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Saturday, March 8, 2008

I am Woman!

On the occasion of Women's Day, I take the opportunity to talk about some of my fears. It is not easy being a woman in a man's world. People say that the world is changing. Ask a woman that. She will tell you how much the world has changed. How she is whistled at even when dressed in a saree, how she is groped in the darkness of the cinema halls, how she is not taken seriously in her work place by the men who are envious of her, how she changes her name after her marriage, how she is expected to make sacrifices for her family, and many other woes.

I am a woman and proud to be one but I hope I never....

  • Turn into that woman who will forget about her girlfriends because she is in love, engaged or married..
  • Turn into that woman who looks more like her husband's mother than his wife..
  • Turn into that woman who constantly talks about her mother-in-law's antics and the neighbor's romance life.
  • Turn into that woman whose topic of conversation surrounds jewellery, clothes, shoes, hair, and makeup..
  • Turn into that woman who will put on 60 lbs during pregnancy never to lose it back again..
  • Turn into that woman who is constantly bitching to her husband about what others did..
  • Turn into that woman who spends 50 dollars a week on her beauty parlor appointments..
  • Turn into that woman who is lazy to not go back to work even after her children have grown up..

AND

  • Turn int a "typical" woman.....the one who nags, the one who has "no brains", the one who" "cannot drive", the one who "cries at the drop of a hat", the one who "looks good only in the kitchen", the one who used to belong to her father and now to her husband, the one who will come back home from work and cook and keep house clean while her husband drinks beer and watches Family Guy......

I am afraid I will be one of these women, one day. I am afraid I will be one of those gender-boxed women. A woman that society expects a woman to be and will then look down upon her for being that way. I am afraid that I might be snubbed for trying to be a different woman...and out-of-the-box woman. And I am afraid that no matter what I do, people will look at me as a woman...and not the woman.

80 Words of Wisdom:

Pri said...

gawd! u dissapointed the daylights out of me :(...
suddenly i dont feel all that proud to be a woman :-/
sigh!!

anyways wish u a happy womans day...sniff sniff
cheers!!

Pavi!!!! said...

Fistly...Happy Womans Day !

about the post...u know wat women are all that u mention and plenty that is not mentioned. Thats wat makes us special!@ some point in life, u mite end up being one of the things that u dont want to be...but its no big deal...if its a phase!

Personally I'm proud that I earn,cook,clean,crib,pray,have fun. Women are all-in-one.thats our usp.we specialize in multi-tasking!

BTW..I dont blv in womans day! Why dedicate one specific day to us?Coz the other days belong to men???

RADhika said...

hey, it made me think about so many things we (read women/girls) ignore, and ultimately become exactly like it... in fact, you mentioning these attributes would actually make us think everytime we are on the verge of doing these things...
and, only a women could come up with these problems with women.. :)
and hence, i'm also proud to be one!
Happy womenhood! :)

c e e d y said...

oh common......

thats not true....

Suneer said...

Just a small comment, not related to the post. Why is it "Other fellow bloggers" I mean, doesn't it sound a little superflous, the words 'other' and 'fellow'?

Cinderella. said...

No girl..its all on the individual
We are the way we wanna be, and life is the way we wanna spend it.

As for me, I think times are changing, women arent the ones who are expected to make the sacrifices all the time. Men do them too. Its an unerstanding.

Turning into :
a forgetful fren coz you're a lover/wife/fiancee..whatever...
a careless about self grooming person,
a bitchy creep,
a numbskull snob,
a lazy homemaker (as you put it)...etc etc...

are all self made choices !!

They arent inbred traits. That they'll creep into your system, just the way, sadness or happiness does.

What we are, how we are, what we wanna be, where we wanna be...that is an individual choice.

I want to stay at home, and be there for family all the time, cook for hubby and kids cz it makes me happy.

Does that spoil my worth as a woman ?

I sacrificed a lil, we have to, to keep a commitment ticking, or lets say for the situation warranted me to, not my hubby or someone else for that matter.

So, should I go on and put up a fight, how they are taking advantage of me and the fact that I'm a woman ??

Naare, it doesnt work that way...

And about envious men at work, being groped in cinema halls,
ogled at at every freakin where....thats a psyche inherent in 'men' who are perhaps living in ancient times. Vices that are there, and will be, no matter how revolutionised women become. But i strongly believe its got nothing to do with being a woman.

So chill maar. We are born in fortunate times girl.

aneri_masi said...

Hmmm...nice list of what you don't want to become. Would be great if you could add what you "do" want to become! Because unless you know that, you will end up being one these stereotypes, living up to what is "expected" of you.

Solitaire said...

@ Pri, no need to be disappointed girl. You are doing well for yourself! This is more about the unfortunate women who are forced to act a certain way because they are women.

@ Pavi, I might appear stupid but I didn't even know such a thing existed. Then my mom wished me and read a couple posts on it and decided to repost one of my older posts for it. :D

I think its ok to be proud of who you are, and if you fulfill the stereotypes of a woman, so be it. My pet peeve is that people expect you to be a certain way because you are a woman. For example, they think because I am a woman, I surely am a bad driver and take ages to get dressed, when this might not be the case for me.

BTW, do they have a "Men's Day".

Solitaire said...

@ Radhika, its very sad that women and girls are expected to all come out of one mold and those characteristics are looked down upon and yet expected. If a woman is successful and rich, she may be punished in other ways by society for being who she is.

@ Ceedy, ask a woman in the lower strata of society and she will tell you what is true and what is not. We are only fortunate to have grown up in big cities and living in a society that is a little more advanced. But not everyone is in the same position and it is often hard for us to step into someone else's shoes and realize how things are for them.

Solitaire said...

@ Suneer, just like there are phrases such as "no man's land" and "man proposes, god disposes, mankind includes men and women, God is a HE, similarly, its all fellow bloggers. That's how the world is. Whether I like it or not.

bt_crist said...

happy womans day

to wat u said: "Does that spoil my worth as a woman ? " - by cindy, in her comment, gives all d answer.

btw, on this very occasion, m dedicatin Indian woman's special post to u, cindy, n sneha.

(sneha is not in blogville, she's my school friend.)

Suneer said...

Probably, I posted in the wrong post. The discussions got a little heated up probably...

You got me wrong. I wasn't alluding to the "man versus woman" aspect of it.

I asked, shouldn't it just be other bloggers, or only fellow bloggers...! Why, other fellow bloggers, was coming more from the grammatical angle

Solitaire said...

@ Cinderella, I would love to say that its all about a woman's choice but sadly it is not so, at least not in the lower strata of society, which we are fortunate to not belong to. A girl often times has no choice of which family she is married into, her in-laws and her husband have a say in what she wears, whether or not she works, and when she chooses to have children. You might say that it is her choice to continue living in that situation or stand up for herself but its easier said than done. There is no empowerment for these women and they do not know how to stand up for their rights. They believe that that is their fate and they fall in a state of "learned helplessness".

The points that I have noted are not what I think women become out of choice. They are roles that society often contributes in building. Its not about putting up a fight because women are not even aware of how they are being suppressed. It is only an expectation that they are fulfilling.

I think that you and me, and many others on blogosphere are much more fortunate to have had a different kind of an upbringing and have seen better times. But not everyone has had a life like that. And I talk from the experiences of many women and girls that I have met along the way.

Yes, if we are groped in cinema halls, it is not our fault. But the truth is, that we are because we are women. And we cannot help it. Not even if we learn martial arts.

So while I know I am living in fortunate times, many of my friends are not. So I cannot relax.

Solitaire said...

@ Suneer, I do not see anything wrong with the grammar. Do you have a link or something that will show how this is incorrectly used?

@ Aneri, I already know what I want to be and I am halfway there. I am proud about that, even though I do get some sneering from others about it.

@ Bt, did I really talk about my self-worth? I think I am quite worthy as a woman. It is some people in society that really need to open their eyes and stop making stereotypical statements about women such as noted in my last bullet point.

Suneer said...

Naah, no link et all. Just sounded a little superflous. That's it.

Solitaire said...

@ Suneer, in other words, "wordy". That is indeed my style of writing. I am surprised you did not notice it earlier.

Am In Trance.. said...

Never...
You don't realize what present you've got.. Simply.. Being.. A..
WOMAN.....

"The sacred loom is given to you,
And the art to weave the fabric.
The loom and the art shall be yours forevermore,
And yours the dark thread and the light,
And yours the purple and the gold.
Yet you will grudge yourself a raiment.
Your hands have spun man's soul
From living air and fire,
Yet now you would break the thread,
And lend your versed fingers to an idle eternity..???????"

Why ??

Solitaire said...

@ Am in trance, that was wonderful!
I do realize what gift I have. I hope that this realization is not snatched away from me like it has been taken away from so many people I know even before they begin to comprehend it.

R3d3MpTioN said...

well... well... well... he he

Happy womens day to ya..!

I think if you try you might easily skip some of the "don't want to become" points. But some points do essentially remain inherrent to the woman you will eventually become. So I think its best you be proud now of the woman you are now, and I am sure you will have done things as a woman that you will be proud of when that time comes.

a step at a time.. :)

Solitaire said...

@ Redemption, thanks! Nice to see a warm comment on this post. I am proud of who I am. Thank God that I have been born to an understanding mother and have been empowered and encouraged all through my life to become who I want to be. Its rather unfortunate that not everyone's life circumstances are the same.

R3d3MpTioN said...

ur most welcome..

very rightly put.. lots of people do not get the opportunities some of the girls in our generation take for granted, what they don't understand is that their parents neccessarily didn't have that freedom of choice.. but then dats life.. its basically unfair..!

Am In Trance.. said...

People ?? Ha..
Don't you really believe there should be always a space somewhere in any togetherness..!!

And its so damn right...
So why fear the snatchin' aways ??

Love one another, but make not a bond of love..
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls..
Fill each others cup but drink not from one cup..
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music..

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts..
And stand together yet not too near together,
For the pillars of the temple always stand apart...

Don't expect..
Don't overgive..

Afterall you are your best friend and nobody can take that place..

And yeah, Am not wishing you A happy womens day... coz' I belive Every Day.. Is.. For Everyone..
Its all in us.. Na ??

Solitaire said...

@ Trance, "after all you are your best friend". Meri billi mujhko meow?

To fear is a natural response. Especially in a situation where the threat is present. May be idealistic to not fear but it is realistic to do so.

c e e d y said...

@solitaire

That was quiet presumptious -
You last paragraph talks about YOU and thus the comment was for YOU...

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy, if indeed your statement was about the last paragraph, then I am glad for your words of encouragement in telling me that that's not true.

c e e d y said...

Yes and thank you!!!!!

aneri_masi said...

In that case you have nothing to be afraid of :)

Neeku said...

Way to go girl! For blurting out the truth. Its so funny today at board meeting break of oregon UN chapter, they were sort mentioning somehting similar stereotypes labeled for us .... and somehow my stake was same as you mentioned

I was like there you go I am woman, from India and standing in front of you to speak, exisiting and living beyond the sterotypical defination of being woman and someone from 2/3 world (as one of them mentioned! I was annoyed with his '2/3 statement'... but may that I will save for of my posts)!

Happy International Womans Day!

Mez said...

Quite a revelation that was, atleast for guys at the reading end.U know we women talk so much about being this n not doing that but somewhere down the line they do get muddled up in the inveviatble circumstances. How about a revolution starting this day that wud stay on forever?

Pavi!!!! said...

@solitare .. yeah assumptions abt me that are made just coz "women are like that". annoy me as well.
think i get ur point now.

n as far as i know, there is no men's day!

Satish Bolla said...

well, i think the time has come for u to meet a psychologist. these are just your fears, buddy. all will b ok soon.

P said...

oh wow..you seem to write my exact thoughts!
Every time I see any of my friends turn into one of those women you mentioned, I really get scared for myself. I so don't want to turn into any of those women.

Pri said...

that post for 'sunday scribblings' i had mentioned i would write, is up on my blog :)

carolinagal said...

Solitaire, I hope you don't really BELIEVE whatever you wrote in the last paragraph. You have already proven to yourself, and others, that you are NOT one of those women; and I believe you NEVER will be.

Emperor Ropi said...

happy women's day

rayshma said...

why're u scared?
i don't know if anyone can ever really force you into being someone you don't want to...
i mean, aren't they all conscious decisions we take? it's really subjective, i think... one woman may be happy looking after her family, cooking, cleaning... another may want to be out earning the cheese & croissants... to each their own, no?

i can only hope u can retain your individuality... and live your life, ur way...
happy woman's day... :)

Keshi said...

Happy Women's Day hun! Ur a FANTASTIC, RARE, GENIUS WOMAN! HUGS!:)

btw I have a post up for Women's Day too..I need ur input. tnxx!

Keshi.

Gangsta Markiv said...

Oh mate, great write up. Stick your head out and if you stand for yourself the events would also go in favor of you. It is only when we leave it and be a house wife - in true sense, then we get into a problem.

I liked what you wrote. But what you talk about no change in the otherwise mans' world - I slightly disagree. What you spoke about were the sexual advances which happens everywhere in the world. In the US, it is common. The losers do it. The losers in India do it too. Then imagine how much the workspace has changed with time. Women everywhere then it the upper management is strictly for men. That would take some time to change though - if women around are sensible enough to stick to the job and work sensibly though.

Happy womens day :-]

Deepti said...

You almost sound like my alter ego in this post. This is my constant nagging fear!!! I have seen so many friends I know, just so happy and willing to lose their own identity and friends post marriage.
Their conversation topics also suddenly seem to revolve around their life and their cribs :)
I hope I dont become one of them. I promise myself i wont change but I hope we both can keep that promise too!!
Belated Happy Women's day!!!

Sweetstickychewy said...

You are an admirable woman.

Cheers! Happy Woman's Day!

Anurag said...

i am sure u wont be

but yes...women have to walk that extra mile to prove that they are no less, if not more competent than men

times are changing though...but will there be TOTAL equality...i dont know...i dont see that happening while i m alive...

Sam said...

Someone's said: "The things you fear most never happen!!" It won't happen to you.. :)

Solitaire said...

@ Aneri, thank you!!

@ Neeku, I hope you were able to stand your guns! Gosh..you meeting so many MCPs!

@ Mez, all the women need to agree on this bit for a revolution. Apparently, even some of us are not united and feel that we (women) are not oppressed.

Solitaire said...

@ Satish, these are fears based in the world's reality. I am looking for a good psychologist but no one is as good as me, you see.

@ P, I know!! Same for me!

@ Pri, read it!

@ Carolinagal, thank you soooo much!!!

Solitaire said...

@ Emperor, thank you!

@ Rayshma, I am scared because my choices may longer be choices but enforced upon me.

@ Keshi, thanks Keshi!!! I read your post. It was quite "provoking" but I was disappointed with some of the comments that I read.

Solitaire said...

@ Gangsta, I disagree with you. You said that people in the US do that too? In my life so far in the US, I have not been groped at in the dark cinema hall or the open amusement park which I have been in India multiple times. I have not been eve teased and felt embarrassed to walk on the streets fully clad which I have in India. I have not been the victim of blank calls and men circling around my apartment on their motor bikes which I have been in India. And none of my "white" friends have gone through these experiences either. Are you saying there are more losers in India than the US? I have never had job satisfaction in India. I have always been made passes by my colleagues in India. Everyone used to enquire about my personal life and was always in my business. Nothing like that happens in the US. You say that women should be sensible enough to stick around and do their jobs well to get to the upper management. What if they do and still cannot because they are not allowed to???

Sam said...

while its good that you don't want to be that woman... at times i feel its a near utopian dream.. sure there does exist such women, or at least i think they do.. oens i have come across and believe they won't change into the ones you describe.. guess i'll have to live out mylife with one to find out....
meanwhile the search is on!!

Solitaire said...

@ Deepti, I speak from experience too. I have had so many like-minded friends getting married and changing overnight. I have no qualms about those who changed because they WANTED to. But I know that there are a few out there who changed because they were MADE TO.

@ Sweetstickychewy, thanks girl!

@ Anurag, thank you thank you thank you! Finally a man who did not take this post offensively or make a defensive statement here. I am glad!!!!

c e e d y said...

Hey
I have one question -

Say a guy likes someone for being a strong different woman - who he knows will stand for her rights - post marriage never ever asks her to change and celebrates being HER....

but she somehow over the years just loses that - and slowly and steadily out of her own fears, insecurites,,,(dunno the words) changes into the very person you fear and he did not want her to be....

what choices does THIS guy have

Solitaire said...

@ Sam, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. :)

@ Sam, you contradicting yourself! You say on one hand that it is utopian to think that way and then on the other hand you say that there are such women out there. Good luck with your search!

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy, maybe no choices. But I would like to ask the guy a few questions. The girl "somehow" changed? Does he know how? The process was slow? How slow? Very slow for him to not notice while it was happening to point it out? Was the guy empowering her? Was he encouraging her in the face of all those people or situations that might have contributed to her change? Or did she WANT to change? If she wanted to change, then I only say, "sorry buddy" to him. Sometimes people change and there is nothing we can do about it. We have no control over it. Like the husband who changes overnight and starts abusing his wife. She can do nothing to change him. Only walk out of the situation. Hope this made sense. Seems like I was rambling.

c e e d y said...

@solitaire
you are not rambling...situations like this baffle everyone

well the guys had basically accepted her to be what she was..so he was not forcing any changes into her - all he was doing was supporting her and yes empowering her to become more and more bold towards horrible employers, people who were taking advantage of her....she also thanked him for giving her the FREEDOM....but she was not able to face her own parents when they were doing absurd things.......and was not able to comprehend the freedom the guy had with his parents over their years of marriage......seems insecurity creeped in somehow....(cant write furthur as can get personal)

divya said...

o o what did i just read :O now even i am afraid being one :( or am i already one :O

c e e d y said...

10 things tag executed

Mansi Trivedi said...

I think that there's nothing wrong with being the way you described them to be...
it is wrong to assume all women are like that or it is wrong to force people to act in certain way...
but lets not as women look down onto other women who dont work and are housewives for reasons you will not know...or if they spend $50 on make up each week, or some of the other things you listed...

esp this...
"Turn into that woman who is lazy to not go back to work even after her children have grown up.."

happy womens day...

Solitaire said...

@ Divya, no you are not. Don't worry!

@ Mansi, looks like you did not get the sarcastic tone of the post. Oh well..

Gangsta Markiv said...

Solitaire:

All I am suggesting is that, again based on all my experiences there before I moved back to India, it happens there too and interestingly people just know when to just let it go. I would interest you in an event, a soldier was coming home from Iraq and my friend and I were flying home, well the state where we resided then. He picked up conversation with her and they exchanged mobile numbers and woo hoo, she thought and it was cool. When they started msging, she wasn't too cool about this. She called it an implicit quits. The guy got the point and backed off.

Now imagine if the same thing happens in India, people for some reason just would not get the point even if told explicitly. Indians are emotional freaks so that is more to add to this story. So the idiots who troubled you are the loser groups here and I am sorry to hear that it had to happen like that.

Then again, it is a great coffee point discussion point you know, but I think I know where you are coming from !

nik said...

being a self-admitting MCP, this topic seems like perfect bait to start a flame war, but I'll resist the temptation.:)

maverick said...

Hillary move over...a new candidate is there for the elections...people please welcome ur new presidential candidate.."ms solitaire"...

say all tht n u ll beat obama to win the elections like anything :D

aneri_masi said...

you been tagged

Endevourme said...

happy womens day solitaire!!!
i didnt read the post hehe :D!!

Impressionist said...

not everyone will be like that!
come on and stop worrying!

-I

Anjuli said...

Madum!

kis duniya mein rehti hain aap...Sneha tu kaisi behki behki baatein kar rahi hai...

does this all happen in today's world...

anyways....I really duno...I am more of a guy than a girl so....

Sam said...

i said its a near utopian dream!! :)
btw, amidst all your frenzies, babbles and woes.. i forgot to tell you about one observation of mine: you are really beautiful!!
buenos dias senorita!! :)

Satish Bolla said...

well, u r right. but, i'll definitely let u know if i come across any of them.
btw, i've dedicated somethinng for u. check it out on the below link and it's 266th comment. it's a bit odd but couldn't find a better one as i was busy thinking too much in office

http://tohellyea.blogspot.com/2008/02/bloggerville-crush-confessions.html

Pavi!!!! said...

@Ceedy n solitare :
I know this Q was not for me..but i would like to comment on Ceedy's Q- rgdg the woman who changes.

well, changes are a part of every1's life. some of our qualities change for the better, some qualities change for the worse. The better and worse is each individual's perception. These changes are caused by day-to-day circumstances, people around us, things we see, do etc.

Rgdg ur Q : what ur giving us is the view from one end.

No doubt, the guy was a nice person.Yes he mite be empowering her and encouraging her to become bold, but sumtimes one just wants to depend. One just wants to be given advice. A strong and different woman, could once-in-a-while become the kind of woman who : seems a li'l weak, finds it hard to fight,wants to cry,feels insecure, reacts to a situation the way every other person does(not different).

Like i mentioned in my 1st comment on this post. Every person(man & woman) goes thru some of these emotions/reactions in different phases of their life and thats what moulds them.Its no big deal and there's no reason why one should run away from it or feel ashamed by it.

U say she thanked him for the FREEDOM. Well, i see a problem there. The point at which she felt the need to thank sum1 for her freedom of just living life in a certain manner is an issue.I feel one should feel empowered by 'emselves not by others.

n yes, this is sumthing that would have happened over the years.I feel if the guy did not get worried about her not being brave n strong in every situation..things mite have been better!She probably felt the pressure of having to face every situation bravely and tried a lot but eventually gave up and turned into sumthing else!

c e e d y said...

@solitaire and pavi

Thanks for the girls perspective. Absolutly agree - I am biased as this is my close friend and his view that I iterated. I have not had a chance to talk to her in detail.

Good news is that they are both together - have a wonderful kid - I will forward this advice to him if you two dont mind.

Pavi!!!! said...

@ Ceedy : Thanks for letting us know. Its always nice to hear "happily ever after" stories.

BTW..i really enjoy these convesrations with you 'coz u have an open-mind, provide great inputs and accept others' view-points.

Keshi said...

yeah I can see why u were disappointed hun - I was too..but everyone is different na :)

Keshi.

Solitaire said...

@ Gangsta, Indians are emotional freaks?! Watch out! You might be attacked.

@ Nik, thank you! That's the last thing I need right now.

@ Maverick, hahah! That made me chuckle.

@ Endevourme, not fair!

Solitaire said...

@ Pavi, thanks for taking the time out to write that comment!

@ Anjuli, it does!! Mumbai and Delhi mein nahi hota hoga. Chhote shehero mein pakka hota hai!

@ Impressionist, ok done!

@ Sam, oh!! *blushing*. Thank you!

@ Satish, thanks a ton for that dedication! :)))

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy, by all means do so! All's well that ends well.

@ Keshi, yes they are. But I wonder sometimes if people are just too afraid to voice their true opinion.

Sam said...

hey dats not fair... don't blush.. at least without me arnd!!
a woman's blush is perhaps one of her most beautiful ornaments bestowed by nature!!

Patchez said...

Wish you a Happy Women's day.. but don temme unconventional women don exist!

Solitaire said...

@ Sam, :)

@ Patchez, they do!! Just that sometimes its harder for them to exist.

♥bμşγ-ŵŗϊŧēŕ♥ said...

Whoaa...one hard-reality-hitting post! Nicely written. :)

And nope, you will not turn into that sorta woman if you dont't want to be. Not unless you start always living up to what is "expected" from you by "typical" people!

cheers..:)

elusive said...

i so completely agree wit u..i mean i am lucky to be born in a family where women are respected but there are millionz zillions of 'em out there esp in india where the situation really sucks..it's sad but well..things are improving.

elusive said...

and i soo hate the fact tat girlgriends generally drift away after their respective marriages. It's so sad that while my father is still in touch with all of his frds, my mum hardly ever meets any of her college friends. I hope my frds put in as much efforts to stay in tuch as I will post marriage.Yes, I will!

Diva said...

I do my level best to be his partner, not his mother. I love this post... I love all your posts!

Ravana said...

fear stalks us like a feral beast ready to pounce on our slightest indiscretions. but being a woman is not an act, not an indiscretion about which you should be afraid of. so, essentially the fear is not about you turning into any of those zillion women, but acting in ways that make others label you as such-and-such woman. the fault therefore, dear solitaire, is not in our stars, but in us that we are underlings!!!!