Sunday, March 8, 2009

Its a Wonderful Life

This is something I wrote last year or thereabouts, so excuse the possible naivete.

I feel incredibly blessed to born in a country where I can say all I want without fear of my hands being chopped off, where I can listen to music and hum to myself without the fear of being stoned, where I can talk to people and hold my own without having to depend on a male to help me find my footing, where I can grow well into my 20's without the possibility of being forcibly married off to an old lech, where I can take my life where I want to without having to answer to anybody.

I feel extremely fortunate to be born in a family, to two parents who love each other, who support me in everything I do, who let me speak my mind, who have always wanted me to hold on to my convictions and hold my head high. Who have believed in letting me take my own decisions, who have given me immense freedom, freedom to the extent of being almost entirely hands-off. Who have loved me for what I am, who talk to me about everything under the sun, who have held their silence even when they thought I was a devil child thanks to my anti-idol worship rants so many times in the past.

I am thankful to be alive in a time where I don't have to look for a 'women's job' if I want to work, where I don't have to be a suffragette if I want basic rights for myself, where I don't have to be lectured on being a better woman if a man hurts me in any way, where I can actually get paid as much as a man for the same job, where I can go to college without having to drop out to get married, where I can see myself as a human being whose existence is not dictated by whose daughter I am or who I am with.

There are places today where women do not even get proper healthcare, sanitation or the basic courtesies most of us are so used to. There are men who cling on to their brutal mysoginistic beliefs and oppress the women in their lives, just because they are. There are women who submit to the endless putting down and don't bother standing up to it. This might be the wrong time to say this, in the wake of the attack of women in pubs.

But despite all that, I think its a great time to be alive.
Women are empowered, they know what they want, they go all out and get it. Put them in a mould and they'll break out of it. Try fitting them in a frame and they'll scoff at you. They've been there, done that, probably better than you. They love their freedom with an intensity born out of every form of suppression they've had to face in the past. They nurture, they care, they get things done. They find their footing, fall down, learn from their mistakes. They learn, trust, lend a helping hand. They revel in their education, they stand up to atrocities, they make up for physical weakness with steely emotional strength. This is generalizing at its worst, I know, but I live with the faith that a couple of decades down the line, equality will be so real you can reach out and touch it. It also helps that few men today are chauvinists. Again I'm generalizing, but its good to know that most males actually value the women in their lives and aren't afraid to let them know it, male reticence be damned.

Things are changing for the better, and that makes me feel good about the world around.

To all women. Happy women's day.