It is usual for people to ask around Women’s Day - what does it feel like to be a woman? I find that question rather ridiculous. There is no extraordinary feeling on most days. And then, there are many surges of power and powerlessness, strength and weakness, achievements and failures, emotions and emotionlessness. It is the feeling of being an average human.
There are somethings which differentiate us from the other half of humans on this planet. There are the typical stereotypes - we like pink, we share a lot, we feel too much, we are tender, nurturing, maternal, meticulous, cry often, etc etc. Honestly, I believe in stereotypes because I am a statistics student and look at this as a bell curve!
Then it comes to things we physically can or cannot do that also differentiate us. I will be honest to admit that men have been naturally created stronger and be able to pee while standing straight. So be it. I am created stronger emotionally. I see these diversity between the man and woman as a strength to the team that they make. I believe these differences will enable them to handle a lot of shit together. There is really no competition.
The problem is not in the natural make of the genders. The problem lies in the nurture part - the patriarchy that pervades through the fabric of our society. It is the said and unsaid rules that have been created around genders which seem to guide us from birth to death. There is no problem in having a bell curve of gender roles - with a few outliers as long as people are happy doing those roles. But when women (even men) want to break out of the bell curve to become outliers, they should be allowed to. They should have the same rights and duties as outlined in the constitution of this planet (it is not an explicit printed book). They should be given equal opportunities. It is not about becoming equal - it is about being given and treated fair and equal. And until this justice is not granted, there will continue to be feminists fighting for the rights and duties of us women.
The word feminist is probably one of the most loosely used words, and most often women themselves are divided upon what it does and should mean. Either way, in every small and big way, women everywhere are fighting for their rights. And not one fight is smaller than the other. This Women’s Day, we will talk about a few of those fights that the privileged and under privileged women have to go through every day.
There is a long way to go for equal treatment and opportunity - and there cannot be a war over it every time. At Graffiti, we have been blessed to work with a lot of women who are on the battlefield everyday, but no one really realises there is a fight happening. And it is perhaps equally, if not more, effective than taking to the streets. I am personally a doer. All my activism comes from my action - which inspires people to do more and better about things they believe in. It is these women that we celebrate this Women’s Day which show us another way to fight - with grace and quiet.
Women are yin energy. Yin energy is extremely persuasive and powerful. We need to play to our strengths when asserting for equal treatment. Till the time we fight like yang or to become yang, we will keep failing. We need to accept and respect ourselves first. And then, fight like women.