While watching one of the latest Bollywood releases on Netflix, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, so many feelings which were lying somewhere within, surfaced.
There remains no doubt that women are still struggling with the basics of respect and equal treatment, while the world has moved so much ahead.
Primitive thoughts prevail
Taking the risk of sounding cliché, I would say, since ages, women have had been subjected to bias. Simply on the basis of gender, their roles have been stereotyped. They have not even been considered for opportunities to prove themselves. Sadly, the society still follows the practice to a large extent. What is more alarming that the mindset, ‘man is the bread earner’ of the house still prevails.
As if labeling women for certain delicate roles was not enough, the connotation used with those roles is more jeopardizing to a woman’s confidence. Women are nurturers by default and strangely enough, that sensitivity is considered a sense of weakness by the society. Double-standards I say!
Due to the positive mindset of few extraordinary leaders, the times have changed. At least in the realm of basic education, the discrimination between a boy and a girl child is diminishing, though the complete absence of this bias is still a distant dream.
Opportunities evolve but mindset doesn’t
With more and more women coming out of their shells and taking up roles and responsibilities not meant for them as per popular belief, I often wonder, are we actually progressing or widening the divide?
While the change is extremely positive for women’s growth, the society is still not prepared to handle the sudden surge of intelligent and powerful women. People who have been used to seeing their grandmothers, mothers just as an extended member of the family who has the responsibility of taking care of others, without even considering where her heart lies, are still not prepared to see women competing with them.
As statistics reveal, women are excelling in almost every domain they are entering. In such a scenario, maybe it’s natural for the supposedly superior class (the other sex) to feel intimidated and thus react with judgement and small talks. As Gunjan says in the movie, “The problem is not with my capabilities but your fear that you may have to call a ma’am sir.” So rightly put. I am confident that every female who is riding high in her career will resonate with the feeling.
The constant need to prove yourself in a man’s world (which still exists as much) is highly frustrating and stressful.
Faster change required
While the situation is changing, the change is very slow. The mindset change, especially in intellectual and high-ranking positions still has a long way to go. Men easily bond with men, often forming clans at workplaces, bound with the common objective of not letting a woman take lead. They feel entitled to constantly judge and decide the path her career should take.
Condescending! Women on the other hand, sadly, most of the time investing in standing against each other and creating a more difficult situation for themselves to think positively, collaborate and grow. Though, I feel this is changing rapidly. And thankfully, there are few men as well who go beyond the gender bias and only support talent and intent. That’s a relief.
We surely need to work harder towards creating a better world for all. We need to work harder on ourselves to think beyond gender and background. We need to be less judgmental. We can create a happy world only when the nurturers are given the respect they deserve. Being sensitive is definitely not a sign of weakness.
Also Read: For the young, vulnerable minds