Being a woman in a world of men

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‘Frailty thy name is woman’, Said Shakespeare, thereby conjuring up the image of a frail, fragile, helpless woman, clinging to the arm of her man, giving rise to the protective instincts of every man.

I am sure no man will be able to resist rushing in to help a Damsel in Distress. Good for them, May they be able to do it always.

When Sir Francis Drake took off his cloak to cover up a puddle of water so that the most powerful woman of that era could walk over it without getting her feet wet, he demonstrated the height of chivalry- a deed which is quoted even today. He was playing the courtier to the hilt and the result- Queen Elizabeth showered him with her patronage. She showed that ego is a baggage of power and has nothing to do with gender.

We, collectively as a society are guilty of perpetuating this myth of a woman being frail and fragile; someone who has to be kept in cotton wool and cherished forever.

Yes, she must be cherished but then so must men. In fact men also need a lot of cherishing, and they get it from every member of the family.

Darwin said that only the fittest survive and a woman has proved that she is the fittest. Today when the girl is not safe even in her mother’s womb (here she is a victim of feoticide) and is still being able to hold her own speaks volumes for her powers of resilience. It’s a well known fact that a girl child has better powers of surviving childhood than a boy.

Every human uses whatever weaponry they have in their armory. If a Man will use his physical strength, a woman will therefore have to match it with her own weapons; so why should we object if those weapons are her tears and beauty. God knew what he was doing, he gave man a fighting chance by making sure that a woman was physically weaker because he had after all he had endowed her with superior beauty, emotional capacity, tolerance, compassion and inner strengths to bear every burden with a smile.. After all One of God’s important qualities is his Justice. So he did justice to both the sexes; the yin and yang of Chinese philosophy.

If God had not done that the human species would never have been propagated, I challenge any man to go through the pains of not only bringing a baby into this world but also nurturing the baby but ensuring its complete upbringing.

In today’s world a woman works shoulder to shoulder with men and works an 8 hour office day and then patiently listens to her husband’s problems, helps the children with their homework and tends to the household chores.

Please don’t think here that I am a militant feminist: I am no more a feminist than the men are chauvinist pigs. These are all caricatures in an attempt to understand the 2 sexes. Why is it so difficult to comprehend? Once again I quote the yin and yang. One is incomplete without the other. Why do we make it out to be a battle of the sexes?

Bring up your daughters so that they realize their strengths and know they are as capable as a boy in every field and some more.

I cannot end without saying; teach your sons to respect women and never feel that they can’t be compassionate, tender and demonstrative. There is no such thing as being a sissy. Just because he is a boy doesn’t make him infallible. He can also fail at times; he can also shed a tear and will need to be comforted: maybe by a woman; his mother, sister or daughters.

I never was a damsel in distress and I appeal to all of you to make sure your daughter is never one either. This means she should have a well rounded up bringing and never be made to feel she’s a mere woman.

No society can progress unless men and women walk and work shoulder to shoulder and complement each other when and where required.

originally posted on my old blog Rana’s Space in 2008

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