Beyond a hackneyed Woman's day

March 19, 2012 at 22:00 pm

As the dawn is lit up by the golden rays of the sun, there is no necessity of an alarm clock to wake up a woman who rises along with the sun and winds up her day way beyond the sun set. She is a duty bound woman. Does she get a respite on this day from her household duties? The answer is a blunt 'no' because even if she is given a day off, she would not run away from her duties. She would never consider taking care of her family as a tedious job which would require a break. This is definitely not a platitude or an embellishment to emphasize the nature of a woman. This is the universal truth we try to ignore conveniently for various reasons.

The name 'Marie Curie' is somehow etched in our minds from our school days. It brought a sense of excitement to us when we used to read about her in our science text books in school as radioactivity was a revolution in the field of Science. Joan of Arc, Rani Lakshmi Bai to name a few has adored the pages of history. Today we have young woman engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs, social activists, athletes rising rapidly. Of all the above said glories, the most astounding thing is in spite of all her success a woman is still able to balance her work and home. They take the front seat when it comes to the matters of their family. Success has not intoxicated her. As Washington Irving quotes, "There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity", there is no question of a women's potential here. Women have created a revolution from the time immemorial. They are omnipresent in all fields of life be it in sports, art or science and technology. Success breeds success for a woman.

Women have been tortured to the extent that they just respire and don't breathe. Despite this current scenario, society still wants to celebrate womanhood, it seems like this is to celebrate the travails of womanhood. It is an official holiday in countries like Afghanistan which has subdued and ridiculed women for ages. Women in Afghanistan are denied even basic education. The subservient treatment meted out makes us really ponder as to why have they declared Women's day as a holiday when they toil in their houses all day and are barely given the right to live? This bamboozled act triggers our farcical laughter and makes us wonder what is the society trying to tell us by this?

The first national Women's Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States. But why has the day been emphasized now? What took this day to be highlighted and celebrated after close to a century? The more we ponder on such questions, the more we get lost in an unfathomable state.

Party time, holiday time, social gathering time, cultural show time...All these means of celebrating women's day can never mitigate the adversities women are still facing. Gender discrimination even in top notch corporate offices, Imrana case where she was raped by her own father-in-law and forced to annul her marriage, constant exploitation of women at every stage of their lives, heinous crimes like raping a woman even in so called civilized and developed countries, female foeticide etc. can never be forgotten and forgiven. So it makes us wonder what qualitative or quantitative change we have brought by celebrating this day in a woman's life.

Women are recognized for their various contributions on this day but how many Kalpana Chawlas, Aung San Suu Kyis, Indira Nooyis, Mother Teresas are we producing? The answer to this question is unfortunately quantifiable. Women are still not given substantial roles in movies. They are treated as meagre pound of flesh to sell movies. Bollywood item numbers that we harp about are growing in number day by day. R and B music is so popular that the lead female singers go to any extent to make their song sell. Let us not even venture into the grey area of pondering about whether women are trying to gain attention in the wrong manner as we will be disheartened thoroughly. We are not debating the capability of a women but the very purpose of celebrating this day.

Celebrating woman's day is not condemnable but we should not lose the purpose and make it another day in the long list of important days of our calendar. We should get out of the customary ways of celebrating womanhood. We are not competing against men because we simply do not have to. As Marilyn Monroe had quoted, "I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it". Let us look beyond woman's day celebration to commemorate women's struggle and her achievements. Let us not highlight her struggles or accomplishments confined to one single day or a period. Every day is a struggle and every day she out performs herself. Hence beyond a hackneyed woman's day, let us try to find a soul for this day rather than a superficial attempt to mark a woman's glory.

Rashmi R
Pursuing MBA in Business Management,
Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar


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