hermaphrodites.

Domestic violence is even justified by educated women. It is okay for them if husband slaps and apologizes or husband stops them from going to work etc. All this is easily hidden in the pretext of love. Sad!

I hope there comes a time when we won’t need a day to commemorate women as they would be equal. Is it too much to ask?

Till then Happy Women's Day, Surbhi!

Surbhi said...

I apologise profusely for not replying to all the beautiful people who commented on this favourite post of mine. But what the heck, its never too late, is it?

Indyeah: Thanks, sweetheart, and I love how you are usually the first to comment on both my blogs. Happy Women's Day! And (((hugs))) always!

Usha: Thanks a ton, and Happy Women's Day to you too! I'm glad you found it inspiring, which surely makes my day. :)

IHM: For you to say all that you said is like my writing actually being worth all the efforts, considering you are the first person I look up to for my posts. Dunno about best ;) but it sure is my fave post till date. :)

RK: Thanks a ton, sweetie! And you don't need to be a woman to feel for one, since you already do that as a man and an equal human. As for those who don't, I doubt whether even interchanging sex would help! Take care, and thanks so much for being with me throughout! Happy Women's Day! :)

Monika: Thanks, and Happy Women's Day to you too! (((hugs)))

Nimi: Thanks so much. :) Our system is rotten and laws don't work because we are just so good at getting around them. So for that if nothing else, we need to go all out and kick some serious ass. Happy Women's Day! :)

Solilo: What upsets me most about domestic violence is that all of it is deemed okay if perpetrated by men, but if a woman does the same our collective gasps make it an extra-ordinary thing. Why should anyone - man or woman - need to resort to violence at all? Don't they have a tongue and a brain to talk things out? Nevertheless, Happy Women's Day! (((hugs)))

Thanks to all of you who came and appreciated my blog. Together we can and we will change life for women who suffer just for being.

Nikhil said...

This is a brilliant article. I will get all the females in my family to read it soon.