DARE YOU CALL WOMEN WEAK!

I want to be with my baby, but I pick up my bag and head to work

I want to spend some time with my husband, but I prepare my kid’s uniform and school bag for the next day

I want to let my hair down and relax but the sink full of dishes is waiting for me

I want to call in sick at work but there is an important presentation with the leadership team

I want to binge watch web series but a trip to the grocery store is long due

I want to go out with my friends but there is no one to look after the house

I want to sleep in over the weekend but kids and husband have demanded a special breakfast

There is a lot that I want to do but I ALWAYS put my responsibilities first.

No – I am not seeking sympathy. I do it out of choice. I do it out of love.

WOMEN ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO CHOOSE OTHERS OVER THEIR DESIRES when
necessary.
WOMEN ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO LIVE OTHER’S DREAM
WOMEN ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO STAND UP LIKE A ROCK WHEN YOU SHATTER
DARE YOU CALL THEM A WEAKER SEX!
Women are strong, because they can continue doing selfless things for their whole life and yet not complain but dare you take them for granted.

I like how this gender equality awareness is gaining momentum these days,but few things never change because of the innate nature of the gender. I don’t mean to say that men cannot do the above things, but history is a witness to how things have always been. They still continue to be like that in most parts of the world.

But hey, let’s break the image of “Abla Naari”. Today, women are fiercely independent and they have the power to choose whether they want to do what they are expected to do. And yet they continue to choose everything else over them even today – That’s the beauty of womanhood.

Not just this, they have assumed a lot more responsibilities at domestic and career front yet they balance just everything. They are not helpless any more. They don’t need your sympathy, but yes, they do long for some respect from you. They are not a weaker sex any more. 

The first step towards gender equality is accepting that women are capable, strong and intelligent. Are we ready yet? For me, the true gender equality will set in when women are asked for their opinions in family decisions, when a husband seeks advice from his wife, when they are allowed to eat along with all the family members, when the birth of a girl is not frowned upon, when a poor father does not have to mortgage his land and house for the dowry, when girls are sent to schools along with their male siblings, when no woman is burnt alive, raped or victimised for dowry, when the girls are not traded for flesh.

Now tell me, World are we ready for #genderequality?

 

LET ME BE GOOD IN MY WAY

“Don’t climb the trees, you will break your bones and no one will marry you.  Being pretty is very important.

Learn to cook, otherwise you will bring shame to the family.  Your degrees won’t feed the hungry child.

Taking care of children is the responsibility of a mother alone.

Marriage, motherhood everything has a right age.  Everything else can wait.

Don’t laugh out loud, stop giggling. It isn’t good for your image.

Put your family first, your husband and his family is your ultimate destination. Learn to solve your issues or learn to endure.

Answering back, having strong opinions – are big NOs”

Few of the many suggestions and expert advices handed over to us from times innumerable by our well-wishers none other than our society including our own family members.  In short the onus of looking and being good, being responsible (as deemed and defined by the society) always rested on the shoulders of a woman. It doesn’t mean that man has not been assigned any responsibility.  But in comparison to those entrusted to or rather forced upon a woman they are frail and fragile. If a man is earning and feeding his family a major chunk of his duties are met. His behaviour and attitude go off the radar of questioning (not off the radar of back biting though).  And this has been the case no matter which country, which culture a woman belongs to. In fact I used to feel that societal pressure of as to how a girl or woman should look and behave is a norm in India which is predominantly a conservative and patriarchal society but when one of my readers asked to write about how girls were supposed to behave a certain way in her growing up years and might be even now and she doesn’t belong to India, few of my misconceptions cleared. http://www.corneliaweber-photography.com – reader I was referring to.

The intensity of sexism is so deep rooted.  Even the creativity of media is not left untouched by it. Few simple examples –

  • A father applies for a loan to send his son for higher studies and to marry off his daughter.  Marriage thus is the highest goal / achievement of a girl’s life.
  • A dusky coloured girl is no good. Fair complexion on the other hand is a matter of pride for the family and she is a winner already.
  • Our movies show how the protagonist will always fall for the docile and coy dame whereas the outgoing, strong, opinionated girl will always be good as his friend only.  She won’t make a good life partner.

This is pretty much the cycle of one impacting the other. And sadly it is still working.  Though things are changing to an extent that more and more girls are being given a chance to get educated, to voice  their opinions, to choose their career paths.  The average age at which a girl gets married is definitely getting pushed further with every passing decade. What is used to be 18 or 19 now stands at 25 -27. A welcome change giving a woman a little more opportunity to shape up things how she wants them. (* note: excuse me for bringing up “marriage” numerous times in our conversation but sadly still the parents feel it is the ultimate motto of their lives 😁).  More and more women taking up careers and  making comebacks, giving their contribution in strengthening the economy is a fresh breath of air.

But one thing really bothers me very much. The Tag of a super woman, as defined by the hypocrite side of society (read jobless neighbours, always jealous relatives, ever unsatisfied in laws)  – a woman who is educated, cooks well, earns for the family, looks great, keeps the home spotlessly clean, takes care of the kids, serves everyone in the family with a never ceasing smile on her face and most importantly she never complains or has mood offs, never says NO most importantly. Even the super man has to fight of less number of villains than donning so many hats. As a society we have to overcome our fetish for “Tags of Super”.  This could induce excruciating pain for the person (talking about every woman) with whom expectations are tied up – I meant both physically and mentally. Who are we to judge  someone’s capabilities? This is an important question to be asked at this very moment.  As a society we need to rethink our stand in matters pertaining to a woman / girl (let’s not leave boys our of this 😁):

  • Raise kids equally : it implies two things, mother and father both should be held responsible for a child’s upbringing. And kids of both the genders should be given same set of tasks at home without any bias. A boy can cook and a girl can take care of accounts. Such upbringing would ensure a complete person in the making.
  • Don’t tell your boys that boys don’t cry. Such suppression can be dangerous as they find infliction of pain on others as an outlet to their emotions. Many domestic violence cases have this psychological disorder behind them.
  • Marriage / bearing kids is not the end of the world. Stop thinking about other’s personal decisions.
  • Accept the fact that everyone have their own strengths and flaws. A fish can’t fly and and a monkey can’t swim in water. Your constant critical judgement may fail them in things they do best. They need space, so back out please.

A woman needs equal amount of respect and space as that of love. She deserves it completely, period!! And I salute to everyone who are leading the path in giving complete support to the women in their lives.

PS: I am not a supporter of third wave of (toxic) feminism that completely distorted the meaning of space and freedom for women and wrongly influencing young minds.  Boozing, doing drugs, having multiple physical relationships, using swear words, manipulating situations and using sympathy / victim card to settle scores with every man in their lives in the name of empowerment is only polluting the already fragile fabric of the society.  Empowerment is about educating and emancipation.  It’s about getting equal opportunities, equal pay, equal rights.  If something is wrong for a man it is equally wrong for a woman too, just because she does it won’t make it right.

DO WE NEED WOMEN’S DAY?

Womanhood – something  I don’t want to define with a feminist perspective but as a humanist. I feel womanhood as the greatest blessing on earth. Able to keep a tiny life within and be braver to endure any pain without a repent and do much more, which another many cannot even think about.

I am truly proud of being a woman – at this point of time.

It wasn’t this way, earlier for me. The moment I realised I became a woman, it was hard for me to accept, why God has given all the pain to women alone (all the Hoola hoops with periods etc.). I tried to be more like a man, which was again impossible for me. The more I tried, the more I was condemned.

Motherhood- kicked my brains

But, yes things changed gradually. When I became a mother, especially of two girls, I began to think in a different perspective. Even though my thoughts are always conflicting, I was just sure about one thing- I will never let my daughters feel sad or even bad about being a girl. I will let them celebrate the feeling of being a woman, rather than condemning them for just being a girl – making them feel brittle or even belittle them.

I am not a feminist, but I believe wholeheartedly, that every woman should work and be independent. It makes them feel bold enough to take decisions without seeking anyone’s support. It is not easy, but not difficult or impossible either. It is all about choices. Now, we women are getting much more things done, thanks to the changing (not completely though) mindset.  We can point out great examples in every field and they are the best in their field – accomplished and popular.

Watching women juggling with corporate work, household, children and much more -still smiling and enticing the crowd around.

But why do we again need to celebrate a day for it?

It is like we are celebrating, just to remind that women exist (seems like people forgot that women are around every other day or even every other moment). We need not celebrate a day, let it be every day when a woman is respected for what she is – not what others want her to be or even what they take her to be for what she does.

A woman – She is not just an entity who loves pink, red lipsticks, dolls and utensils to play with or just a shy bride. She is much more than that- if she decided to be what she wants to, accept her or take her as she is.

The day, she is not ignored, she stops demanding for being equal, the moment she feels she is not judged, not toyed or belittled – we all will stop celebrating this “March 8th – as Women’s day” .

As then on, she will be cherished, admired and accepted as SHE is.

Women are waiting for that day, when they will be acclaimed for their entirety .

It is not just about a man or a woman, it is how a human is supposed to be treated.

Let us all celebrate a “Human’s Day” rather than these gender biased days.

 

WHY THE HULLABALOO OVER WOMEN’S DAY?

On November 19th last year, I wished my male fellows as it was International Men’s day. One of them was taken by surprise, so much that he went gaga over my wishes. No wonder after all these years, we have been celebrating Women’s Day with great pomp and show, while Men’s Day is getting recognized slowly. I feel the celebration of Women’s Day is more of the previous guilt that people have inside them for taking the feminine power for granted.

Favouring sons over daughters, wishing the birth of boys instead of girls, making the world a better place for men than women, this gender discrimination was and is still being
witnessed in many parts of the world. My dad tells me that when I was small, I used to feel angry if in any television show, the mother-in-law made a face over the birth of a girl. I used to ask my parents, “Why do the eunuchs come for the custom of badhaai (congratulatory ceremony) only when a boy is born?” I used to often laugh at the older generations who used to make a queue of baby (girl) births for the want of a boy!

As I grew older, I was very much sure that our generation is going to knock down this
practice of wishing and celebrating ‘son birth’ only. But I was wrong. In spite of the
educated lot, including many women today still prefer a son because of some silly reasons.
“It’s so difficult for a girl to roam around freely. It’s so unsafe these days.”
“It’s always a burden to have a girl, so many expenses on her marriage you know.”
“You don’t have a girl na, you won’t understand.”
It’s a plight to know their state of mind.

In a study by the University of Virginia in 2011, researchers concluded that women were 47% more likely to get hurt in car crashes due to the car safety features which were designed keeping men in mind. The features neglected the varied musculature, neck strength, height, preferred seating position of women, making them more vulnerable to injuries. Why?

Is that only men drive and women don’t?
Is it because women are born with safety features, unlike men?
Then, why this perspicacity?

The discrimination is in their pay-scales too. Assuming that women will not easily quit
because of their family responsibilities, they are taken for granted and paid less as compared to women. This pay-gap is visible in film industry too. Renowned Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut says, “My male counterparts are paid thrice the amount. No one can guarantee the success of a film so why such discrimination?” 

Women are still considered as economic burden in many households, even if they are
economically independent. It’s an irony that a woman is addressed to as the weaker sex,
despite the fact that she leaves her parents after marriage, works at home and manages office too, carries a baby inside her, goes through terrible labor pain and the post-partum trauma. Still the weaker sex?

I feel Women’s Day is more of a hullabaloo.

I don’t need a reserved seat in the metro.
I can stand too.
I don’t need a special quota either.
I can work hard too.
Just give me the equal status.                                                                                                                               I am also like you.

BEING A FEMALE PROGRAMMER

Close your eyes and imagine a computer nerd staring at the screen trying to solve a problem.

..

..

What did you imagine? A boy with a casual t-shirt or hoodie typing on the keyboard? I am sure most of you won’t imagine a girl. This is predominantly not because women are not talented but more because of our culture. When women express that they are programmers, the reactions would be, “Ah, she must be a genius.” There is a lot of stereotype in this one single statement. Before I dwell on that, do you know a recent study in the US showed an enrolment of women into STEM disciplines is close to 20%? Was it always like this? Well, more than the ratio, it is better to have an overall look at how women progressed in software engineering.

Have you heard about Ada Lovelace? It’s ok if you haven’t. She is the first computer programmer. I am not saying, first female programmer. Yes, people. It all started with a woman. Computers back in those days were massive, with a lot of hardware components. Assembling a computer itself was considered a tough job and is for men.  So, programming was a second-grade job. Women were also chosen candidates for that because by the talent that women posses with arts such as knitting, it was considered that they would naturally be able to perform well in writing analytical software. I am talking about the 1800s.

How about Margaret Hamiton? She is a computer pioneer who actually coined the term “software engineering.” Her software, Apollo Guide Computer in the Apollo Space Program sent humans to the moon. If any software engineer feels proud to call himself so, it is because she described herself as a software engineer. She gave an identity to the work she was doing. Margaret is an inspiration to many, and I am one of them.

There is a long list of inspiring female programmers, and they do perform well in what they chose. In fact, there were quite a few books written on women who excel in STEM, and I would recommend those books to everyone.  Nowadays, we see women doing quite well in a variety of mathematical, analytical, and engineering disciplines. So, the question is, why is the percentage of women so low who pursue an education in STEM? And the percentage reduces more and more as they progress in their careers.

Male dominance – This is the case in all disciplines but more so in STEM where girls are treated as if they don’t belong. As a woman, you might have to prove yourself more than a man does. The solutions proposed by a woman gets scrutinized more. I won’t deny it. I have found myself in situations where I had to defend more than needed. The same coming from a male counterpart would not be questioned as much. Also, as a woman, we may not be able to be part of all the tea table talks or casual gatherings beyond work. This is negative at times because some of the discussions and sometimes even decisions happen over these informal talks. 

A pre-perceived notion about women in tech – Many not only think women can’t code, but they are somehow inferior to men when it comes to being technically geeky. Looking at the accomplishments women have made ever since computers came into existence, this sounds untrue. Personally, I have women around me who are as geeky as men and spend hours without interruption when a challenge is thrown at them. So, there is interest and dedication as well.

Apart from these, there are other disparities. Women are paid less compared to men of the same caliber, it is often a daunting task to prove yourself over and over again and also not having the flexibility to work from anywhere. Big tech companies and even small company employers are actively considering ways to bridge these gaps.

So, should women learn to code? Absolutely. For a second, forget all the stereotypic thoughts. How would you feel about finding a solution to a problem no one ever did? Would you have an adrenaline rush to be able to build whatever you want? Cool, then programming is for you. Having said that, I won’t say it is a bed of roses. You are going to have moments where you end up questioning yourself, “Am I good at this? Maybe, this is not for me”. Worry not, you are not alone. A lot of men also have the same feelings. Fear is built into us and is not gender-specific. Programming is not just analytical or logical, it is a creative form, and we women are great with creative stuff.

Working your way up can be a little tricky. Find a women mentor, because she has been there and done that. It might be easier for a women mentor to understand your state of mind. Having said that, some men are great mentors, and they really understand what we go through as women, acknowledge it, and can provide a helping hand in overcoming the hurdles. A small secret, it is easier to convince someone with good code because it cannot be influenced by anyone while it runs!!

Make friends with women who are coders. There are quite a few groups, meetups that happen where women in technology come together. These are great platforms to find someone who you can share your achievements and frustrations. Also, you would get to learn about various new technologies and meet technologists who are pioneers in those areas.

Gone are those days where people say, women who are pretty cannot code, and who can code are not pretty. I am both pretty and can code, do you have any problem with that should precisely be our attitude, and there would be no looking back.

Go out, girls, have fun coding!!!

THE UNEQUALLED DESIGN

A perfect woman who can be?

 

One who cooks n launders,

And keeps the house spic n span?

 

One who nurses her family,

Keeping vigil long nights when they are taken sick?

 

One who births n raises children,

Meeting their every need as they grow?

 

One who lends a helping hand,

To the family’s treasury?

 

One who aligns with stereotyped definitions,

Of possessing attributes of femininity?

 

One who sacrifices more than men,

To chalk out various means to reach the end?

 

One who is the pride of her father, husband and son,

For she helps keep their heads high up whether rain, hail or storm?

 

One who is the smart fair lady,

Men croon to make their own?

 

One who practices silently,

To endure ridicule, pain and scorn?

 

One who conquers mountains peaks,

And steers ships across tempestuous seas?

 

Ah well! A perfect woman you will not find,

‘coz there isn’t any of that kind!

 

Whether you look to the far north or south or to the east or west,

You’ll not find a woman perfect to everyone’s taste.

 

A bundle of imperfections she is,

Just the very same way a man is!

 

Yet, she is perfect!

 

Not perfect because of her dainty looks

Not perfect because she can cram or author too many books

 

Not perfect because she can sweat n toil

Not perfect because she can burn the midnight oil

 

Not perfect because she can bear and rear children

Not perfect because of her accomplishments

 

But, perfect because of the unique creation that she divinely is

To cherish her is God’s providence for unending bliss.

 

She is no man’s equal

Nor is any man her equal.

 

She stands on a pedestal,

Erected on God’s handmade ground.

 

The masterpiece of His creative potential,

Each woman is quintessential.

 

She is creation’s crowning glory along with the man,

None ever ought to meddle with God’s holy plan.

 

 

 

 

YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS GONNA CELEBRATE…

You were the one, who was lonely and deserted in the beginning…

But you were the one for whom God created her with such sophistication…

You were the one who wowed seeing the beautiful her…

But you were the one who accused her to be the cause of your sin…

 

You were the one who caused her so much pain for whole nine months…

But you were the one for whom she rejoiced the most on your arrival…

You were the one for whom she stayed awake so that you sleep well in the night…

You were the one for whom she skipped her meals so that you can have the best…

 

You were the one who desired her…

But you were the one who betrayed her…

You were the one who made lewd comments on her…

And you were the one who blamed her to be indecent…

You were the one who promised to protect her as a brother…

But you were the one who raped her physically, mentally and emotionally…

 

You called her ‘Mom’ when you longed for her lap to rest the pained you…

You called her ‘Sister’ when you needed a friend to share your heart…

You called her ‘Wife’ when you’re desperate to hide your face in her bosom for comfort…

You called her ‘Daughter’ when you wanted to boast about yourself as the best father…

But you are the one who breached your relationship with her in so many ways…

You are the one who’s responsible for her condition today…

 

So today,

You are the one who’s gonna set everything right…

You are the one who’s gonna give the credit, value and care due to her…

You are the one who’s gonna liberate her from the bondage you have put her in…

You are the one who’s gonna respect her for who she has been in your life all these time…

You are the one who’s gonna acknowledge her contribution in your life…

You are the one who’s gonna celebrate her as the Woman of Substance and Sacrifice…

WISHING ALL THE WOMEN A RESPECTFUL WOMAN’S DAY!