08 March 2018

What does it mean to be a woman?

In some parts of India, it means you have no right to live, the female foetus is killed in the womb or the baby girl is killed after she is born.

In many cultures it means being born a human being but being counted as less than that because you were born to be a girl.
It means being conditioned to think what they want you to think
It also means to be 'free to be oneself and have your own dreams’ is a lonely and tiresome battle.

It means you’re taught to think of others so much
That you forget to learn to take care of yourself.

The onus is so much on ‘others’ that you begin to believe you are invisible and you will get by while others take you for granted almost always.

It means when you go through abuse, people tell you, “It didn’t happen, forget about it”
Because if you spoke about it, it will give your family a bad name.

It means suffering in silence while the one who is causing the suffering keeps on hurting you.
You bear it up until you can’t take it anymore and then you run for your life.

It means having different parts of your ‘self’ that don’t seem to fit together
You cannot be yourself in different places so you become the ‘role’ you have to play.

It means being emotional and being looked down upon for being emotional
Because this world doesn't care for sensitive people and ‘feelings.’

It means you get treated like you’re dumb-doll if you’re beautiful
And getting treated like a doormat if you are simple and plain looking.

It means having to work double or triple the amount to be counted in the world
You manage your household, take care of the children and do your job as though it was the only thing you do!

It means seeing rapist after rapist let out by the courts of the land citing lack of evidence
And finding the victim was treated worse than the criminal and had to go through torture during court proceedings.  

It means managing your family single-handed when your husband is alcoholic, an addict or absent,
Having to slog day and night and still be misunderstood and have to bear the brunt for doing it alone. 

It means no matter which day it is, you have no rest – day or night, holiday or working day…
Whether you are sick or healthy, whether you are down in the dumps or not… Just cook, clean up and feed others before you care for yourself.

It means the life-partner may not be present in the family and still some will call him the ‘Head of the family,’ 

For some women it means not being in touch with your own friends and not having time to have a hobby of their own, many men on the other hand are able to go for recreational activities like playing cricket or other sports with their friends.

For some women, it means not being able to call, meet or speak to their own family members
For some others, their own family doesn't care if they are dead or alive as they think that 'She is from that family now'. 

In many places it means not getting the same wages for the same work,
And in some countries it means not having the right to decide for yourself.

I am a woman. How do I see myself?

I see myself as a human being first and then as a woman. 
It means that as a human I have intelligence, abilities, talents, dreams and desires as any man does.  

The Bible says in Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them." This means God created men and women as equals and both are made in 'His likeness'. God Himself makes it clear through this verse that He did not create women to be substandard or to be lesser than men in any way.

Moreover Galatians 3:28 says, "There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Isn't it great to know this! If only everyone knew and understood this. It would change how they view women and treat them. Wouldn't it?

I believe each person is special and unique. 

A woman is not a separate species. She belongs to humankind. Human rights are applicable to everyone which means it is applicable for women too. 

Having said that let me acknowledge that there is a difference between men and women. The  difference lies in the fact that the female gender has a special role in the continuity of the race. Women give birth to children and spend a lot of time as mothers taking care of their children. This doesn't mean that men have a less important part in bringing a child into this world, the truth is that they have an equally important duty in teaching children how to live right by being a father and a good role model for them. I am happy to see that many men now take their duties and roles as fathers seriously compared to in bygone years. 

Let us stand up for women, uphold their dignity and self-respect and support them so that all women can be and become all that God the Creator created them to be. Let us also ensure that all women are treated equally.  

Free to be myself!

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