“Dude you are so not like a woman….” How many times have we heard this line as women?
You wear heavy glasses and tie your hair back in a severe bun but yet you smoke up.- Are you kidding me?
You are a nerd yet you can belly dance.- Fool someone else!
You have nose piercings and tattoos yet you go to the temple every thursday.- What in the world?
You have short hair and wear loose clothes and you say you are attracted to men?- Blah.
Childhood experiences and novels have told me– a woman is dignified, forgiving, understanding and independent. But I question all these ‘values’.
Today I wear a saree, I am the epitome of dignity. Tomorrow I wear shorts and tanks, I am a slut ready to sell my body for a price- waiting to be grabbed. Saree is dignified, shorts are NOT.
I am supposed to forgive the guy who cheated on me and get back with him knowing very well that he will do so again. Why do I do that? Oh what will the society think- say my elders- you can’t give up so easily. Yes I forgot that I had to burn my self-respect and flush it down the toilet because I am a woman and I am forgiving.
They told me– understand a man’s needs. He works day and night for you and he does deserve a drink at the end of the day. Bear with him even if he crosses his threshold and raises his fist. He will be sorry in the morning. After all you are a wife.
Oh yes have your own thoughts…that’s great. But do us a favour and keep it to yourself. Independence is good but under moderation.
What is a woman supposed to be? Is she the so-called ‘modern woman’? The same one I see on the cover of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. The one with an expensive, hand stitched handbag preaching feminism even in her sleep? The one who fights for her rights and talks about equality, yet expects the guy to pay the bill? The same one who talks about having a voice yet follows convention blindly.
Or is she the one who is dutiful and poised? The one who does as she is told. The same one who is dumb and numb. The one who sits in a corner waiting to be addressed because you can’t talk unless spoken to.
Or is she the one who hates pink yet loves lace. The one who finds feminism highly confusing. The one who smokes; drinks; sings publicly; laughs freely; wears loose clothes; cuts her hair short; puts on studs; plays with the men; cooks rajma chawal; the one who swallows the forbidden fruit almost everyday; the one who is imperfect; the one whose sexuality is her own business; the one for whom society is just another immature kid meant to be ignored and chucked aside when he throws tantrums.
Why is it that a woman is always spoken of in the context of a man? Why is she born from a man’s rib? The story of genesis and birth of the famous Goddesses from their male counterparts, to me, seems like a failed attempt of a man trying to get his unruly daughters into submission.
Is woman anyone with a female sexual organ or does the concept of ‘womanhood’ cross the boundaries of gender and sexuality? Who the hell is a woman? Who am I?
And when will I stop hearing the line– Oh! So you are a woman.