The radio reminded me diligently over the past one week about the upcoming Women’s day. Neelesh Misra’s lazy drone on FM narrated infuriating tales of injustice to women making me feel again that our gender is invariably associated with tragedy.
Why else then don’t we hear more humour about women or how come talking about women people always pick such heavy academic words like feminism and liberation? So our gender has problems but that’s not all there is to us. Why define us in such an ‘oppressive’ manner?
I wonder why no one ever celebrates a Woman’s special by having a ‘Yo Mama’ contest for us girls. If you think I sound bitter about Woman’s day, then let me assure you that I am not. I just don’t understand this one day of celebration. My phone has dutifully buzzed five times since morning, an SMS inviting me to celebrate my womanhood each time. But what were the women doing on the streets of Delhi on this grand day? Nothing much different than what they do every other Sunday. They were waiting on bus stands with frowns on their faces; many haggled for a good bargain in busy market places; some made special lunches for their family to celebrate the day and some ordered out and watched a film.
What then is so special about the 8th of March, 2015? What is the essence of Women’s day this year or any year? Or should Women’s day be celebrated with fairs, marches and a carnival type atmosphere? Maybe not. Because somehow this lack of festivity signifies how redundant it is to have a single day assigned to celebrating any gender. One day to glorify all that women do every day of their lives ever since they are born till the day they die! Sounds silly and also faintly smells of gender divide. I’ve heard so many men bitterly crib about not having a ‘Men’s day’ to balance things out (yes this is where you roll your eyes and say – men).
What should be celebrated instead are the little pieces of ‘Women’s day’ scattered all across the timeline of our existence. Like the protests that broke out after the Dec 16th Delhi rape case or how for the same case people took to the streets to protest against BBC screening India’s Daughter. Maybe you should also throw in those instances of college boys standing up to offer seats to women and when you didn’t worry about a late night because you knew you could take care of yourself.
And of course films – Queen, Mary Kom, Dedh Ishqiya. We have all been celebrating Women’s day quite vigorously over the past few years. Why then do we need a Women’s day? Maybe for those monstrous juveniles who get away, and those endless loopholeish debates on capital punishment vs life imprisonment. Let’s not forget the police force we so proudly boast about. Yes, the ones who feel rape is mostly about the girl not being happy with the money offered later. What about all those dowry deaths, and the foeticides. Our gender does have a way of extracting dark words out of people. Huh? But maybe on this bright and pleasant afternoon on the 8th of March I feel reluctant towards pessimism. Instead, I feel the slow churn as India moves together towards fighting all these complicated problems, issues, realities whatever you want to call them. Even though for my own good and for the good of every woman everywhere, I wish this churn would speed up, I still cannot deny the feeling that soon we wouldn’t need just one day to cram all our individuality into.