What Women Want?

on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Women's Day is long gone and to the disappointment of many - I neither celebrated the day with Blank Noise Project nor as a woman myself! I was too busy working at a Radio Station for the entire day. It was at the end of the day when I checked my cellphone and found a message from a 72 year old dynamic Environmentalist that said, "Aaj hi kyun? Har din hamara hoga! Happy Women's Day' " that left a smile on my face after a long day of patience and hard work(very little of work though! :P)

I have been celebrating Women's Day with flowers, cakes, hugs, wishes, just like I have been celebrating Valentines Day with my Mother and Granny for quite a few years now, but this time, there was a thought, a thought that made me feel celebrating a Women's Day is pointless if I consider myself a strong individual, a true woman, a feminist! A question that looked for an answer in every line I tried to record sitting in the suffocating studio, every time I sat to write a script, every time anybody tried to wish me and I heard many a girls say the cliched "Aaj to Women's Day hai bhai! Its my day!". The question that kept my mind on a constant run, that day, was strange. I kept seeking for something that may have many women wanting to ignore it and many not wanting to even listen and pay heed to it. Probably because if I asked them, Why is a Women's Day celebrated and not a Men's Day?, it would leave them straining their celebrating minds.

Alas! I found the answer amidst the evening pollution of Hazratganj to Gomti Nagar, sitting in the auto rickshaw, letting the dirty dusty wind blow into my hair and hit my face. The answer was plain and simple - because we have been suppressed. It is a woman who has to wear a veil in Islamic countries to cover herself or rather because a dumb male chauvinistic law says so, it is a woman whose right to self expression is denied, it is a woman who is a victim of rape, domestic violence, 'Sati', dowry, eve teasing, suffers as a widow, suffers a bad image and name if she decides to break the norms set for her and do what she wants to do, say what her head speaks! Hence, a day has been made so you celebrate being a WOMAN! ( read as VICTIM). Its like a day of holiday to a prisoner from the jail. Everybody stands up that day and proudly allege being a 'modern woman' - I work, I handle home, We women are doing industrially, economically well for ourselves, we are standing on our own feet, blah blah blah. Yet when we are back on the streets or rather back to reality, we hear 'Aye haye, kahaan chali madam, zara hamse bhi to baat karlo' at every nook and corner and if these nooks and corners are crowded, you are bound to be pinched, slapped, grabbed and felt.

And reactions? with strong excuses that leave you spell bound coming from these very self claimed 'ultra modern women of today' - 'aaj ki naari', the number of women who may even verbally react to Eve Teasing, is not even a handful. Most women ignore and try to run away from the loathly situation, many do not react because it happens so suddenly to them that they are left numb and shocked and some are scared of the consequences (consequences of speaking your mind??) that may follow their reaction! Not too sure about them but I am certainly shocked, disappointed and forced to wonder - hypocrites, are they??

Sad, extremely sad and depressing to come back to THIS hard truth! Even a Women's Day can do nothing to their inner strength, their impregnable individuality, their eons of confidence and spirit to move forward and be proud of themselves, because ultimately, if not you, but a Zahira has been raped, a 13 year old girl by a bureaucrat's nephew, Gaurav Shukla, Aman Bakshi and Saurabh Jain, the two brats also from influential families of Lucknow. And how funnily, the U.P. State Women's Commission is involved in bribing Zahira's father to 'shut up' about the case and have put the family in a 'protection cell' away from the media till the case is STILL being heard at the courts, because the Chairperson of the 'unregistered' commission which has forcibly taken possession of the case, Ranjana Bajpayee is known to Gaurav Shukla's uncle, former Samajwadi Party MLC, Arun Shanker Shukla aka Anna's family.

With a few friends, together we have formed TEAM 4, a youth association looking into local issues. When we wanted to meet Zahira and looked for her 'protection cell' for over five hours, Madhu Garg, Head of the UPSWC, refused. We all know the matter is fishy, yet nothing concrete is being done. Finally, TEAM 4 has come up with an online signature petition http://www.petitiononline.com/zahira/petition.htmlhttp://www.petitiononline.com/zahira/petition.html , hoping for it to go far away and justice be prevailed, not just for her but for many other WOMEN VICTIMS!

But still, what women want is funny! No wonder men have a hard time figuring out and understanding their own women and I may just join their league too. Such women, who say something and do something else, confuse me, annoy me and make me feel ashamed. But, I am still wondering - afterall, what do women want? what do I want?


Dimple said...

A mind provoking post i must say..!! keep it up girl...:)

Tuhin said...

Hats off to you for your perception and viewpoint. Heartfelt respect for what you have decided to do...truly commendable. I hope every woman reads this post and I'll make sure to forward this to as many I know.

Yes'day was different, Today its better and Tomorrow it can be perfect...Just that a woman has to know that does she wants to live in Yes'day or accept Today and keep shut or decide what she wants from tomorrow and take some action.

All the best Nabz, for your association

Nabila said...

Thanks Dimple for dropping in and commenting.

Thanks Tuhin....the support really matters. And I really hope that women do change their way of thinking and dare to come out and say n do what they really and genuinely belive in!

Shankar said...

"because if I asked them, Why is a Women's Day celebrated and not a Men's Day?, it would leave them straining their celebrating minds."

Oddly enough, I thought of that question first when I began reading your post, before getting to the part where you actually wrote it.

Equality has always been my belief, and the thing that irks me best, is when women laud of their rights in this world (which are justified - truly) but fail to act upon them when such a situation should arise, with the plain and highly lame excuse of 'I'm a girl - it's not possible for me - you won't understand.'.

Of course, there is a question of prudence, and prudence aught to be applied in most situation - but I believe there's a fine line between prudence and cowardice.

Very few realize this - and those that do, are the ones I revere greatest - regardless of age. At least, it's nice to see another (woman) who can see the difference.

Shankar said...

PS: I landed here via Vi's blog :)


Nabila Zehra Zaidi said...

Thank you shanker...exactly my point! Women do deserve alot that maybe given to them in today's times because of an inhibited past, but somewhere the past still exists within them.
Women are somewhere still scared and (sadly) admit it too which confuses me, as at one time they talk big of personality development and on the other they elude from several situations...how and why? Being a woman is reason enough!

sharanx182 said...

don't have too much to say, but i likw women/girls. females/people like you...and it is awesome to see women/girls etc. on the streets retaliating to eve teasing and making the perpetrators feel ashamed and guilty...i saw such a situation once. not the 'beating up with sandals' thing, but a group of women surrounding a guy and pelting him with sarcastic remarks, many types of women from different stratas of society..(and al that 'varied types'jazz)..who probably didn't even know each other.

heehee, it had me smiling all day :-)

though the beating up with sandals thing might have attracted some attention it wouldn't have looked just as cool i guess...my little city (gwalior) sometimes surprises me...

this comment is like a blog post, funny, have been firing away quite a lot of these lately...(blongcomments, new word)

and yeah, it so surprises me that so mayn people clicked on those links, hehe...and yeah..boost sucks.seriously.sachin tendulkar probably needs steroids, that's all that can help him...

Dips said...

hey i know im too late but i liked you blog a lot.. and i was just a bit curious...

whats your take on ..girls quota.."srtiyansathi"(ladies seat) and the fact that women cant be punished for adultery :)

happy blogging!