KATHMANDU, May 19: The resounding clichés of fairy tales haven’t stopped haunting our ears, have they?
I grew up watching and listening to fairy tales and I bet you did too. My naively constructed conscience back then, used to get amused of the fact that a rich and handsome prince appeared from a thin air and swept the damsel off her feet.
Mirror! Mirror! On the wall, who is the fairest of the all?
This is the question a woman is made to ask herself time and again though ‘insecurity’ has replaced the ‘magical mirror’ today. Am I fair? Am I beautiful? Do I have an alluring beauty?
Unfortunately, this beauty here connotes the ‘the physical attractiveness’ of a woman. Her virtue is confined within her meekness and subservience which are indeed the best of her virtues. But the conflict arises when her virtue serves to extremity where she is likely to get self-victimized. Her virtues are thus shaped out of the so-called definition of patriarchy.
She struts in her stilettos putting her comfort at stake. She loses her weight rarely being conscious about her health but to blend in the trend. The idea of being skinny or developing an attractive beauty bone is severely instilled in her mind resulting her to compromise with her comfort and risk her health with adopting numerous plastic surgeries.
Patriarchy has always tagged women by their beauty including the multitudes of advertisements that we come across in our day to day lives. Meanwhile, fashion advertisements frequently portray women within the bars of patriarchy. They are beautified to that extent that they lose their facial identity by applying a gaudy make-up on their faces. Carrying the unrealized discomfort with aplomb, patriarchy places women amidst the rules that are set forth to lag them behind or become dependent on others. Furthermore, many critics and feminists argue that language also has created disparity between both the sexes because it hardly tags women with a positive definition as it does to men.
Patriarchy sets boundaries and the moment they cross the restricted boundary they are termed as ‘bad girl’ who unlike the ‘good girl’ who steps ahead to challenge and dismantle the traditional gender roles in the society. She is manipulated in a way where her demureness wins over her unrealized and concealed strength to free her in every respect.
As said by one of the renowned French feminists, Simone de Beauvoir in her book, ‘The Second Sex’ “Capabilities are clearly manifested only when they have been realized.” The most effective measure to make women realize their strength is by getting them to think in a rational way. They should be realized with their diverse capabilities to run a ‘home’ and a ‘state’ in an equal manner. Only with the proper understanding of their potentials and an improved mind-set of the society can women step ahead making equal and effective contribution in the society.
As the utmost strength to change one’s thoughts and actions lies upon oneself, it is very fundamental that change should be realized and initiated by questioning one’s existence.