“Whatever women do, they must do it twice as well as men to be thought of as half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult for them.”
― Charlotte Whitton
Having lived in a patriarchal society for centuries has certainly impacted our routine lives. “Act like a man”, “Mard ko dard nahi hota”, “Don’t cry like a girl” are a few phrases that all of us have heard in our lifetime. These phrases are a testament to the decadence of human morality and equality. You cannot deny the presence of male chauvinism that prevails in our society when the entire human race is called MANkind. Still, boys are taught to be somebody while girls are taught to find somebody. Why are gender roles so deeply ingrained in our society that we gender the inanimate objects and hobbies? Since when did pink become “girly”? Since when did playing with dolls become a girls’ hobby? Since when did not crying, or not showing emotions become evidence of masculinity? Why do women cook “because they have to”, but men are chefs? Why are women termed as “the weaker sex”? I am flabbergasted by these innumerable, damaging double standards that fuel gender disparity.
For females to cut their hair short, to wear jeans and shirts appears smart to society, but for males to wear dresses is degrading. Why? Because being a female is degrading? Females have always been painted in a bad light; a man reacts, a woman can only overreact; when a man does something, it is strategic, when a woman does the same thing, it is calculated. The irony makes me laugh, because being a female yields you immense power, emotional and intellectual strength, and a softness that should never be shamed. At the end of the day, it’s a female you rely on. She is the one capable of managing work and home and family and children simultaneously and efficiently. In times of distress, it’s a female who supports you, be it a mother, sister, daughter, or wife. Undoubtedly, women possess astounding qualities which should leave us in sheer awe, but we bring her down to feel better about ourselves. It’s about time we change that.
Admittedly, there are indisputable differences between males and females. These are mother nature’s deliverance, and it is accepted that these differences cannot be disregarded. So when I say that men and women should be treated equally, I mean identical. I don’t reject the fact that men and women have their differences, but I stand that those differences should not result in different levels of access, opportunities, and benefits. A society that creates equality among females and males would flourish in the best way possible.
Theoretically, we have been a free and equal nation for 75 years, but the reality is that women are still bound to the chains of patriarchy and struggle every day. Every time a man decides that a woman’s voice is not worth listening to, he is condemning the life of his daughter, and the future generations to come. It is about time that we free women from these chains and double standards. It’s about time that females are helped in stepping up to accomplish and honour their goals and achievements. Because without this equality, our society can never be liberated and can never be truly free.
Writer: Anika Priyaranjan
Editor: Jaenil Parekh