“Tu to mera beta hai,” (you are truly my son) – is the highest accolade a parents can bestow upon their daughters.
“You are just like a girl,” – that’s the meanest thing you can say to a boy.
These two common things people say reflect upon the state of our society. This is the position of women in our society – degraded, dilapidated and something of an inferior creature. Is it the same society that wants to celebrate the “Women’s day”? The irony couldn’t have been more profound. Had there been a “Slave’s day” in 18th century America, it would be quite like the Women’s day.
The well-scripted play to seal women’s fate has ancient roots and has been performed uninterrupted since then with brilliant modification. The women’s day does nothing but spread pepper over the wound. The very existence of such a day indicates a sense of differentiation in women’s position in society, as if they were unalike beings. Being a woman means that you have to tolerate, you have to sacrifice, you have to be content, you have to be ideal, virtuous, etc. And the women’s day celebrates all these so-called “greatnesses” of women.
Can you see the brilliant design behind all this? There is no men’s day; there is absolutely no obligation of greatness on men. They are free, free to do anything they desire. A lapse on the part of men can be shrugged off using the refrain “men will be men”. If men cheat, it’s their inherent nature, signalling an entitlement to absolute freedom. Using all this freedom, mental peace, lack of social weight upon their shoulders, what is stopping them from achieving higher greatness? Absolutely nothing.
In our society, there are only two positions available to women: either on a pedestal or in hell. You do what society expects you to do – be the ideal daughter by enduring and obeying, or the ideal wife, daughter-in-law, and the ideal mother – the society will worship you as a goddess and following any deviation from this behaviour, a place in hell stands assured for you. We accept this as our fate and relish in trying to be called a so-called-goddess. The society has cleverly put this “goddesses” tag on us, so that we can spend our entire lives performing the goddess role.
Each country takes pride in their unique culture and strives to protect it. But whose responsibility is it to protect its so-called-culture – its women. If we take the small example of clothing and attire – the westernisation of men is a non issue. They can don western attires and simultaneously vow to discard the western civilisation. Women, however, have a stricter code – they have to be traditional and take upon themselves almost the entire weight of such phoney culturalism.
I went to Tirupathi once. There were instructions written outside the temple premises that only traditional clothes were permitted inside; and as a result women wearing denims would not be allowed inside the temple. Yet surprisingly, there was not even as much of a glance given to the men in jeans (all the men were wearing jeans) in their code. There was only one question on my mind – why was this obligation to be traditional only applicable to women? I vowed never to visit Tirupathi again.
This is what the women’s day stands for – it remind us of our position in society, of the compact boundaries drawn around us within which we must live and suffer. It remind us of the role of greatness that we have to perform.
I refuse to be great; I want to be normal. Hence, I renounce the women’s day and its celebration.