It is Women’s Day, and all around there are events organized, discounts offered, and plans being made for this day. This is the commercialized version of the celebration. Internationally, March 8th is celebrated to bring attention to important issues such as feminism, gender equality, violence, and abuse against us women. I think it is our knack to bond over ‘girly things’, dressing up, multitasking with ease, or caring for everyone that adds more charm to this world. This is what the commercialized hype around Women’s Day cashes in on. Nothing wrong in celebrating Women’s Day or even not celebrating it – again it should be HER CHOICE.
Over the years, I have come across many kinds of women – the ones who fight for women’s rights, the ones who fight for everyone’s rights, the pseudo-feminist who doesn’t do anything without her husband’s approval, the silent docile woman who doesn’t speak up, the one who controls everyone around and so many more!
So when there are so many different women, why is ‘women’s rights’ still a sore subject? During a casual dinner with friends, a similar question was the topic of discussion. The men around the table are supportive of the women folk (at least I haven’t seen or heard otherwise). Their point was that women being suppressed or oppressed was no longer such a big issue as the men around are changing. Yes…. men are changing but still it is a long road to go before the journey is complete. While the expectation is for the world to change, here is how we as women can add traction to this change.
Own Your Difference
Women are different than men not only physically but emotionally and mentally as well. Instead of trying to become men, why not revel in our differences so that we can make the most of them. Feminism or equal rights is not about becoming men or replacing them. Let us enjoy these unique qualities without any competition. We should know what our strengths and weakness are. There is no shame in asking for help to overcome a challenge. In fact, it takes a strong person to admit they are facing a challenge and ask for help.
Change The Narrative
Women have the ability to change the world. We are the first teachers of our children. Let us make use of this opportunity to teach the next generation to follow their dreams and to respect each other, immaterial of their gender. We can influence future generations to grow up with this mindset.
Also, let us lead by example by making slow but sure changes in our own relationships. Though easier said than done, we must stand up for ourselves and say no to abuse (physical and emotional) from others. This one will be a little trickier to navigate if we have been putting up with abuse for many years. Instead of arguments and fights, we must use patience and persistence to bring about this change. Sometimes even talking about it is enough to bring about a change as abuse may not even be deliberate. It could be subconscious and a byproduct of how people were brought up.
To me, feminism is not about bashing all men. Or proving how women are better than men. Not all men are bad. Some are in fact the wind beneath our wings, pushing us to fly. It is about equality. That to me means, sharing both the rights (that we are fighting for) and the responsibilities equally. This point especially is a pet peeve and it deserves a separate blog.
Support Your Tribe
As women, we must support and encourage each other. Look for the silver lining in each person, support their initiatives, or just be there when they need someone. Pay compliments if you truly liked something, even if don’t know the person. It can brighten up their day. I experienced the magic of this firsthand on my recent trip with my girl pals. If you are responsible for women staff, train them on etiquette, navigating office politics, and groom them to grow into the next level. Talk to your house helps about healthcare, the importance of financial independence, and about things that will make a positive difference in their lives.
As they say, Rome was not built in a single day. These changes too will not happen overnight. Yes, there is a lot of chatter around women’s rights and it is heartening to see positive changes. The heart hopes for better days to come in the future where it is an equal world in the truest sense.