One of the aspects of women liberation and emancipation seems to be to show that women are like men. In the name of freedom, women are focusing on imitating men rather than on recovering their uniqueness and specialness.
To be human is to be set apart and different from all other forms of life, for human beings have been created as the highest order of life, second only to God. For a human being to imitate an animal to be a vegetable is both unthinkable and ludicrous. We can masquerade as one which is ok for fun or even a play, but to imitate or strive to be one is ridiculous
For a woman to fight to be like a man or to imitate one in order to establish equality or even supremacy borders on lunacy. Being a woman is being different, set apart as being a dissimilar species, acknowledging and avowing with divergence rather than with congruity. A woman is unique and distinctive, just as a man is in his own way, each able to contribute uniquely. Each is special and individual, and therefore, impossible to imitate or copy.
A forgery of an invaluable artwork or an exquisite ornament is undesirable when it is possible to have or possess the original. An imitation has not the honor or respect as the authentic and genuine. A replica does not carry the validity of the bonafide and true. An imitation is just that – a counterfeit – not the same as the real.
Why is it then as singular beings, the best of the best, we seek to be a copy when we already truly are special since we are unalike! The stimulating and invigorating aspect of this earth is its variety and variability. As human beings, man and woman are both distinct and distinguished. To imitate one another is to lose identity and identification. Together they make a wholesome one, unparalleled in complementarity as well as in complexity. To make one as another will cause uniformity because of conformity rather than solidarity through integration.
As women, we do need to claim and demand what is ours by right – equal consideration, equal parity, equal acceptance, equal honor, equal treatment etc. However, we do not need to surrender our uniqueness to gain all of this. It will take away our contrast and make us common.
I, for one, won’t bow down to that pressure, but forever to be who I was created to be – special, quirky and individual!
The women of past who rose up against injustice accorded to their own, from Alice Paul and Maud Wood Park to Malala Yousafazi and Kamla Bhasin, all did without comprising their feminity. To champion the cause of women and women’s rights doesn’t mean we have become masculine or like men.
We need to stand for who we are and what ought to be ours!
To have to be like a man in order to gain for a woman is antiprogressive and antipersonnel.
To surender in order to win is anticlimactic.
Women, on Women’s Day, celebrate your originality and strive to be unique while seeking to be equal!
*Pics courtesy in splash.com, shutterstock and google images
I have become a fan of Star Trek, Avenger and other Marvel as well as space movies such as Interstellar, courtesy of my children. I first watched them to keep abreast of my children and have intelligent (according to them) conversations with them, but became interested in the physics aspect of these films. One scene in the last Avengers Endgame movie touched me much – the scene where Captain Marvel is about to carry the sleeve of stones and all the women warriors including a female ironman join to escort her as team together in her task.
It made me emotional to see a band of women stand shoulder to shoulder, not just one of their own when she needed help, but participate in this task while the men were engaged in battling the strong man directly. Their partnering together with the band of men as a band of strong women to complete a crucial link that would turn the fight around enthralled me. Their rising up to say, here we are ready to help you as team together to preserve life as we all know. They rallied around to do their part, not content to simply stand on the sidelines as spectators, but stepped in to fill the gap that had fallen in a crucial time. What a picture of togetherness, oneness and commitment to the mission on hand!
Many women today somehow think and feel, despite being capable, like china dolls and dainty darlings needing petting, pampering and preserving. Mothers, especially, are in the dangerous profession of turning out inspid weak daughters rather than strong women capable of spearheading a family, a company, a society and a nation. Out there in society around, women are rising up to showcase their mettle, not as a challenge to or in competition with men, but as those complementing them to complete vital goals and projects.
A glance at our nation’s history throws up a number of names who, where when men either failed or were killed in action, rose up to preserve their homes and hearth. Remember Rani Laxmi Bhai, Jhansi Rani, Chand Bibi, Razel Sultan, Rani Mangamma, Velu Nachiyar and others who took up the reins when their men fell. According to history, women during the Vedic period enjoyed equal status with men in all aspects of life. Independent India has also its share of women who have been pioneers and path-breakers as well as firsts in many fields thought to be the bastion of men. Women in India were allowed to vote right from the first general elections after the independence of India in 1947 unlike during the British rule who resisted allowing women to vote.
Savitribai the first teacher, Kadambini Ganguly and Anandi Gopal Joshi the first women trained in Western medicine, Sarojini Naidu the first Indian born female president of the Indian National Congress Sarla Thakral the first to fly an aircraft, Amrit Kaur the first female Cabinet minister of India in the country’s first cabinet, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit the first woman (and first Indian) president of the United Nations General Assembly, Anna Chandy first woman judge of a High Court, Kiran Bedi first IPS officer< Bachendri Pal first woman to climb Mt Everest, Priya Jhingan first woman cadet of Indian army, Karnam Malleswari first Indian woman to win an Olympic Medal, etc., and most recently Hima Das the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at an international track event all testify to the potential of the Indian woman.
In the Bible, we note the important role women played in propagation and progress of the gospel. They ministered to Jesus with their substance, were last at the cross, first at the grave, first bearers of the good news of the resurrection, they opened their homes to the apostles for the church to be established and so on. The Old Testament also has its share of women such as Deborah who led Israel into battle as a judge, Abigail who with her quick thinking saved her husband, Jehosheba who preserved the kingly line, Esther who stood up to save her people and many others who, according to the writer of the book of Hebrews, received back their dead, raised to life again. It is therefore clear that women have been traditionally, culturally, socially and biblically warriors rather than worriers.
Women of today have either a lethargic and lackadaisical attitude or a fight-for-the-sake-of-fighting feminist stance. There is a lack of of sober judgment based on sound thinking, critical analysis and intuitive discernment. There is either a clinging-on-ivy-like attitude or a totally stand-alone demeanour, both of which are neither productive nor constructive. The beauty of woman is her innate ability to nurture, motivate, bolster, affirm and build up others even at great cost to herself. Balancing this is her automatic militant reaction to any threat, not to her person, but to whatever would hurt or harm her loved ones. Watch a mother hen bristle and rise up against anything that would come against her chicks. She runs to the defence, not caring for her ownself, without any ideas for self-preservation, to take on a foe bigger and larger than herself, just so her loved ones may be safe. Nature and instinct for battle to ensure protection is so ingrained in a woman, whoever she may be!
Why then in the church do not women rise up to done the garb of a warrior to battle for those worthy of being preserved and protected! Why do we whine and cry, being a damsel in distress expecting some knight to rescue us like Queen Guinevere of Camelot who sat in her tower waiting for Lancelot to come charging! Or like dancer Sivagami who waited for the Pallava King to save her honor by waging a great war that cost many lives!
We are the daughters of the Most High fashioned to be ‘pillars carved to adorn a palace’. The Bible declares that The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng: Kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder (Ps 68:11-12). We are warrior princess, not wrestling or fighting with people, with principalities and powers of darkness that scare, torture and enslave the weak and defenceless. We are not meant to throw up the towel or cover our heads and lament with wailing and weeping. We are called to rise up and battle for our own on our knees and in our minds
One of the favorite TV shows I used to love watchin was Xena the Warrior Princess and I love the concept of capability vested in Superwoman. I love reading about Jhansi Rani, Rani Laxmi Bhai, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Christine LeGarde and Michelle Obama, about women who have impacted all around with strength when needed and with quietness when warranted. They did not sit around rueing their lot, but when adversity hit them, they rose to the occasion. They were not content, as the nursery rhyme Curly-locks, Curly-locks, ‘sit on a cushion and feed upon strawberries, sugar and cream‘, but rise up in action to lay hold of their destiny.
No one likes trouble or problems, but life has a way of littering our paths with thorns, not roses. It is better not to sit around worrying about what you cannot change, for worrying only saps your energy and makes you useless to tackle the issue. The better option is to use the opportunity and the opposition to our advantage, which is to put on our war mode and lash out the enemies that war against our soul, our family, our church and our nation.
It is better to be a boon than a burden or a bane to be borne or bailed by others!
Surya, Indian cinema seems preoccupied with the moon!
Well, our poets, from as early as Sangam literature times, have been obsessed with Moon because of the soft glow, grace, cool & calmness that Moon affords. Poets always compared the moon to women and the Moon is considered Female. So the natural association of a woman & moon in literature!
Also, the moon was the beloved friend of literary heroines to whom she could confide her deepest emotions; and often her emissary! Cinema lyricists, inheriting such literary legacy, endowed the Moon in film songs.
My name is Nila!
Your parents must be quite romantic!
*Surya is the name for Sun and Nila is the name for the moon in most South Indian languages.
*In terms of film output, India ranks first in the world, followed by Nollywood, Hollywood and China!
*Sangam period is the period in the history of ancient Tamil Nadu (known as the Tamilakam) spanning from c. 3rd century BC to c. 3rd century AD. It is named after the famous Sangam academies of poets and scholars centered in the city of Madurai. In Old Tamil language, the term Tamilakam referred to the whole of the ancient Tamil-speaking area, corresponding roughly to the area known as southern India today, consisting of the territories of the present-day Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, parts of Andhra Pradesh, parts of Karnataka and northern Sri Lanka also known as Eelam. According to Tamil legends, there were three Sangam periods, namely Head Sangam, Middle Sangam and Last Sangam period. Historians use the term Sangam period to refer the last of these, with the first two being legendary. So it is also called Last Sangam period or Third Sangam period. The Sangam literature is thought to have been produced in three Sangam academies of each period. The evidence on the early history of the Tamil kingdoms consists of the epigraphs of the region, the Sangam literature, and archaeological data. The period between 600 BC to AD 200, Tamilakam was ruled by the three Tamil dynasties of Pandya, Chola and Chera, and a few independent chieftains, the Velir. There is a wealth of sources detailing the history, socio-political environment and cultural practices of ancient Tamilakam, including volumes ofliterature and epigraphy. Tamilakan’s history is split into three periods; prehistoric, classical and medieval. A vast array of literary, epigraphical and inscribed sources from around the world provide insight into the socio-political and cultural occurrences in the Tamil nation. The ancient Tamil literature consists of the great grammatical work Tolkappiyam, the ten anthologies Patthupattu, the eight anthologies Ettuttogai, the eighteen minor works Pathinenkeelkanaku and the five great epics, Silappadikaram, Manimegalai, Sivaga-Cindamani, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi.