Sharing Space Creating Space!
I’ve studied gender, read a lot about feminism, got into some amazing brainstorming sessions with my teachers and classmates in the college and quite surprisingly, always ended up on a positive note; wishing for a day, when women can roam around freely, without being vulnerable to psychic vultures, an exuberant atmosphere where she can take her decisions confidently, without thinking twice.
I usually travel to my office boarding a local train, a ladies special train that is strictly “ladies only”. It runs from Palwal a small city in Haryana, India) to New Delhi station (India’s capital city) daily. These gender talks doesn’t usually occur in my mind but few days back while coming back home, i observed this group of women on the train that seemed to be a very jovial bunch of middle-aged working women. I see them most of the days but today when i overheard their conversation, i felt my mind was ignited with numerous thoughts that were going to and fro on a rapid pace. They were talking about their day, office politics, sharing kitchen recipes and were discussing positive thoughts, listening to the joys and sorrows of each one amongst their group. Some serious stuff like marriage advice to the youngest member & i guess bachelorette of their group.
This scene took me back in my gender classes and i realized that it so easy to discuss everything in a lecture hall but how difficult to implement and foresee in the society. I remember how deeply, me, as a women yearned for the independence from the patriarchy of the society. It seems that however, we’ve achieved freedom today in terms of the open-mindedness of our folks who allowed us to go out from our home and work but the pressure or the “double-burden” of handling work as well as home is taking its toll. Bizarre health conditions, mental breakdowns and stress is all what we have achieved. By stating all this, i am not taking away the credit from all the feminists and reformers that have deeply improved the conditions of women in the Indian society. I really respect and in fact obliged by the revolution that has been achieved over the years for their constant efforts. However, I, as a mere member of ‘team feminists’ hope and wish that we must fast forward our efforts to throw away this “double- burden”from all of us. This, i feel can only be achieve by gaining support from the male population and involving them in the feminist camp. It is very important to educate, communicate and transcend the message of importance of encouraging women and how crucial it is to give that space and respect to them to make every women feel comfortable in sharing space with men.
It is our responsibility as well to educate the men around us to be more sensitive, empathetic and respectful towards women. We are the one’s who got them on this earth !! Hoping this much respect is not that big deal !!! A salute to those working women who are contributing to the nation in small yet big ways. Cheers!