Each gender has privileges that are perhaps, exclusive to them. Also, each gender comes with its own unique struggles. None can claim to have no struggles. We can continue debating on who has a greater disadvantage but that’s not the point, is it? The fact that there is something really flawed in the very fabric of this society and it can’t be denied.
While I can empathize with every gender, being a female gives me an insight into the world of misogyny, hypocrisy, and the disregard for our gender. Again, this in no way, means that the other genders have it easy. One’s troubles do not always mean another’s gain. It might also be a lose-lose situation. So, without further ado, I shall get to the crux of the matter.
Let me begin with a story. I was a little girl in a big world, full of curiosity. I was always keen on observing rather than participating in social settings. That gave me a unique perspective on life. I became attuned to every little change, in people, in circumstances, in things. I remember every detail, vividly. I ponder over people’s stories, why they do what they do, how they feel, how they do, basically everything there is to think about another. My rich inner world compensates for my perceived boring outer one. This is to give you a background information on what I’m about to divulge.
As a people observer, I have observed the ways in which females are treated. The enemy isn’t the other genders, it is the mindset of people irrespective of their gender. People of the same gender can be both a blessing and curse. The same goes for the other genders. Why do we have to prescribe specific roles to each gender? Why can’t we let them decide their roles for them? The problem is that we think that the way it’s being done since ages is necessarily the right way, punishing those that go beyond the prescribed ways. We often forget that everyone is an individual with unique qualities and experiences. We cannot expect others to live by our ideals, rules, expectations. It is a waste of their individuality and uniqueness. Is it really so hard to let others live by their ideas and ideals? As long as it’s not harming another, that is. My dreams should not come at a cost to yours. I should not have to trample others to rise. It does not have to be Me vs World, it could be Me with the World. Rather than pulling each other down, we could strive to build each other up. If we have nothing positive to contribute, we can distance ourselves from the situation. It really is that simple.
There are such fixed notions about certain things that you’d be ostracized if you so much as thought about going beyond them. I have utmost respect for people’s beliefs and values. I do not think less of someone for believing in something I don’t. It’s not my place to judge another. It is also not their’s to judge me for mine. We all deserve to have beliefs that are different.
Take for instance, marriage. It is a beautiful institution. There is nothing wrong in wanting to get married and devote your life to it. Also, there is nothing wrong in not wanting to marry. No matter which side of the opinion you’re on, you have a right to do what you believe in. You should not have to do one or the other because of societal or familial expectations. We must create a world that allows us to freely choose what we want without having to be guilt ridden. It helps no one. Being coerced into one or the other would only lead to unhappiness and that never bodes well for anyone. Unhappiness leads to resentments and that could manifest in any form. So, whether a person wants to look after the home or a company or work a 9 to 5 or whatever it is they want should be their decision independent of external pressure.
My appeal to whoever this reaches to is this: Please be yourself and let others be themselves. The least we can do is give each one the space to be comfortable being who they are and who they want to be without the additional expectations of who they should be. We deserve that much at least. Seek out the goodness within you to be kind. You might be going through a difficult time but you don’t have to pay it forward. You heal by healing others. You grow by helping others grow. Each one of us is going through something or the other. Appearances can indeed, be deceptive. Some are just better at hiding it than others. Even if their life is trouble free, why would you want to destroy their peace?
None of us is alone. We’re in this together. We must help each other and ourselves. Let us promise to help at least one person, especially ourselves. Leave no opportunity to be kind. You owe it to yourself.
Be YOU. BE-YOU-TIFUL
Note: The author wished to remain anonymous.