I am a Woman.

There are days in my life when I am totally listless. Days when I have no inspiration at all, the only things that I wish to do are eat ice-creams and chocolates in my bed all day, not clean-up and crib about my life. I read a page of a book and immediately throw it away only to play subway surfer on my phone. Stare out of my window while the clock ticks away and bawl like a baby to anyone who is patient enough. Days when I question my purpose and existence and all things dark and rusty start holding a special fascination, even the dark roads seem more welcome. The days that generally clash with the time when a particular hormone called estrogen runs amok and decides to go on a rampage. There are times when I sit and download silly romantic songs and shimmering bokeh-y pics of the Eiffel tower, plaster my notebooks with flower and vintage cut-outs, shop online for jewellery and go ‘awwww’ on baby and kitten pictures. I’ll paint my nails, dress extra carefully for office, straighten out my hair and bat my eyelids at the guy on the twelfth floor. I might even act all shy which I’ll probably deny on other days or label it as acting like a sissy. Surprisingly, there are also days when I try acting responsible and finish off my work, clear out my cupboard, donate for a cause or write about how I feel on my blog about something that matters. When I will dress like a vagabond and go to office and take a broom in my hand and clear out all the cob-webs in the house. There are days, I am so exuberant that nothing can pull me down, I sing in the shower and walk with a spring in my step.

These are all a part of me, true for every human being. We can never label a person as a stereotype, the best we can say is, “Oh that’s how she or he occasionally behaves” and that’s that. We stereotype people everyday, on the basis of their gender or the place where they are from or on their religion. I do that too and in cases where I do, I never feel more ashamed of myself when I realize it later.

Gender stereotyping is such a huge issue in our society. Women are supposed to stay at home while men are the bread winners, girls who are sporty are tom-boys and boys who cry are libeled as ‘girls’. Emma Watson gave a very moving speech on it a few weeks back in the UN general assembly. Its not just us girls,men face it too. Expressing and admitting your weakness is supposed to be a girl thing, being a decision maker is what a man supposed to do, well then, who defined all this? I have the liberty as a girl to dress up silly and fall hopelessly in love and make a fool out of myself and bawl my eyes out when I am upset, why can’t a man do the same? It doesn’t mean that just because we cry, it makes us any less impotent to deal with our problems. But then, I also become  very ‘un-ladylike‘ if I go out all alone , talk out of my turn or haggle with the vendors. Breaking free of such stereotypes would make me, more ME.

We all are striving towards a society where men and women have equal rights and not just one over the other. Women still don’t receive the same pay as men, and its just not the petty Indian companies; Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, sparked off a controversy regarding it just recently. Little girls in India are denied education because the only purpose they are meant for is to be wedded off with a hefty amount of dowry. As a young girl I would be asked to play with dolls if I would want to play cricket or football, I would be labelled as a bossy person if I would express my opinions. Watson also remarked on the high suicide rate among men lest they are accused of being less of a man and the role of a father being less valued. The other day in office, I argued with a colleague on the role of a father. Very blatantly I had declared that its always the mother who is more important for the baby. I have never been more wrong. A child needs a father as much as it needs a mother. I quote: “If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive.”

 

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