We celebrate women’s day on the 8th of march every year. Wonder! we never celebrate men’s day? Simon De Beauvoir would sure have wanted to ask the question just the way she stated in her controversial & seminal book The Second Sex: “man defines human not woman”/ “woman always has to state that she is a woman first and then human whereas men are just human”. But, to ask questions women had to learn to live their individuality.
“Thank God I was not born a woman”
These are the opening lines of a Jewish male morning prayer. Men thank god for bestowing upon them the privilege of serving Him(God). These lines become clear in the lines by John Milton, where he says: “He for god only, she for god in him”. The assumption that man’s purpose in life is to serve God and women’s is to serve him (man) relegates women to a second position (thus called second sex), next only to man. Doesn’t the thanksgiving of the Jewish males stand apropos of the pleadings of a woman when she sings, “ab jo kiya ho data aisa na kijo, agle janam mohe bitiya na kijo”?
Women have always been placed second, in terms of psycho-analytics, the one who is lacking (the absence of phallus). They had to assert their authority to make their existence felt, to bring themselves to life as individuals and not as the best halves (or may be the worst) of men. Women had to fight for themselves and hence have to what they have achieved with tears, sweat and long silence.
Today, women walking shoulder to shoulder with men have become a common symbolic sight. (though it still doesn’t stand true for most parts of our country). women have now learnt to live themselves and their freedom. She is not fighting to come in equal terms with their men folk, as she did in the past because she is not equal to men, not above them either; she is different and she has now learnt to live this difference.
Let’s no more celebrate women’s day because we have to assert our equality, because there is still a battle to be fought against male chauvinism and patriarchy. Lets not celebrate it by aggressively adopting the very values that have for centuries oppressed women, by equating women empowerment with ‘doing things that men do’. Let’s celebrate it for a cause of mankind by making women aware what it truly means to be a woman.
Copyright 2008, Tina Rathore