3 years ago
Pratima is a student of MA first semester at Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur.
Struggles of being woman
My mother is in search for an identity. She used to be called by her father’s name before marriage and by my father’s name after getting married. Now everyone recognizes her by my brother’s name. No one even knows her name. When someone asks her name, she tells them: “Why do you need my name that does not bear any meaning?”
There are many women in the world who are living their lives pretending to be happy even without ever realizing what happiness is. They are compelled to be like the moth covered with mist. They respire each second with fear, laugh silently, and fight their biological complexities without ever complaining.
When I was born as the youngest child of my parents, they were obliged to toss me away because they were desperately looking for another son. They already had three sons, but still one more son was more important for them.
I have strong determination to do something innovative and contribute for the advancement of my country, and I am passionate about it. I am struggling hard to break the norms and values imposed upon us by the patriarchal society. My brothers are lucky to be exempt from such sorts of struggles.
When my brother comes back home late, no one tells him anything. But, when I am a little late, there is a huge issue. My home becomes an example of the stereotyping of gender roles and privileges. Women are considered to be soft, indecisive, sentimental, emotional, sensitive, week, and in need nurturing, whereas men are considered to be strong, decisive, and possessing of strength suitable for fighter.
Moreover, the mass media do not give investigative stories about women’s issues. They do not work diligently enough to dig out women’s issues except on special occasions like Women’s Day, when all the newspapers run photos of women in the front page and write opinion pieces about women who are already living successful and prosperous lives. You do not see depth reporting on the discrimination and injustices that women face every day.
One of the disheartening facts is that many victims of sexual assault are compelled to keep the incident secret because their parents think that it brings them disgrace. A father assaults his own daughter. When she shares the trauma with her mother, the mother pleads with her to conceal the fact saying that it will ruin their family prestige.
When a girl becomes 20, all the family members start worrying about her marriage. The neighbors and relatives start backbiting about the family for not marrying off their aged daughter. For instance, I am now 22 years old. I am studying and side by side working hard to contribute for my society. But my family keeps urging me to get married. I refuse and tell them that I want to be self-dependent and do something innovative for the development of my nation.
Many women are harassed sexually by their family members, colleagues, and bosses. I hear from many married women that they often have to let their husbands make physical relation with them whether they like it or not. Many husbands tell their wives that they did not marry them just to worship them if the wives are not ready for sex. The consent from both sides is required, but men do not care.
Furthermore, many women become the victims of domestic violence. We often hear of stories when the husband and his family members beat the wife severally and even attempt to burn her alive if her family does not meet the demands of the husband’s family. The bride’s family has to give huge amount of money and other goodies to the groom’s family, whether they can afford it or not.
Women should co-operate with each other, spread love, and listen to the voices of each other. Feminist movement should be grounded on developing skills of women and inspiring them to be more self-reliant. Just demonstrating with banners on Women’s Day will not help much. Women should be united like the flowers of a garland. Only then could the condition of women be improved.
Oliya is studing in MA II Semester at Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur.