Open Up The Spaces.

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There I was, sitting on the topmost stair of the spectators’ gallery of a playground, writing, when a soccer ball landed with a thud right on my foot. I was taken by surprise and flooded with a flurry of apologies. I wasn’t hurt, no. But I roused concern among the boys. But why only the boys? Because there were no other girls around.

Why do men have a monopoly over open spaces? Why, if you look at the massive green stretches of open spaces in our cities and possibly even towns, do you find scores and scores of men playing all sorts of sports but no women? Why are we women still found standing by the entrance watching them play from afar, waiting for the men to return to us? Why can’t we swing the bat hard? Why can’t we kick a soccer ball away? Why can’t we dribble in sweat and exhilarate with ten others at a game played well? Why can’t we grab and hold in kabaddi? Why are we at the edges? Why are we scared of injuring ourselves?

Why do I see girls play badminton? Or cycle? Or skip? Or just choose to go for a walk? Why not put them together in teams too? Why not teach them to be a leader, a team player, bond with each other over match strategies and get that competitive spirit going? Why not teach our women to pull up other women and not push them down? Why not familiarize them with the touch of men so that they know the difference between the touch of love and lust? Why don’t our brothers teach us to toughen up? Why are our cuts and bruises scolded for and theirs disregarded? Well, that actually shows women are more careful about first aid, but you get the point, right?

What are we so scared of?

That our women will get hurt? Or they might disagree to sit inside homes any longer?

That our women will bring the team down? Or that they’ll become strong enough to form their own teams?

That they might overexert? Or that they will learn to embrace their bodies as they are?

What in the world are we afraid of?
Are we more fearful of our insecure men?
Or are we fearful of making our women secure?

fitness-quotes

The author is well aware of the countless women who have made a superlative mark in the world of professional sports and is in no way trying to belittle the spectacular magnitude of their efforts. The author is well aware of women who are pushing all limits exceedingly well and breaking glass barriers every day. This post is not intended for those women. Instead, it is intended to bring out the other ladies, young and old, strong and weak, into the open so that they find out for themselves what wonders their graceful, lithe bodies can do, if only they allowed it to!

Graciously Yours!

4 thoughts on “Open Up The Spaces.”

  1. An inspiration post-Aditi forcing us to speak and think in this misogynist and patriarchal society where discussion is needed. The need to create a high tide to life all women, addressing challenges and finally triumphing. Love it.

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  2. Well its less of men being insecure than women being afraid. I’ve been to several sports clubs/gyms where women are playing basketball, lawn tennis, etc alongside men. Though admittedly this behavior is less common among the under privileged. Their lack of presence in mixed gender football and cricket (where family and friends are not involved) is more because of their innate fear of getting hurt along with men’s fear of getting mobbed due to any accidental inappropriateness during the game. I myself have been afraid to even stand next to a girl in a metro or a bus in case something happens. I think the Indian culture isnt changing its still breeding fear. The subject of the fear is the only change. Women afraid for their safety and men afraid of theirs. Ofcourse It doesnt mean men aren’t perverts who do engage in such habits. Coming back to topic. I myself have played mixed gender football, cricket and basketball in school. But post-school whenever I tried to call my female friends to play they’d much rather play badminton or not at all. Until we change how will the people around us? And until they do how will the world?

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