Damsel, But NOT In Distress: Why I Love Being A Woman!
I know periods aren’t fun. And pregnancy isn’t easy. And childbirth isn’t painless… And yet, I love being a woman, for had I been a man I would never even get to experience these transcendental human moments. Or maybe experience them only through another person.
If you doubt me, you only have to ask a mother, and she will tell you how bringing a child into this world tore her apart physically and yet she would never give up that experience for anything.
The problem is not that a child is born a girl, the problem is that she is brought up as a girl.
We know different rules apply to men and women in our society. Rules that demand us girls to be in distress only so that boys can live to be the heroes. Rules that expect us girls to stay at home and take up familial duties, only so that boys can conquer the world outside with only half the competition left.
Who made these rules, again? Oh, yeah, “society” did.
And, who is “society”, really? I think it’s just a bunch of old dudes trying to make their own lives easy and feel important. And what better way of ensuring they make decisions forever than by creating dependence of the female on the male.
What’s sad, though, is that we are still following these outdated rules when we absolutely don’t need to. There are so many laws that protect our interests as women, but we aren’t even aware of them.
You can’t battle with someone’s shit, if you aren’t even aware of the powers that are available to you.
Like the law that rules a mother’s name is sufficient information for any person’s passport, eliminating the need and the dependence upon the father or a male family member, and hence empowering single mothers and their children everywhere.
Or the one where the Ministry of Labour agreed to increase maternity leave in the private sector to 26 weeks, recognising the needs of motherhood and childbirth and giving women a chance to return to the careers they have carefully built without having to sacrifice them at the altar of the family.
And, a recent one where the Supreme Court passed a judgement declaring that families cannot treat their daughters-in-law as maids or domestic help - people who are expected to serve, feed and clean up after them day and night, without receiving the due appreciation, freedom and respect they deserve. With such statements, marriage doesn’t seem like a hopeless shackle anymore, where you voluntarily agree to give up your life to relentlessly enhance the lives of your in-laws.
Society is changing - but you’ll have to stop being the damsel in distress or glorifying her.
You will have to fight for yourself and know of your rights and exercise your laws. They are but empty rulings without your belief in their powers.
Rest assured, you will leave a better world for your daughter, far closer to the one you always imagined to live in yourself.