Monday, June 28, 2010

All that she wants

When I came across the announcement of this brilliant Blogadda contest theme(what women want) the first thing I did was to ask myself what I wanted at the moment. All sorts of things came to mind like for instance-a zero maintenance hairstyle, a self-organizing closet, a painless form of waxing, a boyfriend who says 'at your service madame' instead of 'it's always my fault isn't it?' see this particular fancy list of mine has endless number of items. But then I realized that my 'what I want' list reflects the mindset of the urban,working,independent woman of today who can afford to have big dreams and make them come true.
What about the women of the past? or the women who are not as fortunate? what do/did they want?

From the perspective of my 72-year old grandma we should be thankful that this question is being asked at all. 'Cause if we go back some hundred odd years we'll find ourselves in a society which neither cared nor spared a thought for what women wanted. A society which had ridiculed Anandi Gopal Joshi or Kadambini Ganguly's lifelong efforts at gaining medical knowledge. A society which was vehemently opposed to the idea of a 'female doctor'.

Grandma says that back in her days the women only desired to be married off as soon as possible. The question of who she was being wedded to was the least of her concerns. If the age difference between them was reasonably small then she considered it as an added bonus.  Roughly translated it meant she had a chance at a happy life without having to be torched alive alongside her husband at his pyre all too soon.

In simpler words the woman of yesterday did not ever pause to think about what she wanted. She believed it to be her moral obligation to follow the orders issued by the patriarch of the household with unquestioning faith-the patriarch being her own father,her husband or her son.

But then times changed.

Right at this moment I feel thankful to have a voice of my own which can speak out loud and freely.
But what about the less privileged ones of our society? She who works zealously from morning till evening as a labourer at a construction site or making incense sticks and candles? She who often has her hard-earned money snatched away from her to be frittered away on alcohol or gambling? I'm certain all she wants is a chance at a happy and normal domestic life. Or maybe to see her child being imparted the education that she was once denied.

Without any intention of dragging this discussion into the forbidden territory of feminism I'd like to quote these few lines from a poem by a young Caribbean activist-

"You wonder why I say I'm feminist
Don't I know that's out of style?
Don't I see when people don't challenge me
Just shake their heads and smile?
You wonder why I say I'm feminist
And what it really means.
Don't I get fed up all the time
Of having to defend my dreams?"

                                                            - Gabrielle Jamela Hosein

I feel that the answer to the question 'what women want' is concealed somewhere within these lines.
Part of what a woman wants also includes the things she doesn't want.

She doesn't want to be the only one who is expected to hold a family together. She doesn't want to be stereotyped as the 'irresponsible wife' if she makes work her first priority. She doesn't want to be thought of as a commodity which changes ownership from the father to the husband and later to the son. She doesn't want her dignity to be violated only because she is physically weak. She doesn't want to be killed in the name of fake 'honor' if she chooses to marry according to will. She doesn't want to dress provocatively in hopes of climbing up the corporate ladder. She doesn't want to be looked upon only as an object of lust. She doesn't want to be labeled a 'slut' if she sports a mini skirt with spaghetti straps. She doesn't want to be forced to conceal herself from head to toe behind a heavy padding of black clothing. She doesn't want her neighbors to start gossiping if she comes back home late. She doesn't want to be mocked or laughed at if she speaks of 'feminism'. And most of all she doesn't want to hear people say 'women don't have what it takes' when she faces failure.

She wants to have the right to decide the course of her own life. She wants others to acknowledge the fact that she is a human being first,a woman later. She wants to be held and comforted by her partner when she is facing her darkest the same way he wants the same thing from her. She wants to have the right of giving her child her surname. She wants to be judged for the person she is rather than the way she looks. She wants a man to look deep into her soul and discover the immeasurable beauty within. She wants to love unconditionally and only be loved in return.

And most important of all...a woman wants a man to understand her feelings.

Whew! I know what's on your mind right now-'A woman sure wants a heck load of things in life'.
True. Although I think I'm nowhere close to listing all of them.
So I'll borrow a few words from Cyndi Lauper's smash-hit and all-too-well-known song to sum it all up-

"Some boys take a beautiful girl
And hide her away from the rest of the world
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Oh girls they want to have fun"

P.S: On a less serious note a woman does NOT want a man to say 'I hate luv storys'. Ever.

P.P.S:If you're still clueless I suggest you watch Nancy Meyers' 'What Women Want'. :)

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Anish said...

Writing style is really moving and engages the reader.the use of quotes was great and blended well with the article.Definitely one of your bests.well done!!!

d said...

♥♥♥d it sam! keep it up. :)

shrey said...

Awesome blog.. you have written better... anyway this was more so like those, miss india speeches but more clear and direct...

Awesome quotes, great usage of examples..

but i dunno why still ppl think a woman wish "such"clothes to be a sl*t :( its sad...

Love the last line - Oh gals just wanna have fun!

have to watch those movies ASAP... Tc

Lazy Pineapple said...

lovely have covered almost everything a woman wants.
she also wants that she never gains any weight :P

all the best dear...hope you win:) said...

Wow, you sure got something you're strong with to write for.

I totally do agree with most of what you say. Oh, and I only laugh when someone speaks feminism to point a finger at males, not when they do it to point a finger at the social system, which is perfectly valid.

Nethra said...

You have spoken my mind. Anyway, that made a good read. :)

Shail said...

That is a beautiful poem you have added and the lines,
"Don't I get fed up all the time
Of having to defend my dreams?"
says it all.
Good luck with the competition. :)

Jaspreet said...

First time to ur blog..really like ur writing style..its very engrossing.all d best!! :)

vivek said...

Nice Post Sammy ...Loved the theme .. .. :)

Samadrita said...

@Anish: Thank you so much.Glad you found it engaging :)

@d: I know why you liked it=D. >hugs<

@Shrey: Miss India speeches?haha I'd rather that you don't compare this piece with a few answers that are learnt by heart to win some pageant. :) but thanks for your feedback Shreyas!
What Women Want by Nancy Meyers is a rom com...but you might just like it.

Samadrita said...

@Lazy P: Lol true.No weight-gain.Also zero calorie chocolates if possible :P
Thank you so much for the wishes. >hugs< But I say may the most deserving entry win. :)

@nesquarx: Ah feminism without any finger-pointing at males can't exist. For if you think about it this society has been made to suit a man's needs rather than a woman's.In any case not venturing into that 'forbidden' territory :P
Nice to have your comment after long. :)

@Nethra: Glad! :))

Samadrita said...

@Shail: Yes those lines are touching indeed...that's why they caught my attention in the first place. :)
Good luck to you too! :)

@Jaspreet: So happy to know you liked it.Welcome to my blog..feel free to come again :)

@Vivek: Yes this is a theme everyone will love :)

Being Pramoda... said...

Hi Samadrita, u have explained it as if i'm before a screen and watching all these live..such a nice post..

and the poems... u just rocked..:) wonderful thught.;)

Garima Bhatia said...

True..True..True..spoke my mind simply!!
All the best Girl!

♪ Tharangni ♪ said...

reallly nice! sometimes even i feel that way when i do all the work and bro sits alll dayy long in the computer without doing anything!!!!

♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ ayu ♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ said...

well..we have diff. views about what we want..but i sure do agree with you..haha..esp. the P.s.!! haha!!


@sammy: awww!! glad you heart kyokoxren too!! ohhh!! i so love ren! i like his attitude..and so as kyoko-chan! :D i guess i am gonna read the manga!!! which chapter should i start..?

evanescentthoughts said...

That was really wonderful!!! Loved it! I am pretty sure this is one of the best entries for the contest. Good luck girl! :)

Hayaah said...

Nicely written. I like your expression... Ill be popping in and out at random, to check out more :)

Thanx for sharing...

Aparna said...

very insightful words sam!

really moved me...

i too dream of such freedom to be given to that they can walk on par with men

that's what women voice their opinion and to be heard

The Laughing Man said...

There is no such thing as an instruction booklet for women... nor for men... pity... I bet both are on top of the opposite sexes "Most Wanted Item List"...

I am all for feminism... but be careful what you wish for... I doubt many women want to be treated the same as men on Indias notoriously overcrowded modes of public transit...

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