Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day [Guest Post]

Never did I imagine that I would have to weblog, but a buffon compelled me to do the impossible.
On the foremost, all errata should be ignored and due apologies for hurting any sentiments.
During Requirements Gathering (software engineering parley), I was informed that I would have to write on - Women's Day. The deadline was March 7, 23:59 HRS.
So I had
4 hours and some loose change to complete this Herculean task.

According to Wikipedia, Women's Day, also known as International Working Women's Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year to commemorate "women's economic, political and social achievements". But why did Women's Day become important in the very first place? Is that really important? Scores of "blogprint" has been invested in re-framing the same history with judicious choice of words, some even going to the extent of copy-pasting without references ( that too in the era of Google! ). But we're digressing.

How much does the Gen-Y really give a thought about Women's Day? Like the kind of frenzy that happens during Valentine's Day: flowers, cards, gifts, the whole smorgasbord?

Being a Gen-Y myself, I tried to do my own version of a minuscle study: two guy and a girl, all aged around 27 and my pals. And I asked them flat: what are your thoughts on Women's Day?

"Ideally, a woman is important in every day of the year. Celebrating it only one day is not meaningful.
Women play a very vital role, they need to be respected and treated equally, for reals.
", says Anusha, a working professional.

"See ... to me when you take a day out of the calendar to celebrate womanhood you are being a hypocrite!!!! Practically the sudden concern on feminism is worthless... but still the importance lies in the fact that at least it gives a platform to your thoughts. But the human mind forgets everything the next day... a mini-skirt-clad girl elicits the response, 'Look at her dress! How can you blame the guys when she's being so provocative!!!' " --- Arinjoy Sur , an employee at an Indian nationalised bank.

"Respect them, love them, care them, pamper them, not only on women's day, every day" - Parthapratim Bishi, research scientist.

We've come a long way from the days when womanhood was confined to the premices of household chores. The very definition of womanhood has now manifest itself in variegated meanings. Though in the core, some strings still seem to pull the concept backward, that women are treated on a par with their male counterparts; is a fallout of a prolonged struggle which has seen many ups and downs.

The pattern of struggle has significantly changed over the passing decades. New Zealand pioneered the process of emancipation by granting women the much-awaited right to exercise their will in parliamentary democracy way back in 1918. In the 1960s, this very movement meandered in to a vigorous bra-burning movement, an inseperable instrument in a woman's wardrobe being seen as something symbolic to a shackle. The introduction of contraceptives was seen as akin to getting a second life. Unwanted motherhood was an amusing tool in the hands of the chauvinists, a way to restrict the otherwise untamed power within the confines of moralities associated with motherhood. Nowadays, at least on face value, women are attempted to be treated as equals

But, A broad look at society still gives a really disturbing view: Women are still expected to stay at home, book, wash and breed. If we are a progressive society, how can you define progression when we, women, after a hard day's work at office, are expected to do the same thing? Even today, young women have a curfew time that is practically evening by today's standards.

There are only a million other issues that irritate me, but then, you get the point.

So, this post goes out to those women, who want to celebrate Women's Day: Do not celebrate it as a way to portray your feminism. Even feminism, after a certain degree, is boring, rude and outright silly. Treat Women's Day like you're a free bird: Use it as an excuse to go out with your clique, with men, if they are a part of your clique. To satiate your feminist ego, buy the men dinner.

If you're married, ask your husband out. If you've a boyfriend, ask him out. Trust me, they'll be ecstatic beyond measure. Outdo him for what he did for you on Valentine's Day. Or host a party. And go easy on the red wine. And play some nice music. And chat. Use this day as a motive to invite your friends over for a nice evening. The possibilites are numerous. Just don't mar the spirit of the evening by saying, "To womanhood! To feminism!".

Don't celebrate Women's Day as a resort to get back to chauvinists, rather spend the day just like you're all the other 364 days: equally loving, romantic and happy.

I rest my case.
- Guest Blogger


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