08 March, 2013

What is a woman ?

(pic courtesy : 123rf.com via Google)

What is a woman ?  Is she just a daughter, a wife, a mother,  an aunt, a niece, a cousin, a sister – well, the labels can go on and on and on.  Truth be told, I guess no woman will ever fit into just one of those categories.  In saying that, I mean this not in terms of familial relationships, I mean this in terms of a woman’s psyche.  At any given point of time in her life, right from childhood to adulthood to old age, a woman dons many different hats.
Even in the world of today, which is said to be more open minded towards women, more receptive to recognising the achievements of women, there still exists a great deal of conflict.  Women, for many practical purposes, still live under the shade of inferiority that the umbrella of patriarchy has shadowed them with.  Many women, across the globe, are yet to realize the true potential that they have been born with.  Many women, across the world, are still victimized on a daily basis, just by virtue of being a woman.
In many parts of the world, there are women whose voice never ever gets out of the confines of the four walls of the place they’ve always known as home.  For them, that is their little world.  They know not that there exists beyond the scope of those four walls, a much bigger, a much better and a much more colourful world.  They suffer ignominies and they suffer in silence.  Silence has but become their sole companion. 
I remember watching a documentary on an African tribe more than a year back but I still remember the same vividly.  A group of women from this village have to walk across the desert for four days to bring back fresh water for their families.  That documentary made me realize how much I have in life today to be thankful about and not bitch, moan and whine about the things that I don’t have.  Those women go through hardships on a totally different scale and yet, end of the day, they have smiles across their faces.  To women like them, I well and truly doff my hat.  They are visible symbols of strength and endurance.
I remember reading scores of articles about women in the military.  Women, who, despite all that society has to say to them regarding being the weaker sex, still go on, compete with and work with men in a battlefield to protect and defend.  A battlefield is just as bloody for a woman as it is for a man.  Society often overlooks this.  Yet, they are there.  That quiet strength that runs like a spine of steel.
There have been countless headlines I’ve come across today about 8th of March being International Women’s Day.  In my mind, International Women’s Day is not just about feminism and the feminist movement.  In my mind, International Women’s Day is not just about permissiveness in society towards lesbian relationships and marriages.   More thank anything, in my mind, it is more of a tribute to the silent strength that every woman in this world is born with.  It is innate, it is inborn, it is an intrinsic part of every single woman, it is one of those distinctive characteristics that make women, women.  Some may not realize it, some may consciously not want it, some may not have realized or utilized its full potential but it is something that lurks within every woman,  at times visible, at times not so.
Here’s to all the women in this world and especially more so to those women who face extreme hardships and yet stand true to the test of time.  Here’s to women who have to give all they have and then some more in terms of patience, energy, wisdom, warmth, care selflessly and they do that and then more.  Here’s to all the women who, despite being chastised and treated like outcasts for a cause they believe in, hold their heads up high and continue with their good work for the greater good of the society.  Here’s to all the women who refuse to take unfair treatment without a whimper, those who go on to spread awareness and to those whose aim in life it is to educate and galvanise into action, other women suffering through the throes of subjugation. 
Simply put, here’s to being a woman. 

1 voice(s) said so:

Pallavi Purani said...

Women have been the spine of each civilization and yet not acknowledged for it :) Cheers to being a woman.