I often question the notion of liberty in the present day and age. Being a woman, the notion takes on many colours. There are those who say that true liberty for a woman is when a woman can do what she wants (Remember the ”My Choice” video feat. Deepika Padukone?), wear what she wants, think whatever she wants (of course, free and independent thinking is the foundation for any further action), and so on. Then there are those who want to impose limitations on such liberties (‘reasonable restrictions’).
I have always found myself surrounded by liberated women, or women who were fighting their battles for liberty. For some reason, I have rarely met a woman who was temperamentally similar to me. Most of the time, it is fun, because it provides us a peek into their perspectives, their take on different things in life. But at times, I long for “kindred spirit” company. Most of the time, my idea of liberty is very different from theirs. There is nothing right or wrong about either of the ideas, and that is why, I have always managed to eliminate the difference through a dash of adaptability. But the truth is: I need to spend a lot of time alone, and I have always been a tad reclusive. I avoid meeting new people unless it is impossible to avoid it. Most of my meetings with new people are business-like, unless I am in a very gregarious mood (which is pretty rare). It makes me realise that my comfort zone is the very antithesis of what most women in this day and age call ‘liberty’. I often used to wonder whether I am cut out for a 9-to-5 or 6 job, but either I really like my job or because I am unmarried or I must be cut out for long hours of work because I am not complaining. So, it turns out that I might have been great at purely secretarial work, something that even I considered boring at one point of time. But that was my imagination at work.
But something starts to dilute my admiration for these liberated women when they start whining about the smallest of things. Is it lack of patience on their part, or is it lack of hobbies, or lack of passion? I have come to realise that liberty in mind and spirit does not help much, if one does not have either patience or passion. I don’t know if it is lack of adaptability either. If one is adaptable, one finds a way to like the most unlikeable things, and people. It makes me wonder if the modern notion of a liberated woman is just a pure facade. Are we, as women, becoming more fixated with time? Because liberty does tend towards absoluteness. If we are non-conformist, surely we are fixated in some way? But how can being fixated be equated with liberty? Liberty should be equated with tolerance, open-mindedness. We talk so much of women emancipation that we forget to respect our male colleagues, and then we talk about not being able to trust them. We forget that trust begets trust. It is a two-way street. Fairness is good, but respect is much better. What could possibly go wrong with addressing someone respectfully?
With so much talk of feminism and female emancipation around, I think we have started to take the other sex for granted. Because we have stopped taking responsibility for our mistakes. It is easy to hurl abuses at the other person, but it is equally important to look at ourselves first. I don’t understand the concept of female liberty where every other woman is out to put a man down either due to the occasional fit of mistrust or to satisfy her ego. We forget that most of us have been raised by our fathers, and live with our brothers. They teach us the first lessons in trusting the other gender. We forget that someday, we may give birth to a male baby. Hating the opposite sex does not solve problems. I mean, even a feminist would not deny that she needs a man to fulfill her lustful desires. What is the point of being so negative about men, when so many women are so desperate to be in their arms and to get their attention? This is hypocrisy, in my opinion.
The idea of women empowerment does not gain power when men get disenfranchised. It gains power when there is no more a need for a special headline dedicated to some superwoman because she is a ‘woman’.