Say this tounge twister fast, RAPIDO! “Betsy Botsom bought some butter, but the butter was bitter. So Betsy Botsom bought some better butter to make the bitter butter better.”
While Betsys of the world make things better for everyone in the family or community, the World had to celebrate an International Women’s day to make things better- for all the Betsys themselves. We’ve literally tongue-twisted ourselves with so much we could have, should have, would have done for women. East or West, Betsy or Anamika, it’s the woman who creates and makes things work.
When the Statue of Liberty lights went out, and there was much speculation as Twitter was abuzz, alight, and about; as if that was symbolic of going on a strike to protest against the nasty judgements made on women’s freedom. A woman does not get elected post Thatcher in the Western world, even though Hillary Clinton tried twice, some blah about the emails came about. E-mails vs. Russia vs. Businesses receiving donations! And whatarchy revealed itself.
A fashion show in Bangladesh had fourteen acid-attack victims cat-walking the ramp. Several others have been held in recent years, and amazing pictures and you tubes are alive with the colors that beautiful gutsy women, brought to the fore. Portraits of women who dared to speak their mind and a much less-confident-of-a-man decides to give an acidic consequence to straighten her out.
It’s this so-called Patriarchy-Matriarchy buzzwords for supremacy. The only thing to be done is clicking delete on the concept and words Matriarchy and Patriarchy. We have to decide is human evolution going to be about progress or stagnation. Have we plateaued as thinking and performing human beings?
In my opinion it begins with our Gods. (I apologize ahead of time since my intent is to explore what puts women down, not explore which religion is right here). Since we have Male Gods and Female Gods, I feel some cultures can accept women in the lead, others cannot. What is surprising is when it comes to a criminal mind, these conventional trends in thought do not apply. Thus, I cannot explain why some countries who have female goddesses to look up to, engage in demeaning behaviors towards women, except that the weak want to feel powerful, however that may be possible, and I have seen this in east and west.
I have been the only woman in couple of my assignment locations in pre-married family life and know that it isn’t easy. One senior official even had the audacity to ask me with a twisted smile something to the effect, “Being a woman, you have an advantage in getting information,” his eyes alight with conjecture on my future roles I might perform for his department. The Jerk! I’m not a James Bond Associate, just a simple researcher. But we women can take on the form of Goddess Durga^, Rani of Jhansi#, or any Superwoman if a situation requires.
Several situations in face of adversity in the days before cell phones taught me three options that one can ignore, be boring and safe, or be tough head on. All three attitudes saved me many a time, but I continued to take nervous risks, which made men think that either you are available (willing to try anything) or foolish to tread unusual grounds. From ignoring male college students jeering , “Why wear white* while we are there for you,” shoving an exploring briefcase backwards into an old lech in a crowded public transport, elbowing jerks who falls on you every time a bus brakes (very common), biting an attacker (I’d heard that human bite is more dangerous than a dogs’😉), getting people to level a landslide for vehicles to move instead of waiting for machines to come by, insisting on a bus-driver to stick to his route inspite of changing it based on low number of passengers, finding a bus late night with all male passengers to make it to my official commitment next early morning in a remote location, yelling at two drunk men for their safety, and coping with a lechy boss; trust me when I say that only the weak man or growing child will indulge in such behaviors towards a woman.
Once you know that, and you turn around and use the mother voice, in any decibel, it usually works. Hone your own instincts before you hold me accountable;) on this belief of mine: that in any culture, the weak want to feel powerful. So the choice is in your hands, to give the power or not, knowing that both help make or break relationships.
In a marriage it is harder to decipher this or fight it because there are so many variables involved. After trying to please, make things work, options one and two, when one hits an insensitive wall of people, men or women(sadly, yes), who want to win over you everyday, it is time to for option number three, be tough head on and protect yourself. It is the weak who want to, need to feel powerful. Including you! I cannot stress this enough that success in youth years is so important for dealing with other battles of life.
In my case, whats different is I don’t need to convert people to my way or put people down, to feel good about myself. I can give, that is, allow others space to feel good about what they can do and even encourage them. The concept of love or arranged marriage doesn’t guarantee the success of it. It’s the ingredients: the spoonful of stirrings, a little sweet, a little spice, a little success, a little failure, a little support, a little freedom, giving space for growth, and lots of togetherness.
Towards women’s empowerment, I find many organizations are doing a lot of good. In one experience I found some inconsistencies as in village women make things, and the products are sold in the city by men. Women don’t need crutches or money, they need experience. The women who produce the merchandise should be allowed to manage the store in rotation. And that is what I said to the men, who were very sweet, respectful, and on prompting, even thought of asking his mother or sister, for the first time ever, what she wishes for.
Being a woman is not a minority.
Being a woman is not a handicap.
Being a woman is not an appeal for equality.
Being a Woman is being Nature. Nature gives, for sure. You must give back to Nature, otherwise Nature can shake the earth, seas, and skies.
Meet Life Head On, Betsy!
Meet Life Head On, Anamika!
Say No to Nervousness and fear.
P.S.* White is symbolic of mourning, so the boys were implying that why dress like a widow, when we are there for you. In a sing-song voice, it even generated giggles;) from some.
^ Goddess Durga: symbolic of strength, one who is invincible.
# Rani of Jhansi: An Indian queen who fought a war on horseback, sword and all, to save her Kingdom.