I grew up in India. That means I know a country that kills its girls before they are born. A country where parents of a girl child have to work hard to save money for dowry. A country where wings of women are chopped and dreams are shoved. A country where love happens only on the screen of Bollywood films because marriages are arranged and girls from rural areas and cities still cannot choose love or life partners. Women’s day should have felt special because in a country like that womanhood definitely deserved a day of celebration to cheer up. India is also the country that had a female prime minister, a female president, a lot of warrior queens and princesses, goddesses who killed the evils and saved the goodness. India is also the country where a lot of women fought for independence from the British Government with guns and peace talks until seventy years ago. There are glories to shade the darkness.
I live in America now- a country that is superior to any country in almost every field, but still does not treat its women well. The stories still had to hide beneath power and rise with #metoo.
Being a woman, I love womanhood. I love my gender. I just don’t love a special day dedicated to my gender, the extra love for a women’s day, the extra discounts on the shopping cart because of my gender- the window dressing part, how the reality is shrunk under catchy facebook photos of pink outfits, cheery messages, meaningless hashtags, and mysoginist jokes like “ A happy woman is a myth.” This day pisses me off. Like other years, this year too I found women wearing nice outfits posting their picture with women’s day wishes. What does that mean?
What does a message mean when women reduce a day to just pretty pictures, and some hashtags? Where are we about equal pay rights? Are we still telling our boys to be boys? Are we raising enough humans who don’t spread hatred? Can our girls share their stories without the pressure of being judged by the society? Are we educating our future generation enough to understand the difference between right and wrong? Are we teaching our boys the strength of the vagina so that they don’t use the word to degrade others?
Are we still all equal?
If yes, then everyday should be our day. If not, then no hashtag can make it better. The change should come fast, and from within.
I will end my rant by writing a small note. When I see my daughter, I see a human there- a human who deserves equality. Couple of months back, I met a senior female relative. She was very happy after noticing how intelligent my daughter was turning. Then she called me to a corner, and whispered to me, “ Take care of your health for two more years. Then we need a boy.”
At that second, for the first time, in that corner, I froze realizing some woman reduced the human I produced with such care and pride. That being a woman is still degrading. That being a girl child is still inferior, not to men, but to certain women too.
I don’t celebrate Women’s day anymore. I don’t want special attention, or a selfie, or a nice outfit, or a hallmark card like Facebook post. I want my daughter to live in a world that will not minimize her to being pretty, that will give her equality, will not judge her choices. She should be everything that she wants to be- a president, a trailblazer, a scientist, a writer, or an employee with a high pay. She should be respected for who she is. I too want to live in a world where women won’t ask me to produce a male child, or wear pink to look pretty on social media photos.
Everyday should be our day. #withoutahashtag