I'm a woman

11:59 AM

I'm a woman, no matter what.

Yesterday was Women's day. Like every years, it came and went with its message and awareness raising Ideals drowned in a sea of discounts, coupons and freebies. Commercialism took over, hinting at the fact that women should be proud to be themselves as long as they adhere to a societal ideal of beauty and grace.

Yes, women rejoice, you are empowered enough to deserve a spa day once a year and a discount on that pot of cream that will keep you glowing. You can have it all, as long as you stay the same, labeled, categorised and neatly boxed. The catch is that you must belong to one box, no multiple choices allowed.
You can be a mother or a career woman, not both. Don't dare aiming at pretty and smart at the same time, you shall only be pretty if your IQ rivals the one of an amoeba or smart but butt ugly. You shall be family oriented or a cold hearted bitch...no middle ground.

Meanwhile, no one gives much of a hoot if a man is successful in his career and a good father. Or handsome and smart at the same time. Women, can have it all, indeed, as long as it is one thing at any given time.

Time to break that wall!

You see, I am a woman...

I am a woman and I refuse to be limited to a one dimensional life, one box, one label. I don't even want to be celebrated once a year with a free lipstick and a discount on a foot massage. I am worth way more, and am aware of it.
Because, you see, I am a mom, wife, and a blogger. I also happen to be a daughter, sister, artist, bookworm, cook, decorator, loyal friend and as an aside love to walk. A handyman (or is that handiwoman?), a tutor, caregiver and manager.
I am bilingual, and can understand and speak a few basic sentences in a few more languages. I am a jigsaw puzzle freak, and a computer literate being. I am intelligent, with an IQ to prove it, and I consider myself pretty.

You might think I am arrogant now. Guess what? I don't even care.

I am a woman, and I am strong. Give birth to a human being before calling my gender weak. I can lift furnitures and throw a punch if needed. Don't even dare calling me a tomboy for that.
For, I find it all ladylike just the same. Strength and character aren't gender specific.
Don't tell me how I should look, act and what I should say to be considered a woman. My double X chromosome decided that for me and it'll never be up to a bunch of arbitrary stereotypes.

I myself don't think less of a man if he cries, cook and sew. So don't hold my ability to fight, hammer and saw against my feminity. Last time I checked linking blue over pink wasn't an issue either.

Don't pretend to have my safety at heart when you want to confine me to a woman's train or preferably in the kitchen. Don't tell me when I should or shouldn't go out. Your doing so insult me, other women AND men. I of course mean the real men, the one who have a dignity, and manners. Rapists are nothing but animals, they don't count as men, and shall never be counted as such.

I am a woman, no less. I don't want pity, protection or discounts. I, like all my sisters want respect and equality. Men don't need a special day, why should I?

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  1. Anonymous3:02 PM

    This is a heartening article on women's empowerment of how women are challenging traditional stereotypes.


    What are your views on the documentary made on December 16th Event??

    BTW in the second pic with your hair Moustache you look like Obleix the friend of Asterix.



    1. I haven't found the time to watch that documentary yet. What surprised me from all the reviews and comments about it, is the fact people seem to be even more convinced India is unsafe for women and that every man in the country only want to rape. I was also wondering why people seemed so shocked by the fact the rapist interviewed showed no remorse. Rapists are sociopath and very mentally disturbed individuals, it has been a known fact for decades, so how is that a shock that this one doesn't feel an ounce of guilt?
      Every documentaries, of any sort work an angle, this one included I guess. but I can't comment further on it until I watched it.

      Asterix and Obelix were my childhood comic characters. I read them all in their original version in French :-) and tremendously enjoy finding them at my local library in English, they are just hilarious in any language I guess. And you are right, my hair moustache does indeed look like Obelix :-)

    2. Anonymous6:14 PM

      There is a lot of talk about change of mindset and it is true change of mindset is of utmost importance. But change of mindset takes a few generations. Meanwhile what we can to make our public places safe. There seems to be very little discussion on this. Gender sensitization must go hand in hand with visible changes in the security environment on the ground. Authorities have an idea where these low security spots are in a city. The Delhi Government has promised CCTV cameras throughout Delhi, marshals in buses, a button on the mobile which a girl/women can press and the signal goes to the nearest police station through wi fi. When will it happen?? The government either has no ideas or flamboyant ideas. The implementation part is difficult. It has to be a combination of strict law enforcement and social awareness.

      The debate on change of mindset should start from the very beginning. People do not hate girls. There is a social/economic burden associated with a girl child. Once a girl is born, parents start setting aside some money each year for their marriage/dowry. As she grows old, they are scared shit worrying about her security. They work hard looking after themselves as well as their daughters security. It is like a double duty. If not the parent then the responsibility is entrusted to the male sibling. I have seen parents of girls constantly worrying about their daughter's safety. The girl capable and intelligent, cannot go out on certain hours/places because it is just not safe. There are always ifs and buts. This is the way we restrict the capabilities and potential of girls/women and it is a great economic and social loss to the country. What have we done to bring down unnecessary expenses in marriages/dowry. Dowry which was basically and still remains exchange of traditional gifts has become an extortion racket. Women's security and associated problems are symptoms. The real disease lies somewhere else which we have not addressed. We have to create conditions where the girl child is desirable and welcome in households. But in this consumerist age can we really expect people to tone down their expense. Beyond the rhetoric and slogans, when the dust settles down, this is the reality. We are trimming the branches and leaving the root intact.

      If the government does not instill a sense of security among the citizens and the society does show initiative, things would remain the same. We should concentrate on more basic and practical things to make the change. Right now it all seems like hot air.


    3. I think instead of focusing on just the safety of women specifically, the Governement should focus on the safety of ALL citizens. How many men go out at night and get assaulted, robbed and beaten? Probably a lot, the difference if that if it happens to a man, nobody question why he was out at night, or what he was wearing, or having invited the robbery by displaying signs of wealth.

      The dowry is defined as illegal by The IPC if I remember correctly, but many people fear they will loose face in the community if they don't do it. This racket has to stop indeed.
      There is also the need to making all traditional festival more progressive. For many people Rakshabandan is about girls asking protection from their brothers. And yes it was a mutual sibling bond in the past, but that meaning seem to be lost nowaday. And it only serve to teach girls that they need a man to protect them. Karwa chart started as a woman bonding together over their husband resuming military campaigns and being left behind and it ended up being interpreted as women fasting to ensure their husband would have a long life without the favour being returned by husbands. Again it tells women that they need a man in their lives. On top of it this whole Karwa chaut became a commercial thing, I have friends who celebrate it only because their husband have to give them a diamond jewellery...this is plain old WRONG and sick, and greedy...from the woman's part.

      But as you said, mindset take time to change. Another thing that will help this change is education of both boys and girls, and empowering women to believe in their own potential. A nation where both genders participate equally in its economy is a strong nation. Right now in India there is a tremendously untapped potential for growth lying in the women that are staying home against their choice and would like to go out work and make a living for themselves.

      Recently my husband was talking about girls and their safety with a colleague, and her pointed out that his is less worried about Ishita's safety from rapist than he is about her not being equipped with the knowledge to make informed choice and avoid being taken advantage of. We are planning to raise a strong girl who will be able to make her own decisions and fight if needed.

    4. Anonymous6:14 PM

      Dowry is indeed exchange of traditional gifts in certain communities which has stuck to the traditional definition of dowry. Traditionally, certain jewelry, furniture and household items are given. Everyone knows what to give and there is nothing asked for. Dowry as such has morphed into something else. Dowry is not something which has come to mean. When you draw up elaborate list of things and overdo yourself the problem started. So the ritual itself is not wrong but different people interpret it differently.

      There is something which I have notice reading newspapers and it is a global phenomenon. It is about common sense. I will give you a few instances.

      (a) People record their intimate moments and it invariably lands up on the internet. Are they out of their mind. There is every chance of it falling into wrong hands.

      (b) People meet on the internet, exchange personal details, meet each other without background check and get into trouble.

      (c) Couples go to isolated spots in search of privacy and get into trouble. I understand that privacy is mostly not possible in India but what about safety??

      These are not isolated incidents, every other day we hear such things. It is not as if the dangers are not known. Men and women are regularly duped, the crime shows on tv are full of such incidents. At some point we have to widen the discussion on security and discuss on ways and methods whereby people can remain safe. This is not something people don't know but they need to be reiterated so that they are at the back of your mind. I find that there is little or no discussion on general guidelines and they come as a afterthought at the end of the discussion on security. These things should be vigorously discussed and information disseminated through mass media so that people become more aware. I think common sense is a bad word these days.


    5. I don't think common sense is a bad word, but that people forgot what it is in the first place :-(

      That said, I met my husband online and then offline. But common sense dictate that you do it in a public spot and with your family or friends aware of your meeting should anything go wrong, something that some people don't seem to really care doing and Yep land in trouble.

      I think they should start educating kids about safety very early, not just Good Touch Bad Touch, which they do now. But all kind of safety, like road safety, home safety, fire safety...these are very important life skills. I remember knowing the number for the police and fire department when I was 6 and 7 and was very clear on the whole don't talk to stranger and run find help if someone does something bad.
      A something bad that occurred when I was 10 or 11 and waiting for the tramway to come to head to my mom's workplace after school. A man came toward me to show me his private parts and I knew immediately I had to go alert someone, so I went back to the school ground were a friend's mom was waiting still. She followed the guy, called the police while I headed to my mom's and told her all immediately. They caught the guy that day itself thanks to both my mom and the other mom's quick response, and because I was a minor, I wasn't asked to go to the police station since the other mom was a witness and could confirm, it was the right man.

  2. Ajith8:33 PM

    Good one!

  3. Anonymous9:30 PM

    Excellent!! True, true, true!!!

  4. Anonymous3:09 AM

    Very well said!


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