I have had strong views, very strong someone may say, on the inequality of women. My view is that they are not unequal. I reject any notion of gender based roles, gender based discrimination and lack of safety of women in the society. I reject they are thrust into marriages, with people they don’t like; I reject the notion that society (read: men) jeopardize their individualism, aspirations and ambitions by putting them in wedlock. I reject that their potential is limited in marriages or anything that was thrust on them.
Now, I am not reclusive to the facts of the world. Even in developed countries, women inequality continues to be an issue. Affirmative action is commonplace. Real or perceived, alleged or accepted, women continue to be vulnerable and weak against attacks of all kinds — physical, emotional, intellectual and stigmatic. Status of women in developing and under-developed countries is another topic. There is news of rude, violent, graphic, explicit, unconstitutional, inhumane attacks against women every single day. Rapes in broad daylight, deprived opportunities in every walk of life, and most importantly and flagrantly, soft abuses of countless women every single day.
I still reject the notion that they are unequal. Why?
I was born, raised and live in circumstances where you can’t see even a shade of inequality. Women are ambitious, they achieve what they want to achieve, as long as they have the capability and motivation to do so. They pursue their own happiness. They thwart away anything that comes between them and their dreams.
If you are like me, if you are born, raised and live in circumstances similar to mine; if you are reading this blog, likely you are not from another world than mine. If you are woman reading this, you were likely presented all the opportunities to pursue what you wanted to pursue. If you did not pursue it, you did so because of your own reasons. May be you tried and failed. May be you gave up. May be you wanted to walk the easy path and blame others for it. Or, maybe you are from the other world, which I described in the 2nd paragraph.
At the outset, I will agree we are still on a journey to a completely gender-impartial world. But to get there, you first have to imagine it, pursue it and reject anything that is not true to your beliefs. Gandhi did it (in case of non-violence and caste anti-discrimination), MLK did it (in terms of racism), Nehru did it (secularism), Bharathi did it (women equality and caste anti-discrimination), Ambedkar did it (caste anti-discrimination) and so did many other leaders. They imagined a world they wanted to see, pursued it and rejected anything that didn’t stand true to their pursuits.
I may not see a completely gender-impartial world in my lifetime. It may take much longer than that. But I am not going to accept people of the other gender acquiescing to the realities of today, much less embracing status-quo. If they do so, it is because they themselves believe they are unequal.