I have been pondering over this matter for quite some time. I would like to provide a small disclaimer this time as well. I do not mean or intend to hurt any one in any way; these are simply word forms of my thoughts, perceptions, and especially my observations. To start with, the basic topic of this post is gender based discrimination. If you see things deeply from a third person’s perspective, chauvinism peeps out from even the most simple words, statements and situations.
We all ignore any news of discrimination and crime against women, labeling as very rusty, raw and rather ‘chhote-shaher ka’ types. Are we liberal in real sense? Does our ‘modern and educated’ society very capable of giving lectures on women power really practices what all it preaches all the time?
Let’s take the example of corporate first. Female employees, have to constantly give ‘signals’ of ‘I am not available for fun’. Even the HR people advise them to dress modestly. Why should a girl change her dressing style if some male is not able to keep his feelings under check? Secondly, it is an open secret that ladies have to work twice as hard as their male counterparts to get promotion. Even if she has climbed the corporate ladder through hard work and dedication, she is often accused of compromising with the bosses to get the chair that only a man ‘deserved’.
It is very common to see people taking respite in tagging ladies who are separated from their husbands. Whether a lady leaves her husband or he leaves her; in either case she is the ‘culprit’; rather the only one. The things are not same for men. In fact, I have seen men who recently lost their wives, flooded with marriage proposals but a widow is considered inauspicious and is avoided like plague at auspicious ceremonies like marriage etc. Why this discrimination? Abuse is not only physical; these boycotts are often the worst form of torture one can inflict on an already disadvantaged being, for some emotional wounds take forever to heal.
Any man with a jovial and friendly disposition is considered positive and good natured. He is considered smart and attractive; while any girl with a similar nature is tagged slutty and cheap? This discrimination is deeply rooted even in our so called modern society. It is a literal cakewalk to spoil the name of any girl- just spread a few rumors and she will be tainted for life.
I know of a particular case where, to know each other better, a girl requested her suitor to meet her separately at any public place. The boy not only refused to meet her but his family snapped the ties too, for they thought the girl was very ‘forward’, desperate and lacks ‘sanskaars’. Silly, but good for the girl; luck got that pest out of her life!
Also, rape is the only crime wherein the only one blamed is the hapless victim. As Napoleon rightly said ‘In the end, what hurts us the most is not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends’. The disdainful look and apathetic treatment of the victim by her own society in fact makes her life hellish since every minute she is reminded of her ‘tragedy’ by her very own people.
There are many situations like this and the list is endless, literally. No sex is superior to the other; both are at the same level. This unnecessary discrimination covered under the mask of so called modernity makes us even more obnoxious. It is high time we open our mind and start truthfully practicing what we always preach about gender equality.
‘Like a compass needle always points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.’ – Nana to Mariam, in “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini….. Can’t agree more!