We proudly celebrate Women’s day, Mother’s day, Daughter’s day, don’t we? We wish and gift them, post on social network, change our Whatsapp status/display pictures and the routine continues. Doing all this what we forget is the question, do they attain their womanhood ?
Nature created a set of distinct physical characters to define women. She bore the gift, to nurture life from its smallest . As man evolved , every society started to distinguish among themselves keeping in mind the nature’s distinctions. Man had a separate task, so did woman. Man hunted at convenience, women were left to take care of their young ones and avoided hunting during pregnancy and lactation. Once nomadism stopped, agriculture and pastoralism dominated, women gradually lost significance. Childbirth became a common phase of life, men still continued to provide food on a larger scale. Obviously the resource provider gathered importance, so the society shift from matriarchal to patriarchal mindset gradually.
Patriarchy still dominates most part of humankind, India definitely. Some tribes have successfully maintained matriarchal pattern in Meghalaya and Kerala. The need of the hour is not answering to which is better among the two, but why should one dominate over the other? We speak of women empowerment at global level, breaking the glass ceiling but do we really empower them at grassroots?
We Indians have learnt celebrating these special days from the west. Yes, the enlightened, not necessarily the elite, did start to inspire other women to claim their due respect. We certainly have captured the showcasing of the culture but the essence still lies far from every Indian woman’s reach. We have blindly adopted the culture, but failed to empower our mothers and daughters. On these days we take a moment to thank, and glorify their role as mothers/daughters/wives. Is glorification all they deserve? Is motherhood the ultimate goal, a physiological set goal, does it require glorification?
We have to understand the difference between glorification and gratitude. As humans, we owe a lot to our mothers(parents) for their unconditional love and support. The scenario doesn’t arise in case of animals though they nurture, as they lose their parental bondage early. If not nurturing us, had our mothers all the time for themselves, would they be the same? Some mothers would be clueless, as they were brought up to fulfil their role, as a daughter, wife and mother.
When our daughters dance to the tunes of “sheela ki jawani”, “munni badnaam hui”, “ bangari yaare nee bul bul”, we let them be objectified and then have marches, silent protests only when incidents like Nirbhaya occur. We roar against assault on our daughters, but fail to get them prepared to face those. We deny sex education and having relationships in the name of culture, thus forcing our daughters to experiment on their own. They end up in parks and isolated places, and are easy victims to anti-social elements. Though we are getting them educated, ultimately we are preparing them for a marriage! The wanting of fair skinned bride hasn’t gone with the British. We still see those fairness cream commercials and do nothing about it. On the other hand, we have incidents like honour killing, khap panchayats, prejudice for male children in the society! Need I remind you that these issues are interrelated and the complexity grows day by day.
It is time for us to pay back to our mothers, let them grow old gracefully, by our actions and not just gifts/social media posts! It is never too late to change our mind set to ensure our daughters reach great heights and let them decide the path they want to tread! Our efforts should always succeed to empower right from birth to death. You can help me define what empowerment means to you. It is apt to recall here “educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation”.
Nature has its own ways to procreate. If a woman’s role was only to reproduce, and if she were to acquire parthenogenesis, men would have no function biologically, a vestigial gender! Men better stop trying to prove/disprove ‘behind every man’s success there is a woman’ and grow along with women. Respect Women, Empower Women!