Yet another Women’s Day goes by, rather uneventfully. Everyone has paid the appropriate lip service to the cause. Everyone has appropriately wished every women they know a very happy women’s day. By sending forwarded text messages of course. But, where is the real freedom? A couple of days ago, there was this post on a climate of fear that our dear friends from the Ram Sena have created in Bangalore. Today, Nimmy talks of how commentators on a TOI article equate working women with being un-feminine. So, where is the freedom? Where is the dignity and respect?

The comments on the TOI article are especially outrageous. Each commentator brags about how Indian family values are halping women and protecting them. But, where are the women reading these articles? Why is nobody saying anything to these chauvinist bastards? Even today, a woman has to earn less than a man for her marriage to be happy. Sure, not all women are suppressed. But, exceptions do not make the rule. Sadly, the reality bites for a large majority of women. Also, why is an educated and financially independent woman considered un-feminine? Why is she less of a mother or wife than a homemaker? And the word homemaker itself…I hate it. I prefer calling them stay-at-home moms or wives. Homemaker sounds like an apology.

Many of these people claim women are free. They can do what they want to. They are equal. That we feminists (that’s supposed to be an insult) are fighting for no reason. But tell me. How can a woman be equal when a system as unfair as dowry still exists? I know of someone who has five daughters. In trying to get the third of the five daughters married, she encounters numerous problems. The girl works in an MNC in the US. But, for a man (half as qualified and good-looking as her), she must pay 350 sovereigns in gold,  5 diamond jewels (necklace, long chain, bangles, earrings, rings etc.) and 2 lakhs in cash. Oh, and I forgot. She must also pay EMI for that fancy house the guy has bought in a remote corner of Chennai last year. That works out to another 35,000 rupees a month. Not to mention that she must forget her parents the moment she get married. And yes, the parents are required to make an appearance with more cash and gold every time the girl has a baby. Unfair, you think? Unfortunately, nobody else seems to think so. I asked the lady why she couldn’t refuse. She tells me her daughter will never get married then. And if the daughter falls in love? God forbid! That would be the ultimate sacrilege. She must be sold off like cattle to the highest bidder. Only this time, the cattle will pay for itself.

It’s annoying. We live in a man’s world. We may not like to accept it, but the harsh reality. Real freedom will come when we can wear what we feel like and not be ogled at. It will come when we don’t require a male escort to come back home late from work. It will come when we can unwind in a pub with a glass of wine in hand, without having to worry about which hooligan will barge in and molest us. It will come only when a well-educated, working woman will have the choice not to pay dowry to get married. It will come when parents have the guts to tell such grooms to go to hell. Until then, we need to remind ourselves of the existence of the silent half of humanity. We need to continue to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Happy women’s day!

6 thoughts on “Happy women’s day!

  • March 9, 2009 at 2:18 am

    you’re right, of course.. while people make the appropriate noises to celebrate Women’s Day, the fact is that we still remain so primitive in this issue.. we cover up our own insecurities, greed and lust under silly titles like customs and traditions.
    I can only hope things get better with time.. i guess its up to us as a new generation to make change.. though the HOW is a different scary question.

  • March 9, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Thanks for blog rolling me. It’s like a tangled web. Not just men, even women encourage this set up. It will be possible to remove this only when everybody is educated(not just literacy), only when majority wake up and think….
    Hope to see that day at least in the next generation or so….

  • March 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Yes its a man’s world.The problem with dowry is that castes/classes which were free of this evil have also been polluted. Earlier it was considered a practice prevalent among the brahmins and some minority groups.Some sociologists have attributed the wider prevalence of dowry to the process of ‘Sankskritisation’. They mean the tendency to ape the masters.It goes something like whats good for the brahmin is good for me.This is no tirade against anybody or any social group.Even in the matter of honor killings the tendency is to ape the dominant castes/classes.If a girl brings disrepute to the family she has to be killed to save the honour of the family. clan and the caste.That is our way of preserving our values and morals.
    Women are no exception to this.They are more vociferous than men in enforcing their value systems on others.Either its being more loyal than the king syndrome or trying to prove their virtuousness to themselves/others. It may be due to pettiness/ jealousy too. What we could not have in our times nobody else should have may be the motivating factor in most cases.What is urgently required is real education which imparts a rational,scientific and modern outlook and the capacity to look at things in a new way with a view to change them for the better.

  • March 14, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    I have to agree with you on most of the points… I did not get how does escorting to women comes under other category..but neways..

    Dowry ! yess… but it exists in rural parts mostly … I watch KIRAN BEDI’s show on star plus & I am surprised to see most of the men do marry (especially from below poverty line) women to serve their mothers.. 🙁

    What can be worst !

  • March 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    If there is one thing this post is not lacking, it is conviction. Intense stuff. Unadulterated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: