Today is International Women's day, Happy Womens day to all the wonderful women reading this.
I was just scrolling through Instagram this morning, thinking to myself that Women's day is simply reduced to sharing quotes, a few pictures of inspiring women or a picture of yourself with a thought provoking caption (which I did myself). Generally one thinks that to uplift, inspire, aid or support other women, we need to have a rock solid foundation ourselves, but if we keep on waiting for that day to come, it never will. The truth is that life is an ongoing struggle for everyone. However, we always have something to offer, irrespective of the stage of life we are at. Here are a few seemingly simple ways, in which we can start (myself first)..
- Let’s stop commenting on physical appearances, weight, skin color, hair, choice of clothing and makeup. A woman should not feel pressured to look a certain way or wear specific things to be taken seriously. It’s 2021, not the middle ages where your choice of garments decided your place in society.
- Let's understand that every woman is silently fighting their own battles. Some are loud and vocal about it, and some will take their secret battles to their graves, without anyone getting a whiff of it. Be respectful and do not belittle anyones struggles. Most often, the unseen struggles are the worst kind.
- Let's understand that helping is not limited to financial help, and even though you might not have all the wealth, you have all of yourself. Think about how you can share your knowledge, skill set, time, advice or any connection you may have to lend a helping hand to a woman in need.
- Let's stop commenting on the way they choose to live their lives, how they raise their kids, how they deal with their set of problems, how they sort out their relationships. Offer advice only when asked for. Even if you vehemently disagree with how a woman goes about her own life, choose to not comment, as it is her, not you living her life.
- Let's understand that not everyone is open about mental health, and most might not even know that they are struggling with problems unknown to themselves. They are the hardest to deal with, especially if you can notice those problems which they are unaware of. Be kind.
I used the word “seemingly” simple ways because these points, as simple and easy they might be to read, are extremely hard to apply in real life. Even the most educated and learned amongst us are sometimes prejudiced by decades of conditioning of the mindset. Even in this day and age, physical appearances are extremely important, and unfortunately beauty standards are becoming more and more unrealistic to the point that most women are insecure about the way they look. Mental health struggles are often taken as a joke or are dismissed. Someone who smiles through their troubles and is a sacrificial lamb, is applauded for being a noble woman, and the suppressors are not even questioned. Don’t even get me started on how common it is to ask questions about kids, their genders and their numbers, all to be taken in good faith. (If only I had a dollar for every time I was asked, “why don’t I TRY for a girl”) I can give countless examples of how the wrong ideas and wrong doings are not questioned because they are considered to be normal. Unfortunately, all the above perpetrators are mostly women, passing judgements on other women. Even I might have passed some of these comments. which I might have thought to be harmless, but might have hurt the other person a lot.
I have faith that we can become better than that. It is extremely hard, but we can work towards it, one step at a time.