In her book “Lean in: Women, work, and the will to lead” Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook has observed that ‘men attributes their success to innate qualities and skill, while women attributes their success to luck and help from others.’
Are women shying away from acknowledging their intelligence or any significant truth lies in the statement which flaunts the flaws of a patriarchal society? Women are intelligent (yes we can read maps), and men (not diamonds) are our best friends, we need them as much as they need us. And when a women raise her voice and demands their basic rights (rights to live as normal human being), I see this as collective failure of our society and nation. I hate the word “Feminism” but that’s how the world understands “the women issues”, and when we tries to express ourself, our sentiments, the world label us as “feminist”.
We are human first, gender later , and the day when society stops portraying us a “superwoman”, “arm candy” or as a “sexual objectification, that day will perhaps ends the struggle for gender inequality. I know it is a far-fetched dream for women in general. The society is changing fast, it has become more permissive than ever before and yet the ground realities are that women are still considered as second class citizen with no voice of theirs, muted in cultural apathy. A large section of women in our society (rural, urban, educated, uneducated, liberal alike) still has no choice when it comes to choosing their career, their life partners, their reproductive rights and not to mention the trivial things like dress, shoes, friends, food.
There are some progressive ads like “share the load” by Ariel and some stereotypical like MTR instant food ad. Typically portraying a beautiful gleaming lady as superwoman who assumed (women are self-illusioned to some extent) that God has given her ten hands like Devi Durga not to kill Mahisasur (the evil) but to serve the varied breakfast requests of her demanding family, not to mention her other duties like laundry, getting the kids ready for school, packing lunch etc thus giving even a “superwoman” stiff competition. Many of you might told me to stop over-thinking, or to stop over-analysing. I will definitely, but can anyone tell me why the ad does not show her “choice” of food. Is she supposed to live on the leftover food by her husband or kids? Why she can not say no to any one? Is that guilt of saying no is larger than the cost of her life itself? Those women who think that being a “superwoman” is cool, let me tell you one thing, you are doing it wrong for yourself and for the entire gender.
It is perfectly right to ask for your partner’s help in household chores, if he is not proactively helping you. There should not be any guilt feeling if you cannot make your kid’s varied food requests (no over pampering), no overwhelming sense of gratitude should prevail if your partner makes breakfast for a day, these are not unusual circumstances, these should sound like a normal routine life. It is cool to share the load. Family that cooks together, stays together happily.
So stop being a superwoman, relax, chill, you are not on a mission to accomplish everything on a single day, let the guilt of not fulfilling your role perfectly as mother, wife, sister or daughter or daughter in law fades away into the oblivion. Stop being judgemental and stop pushing the bar to excel in everything. This unfolds enormous stress on oneself that leads to so many potential life threatening risks. Women too can have cardiovascular disease. Remember that we are the backbone of our society, if we do not value ourselves, no one will ever.
This is really disheartening to read that half the women population in India (rural, urban alike) is severely anemic. It is an epidemic that is spreading fast in our society, like other epidemics (read rapes). When it comes to food, many Indian women left with no choice than to survive on the leftovers. When asked about it, family is highly unapologetic but above all women themselves consider this as their untold blessings of marriage. This is so much ingrained in women’s genetics that it will require a total gene mutation to make the things straight. This is not just a health issue but a social issue as well because it is deeply rooted into the web of patriarchal society where women are still systematically discriminated against within a society, where a dysfunctional society is ruled by bigots and misogynist, where most of the marriages expects this kind of domestic servitude, where the women herself forgets that she is a human first with her own heart, with her own head that can take logical and rational decision and that she had got a beautiful body that need to be nourished. Remember, we have got one life to live.
The day when we can say this to a women “live for yourself” , the day when she will arise as an individual above everything else, that day will probably see the end of this gender inequality struggle. We wont need any special day to celebrate womanhood. Else the day has no significance. Proud to be a liberal feminist who believes in equality in everything, who deserves love and demand respect (more than an orgasm, pity that Fifty Shades got it all wrong) and accept nothing less. Change the mindsets, create aspirations and make the world a better place to live for everyone.
And now some healthy power packed salad to digest the above – a filling, healthy nutrient packed couscous and chickpeas salad with lime vinaigrette or yogurt dressing. This is the basic recipe and dress it up or down with your favorite ingredients, non-veggies can add shrimps or chicken to it, vegan can rely on the tofu but chickpeas will provide enough protein to sustain the day. Instead of couscous, you can also use bulgur or dalia (broken wheat). A wholesome salad in 5 minutes that has right proportion of good carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and other nutrients.
- Chickpeas (boiled) : 1 cup
- Couscous (plain or spiced) : 1 cup
- Red onion (diced) : ¾ cup
- Cherry tomatoes (diced) : ¾ cup
- Red radish (diced) : ¾ cup
- English cucumber (diced) : ¾ cup
- Green zucchini (diced) : ¾ cup
- Fresh mint leaves : a handful
- Cilantro : a handful
- Sumac : 1 tsp
- Black salt as per taste
- Chat masala : a large pinch
- Juice of 1 lime
- Extra virgin olive oil : 2 tbsp
- Wash and cut all the ingredients as per requirements.
- For dressing, in a small bowl, mix olive oil with lime juice till it is emulsified.
- Toss everything in a salad bowl, stir in the dressing.
- Enjoy chilled or at room temperature.
Stay fit, stay healthy and stay fabulous
Happy women’s day to all (deliberately miss the 8th March date)