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Women and Happy days!

Oh yes!! That IS the best you can do for her! Look around. The women who have grown past the 'expected' threshold are those who either had no chains pulling them back or those who worked their way up despite the so-called restrictions, role/gender expectations, societal judgments and cultural conditioning.

Fortunately, the world has come a long way, things are not what they were a couple of generations back. My maternal Grandmother told me her childhood stories when she was a brilliant student and a budding singer, schools just introducing English as a language( in the pre-independence era) and how much she loved going to school. But she was taken out of school and music lessons against the pleading of her teachers and was married off to a man fifteen years her senior. I find it hard to even imagine what she knew about life, people and managing a household! All of twelve years old, she went on to have seven children, lost one, her husband falling sick and invalid for many years and dying when she was barely thirty five with seven children to feed, the youngest being two years old!! She did a good job of dealing with her life and family with her limited resources and outside-world knowledge, getting even her daughters to study up to graduation. Kudos to her!

Jumping two generations down, I had a couple of my friends who were married off between 20 and 22, even before they knew what they wanted in life. Well, I wasn't too far either! Why is it in our culture, so important to get the girl married off? 'To the most eligible man..' that is one who can feed her, and is from a 'good' family. That is all that mattered. What the girl's aspirations are, dreams are, whether she even formed her personality and character to deal with a whole new family and members, if she can withstand any eventualities, is she/ can she be financially independent?.... don't think this was the thought process!

Society!!! Fear of 'what people would say?!' And we are the "people" when it comes to the neighbours' matters. I admire those parents of girls who thought far and let their girls explore what their male siblings would and reach their glory. They are the ones who set the right examples. These girls, the women of mettle, are the ones who proved that if let be... they can do what they can do, in any field of their choice. That is the best support we need. we don't need people around constantly reminding what her 'first' duties are, where her place is, who the most important people in her life at different times are, how should she talk, walk, dress and behave, what her boundaries are.... She KNOWS!!

So please.... 'Let her BE" !

If at all, control the people who judge her, the men who dominate and push her down and extend no co-operation in running the family, extended families who constantly shackle her with unreasonable expectations and work places which do not understand what it takes to have a child and nurse!

Women will not need any special treatment or reservations, is she is let to be herself! Until then, we got to highlight 'Women's days' ! Deal with it...

**Disclaimer: This is not to push all the blame on men. In fact women doeth unto themselves and other women too, and quite often!

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