I don’t usually celebrate the international women’s day because there should never be only one day to celebrate women of the world. I am a woman and I know what it means to be a woman. It means that ‘everybody expects a lot from me’. I am not joking; 21st century presents women like they have never been presented before. They are the bread-earners, the house-makers, the child-bearers and basically they are running this world but how this world treats them is awfully saddening. I come from an eastern background where people have the mind-set of a typical male-dominant society. Of course, there is a difference between educated and uneducated people (just to not offend anybody, there is a difference between socially aware and socially unaware people). The problem is that the difference seems to be increasing with a fast pace just like how the difference between rich and poor is increasing in these third world countries. By having a color television set in your house, you are not completely aware of the difference between right and wrong. Media is a powerful weapon in today’s world but they don’t know how to execute themselves in the right manner. They think that by reporting people about ‘everything’, they are doing their job. The problem with the media is that they don’t seem to have a neutral tone. They are biased which gives them the upper-hand to make people believe what they want them to believe. Apparently, media is only teaching the people to criticize everything and take no responsibility on their own shoulders (You can only preach what you practice – Story of Media’s life). For example: people complain that the city is not clean; instead of taking the first step towards a greener and cleaner city by not making roads and streets your personal trash bin, these people will blame the government in every possible way. Hypocrisy at its best!
Going back to the women’s day, I want to share a small story. Our house-maid back in my country is a mother of five children. Her husband earns half or less the amount she makes by cleaning houses. Sometimes she complains about being the victim of domestic violence even when her income is mainly running their house. Her husband does a day-to-day basis job which means that if he gets to work on the site, he gets the wage and if not then he doesn’t get anything. The woman instead earns a monthly income. As a mother, she is always worried about her children. As a wife, she is always worried about the work of her husband. As a woman, she is always worried about if she is making enough sacrifices to make things better for her family. Despite of her being the stronger pillar of their house, her man gets the upper hand.
Bull-crap. My point is that I am not a feminist (because somehow I feel like feminism is more about degrading men than fighting for equality – no offence) but I believe in gender equality. Mostly, I believe in giving women the honour and respect they deserve. I believe that today’s woman is neither superior nor inferior to men in any way. I believe that men and women are all the same.
I want to address an issue that has been bothering me for a while now. Rape, it is! Rape has become a huge problem of the society. The disclaimer is that I am not going to only talk about ‘India’ while discussing rape. However, starting from India, BBC has published a documentary where they have interviewed one of the six rapists of a very viral Delhi-Bus-rape-case only to hear the criminal saying that ‘a girl is far more responsible for rape than a man’ because by being out of the house at 9 in the night, they are “presenting” themselves for rape. The man also said that ‘When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should be silent and allow the rape’. This man’s death sentence is on appeal but after this interview where he showed no remorse instead blamed the victim, I don’t know what the courts of India are waiting for?
Hang him up already (Nobody gets to tell me that he have human rights because I believe if he didn’t respect another person’s human rights, his human rights are void). If he is alive and have the courage to give such an interview, it encourages all the other people of his mentality to do whatever they want because they kind of know that they can get away with anything — just blame it all on the victim (The views of the educated class like the lawyer that defended this rapist will further surprise you if you read the article). Justice will always be served steaming hot!
Ruling India out of the equation, recently an eighteen year old girl was raped in Leeds while waiting for her bus in the city center (Women raped waiting for bus was ‘attempted murder’). The police said that at the time of the rape (which was around 11 p.m.); the location where it happened seemed to be busy. Hence, they are asking for witnesses to come forward. I mean, who in the world don’t raise a voice when they see such an outrageous act in public. The girl suffered head and hip injuries and was left to die. What in the name of God is happening on Earth?
I understand the problem of India: it’s education. A 50-year-old man was raping an unconscious injured cow (yes, the same cow he has been taught to worship) using coconut oil as a lubricant (Man has Sex with Injured Cow Using Coconut Oil as Lubricant). The problem with East is that barbarism and illiteracy still prevails (because of rural areas, mainly). Also, what I was taking about earlier fits in here very well: social awareness. People are not aware of their rights and duties. People are blindly following the society; they don’t believe in analyzing and looking into the situation themselves. They don’t want to be the odd one out to try to fix the wrong. They don’t want to try to change themselves. They don’t want to lead the change to be a role-model for the society. They fail to realize that anybody can be a trend-follower but it takes a lot to become a trend-setter. However, what is the problem of England? It’s a developed country. It’s a country where we will expect people to be socially aware of their rights and duties then how come nobody stopped that man from brutally raping a young girl? Something is wrong with us (humans) then. I feel like somehow the more this issue is reported by the media all across the world, the more it is being encouraged than being discouraged. Otherwise, why are the reports of rape only seem to increase?
This year, on this international women’s day, I only want to tell everybody that the woman who only knows to give; she should be the recipient of your honor, love, respect, care and admiration. I am not saying that women are the embodiment of absolute perfection instead as a woman; I am telling all the conservative/modern people out there that a man and a woman in today’s world are no different. Raise your voice for gender equality; raise your voice for the women rights. I wonder why we use a ‘He’ for God when ‘His’ love and compassion is usually compared to mothers. Why do we not respect women when it is said that Heaven lies under the feet of your mother? Why are women fighting for equality when Nature itself has already regarded her far more superior? I am proud to be a woman.
I thank mama and moi for being such an inspiration to help me be a better woman. I wish I had words to express my gratitude to these two beautiful women but for now ‘I love them both very much’ will work.
There is an old poetry I would like to share in this post:
When your eyes open for the first time;
The hands of a woman wrap you in Thyme.
When your heart beats to make a sound,
The ears of a woman are on your chest to be found.
When your lips play with a radiant smile,
Take a glimpse of the parched lips of a woman for a while.
When your tear-filled eyes spill a drop,
This woman upholds your pain to stop.
When your comrades forget to play,
This woman clasps you in her arms and sway.
When oodles of your work is undone,
This woman stays by you until the rising sun.
When your life shuffles happiness to invite sorrow,
This woman representing purity desires to borrow.
When you are lonesome and forlorn,
There is a blissful woman with you to mourn.
This woman is your mother, sister, daughter or wife,
The existent support and comfort throughout your life.
Article Links & Photo Sources:
Delhi Bus Rapist Blame his Victim in Prison Interview
Woman Raped Waiting For Bus was ‘Attempted Murder’
India: Man has Sex with Injured Cow using Coconut Oil as Lubricant
First Picture: https://www.google.co.uk
Second & Third Picture: https://www.globalunison.wordpress.com
Naima….this is a very informative piece and insightful as well. You hit a push button as to the media. Often times, there reporting can in fact add to the problems in society. The second push button is the feminist movement, and yes, I agree wholeheartedly it’s more about that movement degrading men. Sexual harassment works both ways – physically or verbally. The articles surrounding the rape in India are clearly alarming. It doesn’t matter where it happens on the planet, it is just a horrible situation to have happen to oneself. This situation purely in the physical sense, but I know the after effects are beyond that of the physical – emotionally etc. I completely agree with your entire assessment of it on all of the fronts that you mention.
From the other side of the equation, one can also be raped without there being any physicality involved. It comes in a variety of forms that attack one’s mentality maliciously. Just to lay one example out here. That would be a manipulator who feels the need to be dominant over another. Maybe these types of individuals weren’t involved in any murder, but it sure can lead people to attempt suicide, or put them in psych. wards and they virtually get away with it.
I only touched on a few things, but I stand with you in every aspect of your piece.
I come from the west and am a little older, and you come from the east and are a little younger. I see you as an equal no matter what culture we come from. That matters to me.
With it being International Women’s Day, I’m quite alright with that. They do deserve their recognition for all that they do. Equality matters for both male and female.
Here I am writing something other than poetry, but it’s all about feel for me.
This is a great post and a powerful tribute to women, all of the roles we play and the strength we continue project throughout many hardships and challenges. I also love how you embed your personal relationships to provide more insight into the experiences of all women. Thanks, Naima.
Thank you Kate for your comment. It means a lot to hear from you. Firstly, Happy International Women’s day to you (belated). Secondly, I am so happy that you read this post and felt it. I feel like nobody can take a stand for women unless they come forward to take a stand for themselves. Thank you for sharing your views. I appreciate your input.
Very well said – It breaks my heart when I hear of places where the women are forbidden to be educated, or treated as property.
Maybe you can help change the world, well presented ideas by persistent people have a history of doing that.
I know Paa, I feel terrible when I see people denying women rights that they have as a human. I feel like somehow I am responsible to lead the change in the East where women are not exactly treated the way they should be. I really hope that one day, I can change the world for good. I hope that one day I can be capable of not only helping the women but this humanity in someway. Thank you for your beautiful comment.
Much love and blessings,
I suppose we start small, by standing for what we believe. I’m not a complete fan of feminism, for often it seems some of the gains there are at the cost of the children, but I believe from my heart that every person has value.
One thing which you rightly said is that the world expects more from women. They have to, because there is no running away from this. Men can, and they will, support but it is women who need to stand up for themselves.
Best wishes 🙂
Thank you for sharing for reading and sharing your views. Your post which was a tribute to your friend was very beautiful, I was moved.
Naima this post can get me ranting a lot. Media, rape, women and men and oh my goodness (feminism!) lol. I shall try to keep it short though 🙂
1. Media; has ruined so much in name of their TRP games, who cares what are real people like in that particular country? lets show an entire country/religion as barbaric just so to sell and make some more profit. Infuriating that they do, depressing that people despite all the awareness and information channels nowadays, believe the utter BS media stills throw at them. Sensationalism has twisted the world.
2. Feminism, I don’t want to touch upon it for I don’t even believe in its existence. I believe in “Human Rights” and that should cover it all. You’re right with your stand on this, I agree with you. Maybe everybody needs to grow up and stop making it a gender dominance fight.
3. Rape and Women: A rape WAS NOT, WILL NOT and CAN NEVER BE a woman’s fault. The very fact that a man can get away by saying this leaves me feeling low as a human, how messed up have our values become? This isn’t religious or ethnic. This is again basic humanity. The world needs to go back to the basics and learn.
4. Women: Yup, the world is changing for women, rapidly so. Have you read “lean in” ? I think it makes a very good point that we need a balance it has to go both way woman and men, equally sharing work loads; home or otherwise.
Ok, this is too long, I just saw I’ve been constantly typing. I apologize :$ needless to say, I loved your post and thus my rant 🙂
Thank you for reading, Dakshi.
You are an awesome woman Naima. Happy belated women’s day to you.
Naima, you’ve written a powerful and insightful piece, beautiful, really. As for that oaf that says women are responsible for rape, the less said about him, the better.
Thank you for this wonderful write up.
Thank you for sharing your opinion on the matter and for reading, Celestine. It’s greatly appreciated. Also, happy (belated) international women’s day to you.