Free Press Journal

International Women’s Day: Another perspective


Over hyped womanhood does not exist…only women do, writes Aparna Kapoor

Every year there is (s)extensive ballyhoo about “Women’s Day”. The entire world is thrown into a frenzy. It’s crazy! This may start a debate here and perhaps get trolled by feminists and the likes, but everyone is entitled to his or her own viewpoint.

A woman of the present times (yes, that is important to note) does not feel the need to claim, reassure and propagate womanhood, or herself as one of that species; neither to herself nor to the world.

Living in awareness

Yes, we all have studied history and are aware of the pathetic state of women way back in the 1800s and even in the early 1900s. The women liberation movements made sense then, but we have come a long way ever since. True, women are still oppressed in some particular segments of our society, but there too, the women at the receiving end are aware that they are being oppressed and are struggling in their own way to make a place for themselves. We have already done what was required, and the major portion of this female sector of the world is above the danger zone. The little number still left in the rural and backward areas of the world, too, is crawling its way up. They surely need support and help, but here the topic of discussion is for the majority.

As they say, living in awareness is half the wisdom attained. Women are aware of their situation, their rights, their capabilities as well as their reservations and weaknesses. They KNOW that they will be able to break free the day they decide to. It is not like those days when women didn’t know that they are being oppressed, suppressed and there can be any other way for them to exist in the social scene. But as mentioned, long gone are the days. A woman today knows that there is always a world which she is able to create – alone.

 But that euphoria of women liberation refuses to fade away. It’s like an acceleration which reaches its zenithand then stays there. It’s time we let go of the hype of womanhood. It feels like we teach a child how to ride a bicycle by holding on to the rear of the cycle, but refuse to let go of it even after the child is riding the cycle on her own. We run along holding on to the cycle, while the child is already pedalling away comfortably.We need to stop here and now.

We thank and appreciate the men who came out in our support for centuries, but now give the baton to us and let us fly. It is your access and undue attentiontowards us that sometimes make us doubt our own capabilities. Let go of us. Let us make mistakes, we know we can survive our mistakes, and, of course, all you men are walking alongside us anyway, and will be there to help us if we call you out, just the way we are to help you all out and pull you through thick and thin, wouldn’t you?

The wisdom and the philosophy

Let us try to analyze on a different perspective as well.

We are all a part of nature; male, female alike. The nature very beautifully assigned a part to play to each one of us, to every species which would help sustain this cosmos, to help life continue in a balanced way.

To explain this philosophy of life, let us go back to the Vedas, which have logical answers to most complex questions related to life and the enigma around it.

According to these ancient scriptures, the entire universe is being created and sustained by two forces – the constitutive element, named the ‘Shiv’ and the dynamic potency which makes these constitutive elements come to life, named the ‘Shakti’. Together; they create and sustain.

To make it more explicit, ‘Shiv’ was called the masculine principle whereas ‘Shakti’ was called the feminine principle. These two are the only ones who live in this home called the Universe. Shiv does not imply the rejection of feminism; neither does Shakti imply the rejection of masculinity. Neither is ‘Shiv’ masculine nor is ‘Shakti’ feminine. They are one. Both are neutral. Both are the reflection of each other and make the picture complete. If one will not, the other cannot exist. A similar concept of Yin-Yang exists in ancient Chinese culture. All of us have seen the black-and-white symbol of Yin and Yang, haven’t we? If we women are capable to give life, we need men to help us to do so! So what is there to this hyped womanhood? We are doing our part just as you men are, the way it is being assigned to us by nature. There is no obligation on anyone in this regard.

It is this fact that was realized centuries ago, that we need to understand, and more importantly, implement. Till we understand that men and women are two sides of the same coin, we cannot talk progress. It is time that both the forces, themen and women are considered equal. And when I say this, what I mean is no favours to either of them. Respect and coexist. If we celebrate a ‘Women’s day’ we should have a ‘Men’s day’ as well. That would be equality granted to both the genders, in today’s times. If women are oppressed, let me make you aware of the fact that there are many oppressed men in our society who are actually suffering at the hands of their female counterparts. They cannot even come out in the open, as their so called ‘masculinity’ is at stake. Do we even talk about that very small and insignificant number of men ever? So if we want to celebrate ‘Women’s day’, let us talk about these oppressed lot too, who happen to be men!

Although we are in the 21st century; but the day we get over this ‘day’ syndrome, educate and evolve ourselves to think beyond this gender hype, our times will not be called the advanced or developed times in the history of mankind, if it would be written at all. Let us celebrate the ‘Shiv-Shakti’ in unison and not ‘separately’, because they do not exist like that.