Women Empowerment; too much for far too long
8th March 2023 was an eventful date.
Apart from Holi, it was also the date to celebrate International Women’s Day.
To my surprise, the surround sound of women’s day was potent enough to overshadow the dhol and exuberance of the festival of colours.
Of course, social media was inundated with messages and videos.
Every woman was out there, trying to claim her pedestal and every eyeball, using crafty words to make her stand tall, hogging all the limelight. Nothing wrong with that. After all, we live in a competitive world. But what had me thinking were the three pointers listed below.
Trying too hard
With every woman claiming to be an individual, one of her kind, how come all the messages, posts and videos were the same?
“Here I stand, tall, without any support, aiming for the sky; I am made up of courage and wings beneath my feet, not afraid, I soar high…” and the rhetoric about courage, grit, and success never faded, extending well to the oblivion.
To all these brave ones, your picture with dozen-odd filters is a giveaway of the real you.
After all the talk of courage and grit, why can't we start by posting a picture sans a filter?
Oops, asking for too much?
We have all heard of the equality saga for a long time, haven't we?
Women can do what men can, and they can even do it better.
But if that is the case, why seek a separate category everywhere, from trade to film, business to literature, further alienate you? Woman of the year, woman entrepreneur of the year, best women of the year, etc. And yes, mind you, real women don't buy awards and then flaunt them on social media, ‘Oh, I can't believe that I have been chosen for this prestigious award. I thank the organisers, my parents, my well-wishers, my maid, my driver and my cat.’ The world knows this act. So please drop the act immediately.
Worldwide, women are trying rot mainstream themselves, and I stand with them. But then these women-centric initiatives need to end, and it can only stop if women stop participating in them.
Contribute, empower others
On 8th March, after reading at least four dozen posts or more, I could still not find even one that offered a solution or deciphered real empowerment for women. Tell me one solution that would empower women worldwide. Can you? There is none.
Yes, amidst all these hyperventilating posts, I did come across one from Akansha Nagar, an entrepreneur, who articulated it beautifully. She said being a woman is getting tougher with all the challenges and aspirations. Therefore, every woman must set aside some ‘Me Time’ This time can be used, depending upon her choice, to read, swim, do some gardening, pursue a craft or exercise. She said her ‘Me time’ was about sweating at the gym.
Makes sense. After all, what good is empowerment if you are not in the best health to support your dreams?
Empowerment is a powerful word; please don't use it as a guise.
You are fine the way you are; there is no need to prove yourself to anyone.
People will only judge you if you give them the right to judge.
Enjoy your skin, your dreams, your failures and your success.
And yes, to inspire you, I have posted a picture of a truly empowered woman.
Can you recognise her?
I am sure you can’t. Let me give you a few hints.
She is a computer engineer, an educator, and a Padma Bhushan.
Her family is worth over rupee 35,000,00,00,000, and her son-in-law is the PM of the UK.
She can be seen cooking with 1000s other women during Pongala festival, keeping up the Indian tradition.
- Amit Shankar