Happy Women’s Day?

The past week, marketers have left no stone unturned in reminding me about my gender. Happy Women’s Day, the SMS says, Celebrate womanhood with a 10% discount (Eh, what?) . On a normal day, I have to obsessively remind my telecaller that I am a woman, in the midst of a continuous string of references to me as ‘sir’. Observe a car salesman demonstrating a car to a female customer. Chances are, it will sound like he is describing Cinderella’s pumpkin chariot.

I fail to fathom why I should be given respect and importance for being a sister, mother, wife, girlfriend etc any more than being a human ? We have collectively goofed up the gender ratio – thanks to picky gender choices, associated rituals and customs. That is what we have to blame for all the crime against women. But the idea of gender-based discrimination, is typical of minority problems. In the end, it boils down to ‘you have to be more than the majority to make your presence felt’

As a female, I strongly compete with lab specimen in terms of being observed closely and continuously on a daily basis. Nothing is spared … the walk, the talk, the wear… And finally, I am judged more on an ability to appeal to emotion.

Why is it so easy to assume I cannot understand ‘technical jargon’ or ‘numbers’? Ican be that pretty model, posing as a pillion-rider of a motorcycle, but I cannot be the motorcyclist. Which man would want to buy a Girlie motorcycle!? Or for that matter, how many women play the protagonist in money-related ads?

Forget the discounts, and the fleeting moments of glorification. Do us a favour. Please stop making references like ‘Even a girl can do this’ or ‘Don’t Cry like a girl’.

Wait, I am not a feminist. That would mean, I am a boring, pink-colour-hating, unromantic hag you need to run away from. Chivalry sure has its place. We are more than happy when you swipe your credit cards and carry our shopping bags for us. But, dear men, do change your baby’s diapers too! And make some art! And don’t discourage your daughter if she wants to be a scientist!

Femininity at its best, stands for the creativity and art it brings to the world. And art in itself, is liberating. Let us not forget, the greatest of revolutions began with art.

It is time we start thinking about Egalitarian Day over Women’s Day. We need to celebrate humanity and love and the uniqueness we all bring with us.

While you think about this, I shall go back to hunting freebies online … the ‘small price’ I pay for being a woman.

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