While everyday is womens day, it is still great that a day is dedicated to all the beautiful, strong and compassionate women out there who despite all odds, are thriving so fiercefully that it almost seems easy, when looked from outside. But the word thats being mentioned by everyone in the world today, is a slightly heavy word for me, even though I’m aware that being a women in today’s world, isn’t as bad as it always was. There are so much more awareness, more independance and overwhelmingly increasing support from all genders. However, the more we celebrate womanhood, the more we must also be aware of the struggles a woman goes through, so that we can celebrate them even more.
My memories as a woman, was that I was not allowed go out without a chaperone. As a woman I was not allowed to stay out late (that is past sunset) or go somewhere I really wanted to go. As a woman I was told not to laugh too loudly, not to put on too much makeup, not to wear the color red. As a woman I was scared to stand up for myself, and lost days on end fearing what society and people and my parents will think of me. As a woman I grew up believing I was ugly where I couldn’t bare to look at myself in the mirror. And as a woman I was abused where there was clear (and rightfully so) idea from one side of the party, that I would not be strong enough to object. And to think all these happened during my younger years.
As an adult woman with regards to reaching and going past the marriageable age, the trauma that comes with it, is something that almost makes the above mentioned things (wrongfully) irrelevant. I celebrate Women’s Day today but I am celebrating the struggles and survival of women more than the victories. Simply because personally, I haven’t achieved any, or much, yet. And quite frankly, not sure if I can.
Because when I have to consider that my time limit to have the family life that I’m supposed to have, will expire on the next 3 years (stretching the years a lot here), then its almost like having a life expectancy for only 3 more years. And the reason I have that deadline is because I’m a woman. If I take a wrong decision, or fall into the traps of society and culture and parental obligations, then I will have taken that decision simply because I’m a woman and I have to, not because I want to. So where is my freedom as an independant, educated woman in the modern age? There isn’t any. For people like me, surrounded by all the educated people including my super proud-of-their education-educated family, the independance is only valuable if all of societys norms are met.
I now smile sadly when I remember all the energy I wasted crying after getting bad results, without realizing that none of it matters if I, as a woman remain unmarried or childless. I smile sadly knowing that there aren’t many men in my culture who will happily accept me at or past my childbearing age and so because of that I’m supposed to just be with whoever will accept me while Im still “unexpired.” It’s almost as if I’m in the mercy of someone else. I smile sadly that after all the education, hard work and money spent towards career, parents are heavily reliant on a future husband to take care of their daughter, instead of being confident that their daughter can take care of herself.
But here’s the silver lining. Despite all the hardships that come with being a woman, I am very grateful that I am one. Because I’m then among the many strong ones out there who are owning their womanhood, battling 10,000 demons a day and who still keep on going, every single day. They put on so many hats, all the while facing their inner struggles that others don’t even know about. But while I am beyond grateful to be a woman, I am also angry at the punishment some parts of society inflicts on them, just for being one. And my case isn’t even the worst case scenario. So if it hurts me this much that I loose sleep and mental peace over it almost every hour, live every day with an undescribable doomed feeling that my life is destroyed, then I cannot even begin to understand how the more oppressed and unfortunate women all over the globe, even do it.
We HAVE to come forward as a community and society. We have to normalize talking about and accepting the basic concept of accepting a woman AS they are, with whatever choices they make. Normally I don’t use forceful words such as these but on this day, in this case, I am choosing to. In cases like these, niceness will not earn us the result we need. We need to be firm and show that as women if we have the ability to tolerate to our thinnest limits, then we have the strength to bounce back to our maximum capacity. And despite my days of hollowness and hopelessness, I know this much. Hell hath no fury like a woman who decides to do what she wants because she doesn’t care anymore about what the rest of the world will think.