Well folks the phrase, ‘Well behaved women seldom make history’ is used widely around us, on t-shirts, greeting cards, mugs and jugs, fridge magnets. Just name it. But have we really tried figuring out the message it has conveyed since 1976, when the author Laurel-Ulrich penned down tales of pious women belonging to the colonial New England.
While it might appear pleasant and scrupulous to believe in the fact that we today live in a world of equality, let’s question our conscience and mull over the fear of women being in power. And by ‘power’ here, I mean the many facets of it deeply entrenched in society. If one believes that women can be assertive without labelling them a bitch and that it’s okay if men and boys cry, it then becomes our responsibility to curb racism, autocracy, chauvinism, bigotry, casteism, homophobia, xenophobia basically *-ist terms. For they are all that binds a society as it primarily boils down to culture. Do we still not fear such women? Pause and reflect.
We people get so busy validating the term ‘well-behaved’ that in process we in our cocoon create our own definitions, slamming and naming folks those who defy them. Who gets to decide whether a woman wanting to stay unmarried is equivalent of ‘misbehaving’? Who determines that a woman wanting to access medical procedures without being in need of any permission to take is parallel to misbehaving? Who says that women must wear pretty dresses and concentrate on mastering the skills of a homemaker and if not she has misbehaved? Who decides that an erudite woman politician cannot make it to being a humble homemaker? Who fabricates the ideology that only fair is beautiful? Who decides that a girl expressing her sexuality is analogous to misbehaving while men who indulge themselves in the same are applauded for being powerful and aggressive. What has this got to do with being well-behaved, seriously? Isn’t this getting increasingly onerous?
Even today when we are told that a girl is fond of riding bikes, men find it impressive and cool in comparison to a girl who is not fond of bikes. To most men, femininity is like the proverbial oasis in a dry desert. The ‘girlyness’ quotient in a woman is what makes femininity as per some. And those some fail to find how a tall, dark tough lady too can be immensely feminine. Is it a societal construct, really? Why are we awestruck when we hear about women going ‘Vroom’? Why is it jaw dropping to find a woman heading a company, why is there a mumble in mentioning that a wife earns more than her husband? Is it something not expected of a woman, I mean has she misbehaved again or has she performed exceeding expectations. You are telling me that it is unnatural of a woman to express her passion for bikes. It is a great deal if a woman is heading a company, isn’t that cause of her brains which I am sure men have too. So why single out women in this case.
We are told that a man who is fond of cooking and is able to clean his dishes is a good boy to have a future with. Yes, HAHAHAHAHA it is! Shouldn’t we as human beings know how to live by ourselves? Aren’t these basic necessities? What on earth has gender to do with it? I believe being versed with cooking and the daily cleaning chores is every individual’s responsibility regardless of whichever sex they belong to. And yes, I will certainly make it a point to mention how some parents proudly go about mentioning the salaries of their daughters in social gatherings, to paint a picture of their share of achievements. How fallen is man today. We have started valuing ourselves as per the money earned and our thoughts, beliefs, actions, ideas, purposes have all for a toss. Did we raise our kids for this? For a woman it is important to make money in business but that shouldn’t be made one’s identity, for we are more than priceless, precious and certainly well-behaved as we express ourselves freely.
Folks, what is sad we are in need of ads, videos, posters, protest marches to bring it out loud that ‘RAPE’ is an unforgivable crime which is against humanity. More than sexual, it is again about power that makes a man rape a woman. And we, wait, watch and debate till another woman goes through the same pain. And what is funny is ‘Feminism’ being a women’s movement has so much to do with men somehow. How and why is the question? This women’s day, I thought to pen down my thoughts and may be mention a few things which might seem quite obvious but they are worth repeating and I hope words will do magic to our thinking to begin with.
And so I end this piece believing in what the Youngest ever Nobel-prize laureate quoted-
I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back- Malala Yousafzai