By Akanksha Khurana:
Women are burdened with household responsibilities, but when they wish to expand their lives beyond that and try doing something which will provide them with experience and exposure they are faced with serious repercussions and are also demoralized.
Women like Sarojini Naidu, Jhansi ki Rani have helped set our country free. Hilary Clinton, Oprah, Ellen Degeneres are the leading figures of today’s world. Aside from their gender, women leading characters don’t have much else in common. Some have brought peace to troubled lands, while others have strewn discontent. Some have been competent or brilliant, others inept or corrupt. They come from political positions ranging from arch-conservative to ultra-leftist and represent all the world’s religions.
An instance from my personal life would throw light on the topic better. My two friends Meher, who is audacious and aggressive and can be called as a ‘tomboy‘ and Sarah, who, on the other hand, is seen as extremely polite , decorous and genteel, what everyone may regard as the ‘Perfect Ladylike’ behavior, are two perfect examples of contrasting personalities. Such characteristics of these women are indicative of how different two women can be and how one can be considered as the ideal women while the other frowned upon as a bold and rebellious woman.
What I assume from this perception about these two girls is that, Sarah is the embodiment of what women are seen as, one who is not allowed to make her view points or one who is considered not daring enough to make her voice heard. This is what we are taught right from the time we are born. In theory, people may say men and women are equal but that is not the reality.
Women have their own identity, whether people like it or not. They can think for themselves, live by themselves, can do whatever they want. But that is what men fear. They fear that with all this freedom that women are given, they will start to compete with them and that is the biggest threat that anyone can give to the chauvinistic men of any patriarchal society.
On screen, womenfolk are looked down upon in every possible way. The words that are employed in specific circumstances are used in such a way that women always appear inferior to men. “Be brave; act like a man,” is often said to young boys who feel scared of something. Or if a small child cries, he is told not to cry like a girl. Hence, crying, fear, and all other traits that represent weakness, are associated with women.
Instead of a character telling another not to cry ‘like a girl’, he can tell him that it is okay to cry on certain occasions, for it is humane to weep. This small point can make such a difference to the way a society functions. In real life, the mere action of a man crying is looked down upon, even if someone close to him dies.
If women are “supposed” to bear a lot then they should be every opportunity to rise to the top of the world.