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Being a Woman in Today’s Society

Published on: 19 January , 2017 | Mitali Dodal

History is proof that the status and position of women in ancient India was much better than what it is in the present. Women were respected and valued, not only within their families but also in religious and social spheres. They were treated equal to men and given the same opportunities and freedoms as given to men. So what is being a woman in today's society? The status of women progressively worsened as time passed. They were confined to their homes and the opportunities previously given to them were taken away. Certain strict rules and norms were to be followed, the violation of which resulted in the society ostracizing them. They were most definitely the worse during the middle ages where women were traumatized and abused at every turn of life, whether it is in the position of a daughter or a wife or a mother. They were, and still are, treated inferior to men. Practices like that of Sati, Female Infanticide, Female Feticide, etc. creeped up and stuck to the society. Sadly, despite the numerous laws made in order to protect women against these so called religious practices, women still face these customs and malpractices. However, there have been women in the past centuries that have had the guts to be different and hence have not only changed the way the world sees a woman but have also become an inspiration to women today. As we all know, women in the past chiefly managed their homes and pandered to the men in their families. Jane Austen is one such woman from the past who is an inspiration to us through her creation of strong and independent female lead characters. She was, probably, one of the only authors of her time who had the courage create such influential female leads. Her female leads not only had the wit and the intelligence, but also perseverance towards becoming powerful characters. In so many various ways, her novels accord more with our time today. The main thing in all of this was that she never portrayed her female characters to be perfect virtues of feminity that were present then, some of the being present even now. No, she portrayed her female characters to be real women with opinions and thoughts of their own and not just reflected by those of their fathers, brothers, husbands or sons. Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Susan B. Anthony are some of those women who have helped make the world what is now for woman. Rosa Parks, after she had refused to from her seat for a white, said that “all I was doing was trying to get home from work”. Since that moment, she became the face of fighting for the rights of the black in the US. Marie Curie, who twice won the Nobel prize for her work, herself divulged that she had, many times, been asked by women of how she could harmonize her family and her career in science. Florence Nightingale went against the wishes of her parents to become a nurse during wartime. She came to be regarded as ‘the lady with the lamp’. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly unaccompanied over the Atlantic Ocean. Helen Keller parted the education to the world regarding disabled women. Jackie Joyner-Kersee launched women in the Olympics. Susan B. Anthony got women their voting rights. Every woman is worthy of an irrefutable quantum of respect. But not all agree to this statement and those who do not are the ones who sow the seeds of harsh and difficult situations in every sphere of a woman’s life. Even in today’s apparently progressive world, there exist men who think that woman’s place is within the four walls of the house and under the thumb of the husband. This situation is definitely changing for the better today. Yes, we are given the same rights and opportunities that our counterparts are provided with. But are we being treated equally and with respect? I would still say NO. Men are still bought up to believe that women are inferior to them in many or most parts of the country.

Role Of A Woman In Society Today

The society today says that women ought to be more feminine and comport themselves with such manner. The same society has established such norms and regulations about every sphere of a woman’s life, starting from her choice in clothes to how she must behave. They talk about women losing their ‘femininity’. I ask what exactly is this femininity. Who decides what comes under this label? The society. And since the leaders of the society in majority are formed by men, no wonder the women today do not connect with these norms. Majority of our understanding of what ‘femininity’ is molded by what we have seen women in the past as well as those around us do. We go on talking about ‘feminism’, but do any of us really understand what feminism is? A girl being a feminist does not mean that she feels hatred towards men. No, it simply means that she rightfully wants equal rights and opportunities that are a given for her counterpart. Not a single day goes by, that we do not come across any article regarding a woman going through any sort of abuse. What kind of society do we live in, where the same men who pray to goddesses and pay homage to them; are also those who abuse and molest the women of our society. Look at the recent incidents. What happened to women in Bangalore on New Year’s Eve? They were mercilessly teased and molested by men too drunk to be in control. Can the women not even enjoy a festival or celebration without the fear of getting used and abused? These women were groped and mishandled in the presence of the police. Have such men gained so much of confidence that they do not fear the police force of our country? We must ask ourselves if this is how we picture the future of our society and take steps against doers of such horrendous deeds.

Problems Faced By A Working Women In India

Such molestation and sexual harassment is not the only kind abuse that women face in day to day life. Whether it is their career or family life, they face challenges related to sexism everywhere. They are constantly underestimated and trodden upon. Domestic violence is on a rampage. More and more women suffer endlessly at the atrocities committed towards them by the hands of their husbands, in laws and at workplace. I, partly hold these women responsible for what happens to them. Yes, I agree that they were taught to bear every atrocity but there has to be a limit to that. Why do they not fight against what happens to them? What such women do not realize is that these men will only learn women’s importance once they become strong and fight against any injustice they had to suffer through. What has the world come to? A woman, who has just suffered through abuse and injustice, instead of receiving help and support from the society, gets shunned by the society. She is made to feel dirty and some kind of pariah instead of being praised for facing such abuse. Why is it that a daughter’s birth is still not celebrated in many families when it has become a proven fact that a girl is as good as a boy, at times even better, in every field of life? Why is it that the victim herself is still punished and blamed for what happens to her? What equality and progress are we talking about when the mentality of people refuses to change, or in a more precise manner, when it refuses to update? What do we do when the officials in high posts and leaders of the nation, the ones we are supposed to look up to, are the ones blaming the victims of provocation? I ask you, how can that three year old, who has been raped by a man much older to her be held for being provocative in any way? One other thing I would like to say is ladies, start fighting for yourselves. Do not depend on others to fight for you. Be your own heroes! Teach your sons to respect and treat every individual fairly and equally. Teach your daughters to be strong enough to fight for themselves against any injustice they face. If we want to change the way society sees us, we need to be the ones to work for that change. Merely complaining and asking for a change is not going to make it happen. Because is this a society we can truly feel proud to call our own? A society where even a female child is made to feel threatened and unwanted and that too by her own family. As, honestly, this is not the society I would like to raise my sons and daughters in. Yes, things are changing, becoming better. But this progress is too slow. We need to spread more awareness amongst people, raise our children right. Parents, raise your daughters to be independent. As they say, ‘Behind every independent woman and successful woman is her father who believed in her more than the society’, and I count my blessings to be the daughter of such a father.
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Mitali Dodal

A law student who loves to read anything and everything she can get her hands on. She loves to research and write on a variety of topics realting to parenting, fashion, lifestyle & travel.

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