Come 8th of March and all ad campaigns start featuring mantras for the International Women’s Day. “Be Bold for Change”, “Inspire Millions” and so on. There are stories of strong, independent and successful women flooding the internet. There are videos narrating tales of how women have brought about changes in the society. After a few million likes, shares and oh-those-apt reactions on Facebook, everybody starts making loud drawing room protestations about how women’s rights are abused every day, how important women are, what should be done to uplift them, how important their education is, what role they play in the society and how an independent woman thinks, looks and dresses up like. There is no end to the talks – some inspiring, some emotional and some encouraging. And so it was this year.
But hold on, has the hype died down yet? Lets get back to reality then!
It has been exactly 4 days. All those inspiring stories have come off the internet now. They can’t capture your attention forever – and so they are gone. And since they are not there to remind you of how you need to value and respect the women around you, lets get back to the reality. Everybody loves the idea of a strong independent woman until she gets up, flexes her muscles and projects her voice. Suddenly she is too much. She has forgotten her place. You love those women as ideas, as fantasies, not as breathing living human beings threatening to be even better than you are.
And so lets get back to eve teasing her, calling her names and hurling abuses at her when she chooses to dress up the way she wants to, lets throw acid at her face when she rejects your proposal, lets ask for dowry and burn her alive when she can’t meet those unrealistic expectations of yours. Lets threaten her with rape when her twitter post is not in line with your views. Lets call her money minded when she wants or needs to work. Lets resort to beating her when she doesn’t listen to you. Lets get back to all of this and more – till the next International Women’s Day.
Celebrating the spirit of womanhood around you for a single day is not going to bring any good to the society till you practice it everyday. Because if you didn’t notice, she is a human being who exists and lives every day of the year and is entitled to her rights, her education and her freedom just like you. Your share on Facebook is useless if you have not stopped eve teasing that lady who dresses up the way she wants to, stopped asking for dowry and done something to bring justice to the lady who got raped. Your rantings on women’s day do no good till you haven’t stopped making a face at the birth of your daughter or worse, killed her in the womb. That women’s special video isa marketing gimmick ,a publicity stunt, & it will remain this way till you decide to open your eyes to the abuses that this male dominated society (including you) does to the women each and every day of their existence.
But ofcourse, this is not the 8th of March so there is no point in discussing this. We will talk about it next year – on International Women’s Day. Till then, lets just close our eyes and get back to sleep!