Nope this is not political, not religious, not moral policing. This is something more basic. More inherent. More important. This is one battle which most to many of us fight most to everyday.
I recently had an hour long talk (battle) with a colleague. While it started with something simple, which at this point I find difficult to recall, I also find it difficult to forget the unpleasant feeling that gripped me. The matter in discussion was the inherent sense of superiority that masculine gender lives with. Amongst many other things, I wonder yet again, what good does education and exposure do after all? Of late, I have found peace in not taking moral responsibility of fixing every possible issue under the sun. And it is amusing to observe people go deeper in their own mess. Few realise there is a mess at all and do something about it, others continue the journey, most refuse to believe it is actually messy! I was outraged by the fact that the person I was talking to had this notion ingrained so deep, that a lifetime of effort is required even to just so much as start a sensible discussion. In that hour long heated conversation, I realised how much women still need to justify their actions and fight for what is rightfully theirs. I was disheartened to see that man (here i refer to the chromosomal make up and not mankind) still believes that the woman (not limited to his wife or girlfriend and the severity of issue varies depending on the relationship) in their life has a moral responsibility to accept and worship all that is his, and at the same time find comfort in letting go of all that is/was hers. I was being asked to believe that comfort and happiness meant the same and could be used interchangeably, a dimension I did not have the patience to take up. And such belief at home transcends into similar scenarios at work. One who assumes the choices of women in the household, find it difficult to deal with ambitious women at work (this is not limited to a personal lament but an observation of other women colleagues and experiences of many friends). Anyone who denies having faced any such issue is either pure lucky or delusional.
I do not believe in fighting for everything in the name of birthright and gender equality. But certain issues are unarguably sitting on our heads and in our hearts for way too long. Dear men, please do not take the women in your life for granted. And for starters, do not take any one for granted. Asking, is the smallest action of respect one can show to another human being. Assumptions are poisonous. Dear women, please find the courage to have a matured discussion with the men in your life about things that matter to you. Good luck if such maturity does not exist. It is then an uphill task which rather be taken up than ignored. I myself during that conversation had a taste of exactly how energy expensive a task that can be. I am sure most of us would have tried it and failed. Do not give up. Also, do not complain if you have not tried.
I have also been blessed with the company of deeply understanding men, with interests and purpose in life. They understand, appreciate, enable and celebrate the growth of their women counterparts. To see a handful such men show respect to women, and in a way that they mean it and not just a showcase of being gentlemen, leaves me with hope that others can learn too.
Till next time, one battle at a time..
Originally published at humairaztake.wordpress.com