I was recently planning for a solo trip, and a lot of people asked me, why alone? why not with friends? is it safe for you to go alone? can you handle it all yourself? and all I had to say was ‘thanks for the concern’.
Why is it that women are faced with such questions, whereas if it was a man, he’d be drowning in compliments for his adventures? In everyday life, we see a lot of instances, people telling women a lot of things like they’re meant only for them. If your kid is a girl, you eventually buy her a pretty doll, once we’re teens “ be back before six”,“ don’t go alone, take your brother along”. When we’re adults “you should start learning to cook”, “ she smokes dude”, “your skirt is short”, “you’re 25 already, looking for rishta ?” “madam will know the price of tomatoes”. All of these instances are casual sexism. But there is NOTHING CASUAL ABOUT SEXISM.
Every day women are put through a mental inferiority complex eventually, it becomes a part of our lives. People say it’s the concern of keeping us safe, but what’s the reason that has lead to the need of staying safe? Not just horny MEN, it’s also the fear that all of us give into or forced to give into. If you’re concerned about us, behave in front of other women, teach your son to respect women, let your daughter learn to defend herself. Now that’s when we’re safe.
It’s time to GIVE IT BACK to these simple casual instance of sexism, why always say to your boy “ boys don’t cry beta” let him cry and feel what are emotions and that’s when he’ll realize a girl’s emotions one day when she’s not feeling safe. Why not buy cars and bike toys to your girl kid and let boys play with dolls if it’s their choice? keep a curfew for the boys, let them come home early so that there are not many men out there waiting to pounce on your girl on the streets. Not just situations like these, it’s time people stop assuming women can only handle certain things. Every woman is capable equally as a man mentally and physically, given the right resources.
It’s time we start saying YES, I’m wearing a short skirt but why are your eyes down there?. YES, I’ll learn cooking but where will you eat?. YES, I can smoke, can you handle it?. YES, I’m single but I’m independent. YES, I know the price of tomatoes, but can I throw one at you? So next time instead of asking your friend when her baby is due, ask how are you enjoying your life? Because hella sure she knows what she’s doing.
People say we celebrate women’s achievement every year on women’s day. The biggest example of casual sexism. Wonder when comes the time when we can stop constantly using the pronoun “woman” when we’re making our point or talking about a person’s success.
There are generations of women fighting for gender equality and today at least there are certain improvements in the Wage gap, Women in higher positions, better education, better sanitary facilities, sexual rights ( though all of it is still not reaching everyone). But these instances of casual sexism are something that has become a part and parcel of people’s life and its time, not just women, but also the society to stand up against or at least try to.
It’s the 21st century, we don’t burn brides anymore, we set their souls on fire.
“Women will have true equality when men share with their responsibility of bringing up the next generation” — Ruth Bader Ginsberg.