Monday, March 09, 2009

Painted Nails and Stiletto Heels

Yet another International Woman's day has gone by and while the significance is beyond an exclusive section on Times Of India, TV/Talk shows on Breast /Cervical Cancer and a few public awareness campaigns against attacks on women, it does seem limited to just that.

The woman in the title of this post is not only the pub going, loose and forward woman. It is I!
It is my reference to the urban, professional woman who earns equal pay all the while trying to balance the high heels and a pepper spray. I agree, the intersection of these two groups will be a mammoth figure.

She is the woman of today and while there exists a Moses' separation of the Red Sea between the various categories of women be it urban or rural, single or married, she still deserves her rights. Was it divine intervention that has made the fairer sex also the weaker sex? I don’t believe so, Adam did eat the apple of his own free will! The very fact that we need a Women's day is rather demeaning to the women of this generation, it is a reminder of the injustice that has been sown on this section of the society and continues to be sown to this day. I use the term injustice for lack of a better word, it portrays everything from poor working conditions to lower wages to the harassment she faces in the domestic scene and the workplace.

While it has been difficult for me to fathom the division, it exists although my hoops maybe quite different from the newly married woman trying to satisfy the dowry demands of her in-laws! Having almost never come in direct contact with this injustice, never been treated differently be it at home or in school or at work, recent events in Mangalore have brought out the intolerance of a section of the community towards *this woman*, it's probably their way of showing that we too should not be left out - injustice for all!

I should not have to fear about impressions. I should not have to fear showing a bit of skin as long as it is not vulgar, I should not have to fear going out to the pub for a drink, after all I know my limits and its legal (Drinking is not taboo in my community, be it Men or Women and I really do not think I am a potential for AA , I should have the right to decide for myself!) !, I should not have to fear about the religion of my companion or about the jewelry I adorn . I could go on and on about the fears, my point being there are already too many glass ceilings that need to be shattered without having to worry about appearances to a small fringe group of people with undue influence.

While the Mangalore pub incident happened, I was not surprised to hear differing views from supposedly likeminded people, my own classmates, with almost similar academic influences however differing domestic influences having more radical views and almost outright in their support to the fringe groups, who do nothing but spew violence on women. The infighting within the NCW on the subject is probably to be expected too. If Women can't stand up for Women, then who will? How can one not condone such attacks whatever be the circumstances that led them to a pub? And while I doubt the impact of the Pink Chaddi Campaign which I found oddly repulsive, almost promoting perverseness I understand the psyche behind such a campaign . It is not an age to be a doormat, dormant and although I may not be a feminist I am vocal, I'd like to stand up for my rights and not having a firsthand experience of the real evils against women including but not limited to dowry abuse, female feticide, female infanticide, sexual harassment, I'd like to see some change. If only I can be the change that I hope for!

On a side note, a few of my female counterparts in office are dressed in Sari today, I don’t know if they feel powerful, confident, I sure would not! I'd be tremendously distracted trying to hold up that 5 yards of cloth!


Anonymous said...

Please support the online petition against female infanticide by voting here.

Hriday said...

I don't understand this hue and cry about 'women being tormented/harassed/unequally treated etc'.

The world thrives on difference and discrimination - cats arent treated on the same terms as trees and men on the same terms as cars. For that matter, no 2 women are treated the very same way by the very same individual.

You are taking one very narrow view and ranting on it.

Supposing this "vice" of differentiation vanishes because of your prayers and blogs, then you might wear any number of stiletto heels, bare any amount of skin and might never have to carry a pepper spray - but then, u are just like any other element of existence. Does that help?

PS: Do you really carry pepper sprays with you?? :-o ;)

RZD said...

@Hriday C'mon, you almost similar post from you would have made you chivalrous, sensitive to issues but from me it gets labeled as a rant! It's almost like gossip vs Sharing information!

Well, I guess that is the exact difference you are talking about and God, No... I do not want to be treated the same, it's great being a Woman & there sure are the benefits too.

All I can reveal is that my bag never leaves my sight and it's large enough!

Hriday said...

I took a similar topic but not a similar stance - i chose to propose my own viewpoint which wasnt in support of the 2 most popular existing ones.

Why i called it a rant was because the 'oppressed mentality' lies in everyone - the upper vs lower castes, whites vs blacks, men vs women, haves vs havenots, capitalists vs socialists. Even twins feel discriminated when compared to each other. And you cant avoid that as long as you are physically, mentally or [any other]ally different. The flip side of difference is discrimination and the only way to eliminate the second is to eliminate the first. And as you rightly said, being different has its advantages. You should see more of that than "rant" on the disadvantages!

And c'mon, that's not "revealing" enough :P Will rummage through it next time we meet, what say? ;)

PS: Chivalrous?!!! Meh! ;)

Delson Roche said...

Hi, Nice blog and very well written. Y have u not posted ur profile?