Happy Women’s Day! But Is It Really Necessary?

There are days which are meant to raise awareness like World Aids Day or TB Day or days which commemorate certain events in history like the Republic Day, the Independence Day. But one such Day that we have been celebrating since 1909 is the International Women’s Day and I cannot fathom why. Is it of utmost importance that a day be dedicated to women and get them flowers and treat them like royalty? Especially when for the rest of the days, you still scowl at your wife for adding extra sugar to your tea or delaying ironing your white shirt when you are absolutely capable of doing your chores by yourself. Sadly, very few households in India endorse and more importantly practise gender equality behind closed doors when no one’s there to compliment you on how ‘modern’ you are. Then why the pretence? 

It is disheartening that women take in their stride abuses and malpractices, all in the name of culture and tradition. However, they jump in glee when presented with a trinket as if it is going to compensate for all the disrespect projected towards them. It is amusing how you would run to the kitchen in the morning of the 8th of March every year and wish her Happy Women’s Day when she is slaving in the kitchen. What is the point in asking her to rest for that one measly day when the very next day you would shout your lungs out when you aren’t served breakfast in bed? 

“The same brands that were talking about breaking the stereotypes yesterday, are selling fairness creams at 20% off today.” says a post by the very popular page M.O.M QUOTES on social media. On a lighter note, we understand that selling creams is their business and let us not aggravate them, for we, as MBA candidates know how dearly we hold those prized summer internships at these FMCG firms. SShhh.. Keep those internships coming!  

 Let us look at the US Presidential election. Despite numerous allegations of sexual harassment and assault, Donald Trump was elected as the President and this, once again showed what men could get away with in 21st century America. TIME magazine states that of the 60% of voters who had an unfavorable opinion of Trump, 15% still voted for him and of the half who claimed to have been bothered by his treatment of women, 11% voted for him anyway. Yes, they might have been swayed by other promises Trump made but the above facts did not go down well with me. 

If we are asking everyone to treat men and women alike, then there should not be a need to celebrate Women’s Day and make them feel different because they are not different. Celebrating Women’s Day is nothing but a contradiction to its own cause. Some have indeed come to realize it and are breaking stereotypes by taking the wives’ surnames, for instance. Some families do exist today with stay-at-home dads where the woman is the breadwinner and is simply doing so without facing any flak in a 21st century household. 

 

 

Sumana Paul

Systems Engineer at Infosys

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