A day to celebrate “US”… a group of us bound together by our gender.
The name “Women’s day” opens a kaleidoscope of images thrown at us from various media sources, suddenly everything we see is selling because somehow, they are linked, advocating and celebrating Women.
Everyone we see are talking about our achievements in our careers, our superhuman powers at home as a wife, daughter and mother, our contributions to the society and what not.
No doubt we are all that and much more, hats off to all the over achievers, wonderful performers and perfect homemakers, our laurels rest on your shoulders and we are truly proud of what you have achieved and continue to do so.
Every time I see us being celebrated something rattles inside of me, I think it is an inner voice that is saying it is time for some introspection, listen to yourself.
Do not get me wrong I am not one to shun or shy away from celebrations. I am ready to pick up my dancing shoes, let my hair down and pick up a glass of wine at the drop of a hat. What better a reason to celebrate than US?
Then I think have we really broken the gender bias? Are we truly successful in what we set out to achieve???
How many battles that I fought, have I actually won, how many aspects have I adjusted to?
How many of us on a daily basis face issues with our loved ones just because somehow they feel they have the right to tell us what to do and also to tell us what we cannot do!!! Some or most of these instructions are given to us because we are of a different gender, on the pretext that it is for our own safety and because we don’t know the world. Also it is ingrained in us from childhood, to get the permission and validation of others.
Ladies today definitely have financial independence, more opportunities at work and in the sphere of education, but we cannot ignore that true gender inequality and discrimination still exist in our societies, most of our houses and families.
It begins knowingly or unknowingly from the time a girl is born, all through her school and college life and goes on and on. Yes… I cannot say when it stops… Until marriage, motherhood because it doesn’t really end. We just get used to this life and don’t realize we are being discriminated against.
We celebrate the successful, acclaimed, overachieving women but fail to acknowledge the sacrifices of a woman who has put her own life and dreams on hold so that her kids and family can fulfil their’s. A woman who has sacrificed her own dreams and aspirations and is still able to be truly happy with whatever cards her life has dealt her with, deserves acknowledgement and appreciation. What about a married woman with no children, she faces the questioning glances, enquiring looks and glares of everyone but still manages to smile and face her life with positivity.
Every step of her life, a woman is used to being questioned, criticized, second guessed, advised and discriminated.
Gender bias is subtly embedded into our very selves, titles such as homemaker, mother, nurturer are gifted to us to acknowledge and appreciate our contribution or rather our part, but one can never forget that these all underline the bias, the perception of our society.
To break free of the stereotypes, to be ourselves and not care about proving our worth to the world… not needing validation or appreciation… just Acceptance… acceptance of who we are, for what we are… would be a reason really worthy of celebrating Women’s Day.
So on this “Women’s Day” let us pledge to accept ourselves, with our flaws and imperfections, to take pride in who we are, to stay true to our inner self and to embrace only the change we deem necessary. Let us love ourselves and celebrate “US” .
Written by: Mrs. Jyothi Menon