Ok! So this is not going to go down well with a lot of people, women, and pseudo-feminists. Chances are, that I might get into a fair deal of trouble after posting this. It is quite possible I get sued, though I haven’t named anyone in specific. It is rough, harsh and might rub you the wrong way unless you are enterprising enough to look at the other side of the spectrum. It is definitely not the type of article that would be a happy read to a lot of women, especially those who make it to any of these kinds. But what is life without a risk? I am more than propelled to write this, owing to my real life encounters with women of various kinds. With this, I am plunging to write one of my most difficult articles and trust me, as a woman myself, it pains me miserably to pen it all down.
There are women around us who are a sheer inspiration to all of us and then there those who question the existence of our very being. Those who have shelved their lives to pessimism and turned their backs to everything that is learnable, improvising and positive. These women have not only made their own life a living hell but have also called for unwarranted misery to other women as well. The number when I started was only 5, which has effortlessly turned 9 once I was halfway through. So if you too have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to this much palpable taxing truth, then this piece of word isn’t for you. Read at your own risk!
THOSE WHO BLAME MARRIAGE & MOTHERHOOD FOR THEIR PROFESSIONAL FAILURE
I have reiterated time and again that motherhood is a full-time job and I think the most underrated one. So it is absolutely fine to be taking a career break or years’ long sabbatical to indulge in the pleasures and pains that come with being a mother. I pity those women who hold their marriage and motherhood as the premise for their professional failure. It is the most lurking aspect that women have opportunely opted, leading to their own devastation. This sense of self-inflicted agony makes motherhood sound like one curse to womankind and something which is really burdensome. Little do they realize that motherhood takes away nothing from a woman but only vests more power, fortifies confidence, upsurges patience, infuses discipline and makes her more beautiful.
THOSE WHO MANIPULATE WOMAN FRIENDLY POLICIES AT WORK
I remember one of my female colleague at work a few years back, who joined us after 1.5 years into her marriage. She wasn’t working before this. Exactly three months into the job and she surprised (not really surprised) us with this news of her being 2 months pregnant. A week after she was running in the office corridors with a piece of newspaper that said no company can terminate an expecting mother. I was aghast. It seemed that she took to work only to count on the paid maternity leave and the allowance that follows. On being asked about work, she many a time, even threatened the HR department to not to pester her in such a condition. Acts like these tend to dwindle the trust of management in women workforce and you shouldn’t be surprised when you see organizations/recruiters preferring men over women for similar reasons. I have seen women showing up at the office regularly due to their sheer dedication to work and this is not fair on their part.
THOSE WHO RESORT TO COMPROMISES AT WORK
It is a distressing fact that women at work are, most of the times, not taken seriously. There is this conjecture, especially with Indians that women need not earn much since she will either have her father or husband earning for her. The women who give in to this notion and do not fight back to demand equal pay at work have allowed many people to take advantage of this weakness while consequently questioning the super talented woman workforce globally. Here I am not asking to compare your pay with your male counterparts since considering a man be the point of comparison would be another (indirect) way of putting patriarchy forward. But to fight for your credit is a feeling that must come out naturally to respect the effort, turmoil and hard work that has gone in.
THOSE WHO CONVENIENTLY FOLLOW AND KEEP MUM
Indians have incessantly fallen prey to the orthodox bent of mind, that do not run in parallel with today’s day & age. Dowry for instance, despite numerous laws and provisions, still prevail. And trust me, it happens in urban regions as much as it happens in rural areas. Our parents bring up wonderfully, invest in our education and sacrifice selflessly for us all their life. Even after all these pains, if they are made to pay dowry in a marriage, it’s a shame to the girl first than anyone else. If she can’t say no to this act of maligning parents’ prestige and surrenders to it, owing to the social norms and because everyone is doing it, then she is the real culprit. This goes for many other womanly phenomena (and the so-called social taboos) like menstruation, child abuse, child marriage, marital rapes, and incest. These are more self-apportioned than being imposed.
THOSE WHO ARE SPINELESS
Those who can’t stand for what’s right. Those who do not raise their voices for their own good. Those who stand spineless for their own bad. Those who succumb to ‘not so conducive’ situations of their lives and accept it as their destiny. Those who are puppets and lack a mind of their own. Those who often make it to that list of stereotypes which people expect for a woman to be like. These women should be outlawed.
THOSE WHO LACK EMPATHY
A few months back, I was diagnosed with typhoid and had to be hospitalized for a week. I am already a rude, nonchalant, modern to an extent of sabotaging my household, and an unabashed woman to many. My quintessential adherence to fearlessness hasn’t been taken too well. Summing it all, I am being showered with all the terms & standings that are attributed to every headstrong woman in India. So my week-long recovery at the hospital was something that triggered the malice in some women and they concluded that I got an abortion done. So easy? Just like that? They maligned me for not embracing motherhood only because I was not responsible enough to become one. You are intelligent! Reckon the rest!
THOSE WHO JUDGE UNSPARINGLY
I was once at a friend’s wedding dancing my heart out and enjoying to my fullest. This probably wasn’t appreciated by a bunch of women (read aunties) sitting in a corner. One of them, intending a pun, poked my mother saying – “Ek baar shaadi aur bacche ho jane do, sambhal jayegi apne aap!” (Let her get married and have kids, she would get a hold of herself). As if having fun was a crime.
I have a friend who couldn’t conceive even after five years of marriage and was taunted every now and then by her mother in law. Have such women forgot that starting a family is a process that requires a man and a woman both? And that there could possibly be something wrong with the male counterpart? There have been fifty thousand conjectures about that woman in the society, all thanks to her mother in law. These are also the kind of women who have lost all the touch with humanity in the first place, let alone empathizing with a woman in specific.
THOSE WHO TRY TO BE EPITOME OF SACRIFICE
I am not trying to undermine the value of sacrifice in any relationship. But it is equally imperative that it comes from both the sides. Subservience can cost big if it is one-sided and work better when done proportionally. These woman with a futile sense of indecisiveness often cover up for their timidity with a ‘Mother India’ face.
And it’s not only about saying (a yes or a no) every time. It’s also about keeping mum on umpteen instances that necessitate a loud voice and a strong reaction, in absence of which, it becomes an example for other women to follow. These women have made ‘resilience’ synonymic to ‘cowardice’ and this is extremely fatal.
THOSE WHO SET THE RIGHT EXAMPLE THE WRONG WAY
There is a woman (extremely dear to me) I know who was pregnant with her first child, while she was prepping for a competitive exam simultaneously. Unfortunately, the exam fell a few days after her delivery. She had a C-Section. She chose to appear in the exam straightaway saying it was important for her. She continued this at regular intervals for a month. A nightmare of bloated tummy and a lifetime’s consumption of painkillers & antibiotics followed. She earns really good but she can’t bear her second child. She is being revered for her bravery but I detest her hands down. Nothing is more important than your own health. A job that makes you give up on your family and good health is absolutely worthless.
Of all the kinds of women mentioned above, I think the worst kind is a woman who happens to mother a daughter and implant all kinds of fears, prohibitions, alarms, and distress that comes glued to the chest of a woman ever since she takes birth. I believe these women not only incapacitate the present but the future of women as well. They destroy posterity forever. These are the women who abolish every sign of hope that any woman may have had. These women have directed women empowerment in reverse and nothing could be more detrimental than this.