Today morning I saw a poster on Facebook that said, “Here’s to strong women. May we know them, May we be them. May we raise them.” Nice, huh? And yet, personally I find something seriously lacking in it.
This obsession with women is rather morbid, methinks. In the past it was about grooming her into a perfect ‘slave’ to serve, not that patriarchy has let up now or admitted defeat as yet, but still some of us are better off, to some degree at least, than before. In the present, the focus is on making women stronger. Good stuff really. Yo strong woman, who can carry off work, home and everything else on her slender shoulders. Be strong, fight for what is yours and all the rest of it.
How about taking those eyes off women for a change and looking elsewhere? There are others in the equation you know, and they are called men, a whole different gender that also needs to be strong, but sadly aren’t. Errr.. surely you did not think men were born strong or some such balderdash, did you? Don’t be misled by the ‘we are superior’ outlook that you encounter many a time. That is just learned behaviour, what men have been fed from the time they are born and not really their fault. The truth is, they are weak. Yes, I repeat, weak. Anyone who cannot accept the free spirit and independence of others (read women) are weak, no questions asked.
I am curious. WHY is no one bothered about this fact? Do the women raising toasts to *strong* women think, a world of *strong* women will be any good when the other half is raised to be weak? Strong *women* need equally strong *men* to complement them. They are two sides of the same coin.
My request is quite simple.
Before you scream, ‘May we raise them’ meaning raising strong women, stop and think. We need strong men too. Have you thought of raising men to be independent, sensitive and human? Have you removed the knot tying him to your sari pallu? Do you know the meaning of ‘let go’ yet? Have you stopped revelling in your indispensability to the men of your house? (He cannot manage house without me!). Have you stopped measuring your self-worth in terms of how much the men in your family need you?
When you next holler about raising *strong women*, remember to change it to raising *strong CHILDREN* or *strong HUMANS*! Besides, what do you mean ‘raising strong women’?! When have women ever been weak?! A gender that has reached this far, in spite of the oppression and suppression, simply HAS to have been strong already. Wanna bet?