In the swarm of humans, circle of life women has always been the one fighting, struggling for the basic in viability. A woman in Indian household still struggles to sit on the dining table along with all the other family members let alone going out and being the bread earner. A woman in an Indian household is still struggling hard to make society realize that her dignity is not defined by her choice of clothing. A woman in Indian society is still struggling hard to make people realize that she’s not a bad woman for not wanting children. A woman in Indian society is still struggling to make people realize that she’s a human and is free to have desires of all sorts. How shallow society has to be to judge its members on the basis of their personals desires? A woman cannot desire completeness in her relationship. A woman cannot desire love and passion. A woman cannot desire freedom. A woman is judged for having sexual desires.
India is one of the world’s most socially heterogeneous societies, building solidarity between certain social groups has been a challenge in India. Social bias in India is sown across a range of key cleavages — whether caste or class, region or religion or GENDER. In India, discrimination on the basis of sex has never been alien. Life for women has never been a bed of roses in this country.
Woman? What is she? Sadly, she is still just a womb to the majority of the people in modern society.
In the words of Simone de Beauvoir “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”
In the bosom of the family, the woman seems in the eyes of childhood and youth to be clothed in social dignity, manners and respect. Later on, in marriage, many respects woman as wife and mother, and in her social circle, she is always seen as somebody’s daughter, wife, mother, lover but never as someone. Women even in the 21st century have to struggle hard to make an identity of their own, to be called as ‘someone’ rather than ‘someone’s’.
Being a student of English literature and history one question always struck me, it is a perennial puzzle why back in time before Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen were writing; no woman wrote a word of that extraordinary literature when every other man, it seemed, was capable of song or sonnet. What were the conditions in which women lived? I ask myself. I went therefore to the shelf where the histories stand and took down History of England. Once more I looked up Women, found ‘position of’ and turned to the page indicated. ‘Wife beating’ I read ‘was a, perceived right of man, and was practice without disgrace by high and low. Similarly, the historian goes on ‘the girl who won’t wed the nobleman of her parent’s decision was subject to be bolted up, beaten, and flung about the room, with no stun been caused on popular supposition. Marriage was not an undertaking of individual love, yet of family voracity, especially in the “chivalrous” high societies. Not being a historian, one might go even further and say that women have burnt like beacons in all the work of all poets from the beginning of time.
Sadly much isn’t changed. We women are still held as the one who will hold up the family’s name. No matter how hard I ponder upon this question, I can’t bring myself to come to terms with the fact that how the length of my skirt will be the representative of my family’s dignity and virtues. In the eyes of patriarchy a woman has no role to play in the society other than being a child bearer, still, how can a woman is seen as the protector of the very same society? After years of understating and experiencing misogyny even in minuscule of its existence, I have come to the conclusion that all the social chains I’m chained into are an institution of patriarchy. The huge burden of the family name and “Ghar ki izzat” was thrown on a woman’s shoulder like a candy given to a child to keep his attention away from the toy called freedom and equality. Tons of women and girls around the country are householders. They are supposed to clean, cook, care for children, look after elderly family members. This is considered to be their sole purpose. Despite their important role, they are among the most exploited and abused section in the world. How many of you remember saying “My mother doesn’t work, she’s a housewife.” Ironically she works more than anyone of us. They may be locked within their houses and subject to physical and sexual violence. In India society, marriage is considered as a pure institution that not only ties a man and woman together but two families. Despite this, the number of crimes against married women has been surging incessantly. Be it dowry deaths or domestic violence, the numbers have been increasing at an alarming rate. One of the biggest stereotypes that working women have to deal with is that they are either “bad” housekeepers or outsource their chores altogether. This stigma couldn’t be farther from the truth. In most Indian households where women step out to work, the burden of whatever chores that need to be taken care of largely falls on them. You cannot come up to me and say that above are the things of the past. Women are still denied basic rights, women are still being raped, forced to marry, forced to have children. Not a single soul is unaware of the faceless enemy whole world is fighting against. Coronavirus has been listed as the deadliest pandemic mankind has ever witnessed. So far more than half of the world is under lockdown and people are grappling to breathe. Newspapers, Social media platform are always filled with number of deaths and ever-increasing cases. Right when you start thinking that human misery cannot get any worse, A woman is rapped on her hospital bed.
A woman who was said to be 2 months pregnant was admitted into Corona isolation ward of Magadh Medical College, Gaya, Bihar. On suspicion, she was admitted to an isolation ward on 1st April where she was raped by her doctor who was appointed for her checkup. He kept raping her for 2 days straight. For one whole day, the woman was in utter horror but soon gathered the courage to tell the guard to call her family. She with great power narrated the whole brutal incident to her in-laws, She was told to remain silent and think about the shame it would bring to the whole family.
Since all civilizations have been patriarchal, regardless of the overall human rights conditions maintained in society, women have been subject to more human rights violations than men. Women establish the most unfortunate and the least incredible sections of their networks. They are denied equivalent access to instruction, work preparing, business, relaxation time, pay, property, social insurance, open office, basic leadership power and opportunities, just as command over their very own body and life.
The 21-day-long lockdown may keep women safe from deadly virus but it has pushed a lot of them towards something equally grievous- domestic violence and sexual harassment.
I should anticipate no difficulty in convincing anyone who has gone with me on the subject of equality of women in the family, I believe that their disabilities elsewhere are only clung to in order to maintain their subordination in domestic life; because the generality of the male sex cannot tolerate the idea of living with an equal.