Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Woman's day out


-By Swetha Amit
Women are God’s personification of words like mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, wife, and the list goes on. Embodiment of love, warmth and care has been identified with this gender. Womanhood is said to be the most gracious and honorable stage in a lifetime.

An expedition to exploring the roots of this mysterious gender provides certain interesting evidence. Tracing back to the prehistoric period and coming back to the contemporary scenario, women have certainly come a long way.

The dark ages depict practices of female infanticide, where a birth of a girl child was considered a burden. Exceptional cases of survival of these led them to being locked up within the homely four walls, restricting them to domestic chores alone. They were believed to be the weaker sex and incapable accomplishing anything else. Marriage was conducted when they were barely up their feet. Post marriage proved to be even worse being treated like slaves and prisoners. Widows were the worst sufferers as they were like untouchables and remarrying was considered a sin.

Liberation, freedom and independence seemed alien to these innocent ladies, until the General Assembly urged an end to this unwarranted discrimination, promoting support for equality of genders, in 1977. This day is celebrated as Woman’s day. Today the modernization of these Venusians has brought a great impact as they enjoy similar positions with their favorite Martians in almost every educational and occupational field, and are proud achievers .But the journey has been a long and arduous one and is still continuing.

The transformation from a girl turning into a woman portrays a resemblance to the metamorphosis of an unattractive caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. The onset of puberty embarks her beginning of this thorny travel, as the awareness of her feminity dawns upon her. Whether it’s an uncanny zit on a face or a hormonal mood swing, hardships faced, all exist in abundance. At 21, this ugly duckling turns into a sophisticated swan basking either in the admiration or criticism under the scorching gaze of millions. This travel is a rather rocky road to the rosy destination.

However, just like a rose garden isn’t free without thorns, this particular phase is faced with such prickly hurdles in many forms. As the steps climb up to higher stages, a unique kind of challenge is placed before them with different roles undertaken. Scrutinization always takes place with their height, weight, skin color and hair that they almost feel like a sculpture displayed for show in an art exhibition. Their choices with respect to education, marriage, and occupation or post marital decisions of being a home maker are always met with a critical eye and mouth! Everything from their culinary skills, house management, salary, job profile, and working hours are discussed about.

A working woman is viewed as someone who’s modern, hep, fast and egoistic with no time for family. A homemaker is often seen as someone dumb, with lack of exposure, non enterprising and someone who sits at home watching television and engages in gossip with the neighbors.

Today, expectations from an ideal Woman is truly pressurizing as demands are made for a certain social obligation and etiquette. Whether she is a newly married, an understanding wife, a working woman or a patient mother to an advisory grandmother, multi tasking roles add the excess burden on her delicate shoulders. But the dual role of being a home maker and bread winner is carried out remarkably well and her dainty face is never devoid of that warm smile to her kith and kin.

Yet, it is a shame to see issues of women abuse, rape, bride burning for the lack of dowry, eve teasing, and prostitution still prevailing in certain parts of the country even today. Worst of all is the prevalence of female foeticide. Sadder is the fact that sometimes a woman’s worst enemy is another woman herself, whose obsession with the male gender never fails to leave her, be it to beget a male heir or taking away another's man. Education still needs to penetrate to eradicate and remove these evils.

Nevertheless, women are God's gift to earth and not mere sex objects or family burden. Communities need to accept women for their golden heart and not their other ‘Gold’. Society needs to love and respect women for whom they are in terms of personality and behavior and not for their credentials.

A lot is taken for granted. Not a second goes into empathy, support and gratitude for the fairer sex. The Woman is the back bone of the family and represents the roots of the family tree. Lack of nourishment and nurture of these tender roots will weaken the foundation leading to collapse of this magnificent tree. We never notice anything when it’s always under our eye. But its conspicuousness and worth is realized only when it disappears, never to come back again.

So here’s a call to the Martians. Why not make this day special for all the Venusians be it at home or at work place. A word of praise and appreciation by simply letting her know how important she is or reversing the role for this one day, will truly make her feel on top of the world.

After all, it’s her day out and out, isn’t it?
Written for www.msn.co.in

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