Women must stop endorsing social norms that degrade and enslave them. The cessation of giving your unwilling consent to what you consider wrong would be of great help. We often speak about girls getting oppressed in numerous ways before and after marriage, but how often do we speak about the person who is behind all this? I mean we must sit down and delve deeper into the root cause of this oppression, rather than trying to manage the symptoms.
Stop blaming men for the oppression that women face, because girls themselves are the reason behind their miseries. Let me emphasise upon some of the predominant attributes which are the genesis for the great miseries that plague not only women but the whole society.
In today’s so-called emancipated and enlightened world, parents educate their daughters, get them settled financially, make them headstrong, teach them to live with dignity, self-respect, and enable them to face all the obstacles of life with strength and courage. But when it comes to getting their daughters married, why is there the need of giving in to all the demands and wishes of their in-laws? Why isn’t the equality of thoughts, expressions, speech, etc, given the heed that it is in desperate need of? Why are expressions like, ‘give a patient hearing to everyone’, ‘speak less’, ‘be patient because patience is eventually fruitful’, ‘be submissive’, ‘be understanding’ associated with girls only? This invisible and ambiguous fruit has been promised to daughters since ancient times but remains a mystery to me.
Why are girls brainwashed to sacrifice their dreams, their aspirations, and their self-worth for the sake of a good match? Before getting married to men who demand that the girl must have a government job, why isn’t the question raised that how will the girl manage both the government job and household chores on her own? Are men ready to contribute in domestic work? Are they ready to do 50%of the household work that women have to accomplish after having served the entire day at their official workplace?
Another category of men should also be confronted for their double standards. These are the men who are looking for educated girls but won’t allow their wives to work after marriage. It is impossible to fathom this bossy behaviour on their part. I agree that motherhood has a lot strings attached to it and it’s a great institution unto itself, and it’s not easy to balance personal, family and professional life, but society shouldn’t be allowed to treat women as second-class humans. Self-respect and dignity is the same for both men and women. There should be room enough for women as well to have their say and take a call whether they would like to stay indoors or become professionals or balance both the way they want. It’s not something unrealistic or impossible. We can see scores of women striking a fine balance between their professional and personal lives. It is but natural that the decision be left completely up to the girl whether she wants to do a job or not.
Girls shouldn’t be expected to always be flawless, to always kowtow to the dictates of society, of which in essence they are the founders. Why are they expected to accept everything that comes their way? Instead of discussing such matters theoretically, it is better to stand strong against any such injustice.
Listen only to what is worth listening to. Follow only what is worth following.
Also, stop blaming men for everything. Having deliberated upon the subject, I have come to the conclusion that girls who readily accept their fate rather than choose to make their own destiny, are in large part to blame. Of course, the greedy and self-serving men must be blamed for turning a blind eye to the dignity and respect that girls deserve. But I again insist that if men become bossy, women have to become brave enough to challenge that bossiness.
Girls need to ponder over these questions that are staring all of us in our face. Even intelligent and educated girls who have become independent take to arranging a trousseau wherein unnecessary and trivial things are put only to brag in front of others. Others follow the same trend and soon this menace starts spreading as a virus in society. Then there are those who cannot afford much but still boastfully talk of their wardrobe and trousseaus. They literally make their lives hell to meet all the corners. Why such ostentatious and false pretensions?
What is the point of getting education and professional skills that someone else can rob in a moment? Why can’t we girls live our lives of our own accord? Why is it so important to go for trivial things that make us seem less intelligent or capable than men?
This in no way means that I advocate for adopting conservatism and austerity measures. Spend to make your life better, spend to explore different things, fulfil not just your needs but also your luxuries, buy yourself a car, an expensive phone or a diamond ring, but do all this not to please society or to make an impression. Be feminist in a real sense and not only in your words and thoughts!
Live your life to the fullest!
Be a real woman!
The writer is a teacher and freelance writer