One winter morning, as I walked out of my house breathing the misogyny of my building yet again, I realised how tiring it is to be a woman. It is every single day that I am greeted with stares and uncomfortable looks as I walk out in my western formals, mostly a business suit. Somehow, I have come to terms with these looks, without them my morning feels incomplete. But this thought comes running back to me every single day: Being a woman is exhausting. From fighting stares to dodging misogynistic statements, we do it all every single day of our lives. Why is it that our society pushes us to feel tired of being a woman?
As I enter my app-based taxi service which I shall not name because well I have to survive in this country right? It takes my driver 3-4 minutes to start driving as he needs time to adjust his mirror to a perfect view of me and then do the needful that the app requires. Why is it that travelling or moving about in our urban-dwellings is so difficult for women? We have internalized it so much that we call a place safer than the other if it has a deadline. So basically, the only way our women are safe is by confining themselves to four walls? Have we completely lost our sense of humanity because patriarchy seems to have strong roots here.
Entering my office building, I am filled with ambition as I gear up to accomplish my day’s goal. Yet again I am treated with a deeply problematic statement ” Hey Aks, come to the conference room, we need you. Our client needs a gentle touch in the middle of the pressure”. As wrong as the statement sounds, my dear colleague meant that we need to play good cop bad cop with our client and nothing “offensive”.
My day ends with yet another question that apparently is on the mind of every lady who lives in my building, regardless of everything else, “why does she stay alone. shaadi nai hui?”. Well they don’t care if I am 20 or 27, they just want me to not stay alone because “achii ladkiya ghar par rehti hai akele nai”. Every night before I sleep, I end up preparing myself for the next day, which includes motivating myself to go out there again. I may come across as a pessimist but think about it, these questions would have crossed your mind too.
Why is it that our society ends up forcing women to regret being women? And if that wasn’t enough, our crime against women rates are the nail in the coffin. Why is it that we let the society make us believe that being a woman is exhausting and nothing else?