How Zombies, Robots, Ghosts Represent The Angry Woman Of Today

Posted by BirJais Wani
January 14, 2017

#IWillGoOut is not just an ordinary hashtag – it underlines a basic and an important approach and understanding; plus it holds a story behind the clause. There are numerous incidents that go unreported, or if they are reported, then they die behind the screen soon after its eruption. Then what is it about the one incident that anger led the audience, particularly women in the country who were furious, to raise their voice up against the patriarchal civilization?

Can we ask ourselves what do silent marches achieve, and why we think that a walk, or a silent protest, or a live demonstration can send the message across the globe? Why is it that candle-holding or a march towards a historical place can seal the deal once and for all? Like Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

The most important question is why women in this country are so angry that sometimes they march naked to support their argument, and sometimes they hold demonstrations, candle marches and the like. Should we conclude the fact that we are living in a muted world where silent-talkies are the only live-narrative available to us?

So where do we stand, when we see, hear, touch and smell ‘everything’ that is wrong with this world? ‘Everything’ includes all those false assurances, all the candy-hearted deceptions, all those lies being burdened upon us – all those ‘dramatic-safety’ episodes, all those ‘sweet-venomous’ rhythms – all those things that make us ‘women’ but amidst our kind only. For the rest, we are nothing but maids, some worn-out dolls, shoe dirt, and everything that is brittle in nature.  Are we so broken that when we look at each other, we see nothing different but the same person everywhere?

So all the anger that is being used here in words came from many years of frustration and illogical assertions – the final walk towards womanhood has not been a piece of cake.

There they tell you to cover your face, your body, your thoughts, your hands, knees, belly, chest – almost every part. It reminds me of “The Walking Dead”, where the lifeless zombies are numerous, but are easily recognized by their blood spattered faces and similar body textures.

Are we then ‘zombies’ or ‘robots’? Doesn’t it kind of make us confused to place ourselves in such categories?

I mean I can give many forms and ideas within which women are placed, such as:

  1. Robots: The automated, designed pieces of machinery, easily identifiable by posture, texture, personality, voice, and the amount of work being put on it. A robot can say, “yes sir” or “yes ma’am” very easily, without even actually caring about the designations. It can work 24 hours a day and never complain, but it will be replaced in the long run. Needless to say it can also grant wishes – not like a genie – but in the sense it can give a positive affirmation to everything. So one thing is clear – women are  “I, Robot”. But then I think that in the movie, the robot did rebel against the master and it was not at all pleasant. But look at the condition now – isn’t it those rebellious ones, whose stories we now hear, who were crushed or put into dumpsters for raising their voices?
  2. Zombies: For a person to be a zombie, you have to be dead. But then being dead is not the only condition – you have to make sure that you are left cold, emotionless and walking, without prior restrictions. So being a zombie isn’t completely unrewarding at all ends – at least you will carve out the brains of the good ones and eat them alive. Then, does it really happen in case of women? Are we that smart that we tend to grab an opportunity and double cross the opposing side? The answer is no, maybe because we are zombies but then we are the other subcategory of zombies called “I, Zombies”. This kind only stays indoors and does all the work, while the others enjoy a respectable thought of their own. So yes, we are alive but living in dark, like in “I Am Legend where the zombies came out during night time.  We are dragging ourselves ahead but actually are under a command from inside that tells us what to do – and what not to do – specifically.
  3. Aliens: The third category we are referred to are aliens. So why go much far of the target when the alienated existence is in our own homes. Do we look like aliens? No. Then why are we aliens? The answer is because we are stopped at every action as if some radioactive rays will be released in the atmosphere. And sometimes we are told to dress up like extra terrestrials – which does make us look like aliens. More importantly, when we ask for permission to go out, we are told to be on time. This means that we are aliens to them and aliens are not easily welcomed in our society.
  4. Clowns: As in the word itself, you might think about something funny – but let me assure you, being a clown, and that too, a woman as a clown is totally different. Let me tell you how – a clown is a ‘person’ and women are often not regarded as ‘persons’. Secondly, most clowns are funny and mischievous, but women are ‘serious clowns’. This is, somewhat, a new category of clowns – clowns who ought to be ‘non-serious’ and do whatever the audience tells them to. So clowns like Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” are mischievous, psychopaths and always after something destructive. But then, are we considered to be destructive? Yes – when families break apart and the blame game starts among all members, the situation and the nature of the blame inevitably and eventually shifts towards the women in the families.
  5. Ghosts: The living or the dead – the category of ghosts comprehends it all. Ghosts are dead people with ‘longing’ souls that have been exterminated. So why are women ghosts? Normally because we are ceasing to ‘exist’ anymore. By this, we mean the falling sex ratios, the female foeticides and dowry deaths. I mean, after subjecting women to such extreme humiliation and torture, how can we expect ‘grasslands’ of women population? The ratio has drastically dropped – and is drastically dropping. So call us ghosts or anything remotely close to it – we will relate to it perfectly.

There are many more categories (whether living or dead in nature) that can be used a metaphor to describe the present state of women. The ideas and the entities may be simple to relate to, but are equally threatening for the presence and existence of women as a whole. The whole point of such resembling values and comparisions is to determine incidents and situations that have totally curtailed the freedom of women.  The need of the hour is to recognize such limitations and bring forward some changes that can level up against the ‘feudal’ mindset.

Bangalore witnessed a huge march and debates on such incidents – with a special focus on the recent shameful act involving sexual assault of several young women on New Year’s Eve.  The anger was put into action because it was high time to speak against the patriarchal side of the society. Thus came the initiation of #IWillGoOut hashtag on social media which gave a platform for women to raise their voice against such a ‘feudal’ lot, and support the status of women in general.


Image source:  AP Photo/ Saurabh Das