There should never have been a battle in the first place.
Co-existence of men and women has been more like no existence for women. For years, women all over the world were, and are, being treated almost like a liability, fairly acknowledging that there were families who understood the meaning of the equal and opposite sex. If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t have Enid Blyton, Louisa May Alcott, Amelia Earhart, Rani Lakshmibai and many others. But if I compare, our male compatriots have raced far ahead, since forever. The “STRONGER” RACE, they are after all. Oh yes, I say race because this is a bigger divide than any religion, caste, creed or colour.
He hits her. She accepts it. Either because she cannot leave her family in a lurch. Or she cannot leave him and go out in the world for fear of a worse fate awaiting her.
He expects her to take care of him and his family. She does. He never thanks her. Because he thinks it’s her duty to serve him. She wasn’t born to live for you.
He is waiting in line for a job. She is better. He gets the job. Why? Just like that.
He works hard. She works as hard. His pay cheque is heavier.
He looks at her greedily. She walks away thinking she must have done something wrong. Why? Because he says so.
He abuses her. She doesn’t. Not because she can’t, more so because she doesn’t want to fall to his standards.
Yes, he is stronger. But she is the one who lives in constant fear of crossing the wrong path. She is the one who sees her dreams getting quashed. She is the one who thinks sobbing through the night is easier than defying the men in her life. She is the one who has to see her girl child being killed. She is the one who has to bear the wrath of the child she bore. She is the one who has to bear the sting of words glorifying all that she cannot do or rather all that he wouldn’t let her do. She is the one who gets named whether she’s outgoing, introvert, shy, modern, intelligent, bossy, beautiful, or rather because she exists. She lives through it all.
But, he is the one who’s stronger.
And to what delightful use they put their strength! To hurt her, hit her, stop her, abuse her, rape her. And the men who abstain from pouncing on women? They stare. They share. They sympathize. They blame. But what do they do? They ask, what can we do?
In India, women’s empowerment is almost like the new fad, with corporates like Tata Tea doing a better job of portraying it through their advertisements than the descendant of Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi has been able to in the innumerable speeches he has made (the interview with Arnab Goswami being the key highlight of his highs and lows!) or the decade long term of the UPA Government has done. Pardon my naivety! The UPA Government had sanctioned a 1000 crore budget for the safety of women across the country in the year 2012-13. Mark my words. Sanctioned, not disbursed. Because, sadly, none out of the 1.2 billion people in India could come up with a plan good enough to be accorded funds out of the 1000 crore basket.
All day, each day, she strives to make a mark. To be better than she was yesterday. And someday we will coexist. Because he will realize that she would never treat him as badly as he treated her.