Saturday, 12 September 2015
“Anmol.. I really need to start with work!”
“Then what is stopping you?”
“Where will I work? There are no corporate houses. It’s a small city, and you know how it is”
“What happened with the website that you were developing?”
“It’s going on, but nothing major. It barely requires anytime. Plus people here do not believe in the concept of taking everything online”
“That, I agree. And what about the interior designing firm that you applied for?”
“That man is a pervert! Plus the locality is not good. Not that I am making excuses, but you yourself won’t like it when you will check out the place. I don’t think it’s safe to work there!”
“Hmm.. Keeping looking then. I am sure you will come up something”
A few weeks later
“You’re getting really handy these days Riya.. what’s going on?”
“As if you don’t know what I’m referring to..”
“I don’t know what you're referring to and I don't know how to explain this, but it’s not in my hands at all! I like to keep myself busy and that is how I have been brought up and I have done every possible thing to keep it that way! And now, with no work at all, I am bound get cranky.. and it’s something beyond my control!”
“You’re saying as if I have stopped you from something”
“Well you haven’t, but haven’t contributed anything either”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know what I mean! I am constantly looking for work, but there’s always something that comes from your side. May be the timings, may be the place, may be the distance, may be the liking of your parents.. Mind you, Mr. Anmol Sharma, that is not how it works when one is out there to hunt for a job!”
“OK, I get your dilemma. Totally. Why don’t you start teaching?”
“In a school you mean?”
“Anywhere.. school.. college, whatever suits you”
“We stay in a joint family. Your parents won’t allow me to work with those inflexible hours”
“Then college? But it’s a small city. Not a decent crowd comes. You will get frustrated after a few days only”
“How about a coaching institute?”
“I think you can work that out. Dig in the details and see if that works”
Riya is now working in a reputed institute and is very happy about it. The flexibility in the timing gives her enough time to give it to her family as well as her hobby- sketching. She loves to sketch. She keeps on participating in various social activities and is now part of many creative community clubs. She has organized various events that help people bring out their passion for creative things.
Well that’s not where it stops. She has become one popular bird in her circle. Friends, relatives, community members.. Everywhere! “She’s one lucky girl I must say, otherwise who allows so much of freedom to the woman of the house”, they say, “Well, she’s in a really good place right now”, “One must be involved in some or the other activities.. good she’s involved somewhere and is busy with it”, “Fortunate for her.. She’s getting to work” and the endless number of comments that people say in her near family and circle.
Riya is just another girl who fought really hard to find a way for herself. The consistency and the determination, led her to where she truly belonged. But what is astonishing are the two underlying things in the above mentioned situation. One, when it comes to females, where on earth does the question of allowing them to work come? Who gave men and the society this power? If one wants to work, then it’s totally that person’s matter, what they think about it and how do they want go about it. Especially when it comes to females. Why there has to be a permission that needs to be granted for her to work? Statistics says India ranked 124th (towards the bottom of the 136 countries listed in the 2013 Global Gender Gap Index) and for women’s educational opportunity a ranking of 120 as stated in World Economic Forum, The India Gender Gap Review 2013.
Two, why do people feel that if women are working, it’s fun and she’s lucky? We don’t think like this for men! Do we? Why can’t everybody consider the question of equality? If men are working, it’s their duty and obviously they are bound to work, whereas, if a woman is working, then she’s lucky that her family is allowing or that she must be involved in something or the other so as to while away her time.
It’s kind of weird!
We do talk about equality that is given to them, but we barely treat them equally. And these are certain things which are expected out of her to do and she too takes them as her duty. The power of societal norms and the shebang where patriarchy rules, it gets difficult to put women’s needs first!
After delivering the baby, it’s quite obvious that a mother will stay home and take care of the baby till the time the baby has grown enough to be left at home. Why doesn’t this same thing can be done by men? Willingly taking a break from their work and be a stay-at-home dad, with consent only, and let women be the primary breadwinner. What is the problem in that? It’s a very rare thing to happen in India, but then why not?
Women are underpaid. In every sector. Not even the Bollywood has spared it. The highest paid amount for an actor is somewhere around 50 crores and for the best actress in the industry the highest amount is just 11 crores! It is all about breaking the stereotypes. Males dominate every possible industry.. be it music, airwaves, film, defense and the list continues. Most of the music videos are produced by men, no major movies are directed by women, no major record label is being headed by a woman. And the worst part is, they are only seen as sex objects!
To an extent men control women’s lives and women also succumb happily to this system. Decisions as basic as what they should wear when visiting a distant relative, should they continue their friendship with their male friends, the time till which they can stay out of the house, meeting friends in the absence of their husband at an odd hour as 10 in the evening, seeking permission from men when circumstances want them to travel to various parts of the country or may be overseas, explaining the need for them to travel and with whom along with the particulars of stay and travel details are a few things that come as a barrier in their way.
Now, for once, let’s turn the tables, and keep men in place of women and then think of these circumstances. I don’t think any men would need to give a justification to anybody in the house even if he wants to grab a pint of beer with his lousy friends at 11.30 pm. Or if it’s about his work, God knows, how many secret Bangkok trips have been planned in the name of making hard earned money, which the wife prodigally spends and has absolutely no idea how is he making the money, err, how is he languishing the money! And yes, it is a business trip. We mustn’t question them!
It was once; when one female, as innocent as a lamb, had no idea what Thailand was all about. All she missed was her husband’s absence, when in no time, in one of the casual meetings with her girlfriends she discovered truth behind the business trips or I must say the pleasure trips. On confronting and threatening that she would complain about it to his parents, he obviously played the emotional card.
No women want to be treated specially. All she wants is to be treated equally. Be it the queues or the seating arrangements or the reservation in anything. Be it about sharing the bill, or lifting a heavy thing (an extra hand will do no harm, but completely boycotting is not done), OK yes, men are physically stronger than women, but who knows giving them proper training might do wonders! Also, sharing the business details and seeking for ideas and insights, sharing the parenting duties equally!
Give us what you give men, without any special benefits. I'm not saying treat women like men. The point is treat them equal, with equal rights, that’s it! I think men understand the difference between the two terms, specially and equally! I mean treating them specially only for having a vagina instead of balls, is quite uncanny! Don’t you feel?
This post is written for India Today Woman Summit 2015 and I am blogging for the India Today Woman Summit 2015 #WomenPower activity at Blogadda.
And I nailed it.. Yipeeee..!