Questioning authority

She is born. She is slowly conditioned to certain behavioral patterns. She is expected to do as told or as the society programmes her to do. In contemporary India, a girl is still given education for the sole purpose of becoming a housewife! She is expected to stay indoors, study hard, secure good grades and finally get married and have kids. And that’s the end of the story! Apart from a few exceptions like the modern, high-earning, high-thinking and successful woman, most women in India still live in the dark ages.

It is apparent that women are yet to be totally free
to live as they wish.

They are enforced with so many restrictions that they feel suffocated. Why these restrictions? And why are these restrictions not applicable to men? Why do boys get fewer reprimands when they commit a mistake, but if the same is committed by a girl, all hell breaks loose? Moreover, if that mistake involves some so-called socially unacceptable incident, they are branded as sluts and seducers, while the boys get away with it, and instead are considered victims and helpless creatures. This gender inequality has touched epic proportions.

They, too, are human beings, aren’t they? And we humans are born free by nature; freedom has been constitutionally legalized almost all over the world as the basic right of every person, irrespective of gender, caste, creed, religion, etc. Then why are women still subjected to cruelty and lack of freedom? Why are there still so many restrictions on women, in movement, in relationships, in freedom of speech? They also have the power of choice and will power, don’t they? In India, woman still do not have a say in numerous matters, be it politics, social issues or even their own home affairs. There are exceptions to this, no doubt, but we are talking about the majority here. Because, most of them are silent sufferers. They accept their fate and live their whole lives as zombies, listening silently to their masters, without objection or rejection.

Also, they are not supposed to act in a certain manner, or else they will be branded with names and disrespected further, pushing them more into the deep abyss of oblivion.

And, what if they break all restrictions, boundaries and limitations? They will be brought down to the ground. They will be forced to lead a life of shame. They will be brandished as characterless betrayers and made to pay severely. Society will isolate them, without actually even trying to know the cause of their decision. Even their own family members shall harass them mentally and physically. In most cases, they are even beaten up and subjected to utmost mental and physical strain, sometimes leading to depression and even death.

All of these, only to save one’s inflated image! Ego plays a huge part in these atrocities. And just to save someone’s false ego and false image, these women, who become brave enough to ask questions or deny authority as free souls, are shamed and even physically restricted. Also, to defend their illusory honour, heinous acts are committed, such as “Honour Killings” that occur all over the country from time to time. And unfortunately, such barbarous acts are more common among the educated class. Therefore, these faint voices of freedom are crushed and annihilated.

Womenfolk are always the silent sufferers. Even inter-caste marriages are yet to become socially acceptable. And in such cases, all blame falls upon the girl. This culminates in criminal behavior. However, these brutalities can stop if the family comes together and just tries to understand the dilemmas or the emotions of the poor girl and tries to find out what her needs and wants are. Instead of building boundaries, families, especially the mothers or closed ones, should strive towards building a stronger, courageous and free-thinking character in their girl-child. And if she commits a mistake, they should try to understand the genesis of the mistake or choice, instead of coming into baseless conclusions.

A girl undergoes various emotions during her lifetime. For her, her emotions and feelings are an integral part of her life and we should respect that. She should be allowed to break free from the cocoon and fly free like a butterfly.

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