This Dussehra burn away these ten stereotypic notions against women

Absolute manikin of Ravana, available in varied shapes and sizes, stuffed with firecrackers are ready to set ablaze signifying triumph over evil. Ravana abducted Sita and was punished for his vices. While we literally see the pyre consume the ten heads of ravana, we should ask ourselves an honest question, are we really free? With so many prevalent vices in the society and the established wired notions that are put on instead forced upon a woman, have we really won the battle against evil? I am not cribbing. I agree that time has introduced and infused several vital changes in the surroundings, but is that enough? Unless we realize and reflect upon several pointers mentioned below and vow to sow and nurture the seeds of change on our behalf, I believe burning of Ravana will only add to the already existing air pollution.

Recently the movie Pink has been the scuttlebutt of the nation and has taken people by storm. It has sturdily and powerfully portrayed the wrongs of the society that is usually not reflected upon because it has been like this since long. Just to exemplify- a smiling sister is pretty and obviously happy while a smiling stranger woman is naughty and inviting. I am not generalizing. There are still countless numbers of gentlemen.

So, this Dussehra burn away these ten stereotypic notions against women....against Sita of today:

FIRST HEAD- No means no.

It is presumed that if a girl is saying no, she is probably hinting to try a bit harder which is untrue. As the dialogue in Pink goes," Na sirf ek shabad nahi. Apne aap me poora vakya hai, isse kisi tark, spashtikaran, explanation ya vyakhya ki zarurat nahi hoti."

No means stop, be it coming from the girlfriend, a friend, wife or a sex worker. No means No. Period.

SECOND HEAD- Smile is not an invitation.

It can be her gregarious nature or maybe her amicable attitude that keeps her face lit with a smile. If she is smiling at you, it need not be reduced to a mere hint. A smile does not mean that she is interested in establishing a relationship or that her character is lose just because you know, she smiles and that is kind of inviting.

THIRD HEAD- Character is not proportional to length of clothes

There are cases where a woman/girl was raped just because she was wearing, as the term is coined ‘Provocative clothes' while there have been cases where a suit wearing, fully covered woman/girl was raped. This closes the argument. A rapist needs no reason to rape. He rapes because he wants to. Let clothes not be a measure of the character of a girl. Her body, her choice, her decision, what she wants to wear and what not.

FOURTH HEAD- Working at night shifts is work

Women are independent now. They are working, earning and running their families. Jobs sometimes require working in night shifts. I fail to understand why every activity carried out at night is considered immoral? If a girl is working in night shifts, it's because her work demands so and not because she is a characterless woman who works night shifts to engage into immoral acts.

FIFTH HEAD- Male friends are friends.

Neighborhood aunty saw you having a conversation with a male friend. Well congratulations, you are screwed. I don't understand why having a simple male friend is such a big deal and why is he always reduced to being a mere boyfriend? My best friend is a male. We talk stupid and crazy stuff, we talk about the latest movie, latest songs and he is the first one to intimidate me when earthquake strikes Jammu and tell me that world is near extinction. Yes, he is male. Yes, we are friends.

SIXTH HEAD- The wrong upbringing

First a brother will protect you and then the controls will be given in the hands of your husband. You can never be in control of your life. You are a woman. Even the fables had a delicate princess waiting for her prince to rescue her. Instead of saving the boys so that they further save girls, let's change the girls from being the damsel in distress into the knights in shining armor, saving themselves and choosing to live the lives they want.

SEVENTH HEAD- venue does not decide the character of a girl

If a girl attends parties and rock concerts, it's because she loves to party and not that she comes there scrounging for men. I fail to understand from where do the intricacies creep in.

EIGHTH HEAD- Menstruating women is not impure.

Menstruation is a regular and natural phenomenon (sorry, but we have no choice). Biologically, when the levels of oestrogen soar up in the body, the ovary develops an egg and releases it. After ovulation the inner lining of the womb starts thickening and the egg travels down the fallopian tube for fertilization. If it is not fertilized then it is absorbed by the body and the levels of oestrogen and progesterone falls and the thick wall (placenta) starts to break and come out. This is a completely natural process and goes on in a loop every month.

I don't understand where the impurity lies?

NINTH HEAD- Drinking women are not characterless

Agreed. Smoking and drinking are injurious to health but that's the point. A man who drinks becomes a cool stud while a drinking woman becomes a slut. Why? Health hazard that will follow will not ask the gender. Drinking is drinking, be it a man getting involved in it or a woman. So stop passing lewd judgements on drinking woman.

TENTH HEAD- A good women belongs to kitchen

Just because I can't roll a proper circular chappati does not make me less of a woman. I am horrible at cooking because I really have no interest in it. This does not make me less of a woman. Why do I need to learn to cook and do the other household chorus to prove myself worthy of being called a sanskaari woman?

There are several others. Let's together drift from the orthodox notions and refresh the regulations while burning off the old ones with the pyre of ravana.

 

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Author

Jasleen Kour