Individuality is a term used loosely for women in India but not yet given to them with that ease. If India wants to unravel to the world the power it is capable of exhibiting it will have to first stop defining lines of equality between men and women. It is because of this fight to achieve equality women are losing out on what they deserve and what they really are capable of contributing to the growth of the nation. Individuality does not mean aggression, it means the beauty to merge your existence with that of others to reach a peak in what ever you would like to achieve in life – be it moksha or anything materialistic. This might also spark the entire, then it is not individuality to say debate right! I have seen a lot of my girlfriends use feminism as a convenient excuse. One which I don’t necessarily agree with. They cannot get home by themselves after dark for the fear of traveling in an auto rickshaw but they do however believe they deserve to be given the same choices that men have in society. Now that kind of feminism I disagree with. Learn to drive your own ass home woman!
As long as women end up getting aggressive in the name of equality and individual freedom, we as a nation will never reach our peak politically or as an economic power. Unity is more significant than individuality not because we as women should give up but because unity is what will help us stop condemning ourselves. It is in the name of equality that we give rise to fear, desensitization of society on a whole as well as indifference to the term. Gender and inequality is as huge an issue for India as poverty or economic instability is. To reach the macro level, we will have to start with the basics.
While I was working with one of the top design institutes of the nation, my experience taught me much, though I have a lot to learn yet in all aspects. But there was one stark point I understood and that is we cannot create change at lower levels by sitting and sipping coffee in our glass cabins. We need to reach where we want change to take place. And often we need to be the change we want. For women, typically the battle is inward bound. The battle is of the unknown in most situations, triggered by various incidents, most of which might not matter if we want to see change and gain what we call ‘gender equality’. Gender equality according to me doesn’t mean turning a negative eye to chivalry. It doesn’t mean being given a separate line to buy a train ticket. It doesn’t need to necessarily end up in us having separate lines and separate counters for every single thing we need to purchase or look at.
In India typically, gender demarcation is done at a low level. They teach you in school not to play football with the boys. Girls learn embroidery and boys learn football. Girls get Barbies, boys get toy trucks. Girls have to sit in appropriate manners, boys can roll all over. Discussing gender bias is like frying the same fish in the pan again and again. Its been charred and its been done with. Does it mean that we will have to garner evidence to prove to the world that we can and we deserve an equal stand in society. Are we safer in a society that is educated and believes in this issue or are we more at danger because people are well aware?
If a woman decides to wear clothes that reveal her body does it mean she is open to rape. Who decides what women should wear and who decides where we should go. Who is to be blamed for the honour killings that take place. If a prostitute sleeps with three men she still has the right to say no to the fourth one. The man doesn’t decide when he gets her. She is in control of her situation and she is the sole protector.
It is only the woman who can decide what she wants for herself. No one can do her that favour.