Women – Better or the Bitter half !
Life begins from a Lady’s womb. The sole Privilege and Power to create – Srijan – is what makes her the lord of this world in the true sense. She is the force behind every man in one form or the other – Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and so on. But all these sound mere rhetoric and speechifying when the majority suppresses and downgrades its Better half, reducing them to a Bitter Half.
And, I’m dejected to say that the world comprises more of rhetoric and less of substance – on the part of Men who profess and preach of liberty and equality of the fairer sex but never practice it, and to some extent, on the part of Women whose cynicism and frustration towards men fill them with vengeance and negativity leading them nowhere ahead.
While on Facebook, I had recently quoted a UN source that said, “Women do 66% of the world’s work and produce 50% of the food but earn 10% of the income & own 1% of the properties!” The moment I posted it, up came a female who pounced upon me like a Kali, and later even declared to me that I better beware of Kali! She was deeply revengeful of Men and her comments filled with negativity. She talked of Women empowerment but was herself so frustrated and shattered that her rants didn’t match her intention. She, a self-proclaimed activist, might have found my Facebook update a mockery of Women, whereas, in fact, it was meant to shed some light on the sorry state of our Battered half. The world can not move ahead with gender confrontations. Rather, women and men should compliment each other for humanity to progress.
Feminism today has predominantly become male-bashing and measuring up women on the parameters that define men and masculinity. Women are the prime-movers of society and Feminism should strive to replenish, rejuvenate and strengthen this prime-mover. A woman should be able to look into the eyes of a man and disagree or disapprove without the male’s brittle ego being hurt. This, I believe is true empowerment, and gladly, we should celebrate that we’ve women around us who perform this role with panache and aplomb.
Thus, fighting for women rights, dignity and respect comes at a later stage or a rather superficial level. The society’s prime concern should be to make Ladies out of females. Women, at an individual level, should strive to be ladies par excellence, so should Men. One female role model in a locality can achieve much more than what feminism movements or women rights activism can do. These movements, after all, will always run parallel to our society as tools of socialism without any substantial percolation to the grass-root level.
Now, talking of men, I agree that we are the biggest deterrent in women empowerment. We love, admire, respect and care for ladies- our mother, wife, sisters, daughters. We acknowledge their role in our upbringing, our support system, our inspiration, but only until all these women in our lives revolve unobtrusively around our success and persona with a nondescript presence. A lady plays her part with utmost missionary zeal. At times, far greater than a man ever does. But she is endorsed by the society only when the benefits of her mission is reaped by the male. The moment you see a Woman dwarfing your persona, you are hit by a Tsunami. You can never be a woman’s support system if her dynamism and charisma overpowers or rises above you. Here, my mind strikes of a movie “Abhimaan” which beautifully showcased a couple’s relationship being marred by this sub-conscious tendency of men to dominate. You could be the most subdued personality in the world, but you can’t manage to see your wife dictating terms to you. Yes, its discomforting but true to the core!
Indian society has always been a collage of myriad cultures, each having a distinctive level of domination on the part of husbands and their better halves. Bengali culture would always have the wife as face of the family, while women were largely subdued in the South or Deccan sort of establishment. Gujarati culture has had loads of respect for women but the vibrant business community couldn’t let them dictate terms. Marathas & Punjabis have traditionally been male dominated societies with Haryana, Rajasthan as the most conservative ones. I’ve elucidated this to put forth how big a role differentiator does culture play.
As times have changed, inter-culture marriages are on a rise and so are cases of divorce and domestic violence. Being a Girl, you’ve always observed the position your mother holds in the family. A female is so used to the do’s and don’ts of a culture that she invariably expects and acts in the same manner. The problem arises when her husband does not come to terms with this which often is the case. Intra-culture marriages have had less percentage of divorce cases. May be because the females underwent a home shift with the same rules, regulations, wits, humour, whims and fancies. What i infer from this is that a prime factor for the unjust treatment of women is misgivings and disrespect for a culture that is not yours.
I’ve observed from my very own experience that a family which understands the calibre of a lady being a better manager and gives due recognition reaps remarkable dividends. For example, in my Bihari Mithilanchal culture where women are more or less restricted to the confines of courtyard but wield the highest power. Be it my Mother, Maasi, Aunts, Bhabhis- they are the policy-makers and the dominant force. I’ve never heard of any confrontational animosity or divorce talk even in my far off relatives. One must strive to strike this balance acceptable to both the genders.
No women empowerment debate is complete without talking about the satanic breed of males who are violent, abusive, torturing & sadist; or in better words- Males who are not Men. No social movement or rhetoric can enlighten their hearts but the hands of law. Its a crime and can be brought to justice similarly as murderers, thieves or other offenders are. Any amount of counseling and feminist movements would be nothing more than water on a duck’s back for these criminals. We, as a society and women in particular need to follow Zero tolerance towards people who are violent, abusive or mentally harassing. Constitutional laws are the best answer to those whose better halves are leading a life of battered halves. Men who expect a Woman to be Sita, Savitri or Susheel should first themselves qualify the parameters of Ramchandra, Maryada Purushottam and Satyavaan.
The underlining fact of my complete write-up and which I’ve always maintained is that we must abstain from lining up women on the masculine factors. Men & Women are not the same and can never be. Women are a special set quite different from Men. She must be proud of her uniqueness, strengths, attributes and above all her gender.
I would like here to share a piece by Philip Mathew on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
“Challenges stalk Women at every corner. They seek a thousand splendid suns to shine on them. To touch their hours with hope, their lives with love, their work with wonders and their children with the promise of tomorrow. They seek and strive, and achieve, with a resolve no man can match. It is this spirit of the Indian women we salute today.True, a woman does not really need a day to make her feel the special person she is. But the remaining half do; Men must pause and Marvel at their immensely gifted Better half.”