When the world today is having a large scale and imperative discussion on Feminism and Women Empowerment, the real problem is latched onto the very core of our society. This sticky problem and its consequences will take a lot of time to vanish forever but Change is definitely here!
While we have conversations as fundamental as “How to treat a woman?” or “She should not be afraid of going out at any point of time”, women themselves should proudly be the way they are. The time we as women feel ashamed of basic things that men casually do is the time we ourselves create a loophole in the movement and the larger fight that we are putting on.
Here are some everyday chores that we as women should proudly do and not be ashamed of.
Women’s lingerie is treated as taboo in our society. From “Your bra strap is showing, tuck it in!” to objectifying lingerie in every way. It is either this way or that way. It is not at all a difficult job to go to a lingerie store and walk in there but the real problem lies when a ‘salesman’ approaches us.
The moment he says, “Yes madam?” in a ordeal and polite tone with no emotions or awkwardness on his face whatsoever, we are embarrassed, uncomfortable and frown to tell our bra size to an unknown man.
“Can you call her?”, is all we can say to that man while we hide behind our embarrassment.
Hold your head high, look straight into the eyes of the salesperson (male or female) and ask for it as easily as you buy vegetables or clothes. Because that is just another layer of clothing that goes on your body, moreover this layer is more essential in terms of hygiene.
Buying sanitary pads.
As uncomfortable as we women are to buy our own lingerie, we are 10x times more conscious and embarrassed to buy sanitary pads from a medical store. There are only ‘whispers’ and hush hush tones heard when buying a packet of sanitary pads.
On top of it, it is handed over to us as a highly destructive nuclear bomb wrapped in newspaper foldings and then carefully placed inside a polythene bag. The stigma attached to periods and the severity behind it is clearly visible from that packaging.
But why should we be ashamed of it? Shouldn’t buying sanitary pads be a way to ‘stay free’ of the unhygienic mess of periods?
It is pertinent to atleast have a conversation about periods and what all women face during those 5 days and to start treating sanitary napkins as just another daily use product as your face cream or face wash. It is important as women to normalize buying it rather than expecting the society to do so as a big movement.
Talking about your periods.
When people all over the world today are trying to get the society to talk more openly about periods and are spreading awareness about it, on the more primitive level it will certainly make a great difference to talk about periods amongst us. Discuss it with your family, your father, brother, with your friends, etc. The more aware and scientific our approach towards periods, the more we will be able to cope with the stigma around it.
Stop hiding your period pains, have conversations- with your boyfriend, brother, male friends and father about it and not only with them but with other women too. Let them know what you are going through. It is time we have a normal chat on this subject with them like any other.
Do not feel guilty of pleasure.
We often feel guilty for the pleasures we have. Women want it and crave it as much as a man does and there is nothing to feel embarrassed about satisfying one’s sexual needs.
What will the society think? Am I being too needy? Is this even right? Hell yeah! It is!
It is important to nurture a healthy relationship, not just physically but emotionally too. And if the man has the right to satisfy all his desire, so does the woman.
Being an ambitious woman or not being one.
There is always some or the other pressure to prove oneself. If you are an ambitious girl who wants to achieve great things in life, break the age old boundaries and explore life to fullest; there are always giant hurdles in the way which constantly remind you of being ‘a woman’. Whereas, if you dedicate your life for something that doesn’t fully exploit your needs and desires for achievement, even then there will be people talking behind your back.
There should not be a question-‘to be or not to be?’
There should not be any fear of predicaments to have a certain ambition nor should there be any questions for not wanting any.
Flaunting your body hair.
I can’t wear a pretty dress just because I have not shaved my legs, Every time I want to wear a sleeveless top, I ‘have to’ shave my underarms.
It took a while for me to realize that it’s okay to not shave my legs and still wear that skirt, to let that underarm hair grow and most importantly LET IT GO!
That is not something to be ashamed of. My intelligence, opinions, knowledge, beauty defines me and so does my body hair.
There are loads of forwarded jokes on us for being too dumb. But there are jokes too when we try to logically prove a point on a particular issue. Often brushed aside or not taken seriously.
So if you got something to say, say that! There is nothing wrong in having an opinion and expressing it. It will be wrong if you have an opinion and don’t express it and for the only reason for being a woman.
Putting on too much makeup or none.
It is her choice whether to step out of the house wearing makeup or not. If a girl feels comfortable in wearing no layers of cosmetics on her skin, that is her choice. If a girl feels confident in flaunting red lips in a party, that is her choice too.
Wearing makeup does not make her needy or an attention seeker. Similarly, not wearing makeup does not make her a tomboy, lazy, geek or any other term used generally.
Appearance does not make someone who they are and these small things accumulate into one giant issue that we are constantly fighting for.
Being too loud.
As girls we are often told- “Don’t talk like that!” “Speak properly!” “Is this the way you talk? Behave yourself!”
We are expected to talk softly always, no matter who is in front of us. Raising our voice is a big NO for us and is considered arrogant.
But no matter how much your voice escalates, hold your held high and your voice because it is important to be heard!
Embrace your past.
Judging a woman’s character is the favourite pass time of Indian society. The unit to measure it is by how many men we have dated, how late we arrive home at night, who drops us home or picks us up, what kind of clothes we wear, etc, etc, etc.
Amidst all this chaos, we women are conditioned to judge one another and ourselves on these terms.
It is time we let go of it all. Cut off all the strings attached to us that are holding us back and embrace who we are. Ignore what others are saying, do your own thing and live the way you want to.
We need to start loving ourselves. When we do that, others will naturally start admiring us.