13 Mar Girls’ loyalty is considered their weakness
‘Happy Woman’s Day, Mama’, read the card with a lovely orange rose. (Because I love the colour) So thoughtful! My eyes brimmed. There were also a few lines written on the card she made of ruled paper torn from her notebook.
I just adore anything my daughter gives me. But the last line – ‘Hope you like this’ – became fodder for my brains.
A while later, after I had collected my thoughts and edited the words carefully, I sat beside my little girl and explained how much I loved the card; how I’m moved by her thoughtfulness to remember my favourite colour and above all how much I appreciate the effort she took to complete the task before I returned home so as to surprise me. (She wanted to know the meaning of the word appreciate with examples)
Then I very carefully got on to explaining the trickiest part. You should be proud of yourself for thinking and executing the card. It shouldn’t matter if I loved it or not. She gave me a hard look with a little pout and said, “but I want you to love and keep it”. I will always treasure what you do for me. But when you do similar things for others you just do your best; you do what you believe is right; you don’t have to do it to please them. She passed of with a casual ‘OK’.
Determined to drill in the subject a few weeks later, I sat before the TV, with a cup of coffee, surfing channels, when I chanced upon NDTV debate on ‘safety of women’. The panel included the Chief Minister of Delhi, parliamentarians, Shabana Azmi and others.
The statistics the host revealed on the show was mindboggling. Every minute on an average about 18 girls are attacked in India.
There were some rather interesting thoughts thrown around by men and women alike. Madam Chief Minister’s sentences were quite politically constructed. Something on the lines of…this is a issue which has to be delt with deeply. What’s deep and how deep is deep enough when it comes to issues such as these, I can’t fathom. The parliamentarian said this is an issue prevelant in many other countries, India is not the only one. Well, it makes us feel good. Shabana Azmi spoke of the disgracefully low percentage of women representation in Parliament, more than six decades after Independence. Glamour quotient of the show Kareena Kapoor spoke of how she, unlike other stars, does not have male bodyguards around. Now that’s, indeed, a safety measure.
The ‘common’ girls on the show agreed on one point – they are ‘harrassed’ more on the roads of the capital than anywhere else in the country. In Mumbai, for instance, women gang up and confront oglers, which does not happen up north. That’s something to be pondered upon.
One of the guys said it has to do with upbringing. A well-educated boy brought up with correct values and principles in life in a stable home will never look down upon women. Guess that’s right.
That led to discussion on confidence in girls.
It should be agreed that when girls have confidence in themselves they’ll easily stand up for their rights. If they get it in the still-male-dominated country is another matter. But at least they will survive each day without much damage. In a country were female foeticide is rampant instilling confidence become a mamooth task, indeed.
So how to go about it? To have confidence in oneself, you need to first start believing in the self. Principles, values, education, etc., are very mechanically carried out in most urban and semi-urban households across India. Even in villages, for that matter.
A loyal person (read girls) is considered to be ‘cultured’ in the Subcontinent. That loyalty, unfortunately, is taken to be submissivness by the muscle brand.
Again subconsciously girls are ‘trained’ to please others. To hell with what others think. I will do what I feel like doing attitude is far and few between. But men are from Mars and women are from Venus! Indeed. The tanget has to meet somewhere. Glad the media and public in general have started speaking up even if its only once a year. But as Women’s Day is celebrated on different dates worldwide, let’s expect to hear more frequent debates.