Mainstream, VOL LIV No 51 New Delhi December 10, 2016
How do Women Regain their Lost Glory?
Sunday 11 December 2016
by Fayezah Iqbal
In a world stupefied with the mantras of ‘feminism’ and ‘women emancipation’, no wonder if the women are infatuated with the thought of gaining respect and dignity only by competing with men. In the words of the famous American psychologist, Timothy Leary, ‘
The women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
’ So here we are, in an era saturated and congealed with notions of women liberation and gender justice, where women have somewhere forgotten the significance of their own existence and quintessence that makes them uniquely the gender they belong to. They have lost the trail of their real goal and are just following the shadows of men in order to establish their worthiness.
They have somehow blemished this flawless creation of the Almighty who has designed and assigned each gender its natural roles according to its perfectly chiselled physical and consequent mental composition. Both genders have an irreplaceable and salient role to play; this is being artificially obliterated in the rage of achieving esteemed reverence and coveted position in the society.
Years of relentless and ongoing suffering perpetrated by the dominant sex in the forms of savage sexual exploitation, forced marriages, forced confinement, dowry harassment, abuse for the male child, polygamy, minimal or negligible decision-making and financial inheritance and powers, and absence of political representation, suppression in bizarre ways have sheared women, shattered their faith in the possibility of a gender-just and equitable society, and compelled them to launch a crusade of combating men by competing with them in every sphere.
History holds that whenever the victim was too weak to resist the subjugation and onslaught, she/he resorted to acquainting and mastering the ways and tactics of the suppressor to in turn defeat him and this at last mutated his/her (victim’s) own inherent goodness.
In the way women and even men consider it next to impossible to uproot the entrenched patriarchy, women are likewise chosing to don the attributes of their illustrious perpe-trators (men) to make themselves visibly counted in the society.
In this pursuit they gradually started believing that to defeat their foe and paradoxically enough their natural complementaries (men) too they have to be like them and conquer all those areas that were hitherto exclusively the men zone. And somewhere in this unproclaimed battle they belittled and undermined their own splendour, uniqueness and power of being a woman. They discriminated brutally against themselves when they vowed to emulate men to be successful, influential and independent in the society.
By discrediting their femininity as a baggage or obstruction and a weakness in the struggle of staying at par with men, women actually disregard themselves, and reinforce the ubiquitous patriarchal mindset which exerts its superiority and plays upon these very physical distinctions and absurd notions between the two genders.
We need to remember that we are an invincible strength in our own rightful natural way. Women play an immensely vital and indispensable role without which no society would be functional even for a day. Women can’t be proven worthy beings only by their capability to do the tasks that men have been doing, nor do they have any need to assert their mettle by venturing in the precarious territories only to show that they are in no way less capable than men. Women need to realise that they are in themselves an invaluable entity who can bring monumental transformation in the society by the courage of conviction and the spell of faith in the things they believe.
Equality is certainly the most crucial plank of stability and peace in any society and so is gender equality. Thus equality must be foisted but in terms of rendering education, decision-making in marraige, career, and many other vital family issues, physical safety and security, inheritance and finance. These are some of the rights which have been systematically denied to women since ages and have crippled their growth in the most severe ways.
Equality is also integral when it comes to earning and choosing livelihood best suited to one’s ability and talent but this need and aspiration should not be juxtaposed with the obsession of merely racing with males.
But the ‘equal with males’ slogan has been misused today in the most demonic way to bring women to their knees and bereave them of their own strength and characteristic indepen-dence of thought. This rage of being equal with men has been used to the last bit to the disadvantage of women, where they have been forced to yielding indirectly and subtly to the whims of males thus making them more vulnerable than ever. The increasing objectification of women in the media circle and other mainstream entertainment, regulation of women’s clothing by men in the corporate sector and workplace and public places are only a few of the manifestations of this.
History has this too, that only when the victims realised that their true strength lies not in aping the enemy but in believing, taking pride in themselves and honing their requisite skills, that they could overpower the oppressor and reign in peacefully in their own space. Thus women need to stop and reflect upon this fact, and dispel this unnatural and unhealthy tendency, and substitute it with the beauty of their real self and real aura which would do wonders not to satiate the manufactured discontent, but for following the quest of one’s own pure and intrinsic happiness and belief.
Fayezah Iqbal did her Masters in Spanish from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Writing being her passion, she has been writing for various blogs since the last three years.