Monday, March 9, 2009

Jai Ho Naari

Today is Women's day. Now in a different timezone, as the city for the first time appears lifeless and lacklustre, an intellectual from Mars indulges in pensive thoughts while sifting through the pages of the Times of India. A poll conducted by TOI shows that more (67%) women consider family over career (24%) ... the question of choice should not ever arise but for the fact that marriage is a binding social contract, full of negotiations and plannings to maximize some utility function unclear often to the parties involved. Less than half of the fairer force decide how to invest their own money (46% in general and ... alarming ... 49% for single working women).

Why is it that women are always at the receiving end (no pun intended) ?

Cat fight is futile. There is no point in blaming today's men alone. Again less than half of the women polled (46%) are capable of planning their evenings. There might be a few cases of social pressure, but most of them do not even want to weigh their options. Such has patriarchy found its roots deep in our veins and arteries and neurons. Reverting this major "magaj dholai" will require a billion clones of Soumitra from Hirak Rajar Deshe, if not more. The casual sympathetic among us often pass the buck by asking the women folk to protest. And then we feign helplessness when they do not. Suo moto action is uncalled for, unless there is a promised reward for the chivalry. How can we adjudge the self-mortification of many very mentally strong women ?

Some call it nature's fury, their destiny born as a girl but I refuse to buy the biological line of argument. Evolution ensures women are physiologically capable of child bearing and raising. Females of certain other species are born strong enough to independently look after their progeny but it is natural that we, as a species, might desire better security for our future race. But in the artificial social structure we invented, security has become a bad addiction; everyone wants security, of all kind and colours. Citizens agree to an Orwellian system for security from hooligans, parents seek security (huh!) in their old age ... this is now a matter of (Indian) legal technicalities, the illusion of the security of goernment job is strong enough for people to make compromises with their career. But the emotional blackmail faced by half of living humans is too widespread and ingrained. It cannot be mere the longing for security that incarcerated women are afraid to raise their voice. Domestic violence is present in the developed and developing homes alike.

It is not lack of strength, it is not want of security. What is it ... o Lord Buddha, show me the light. Show us the light.

I see the reason for the discrimination as evolutionary, but social, not biological. Human society invented certain systems to ensure parasitic propagation of its lineage. It was a requirement to guard women to protect foetus and bring forth pleasure to the "man"kind (who in turn, will create everything else but the foetus ... well, not directly). A system like this worked, with little ado, and our race reaped a lot of immediate benefit from it over the centuries. But the disbalance was there ... the intoxicated minds could never create much hullabulla about it. The master design of the system ensured that any turmoil would be local, confined only within families walls. Unity is strength - no chance to unify their plight, no strength to overcome. What is more, the system will condemn the outliers, including other women. A perfect matrix and no red pill.

But, any system has a tendency over time to stabilise to a local minima. After seeing thousands of autumns, when women are gradually understanding their identity, their position in the human race, finding self-respect, they find that they are hopelessly dependant on men ... spouse, father, brother, son, boss ... yada yada yada. And even though they dream about breaking off the shackles, they go at great lengths to make compromise with their life once they are awake. It's the system. When I ask "Why?" ... all I get is "Look, I am a woman".

"I need you" should be a spiritual confession, not a vapid social drama. Dear all, you gotta be toughie ... sweet and attractive ones. Like Erin Brokovich.

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