By Renuka Mene:
When a writer writes, “Man is a social animal,” they mean both men and women. Likewise, “Man is intelligent”, ‘he’ made machines. The ‘he’ also refers to both men and women. ‘Man’ is the word to define mammals walking on two feet who can think. But when it comes to biology we start talking about the real ‘he’ and then we realise that there is a ‘she’. This biological realisation of a ‘she’ is fine. Even beautiful! But the manifestations of it have been bad, worse, or even traumatic.
The labelling of genders in an attempt to construct society has been a failure or may I say ‘exploitative’. What makes a society? Thought processes. From where do they come? By instilling thoughts through repetition over years. Religion, laws, and trade have primarily decided our fate. Religion told us the difference between one man and the other, laws inform us of the so-called right and wrong and trade literally decided our fate. Desires that benefit the individual, aims, innovations that run in the minds of both the genders are not cared for equally by society. They grow deep inside us. They are fuelled by knowledge and independent and creative thoughts. The hampering of this by societal roles is the greatest loss of the far more amazing human mind.
And the ‘she’ has paid the heaviest price for this societal construction. Was the ‘she’ ever asked what she wanted? Do you want to dance crazily on the streets? Want to travel? Want to innovate? Want to be this super sweet mom? Want to be a loner? By asking, I don’t mean asking what career ‘she’ wants. I mean a way of life. It could be anything. The biological differentiation took over so much that innate wishes were left unheard, unaltered, un-experimented or they never germinated. The biological segregation has led to an unequal experience of freedom.
Biology has suppressed the ‘she’ part of the term ‘Man’. So, are we supposed to conclude that biology decides the fate of all? The answer is obviously no. I feel we need to stick to that ‘no’ really strongly, by which I mean not yielding to biological, societal forms of living. Both parties have to realise that life, comfort, happiness belongs to both.
‘She’ will not put up with the rules thrown upon her. She will not sacrifice for no reason. She is not meant to deal with the gender role assigned to her. She will live ‘freely’. She will be the ‘Man’ that nature wants her to be. She will go bald if she wishes. She will be absolutely free with her sexual choices. She is free to make ‘social blunders’ etc. She will live for her passion wholeheartedly. This passion will neutralise the gender roles.
I remember the dialogue from the movie ‘Titanic’ where Rose’ mother tells her, “We are women. Our choices are not easy.” That dialogue rings a bell. Why is my choice not easy? Why behind every great man there is a woman and behind every great woman there’s is no one? With so much education imparted to our men, where is their understanding?
This ‘oh woman, it’s not easy for you’ should be turned into ‘go on..it’s all yours’. A woman’s achievements often are made to look like a crusader’s journey. But why make things so difficult for her in the first place?
The society needs to make things easier for her or else we will have both parties, men and women, walk in the same direction but without holding hands.