Spills from life: A Woman’s entity


I received many messages on the recent Woman’s day and Mother’s day. The pre-formed text praised a woman in her varied roles- as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter and as a sister. It was all good but something troubled me and got me thinking. Does the description define me fully? I am so much more than a definition of a relationship. I am ME, foremost. I am a lot more than just a mother, a sister, a daughter or a wife- I AM A HUMAN BEING regardless of the relationships I forge.
Most literature and historical accounts interpret woman through her reflexion in the social mirror. Every role confines a woman within the parameters of social norms. As a daughter she is known by her father’s name and she lives by his rules. Disregarded is the fact that it’s her mother who bears her life, works hard to feed her, provide for her, offer her a shoulder in moment of distress. If not completely overlooked she is secondary to her male counterpart in the family. But she remains an un-sung hero as it’s the father’s name which becomes the daughter’s identity. A brother stands shoulder to shoulder with his father to ‘protect’ her. But from who? ‘Other men’! She grows up to get married- she has been defined her purpose in life. She bears a son, who joins his dad in time to ‘ support’ his mother. He has a sister and he vows to ‘save her honour. Family protocol or domestic dogma is observed strictly in the orthodox societies like in Asia, Africa, Middle-east. There are many devout religious belts in the western world too where a woman lives in the world made by a man, for example the neo-traditionalism of Evangelical Protestantism. Feminism is at an infant age of a few and far between level, where a miniscule number of women are retaining their maiden name even after marriage. Nevertheless, it’s the father’s name still that they cling on to as the new middle name. Time might have changed politically in some countries where single mothers can leave the box blank where a father’s name is asked. But the society doesn’t forgive her single status. Friendship, matrimony or even workplace would churn it up to the surface from time to time. There is a stigma attached to absence of a male figure in the family.
Advertisement industry was founded on objectifying women. For example, an ad for a car might show a female posing in skimpy clothes. The un-spoken bias shouts in the background. After all who would get attractive to such an image of a woman? So, who is the company aiming as its customer base? Men, of course. So, it’s the men imagined in the driving seat, even though it has been seen that almost equal numbers of women drive vehicles currently, barring a few countries and cultures. This ideology of a ‘man in the driving seat’ is the core symptom of inequality in human psychic.
Recently an Indian politician from the current ruling party, BJP, made a comment on women wearing jeans that are torn at the knee!!! His claim is that it sends a wrong message to others 😂 He perhaps means message to men. Instead of questioning or treating the sick mentality of such men, an easier way is found to blame the women. No wonder the rape cases in India are amongst the highest in the world. If it’s WHAT women wear or HOW they present themselves the reason behind their assault, then I would challenge this notion with the examples of those cases where women from orthodox and traditional societies are at even a bigger risk of attacks. No one can see an inch of flesh with many traditional dresses. Also. what about the minors and infant girls being raped? When a woman gets raped, she is molested both physically and mentally for her entire life.
The un-conscious discrimination of toys- dolls vs tanks; of colours- pink vs blue need to be consciously changed. A mother expects her daughter to learn cooking, while a boy is expected to learn DIY and other activities deemed to be macho. It’s no longer considered to be a tradition or a social concept, but a natural human phenomenon. This is so detrimental to humanity as such. What God intended and what we’ve made stand categorically apart, without us even realising it.    
It’s a catch 22 situation with girls, misguided mentality is nurtured at home from childhood. A boy is brought up by giving him more freedom inside and outside the house as a common belief that a boy is more secure than a woman because he is physically stronger; while a girl is seen as a ‘weaker sex’ who requires to be saved and supported. Again, the question is – needs protection against whom? The answer is, Man. She is also discriminated against by the parents as she would get married and be known by another man’s name and ‘belong’ to another family. Who made this social law? Well, needless to say. So she is brought up with all these complex and it’s the frustration and depression due to imposed inferiority complex that a woman turns against another woman as an easy target. This strengthens the social structure against her even more. But thanks to her in-built resilience and fortitude that she has been fighting to break the shackles, even if it is one link at a time.  
I cannot conclude this article without balancing it fairly. Even men are victims here. A father worrying about his daughter, a brother always expected to be more ‘giving’ as he is the man, a son has a bigger responsibility towards the family as he is the heir, etc.
Though there is progress through movements like social equality of genders and freedom of sexual orientation, etc. but in reality we haven’t even scratched the surface. In my view, more and more women need to keep their surnames- it should be up to them whether they would like a mother’s or the father’s name or perhaps both, both husband and wife need to take on each other’s surname names, it shouldn’t be an accepted norm that the bride goes to the groom’s home after marriage- living independent and looking after both sides of parents would be much more congenial to long term relationship. It’s not a matter of names, as a few readers might misread, but a huge change in the impact of it. It does happen but not near enough. At least it’s a beginning. Support it as much as the climate, as both impact environment.