Shifting Gear

“Hey! We are going for that symposium at XYZ college, want to join us?”

“No. It ends at 7. My parents expect me to be at home by 6.”

 

“Hey! Come on Facebook for a group chat! I just got an awesome idea!”

“No. Sorry, my Dad doesn’t like me using Facebook so late in the night.”

 

“Hey! I was bored so just called to talk. What are you doing?”

“Hi! Ummm… Can I talk to you later, my Mom doesn’t like me talking to boys.”

 

“Hey! I am planning to take a short film, would you like to do a small role?”

“Wow! I would love to but my boyfriend wouldn’t like that.”

 

“Hey! We are having a small reunion dinner this weekend. Can you join?”

“I am afraid I can’t. My husband is busy this weekend and he would not like me going anywhere without him.”

 

I am sure that we would have come across these situations or at least something similar to this in our lives. I guess this is more common in Asian countries, at least in India it is.

Let us go to the beginning.

Most of the time, the moment a doctor says “Congratulations!” to a newly married couple they start praying and hoping that it is an ugly, adamant, disobedient and rude boy rather than a beautiful, charming, kind baby girl. The number of temples they circle, the number of poojas they perform, the number of requests they place with the various gods and the number of astrologers that they consult literally exceeds infinity. When asked why they obsess for a boy and dread a girl they merely reply that girls are hard to “maintain”. I was flabbergasted by this and ventured to find out what this “maintenance” was. “Maintenance” actually translated to expenditure and what was the nature of this expenditure? When a girl attains puberty it is marked with a ceremony. This involves significant amount of “moolah”. It is to herald to the public that their daughter is now a fertile woman and ready for tying the knot(that is how it was in the times of old). The tradition continues even today but no one marries off their daughter till at least 18 or above.  Honestly, I find it silly. Sure the girl gets a lot of gifts and she is treated like a princess at that time but is it really necessary? It is analogous to saying that hey the fruit is ripe and it is up for plucking and savouring. I mean why do you want to publicize the fact that the girl has started having periods?  Added to this expense was to marry off the woman. I wonder which genius invented the concept of “Dowry”. Feel low in life that you don’t have two cents to rub together and your life is spiraling downwards through a bottomless pit? Cheer up! Just find a bride whose family is rich enough to your expectations. Then demand a heavy dowry. Though convincing the family to marry their daughter to a loser like you is your head ache. It is astonishing to find this tainted custom being followed even today. I know a girl who was married off to a middle class family who threatened to call of the marriage unless and until the girl’s family buy her husband a cell phone, a bed, a fridge, a washing machine and so on. The good news is that he at least buys his own underwear.  I do not know whom to blame, the bridegroom’s family for being such a blood sucking parasite or the girl’s family for knowingly falling into the trap as they had already paid a lump sum of money and a few kilos of gold before the marriage to seal the “deal of life”.

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Another thing is the matter of honour, prestige and pride. A boy dating two girls is called a play-boy whereas a girl dating two boys is called a slut. Parents are very anxious about what their daughter does as the society views their social life through a micro-scope and are ready to criticize and pass judgements. The parents are therefore extra-protective to guard their honour, that explains honour killings. As a result of all these above-mentioned financial pressure first-time parents usually long for a boy rather than a girl. It’s kind of funny how parents view their kids. A boy is like an investment for an insurance policy and a girl is like a debt. And if lo forbid! A girl is born then female infanticide is done(it has drastically reduced now and only persists in very rural areas that too in small numbers).

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Let us see how the girl grows up and what challenges she faces. One year old and the girl is still an infant…carefree, innocent and free. Two years old and things still remain the same. Three years old and still no change. Four years old and she starts to take the first step towards building a career- getting a quality education. She makes clay sculptures, learns the alphabet and forms bonds. Five years old and still not many constraints as she is just a child. She could hug a guy right in front of her dad and he would be like “Awww….that’s so cute!”. Kiss the guy on the cheek and he’d take a photo of that, put it up on Facebook and give it a cheesy caption like “First love is a little foolish and a lot of curiosity.” And probably get about a 1000 likes. Let us now fast forward into the future. She is now 10 years old. She starts thinking for herself…that’s where the trouble starts.

“No Mom, I don’t want a frock! I want a skirt like Sasha!”

The problem is not many are open to respecting the thoughts of their daughters.

“No! You are either buying this long frock or you are not going to have any new clothes this Diwali.”

Or maybe something more “brain-washingly” sweet like,

“That looks very ugly. Look at this! It looks so cute and it’s pink too. You will look like a princess and everybody would be jealous of you. Now, do you want to look like a princess or do you want to look ugly?”

Either way the Mom overrides her daughter’s wish even though it may be genuinely concerned good will.

Now she becomes 13 and attains puberty. All of a sudden their little girl is not so little anymore. Parents start to get more anxious, stricter and more concerned. Their girl has now become a teen and they have read enough to know how much of a handful a teen can become. Words like “sex” and “love” become taboo at many households. Talk about love when you are a 5 year old and nobody seems to care, talk about love when you are a 15-year old then everybody loses their minds(inspired from the Joker Meme).  But just because they become taboo doesn’t mean that they will be “immune” to these as their parents hope to believe. We have enough stimulus around us to get the hormones racing, have you ever seen a film without a hero and heroine falling in love? And we also have those cleavage showing item numbers and ample dose of pornography and sensual videos from the internet. So like it or not it always finds a way. If only the parents were mature enough to sit, discuss and explain rather than censor and let their daughters experiment and find out the truth through trial and error. In the end they restrict them, blame them and label them as “being teenagers”. They are 13!! What else would they be? Let us look at all the travails of a 13+ girl.

Dressing preferences…Salwar? Wow! Look at how homely that girl looks. She must be sweet, innocent and caring.

Jeans or skirt? Yuck! Look at how skimpily clad she is. She must be arrogant, spoilt and dumb. In short she is a supposed “slut”.  It’s funny how people use this word in such a degrading manner these days. If only these “sheeps” would bother to shed a few bucks and get a good Oxford dictionary and look up the meaning of the word they would find that it was coined to mean a woman who was untidy and unclean in her appearance. A beggar woman on the side of the streets is a slut, the corner of your mind with all those foul thoughts is a “slut” corner but the woman who wishes to dress as she pleases is not a slut.

Especially, the comments that the peers of the opposite sex pass are highly errr… “illustrative”. About how tight her jeans are or how short her skirt is. Funny how boys are more concerned about what she wears more than even her. I wonder if they ever paid attention to the proverb “Never judge a book by its cover”. The girl would have been wearing sleeveless as it would have been a hot day but others would look down upon it as being “revealing” and “skimpy”. I guess we should call those Men who don’t put their first button, roll up their sleeves and wear sleeveless as being the male form of a “slut”as they too reveal their tender masculine flesh. Is there a word for it? If not then someone can come up with one, I am sure we can arrange a prize for it by crowd-funding from the ladies.  In the event of rape incidents that happened in Delhi, some people blamed the victims for going out in the night or their choice of wardrobe. I guess the next time someone pisses me off I would slap them in the face and say “Hey! It is your damn fault for pissing me off!” Yup! That makes a lot of sense. Rather than blaming the victim for being a stimulus it would be more fair to correct the response of the animals(culprits) to such a so-called “stimulus”. The thin-line of difference that separates humans from animals is willpower, the willpower to separate right from wrong. This victim-blaming attitude of the society is the reason why many rape cases go unreported as the victims tend to get blamed for allegedly “provoking” men to rape them. I think we can all agree that no woman willingly wears jeans or skirts and go out in the night begging to be molested by shouting “Hey! All you guys out there! Don’t I look fantabulous! Come and get me.” It doesn’t give men the license to satisfy their lust. To those hypocrites who suggest that it is the victim’s fault how about having signboards that state “Only to see, no touching” just like they have on artifacts in exhibitions. I think the problem lies more with the fact of the people’s mindset and intentions rather than the wardrobe. Until the real problem is weeded out even a million slut walks can’t change the society.

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Girls have many things to be envious of men about. The freedom of opinion being a major one. Somehow people look at women and decide that their opinions are to be belittled and not taken much consideration of. Look at the roles our top heroines perform, they are nothing but gorgeous looking eye candies who shake a leg for item numbers and duets in Switzerland and about their opinions that contribute to the story and plot…good joke. Ever heard of a girl proposing their love first? Nope. It is mostly the guys who make the 1st move. Have you heard of girls rejecting or asking for more time to “think” when they are faced with a proposal even though they may be interested? They do not say yes too easily most of the time. Why? It is all thanks to the society. Suppose a girl makes a 1st move or they quickly say “Yes, I have been thinking the same way about you too.” Then the so-called society labels them as an “item” or to put it in more “harmonious” terms they are viewed as homo-sapiens lacking morale and dignity. While the girl lingers in her response in order to protect her morale and dignity from the view of the gossip hungry society the boys start cursing girls and start writing soup songs for movies. Why this kolaveri di? I think girls ought to get together and write a song named “Why this kolaveri da?” to question the integrity of the men chasing behind them. A girl has to think twice before being polite and friendly to the opposite sex as it may be taken advantage of or misinterpreted as showing signs of interest. A boy who watches pornography, runs behind 10 girls and “sincerely” loves 3 girls is seen as being “smooth” whereas a girl is closed in exhibiting her sexual interests in fear of being seen as “crass”. If the girl becomes open like the guy then they are both called with words starting with ‘S’. One is called a “stud” and the other a “slut”. How ironic. I am sure that women have as strong a sexual urge as men and if you ask them to answer honestly they would gladly list a dozen men with whom she’d have sex with(and no not all of them are celebrities) but no she keeps all that buried in the deep crevices of her mind for fear of the ‘S’ word.  Another instance would be the plight of an outspoken girl. If a girl speaks strongly and voices out her opinion she is looked upon as being arrogant and “unwomanly”. Women have had their opinions silenced from birth. A supposedly ideal girl is one who is docile, head bent down, obedient and charming with a good-natured face and lovely smile(a dimple is a bonus). Women are labelled as the “weaker” sex, both physically and mentally from birth. Underestimated and undervalued is how they have been brought up or that is how the society views them. It’s as if their talent and skill are not even equal to Men’s and hence their opinion need not be taken seriously. Don’t believe me? My class girls decided to shake a leg for our institution’s cultural and the amount of behind the back teasing and comments was just crude. Especially there was this one time during lunch break when they practiced in class, the boys were like as if they were from another planet and doing something totally unearthly and were amazed at how they could practice in class when the boys were there without any “shame”. They were decently clad in salwars and merely practicing a set of decent moves to decent songs. I was flabbergasted to think why they should feel any shame at all, unless of course if you mean that they should be ashamed at having such narrow-minded classmates. Everybody had this attitude that girls and dancing are two things that are unethical to mix. One of the girl’s parents even told their daughter to not dance as they deemed it unsightly. Even the teacher’s advised them to not dance when they sought permission to practice. I mean come on people! They are not going off to pole dance in some strip club!! It is just a freaking damn cultural event. In the end they won a prize and that shut everyone up. In another story, I know this person who had gone for an event where many respectable companies had come to sign big deals are signed off. During a casual dinner people were passionately talking about their respective companies hoping to pique the interest of someone to actually close off a deal. A woman who was interested in a particular company started questioning it’s CEO. She genuinely tried to voice her opinion and queries and one of her questions caught him off-guard and after a pause he commented “Who cares? Lets talk about something more interesting…like your legs…ha ha” to which everyone on the table laughed.  After that she lost her interest and the man lost a hefty contract (though I wish that he had lost something more permanent…like a tooth for his cheek). He had not taken the woman seriously because well…she was errr… a woman. According to him she was like a fish out of water that did not belong there and he never expected her to be a successful businessperson with a well-funded start-up who was looking forward to investing the profits she had gained in a new business. Guess his Mommy didn’t teach him the proverb “Don’t judge a book by its cover”(proverbs are there for a reason, you know).

“Dad, I want to study Mechanical Engineering. I really love machines”

“But beti, that is too tough for you. It requires a little physical work and besides it will be full of boys.”

 

“Sir, I am standing for the post of General Secretary for the college symposium. I believe that I can make it a big success”

“But you are a girl. You can’t run around for sponsors, manage all the students, go to places all over the city to contact and buy materials and you would have to take phone calls late into the night. And also you can’t go out anywhere past 6. I think it would be better if Ajay is the GS. How about you be the assistant GS? You would have the same role and whatever you can’t do you can give it to others.”

 

 “I think AAP’s 49-day rule and resignation was a tactic to garner more votes for the Lok Sabha elections as they gave the illusion that if so much can be done in so little time then even more can be done in even more time.”

“Ha ha. What would you know about politics.”

To sum up the society’s view here is a quote I heard from someone somewhere,

“She is a girl. She is supposed to be married off. She is supposed to cook and bear children. Why educate her? Why make her self-dependent? Why send her to a far off place and give her unnecessary freedom? Why spend so much on her just that she obtains a mere Engineering degree?”

Why? So that when she does have children, they will have a good, intelligent and bright Mom who can teach them how to be respectable, knowledgeable and understanding rather than be a hypocrite like the people who think women deserve to just do home maintenance and be a child factory.  And by the way for all the people who are under the illusion that women are the “weaker” sex here are some facts that I’d like to throw out at you,

Fact #1: Superior immunity thanks to the double X-chromosome which happens to be stronger than its Y-counterpart. Oestrogen Vs. Testosterone? Oestrogen kicks butt any day.

Fact #2: Women live longer than men. Fact #1 could be a contributing factor and also that women eat more healthier than men. So she will always have the last laugh.

Fact #3: Are smarter and better at learning. Guess who has a better average I.Q. in most countries ranging from the U.S., Europe, Canada to Argentine and Estonia? Of course it is women. Guess who has a better chance of obtaining their graduate degree, lesser rate of dropping out and takes lesser time to graduate? It’s women again. Then why haven’t there been enough scientists and doctorates? Give them the chance, hypocrites.

gf Fact #4: The most obvious one of all. They ensure the continuation of the human race. They bear you, give birth to you and rear you.

So higher longevity, killer looks and a high intellect Vs. lifting weights…I leave the opinion to you. Yet they end up being discriminated and getting lower paid jobs just because of their gender. Yet they end up not getting education like their male counterparts(evident from the low enrollment figures) as they are deemed to be a debt and a waste as they are believed not to be of much importance as people assume their duties to revolve chiefly as already stated-“home maintenance and child factory”.

It’s funny how even though a woman’s opinions don’t matter, what they do does. Guess action does speak louder than words. An example for this? Honour killing. Ever heard of a guy’s family turn into highly personal assassins just because he loved a girl and eloped away with her? I don’t think so. It is always the opposite sex that bears the brunt. It’s funny how the family thinks that they have the sole right to decide the girl’s fate and life. It’s not the family that gets to make love to a guy, bear babies and get stuck with him the rest of their lives. What’s wrong with a girl deciding what she wants. If she decides what she wants and still follows through it despite the family expressing dissent then come on! Let’s all go into terminator mode. It is funny how eloping is considered a prestige tarnisher whereas becoming a murderer is an act of redemption? Who is to blame? The family for resorting to such crude mindless acts or the society for pushing them to do so?

Not only do they not have the freedom of opinion and speech. They also have their freedom of travel being revoked.  It’s like as if a rapist is hiding behind ever trashcan, every bush and around every corner on the road. Parents can get paranoid. They wouldn’t dare let their daughter get out of sight for fear of the worst. And if it is dark then going out is totally out of the question. In a way you can’t blame them. The number of stories that circulate, the number of headlines making the news and the number of psychos you see every day is bound to drive anyone paranoid. As a result girls are very scared. Want to know fear? Look into the eyes of a girl who walks alone on a lonely dark night who is being stared upon by men like a pack of hungry wolves. I was once on a train in the night, we were just a few stops away from the end of the line, I just sat calmly in my seat at one end of the compartment and was looking out of the window, at the other end there was this man who seemed slightly drunk(as he kept mumbling to himself) and a lady who seemed to be a bit off, observing the place and I could feel she wasn’t feeling safe. Her eyes darted between the exit and the man and she would occasionally glance at me. I then got up and moved to her end of the compartment and sat a few seats away from her but between her and the man. Finally the stop came and before she got down she gave a fleeting glance of what looked like gratitude mixed with relief. That’s when I realized the magnitude of fear that lurks on the mind of women traveling at night. Forget about travelling at night even in daytime walking on the road has become such a nuisance. I know of friends who have had multiple instances of being harassed in their very own neighbourhood. Once a drunkard guy walked up to my friend and started to explain how to ride a bicycle (she was walking and rolling her cycle along as the tyre had got punctured). Needless to say that the drunkard got beaten up(by the public of course!). Then there was another instance where another friend in another neighbourhood was standing in the bus stop and a biker bastard touched her back and raced away in his bike, then the same girl had been almost run over by a bike and was abused with comments about her dressing(she was wearing a khurthi). Going in buses the same friend had people who groped her and what not. No wonder every single woman looks at all men with a suspicious eye and deep mistrust. Ask a girl to wait at a bus stop or some open public place for 10 minutes and they will say that they felt uncomfortable standing there as they felt like they were being stared at or watched(My friends tell me so when I turn up late for meetings).

Another constant bug that a woman faces is her lifestyle.

“When are you getting married?”

“I just finished college Mom!!”

Somehow parents are obsessed getting their daughters married off. As soon as they finish their degree it is time for exporting. Some are not lucky even to complete their degree and are married off as sooner. I know a friend whose neighbour got married during her 2nd year in college and she got pregnant by the end of the year and that was the end to her career. Her younger sister wasn’t lucky either. Her dad made her discontinue her studies as she was an average student and married her off at the age of eighteen. What’s the hurry? It’s not like she’s going to change sex if she gets older. Don’t women like wine get better with age? Want to be a spinster? No way!! Girls need men to survive. If you don’t get married by 30s it means that you have AIDS, an STD or some other unsightly disease, you have gone through love failure, you are infertile or got some other ailment that prevents you from doing home maintenance and becoming a child factory. This is what the society thinks. And then you marry off the girl and there goes her career and dreams to the burial ground. Even pre-marriage, the boyfriend(some/most of them(whatever is applicable)) puts forth a thousand conditions like “Don’t wear that.”, “Stop talking to this”, “Don’t do *insert some fun activity the girl absolutely loves to do(eg. short-films)*” and so on. I guess he is rehearsing on how to be a bad future husband. It’s funny how most people consider that it is the girls who put the most conditions in a relationship whereas it is the other way around. Restriction of lifestyle starts with the father/mother, continues with the boy-friend and becomes forever with the husband for most women. And even if you do get a very open-minded bridegroom when they decide to have kids then some invaluable months that could have been spent on fulfilling the girl’s dreams and ascension of her career ladder is invested in rearing the child(to say that the children are her future and dreams would just be selfish). Here is an excerpt of a post I had read by a woman about her feelings and thoughts on this point,

My perfect curvy body, ruined by this dumb creation that had to be squeezed out of my very narrow vagina. It’s now forever scarred by the stretch marks, and with all this breast-feeding, my breasts are lumpy and blech instead of supple and sexy.

Why do I have to get ugly while the husband can continue his career goals and physical goals? He tells me “I love you just the same now as I did when we were 27. Even if you don’t have as much sex appeal.” It doesn’t appease my depression.

These 9 months of connection with that thing inside of me have caused me to become pretty attached to the little monster. There’s something about that umbilical cord that made me more than physically attached. The husband, he wants to go back to work and although he loves the kid, he will never understand my undying devotion and connection to my baby.

I then proceed to quit my job and commit the rest of my youth to a baby, while husband goes on to lead a Fortune 100 company or to cure cancer. He’s still a great husband and all, but…

I could’ve done that and more, I just had a baby to think about. [Some women say it’s fulfilling, I say it’s brainwashing and destroys all potential. Evolution is working against me.]”

Evolution has not been too kind on woman either. Giving birth and periods seem to be a biological curse. Of course it is a biological necessity but nonetheless it is a nuisance for the one who has to bear with it. Giving birth can have many crippling effects as mentioned above in that woman’s story. Her career could be sabotaged, her hours and weeks of exercise and fitness regime programme results become wasted and her responsibilities get elevated to a whole new level of “hecticness”. Not mention the pain…I just shudder to imagine. Whenever I see a pregnant woman my respect goes up by several degrees as I imagine the amount of sacrifices and pain she goes through. I guess that the only best thing about having a period is being reassured that you are not pregnant(Yay!!). Other than that it totally sucks….Oh! Wait! Maybe it is also great for honing your acting skills as you ignore the pain and cramps and put an “I am fine” face and pretend everything in the world is lovely while inside you feel pretty lousy as you become extra conscious of how you walk, sit and sleep. And if you are the type who likes surprises then be prepared any day at anytime, anywhere as menstruation likes to always catch you off-guard. Here is an article that accurately describes the experience,

DISCLAIMER:

This post is not for the squeamish. So please skip over if you are, for your own convenience.

Overview:
2-5 days leading up to the period:
Everything is going well, but then I accidentally burn the toast, no big deal, except I find myself overcome with irrational rage. Deep breath, “Walk it off Lynn. Get it together!” I tell myself….
Then I see a puppy on TV. I break down in tears. What is wrong with me? Be cool.
I cry again.
This time for no reason, well, unless you count how the “piece of dirt” in the Swiffer commercial just got picked up.
SPCA commercials, with Nina van Horn and Sarah McLachlan? ugh. game. over.
Day of period:
I wake up extra early for some stupid reason. I feel fat and undesirable – but that’s not unusual. Oh…hmmm, I’m either really turned on or….ew! Run to the bathroom. Wipe up the leak, jump in the shower, shower until dirty feeling goes away. Jump out of the shower – wipe gingerly so that nothing gets on the towel, sit on toilet while lining a fresh pair of panties with a sanitary pad or perch one leg on the toilet and insert a tampon. None of this looks graceful. I’m not graceful. (How can I? I’m bloated! The scale is telling me that I weigh 5 more lbs than yesterday morning. That extra slice of pizza was NOT 5 lbs! wtf.) Leave the bathroom, now feeling like I either have a phone book in my crotch, or there’s a dementor sucking up all natural lubrication from my baby tunnel. (If it’s a heavy day – then both!) Excellent. But at least I fixed the leak – guess who’s a bio-civil engineer? ME!
The day ahead can be one of the following three scenarios: 

  • Heavy days: Sitting on the train during a long commute, while my crotch is turning into a wetland preserve. Trying to not move so I don’t disturb or disrupt the blood absorbing implements in my crotch.  The train reaches destination, I get up quickly and don’t look back (lest I had just stained the seat with a bloody mark, just keep on walkin’ – and if anyone accuses you of anything, bite their heads off, they can’t prove anything!)  Get myself into a bathroom, lower my pants to check the scene of the crime – yep, murder just happened in my vagina and there’s blood everywhere. It’s straight out of Dexter. Hang on, is that a baby on the pad (or clinging to the side of the tampon?) I must flush/get rid of the evidence. Also, that joke, “blahblahblah.. don’t trust anyone who bleeds for five days and doesn’t die” is on auto-repeat in my head. Do I need a blood transfusion? I want one. Maybe I’ll just eat a steak…but I already feel constipated/bloated. Speaking of which, I really wanted to fart on the train but held it in, but how come, now that I’m sitting on the toilet, I can’t? wtf? And why does it feel like someone is wringing my uterus? 

Is this phenomenon the reason they coined the term ‘abomination?’ Will I ever stop bleeding and feeling like shit? I feel cursed…

dinners, movies, long flights, dmv trips, etc – this is the stuff nightmares are made of. Paranoia + overactive period uterus = Not good feelings

  • Lite days: My period has stopped….. oh…. wait. no. just ruined another pair of panties.
  • Regular days: I’m only talking about this as a formality – there’s no such thing as ‘regular days’ – the period usually go from wildlife preserve puddles to leaky faucet state fairly quickly. I suspect that regular pads/tampons are just designed so that public vending machines can have something to sell (or not sell, since 75% of them are broken at all times.)
  • The day your period stops: paranoia level – similar to that of lite days, except there are NO LEAKS! The world is full of wonderful things, colorful flowers, and beautiful children! Firm handshakes, heartfelt conversation, productive brainstorming sessions, confident strides, dirty fuck sessions, all the things!!!”

Ugh! I had edited and censored out a lot from that article and posted only a fraction of it. That sounded like a real nightmare. My exact reaction after reading that was,

Capture

The worst is the tradition of isolating women who are having periods. They are not allowed to go to temples, attend functions or even touch some types of food as they may “taint” it. It was introduced in Hinduism and other religions and cultures probably to give some personal space for women and not disturb them but now it has transformed into something very ugly.

Now to the lighter travails of womankind. Fashion & makeup. Planning to go out for a party. Are you a man? Then pick out that jeans, t-shirt, comb your hair, wear those shoes and you are out in a jiffy.

A woman,

“Well…black? White? No how about that red? Sakshi said that dress looked nice…but wait Anisha called it fugly…Oh! God this is so confusing!”

Men have shirts, t-shirts, pants and jeans(these are about it for an average guy). Girls have sarees, salwars, skirts, gowns, jeans, pants, khurthis and so on…

And another half an hour would be spent on deciding what to wear. Take it out…Put it back in…take it out again…put it back…take out another…and repeat. Then finally all dressed up! Then comes the accessories,

“This clip or that clip? Or how about a hairband? Maybe I should go with loose hair. Nah! I’ll just tie up my hair. Should I wear bangles? Which purse should I take? EEAARRIINNGSS!!”

This would eat up some more time. Then comes makeup. Mascara, foundation, lipstick, eyeliner, powder and what not. That ought to set the clock jogging again and then finally it’s time to go for the party! It can be a very time consuming and hectic process and just imagine the money behind all those items. They are unavoidable too. For instance my Mom hates wearing gold jewels to weddings but she has to because in India if you don’t wear jewels people start to talk bad in the sense that the family is not wealthy enough to afford such “luxuries”. People judge women by their looks. Most men always fall for women firstly based on their looks(that’s the first box in their check list). Heard of love at first sight. It is such hectic work for a woman to be always self-conscious. Women are judged based on their face value first and only then their real value. It is what the society dictates. And women have become slaves to the society.

Peep into most classrooms and you would find a Boys Vs. Girls mentality. One side wants to show that they are no lesser and in fact equal and maybe also better and the other side is scared of the shift of power. Rather than a power struggle what we need is mutual co-operation to be able to go forward. Next time you see someone pass a lewd comment on a woman don’t sit and stare or worse laugh or join in  but rather reprimand them and make them see some sense in a diplomatic manner(doesn’t mean that you have to get all macho and try to beat the shit out of them, just make them understand). Next time think twice before judging a woman. Next time give more freedom to your friend,daughter, girlfriend, or wife. The next time you see a woman it will be a very different. You will see them in a new light. They will look stronger, more powerful, more intelligent and more beautiful. It is not enough to only embrace western clothing alone but we need to embrace some of the western ideas too. Hoping for a future where we don’t need a reservation for women, a ladies compartment in trains, government policies and schemes tailored for woman and a day when we DO NOT need a Women’s day. We live in the 21st century where time is in forward gear and the mind in reverse gear. It’s high time we start shifting gear.

Reference: For the quoted articles in italics-www.quora.com

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