“If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?”
A term that was derided and abandoned a decade ago has come roaring back to life. The world has entered into a new millennium, but from the dawn of civilization till today, the woman of the patriarchal society of India continues to be oppressed and ill-treated. The gender-based violence that threatens the well-being, dignity and rights of women, extends across social, cultural, economic and regional boundaries.
In the words of Charles Dickens, “I want to be so much worthier than a doll in the doll house.” The fallacies of gender equality lie shattered as reality stares us in the eye. The recent incidents of atrocities against women have startled India from the slumber of complacency. Proved time and again, the fact lies bare, crystal clear and irrefutable that gender equality is a myth, an inconceivable reality. The imps of discrimination breeds in the cradle of a girl-child. From foeticide to infanticide to dowry deaths, her birth is greeted with laments, and her evanescence tainted with frivolous restrictions. Prejudice mars her fate, scars her journey from the womb to the grave. We live in a country where a seven-year old is brutalized within the premises of a school, where in every twenty-six minutes a woman is molested, where in every forty-two minutes an assault occurs.
Blistering debates may have thronged the august citadels of power, but ultimately we reach the dead end of introspection. All this stems from a deep, underlying patriarchal mindset, from a conception that the man rules and the woman follows. It’s time we penetrate through the seemingly impervious crust of pseudo-idealism and descend into the realms of realism. The stereotype of a cowering woman, an overpowering man has stayed unchanged through the business of law-making and law-breaking. All of us have been the subject of heavy stereotyping throughout our lives. Blue for boys, pink for girls; superheroes for them, dolls for us. Can something be left to our individual discretion?
A secondary position in the society entails this deep-seated patriarchal mindset. Ordered subjugation has become an unwritten code; unflinching obedience has become an recognized principle. It is time we come out of the cocoons of passivity to take charge of the situation. The moment we vanquish our reluctance to initiate change, the moment we win the battle against our inherent insecurities, a new India is born. The moment we consider our mother no less than our father, the moment we refuse to succumb to any sort of injustice meted out to us, a new India is born.
The tide of change awaits our shores. If we embrace it, we shall have laid the foundation of a changed world. It is rightly said, a woman is like tea bag, it is only in hot water that you realize how strong she is. The waters are hot, the time is right. Let us show them our real strength.
Richa Singh is student pursuing Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia.
edited by: Nuzhat Khan
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.