Wo(e)men’s Day


Disclaimer: This is just a cynical rant. Troll if you *don’t* like. 

Image courtesy: Womens Web

I haven’t written anything on Women’s Day in all these years of existence, probably for the simple reason that I’m thick enough in the head to believe that anything would change. So, after having frittered away three and a half decades, what did I realise about Women’s Day or International Women’s Day? That it’s mostly a day of SOC (Show Off Chutiyapa) from men and women alike in my country. Yes, women would love the cupcakes and roses any day at work but equal wages would be more welcome. The discounts and spa vouchers are awesome too, but what about freedom of choice?

I’ve spent most of my years in Bengal, surrounded by middle-class people, not financially but temperamentally. One of my acquaintances believes in getting his college-going daughter married right after graduation because they have labelled her as ‘mediocre’, not having the potential to make it to higher academics or land a good job. Since she has reached the capability of just providing basic education to her future kids, it’s time to get her married to a decent bloke so that her life is ‘set.’ What if she chooses to glide further in academics? What if she doesn’t want to get married? Well, that’s rarely a choice for women in our country. I know just a handful who chose not to get married and I don’t believe that their relatives fail to troll them offline. It has been a hellish journey for me having dropped a degree and deciding to choose an alternate career (read *doing nothing all day*). 7 years later, it’s still about ‘why doesn’t she have a kid, she’s not doing anything anyway.’ The peanuts from home-based freelance work don’t matter until you go out in the sun and still earn peanuts. Middle-class SOC, I’d say.

Take a look at the Bangla television serials and you’d know. It’s still all about shankha-sindoor-swami-songsar-pujo and domestic abuse, not in a way to inspire women to fight back, but airing such violence from women characters in the story. And these screenplays are mostly written by women. If you behave like crabs in a ship, how’d you expect your women folk to reach out and explore the world? This television industry has employed thousands of men and women and I wonder how each of them puts up with the atrocious scenes they have to present. I haven’t watched a single episode where women are encouraged to be financially independent but there’s at least a segment where they would don a saree and fast for their husbands while they bring the other woman home. This commoditisation has become a part of our integral lives and it is quite pukeworthy.

The day women will have a little more freedom of choice, we’ll celebrate every way you’d want to.

P.S. The television is airing Women’s Day wishes from the lady chief minister who had admonished a gruesome gangrape as ‘sajano ghotona’ (staged incident). Happy that.

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7 thoughts on “Wo(e)men’s Day

  1. Brava! Well said. In India, ‘equality for women’ is a concept that’s meant to be paid lip service to. Even though things are slowly changing as more women find their voice, it won’t be till parents change the way they bring up children that it will actually mean something.
    And I totally agree, it’s not just television soaps (we could call them sobs for the amount of drama they show actually) it’s also Bollywood that is guilty of propagating this culture of women being objects of desire above anything else. Filmmakers might hide under the pretext of showing what people want to see, but they should realize they have a responsibility that goes beyond mere entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Time is changing, yes, but in a very gradual pace. I too agree that Bollywood is quite responsible for the regression, but television still seems to be in the age of Mahabharat.
      Thanks for dropping by, Vibha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So much SOC. Even I did not write on Women’s day despite so much pressure from various blogger groups, marketing folks. Just listen to what our PM said .. that women are leading in swachh bharat abhiyan. Of course, they have so much practice at home.

    Like

    • Trust me, Lata, I have SO much more to write about middle class SOC. But I think most of them will find a place in the fiction I write. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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