Growing up as a girl, I learned how to behave, sit, talk and laugh like a ‘woman’. Most of the advice came from my parents, relatives, and neighbors. Even though I often felt trapped and suffocated, I thought these rules were for my betterment. Eventually, I learned how demeaning that advice and rules were. Women all over the world often go through this. They are asked to behave- as if they are some artifacts to be kept for display.
You may think what those things could be? Well, if you look closely, there are plenty of things society has stereotyped about women. It has set some parameters and expects women to abide by the age-old rules. Such as being coy and timid. They expect women to work 24*7 as unpaid maids, wear warm smiles, and have glowing faces. Yet they will criticize women wearing makeup and at the same time ask them to look pretty.
So, let us go through a few unsolicited things people need to stop telling women.
1. “You Must Learn To Make Round Rotis”
People, especially family members are always keen on teaching their daughters how to make round chapati. They are so particular about it as if it was one of the must-have skills for women to survive. Young women and girls who are not skilled in making round chapati get mocked. I wish we focused more on teaching our girls and women about self-confidence and financial independence.
2. “You Owe Me Because I Took You For A Dinner”
Not all men say this, but some men think women owe them after dinner or lunch. These men think taking women out for a dinner is an easy way to take favors. Well, dear men, this is not how you win a woman’s heart. Learn to be a gentleman, a lady will surely find her way to you.
3. “You Need To Learn All Household Chores”
Anybody who lives in a house is responsible for doing the household chores. Women have been handling household chores for years. This is because, during ancient times, when women had no-to-little career options, they used to stay at home. Moreover, the prevalent social issues such as women abduction forced women to stay indoors and take care of the house.
Now the time has changed. Women are excelling in every field. So why can not men contribute to doing the household chores? As humans, irrespective of gender, we all should know cooking, clean, and take care of the house.
4. “You Should Focus On Looking Farer And Beautiful”
People who say so should focus on minding their business and learning the true meaning of beauty. Instead of applying layers of cosmetics to look fairer and more beautiful, women need to learn new skills and excel. After all, the outer beauty fades away over time but a career brings identity and financial independence. Everyone is beautiful, provided he/she has a kind heart and a pure soul. Rest all is an illusion.
5. “You Should Get Married At The Right Age”
The right age for marriage is neither when you are 25 nor when your bio clock is ticking. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, and you must not give it to anybody just for the sake of tying the knot. It is better to marry late than to cry over your fate for having a toxic and troubled marriage.
6. “You Must Please Your Husband”
A husband who needs to be pleased is not a husband. As a life partner, better be loving, caring, supportive, and honest. Pleasing him is just like begging for being loved. If there is a need to please your partner, that is not true love. It is more like seeking validation from someone who has authority over your life.
7. “You Need To Be A Bit More Feminine”
Some people advise women to be feminine. Many women prefer being a tomboy, but that is their choice. How would you feel if someone asks you to be more masculine? If a woman wants to keep her hair short and have a rough-tough look, we need to respect that. Let people be who they are. Accept them as they are and avoid giving unsolicited opinions.
8. “You Must Lose Weight To Appear Beautiful”
What does beauty have to do with losing weight? Society often thinks women should have a lean body to look beautiful. Doesn’t matter if you are underweight, overweight, or fit, beauty has nothing to do with your weight. Even if you are slim or chubby, you are amazing and gorgeous. So ladies, if someone asks you to lose your weight, ask them to mind their business.
9. “You Will Have To Become A Good Mother”
Women are indeed born with the ability to bring humans into this world. But this doesn’t mean we, as a society, should expect women to be ready to become mothers. Becoming a mother is a blessing and a challenge as well. Women aren’t born to be great mothers by default. Instead, they learn to be the best for their children.
10. “You Can’t Speak Or Laugh Too Loudly”
There are still people who think laughing aloud makes one less of a woman. Even today society sees outspoken and jolly women as a matter of embarrassment. People who stop women from expressing themselves may seem bossy. They ask women to sit modestly, speak in a squeaky and shrill voice and smile tight-lipped. Why can not we just let women laugh and speak their hearts out?
11. “You Need To Dress In A Modest Manner”
It is high time when society needs to stop thinking women’s clothing is a problem. Women do not get provoked by seeing men wearing shorts in public places. Girls and elderly women still get raped. Even if you are dressed up from top to bottom, predators can’t get their hands and eyes off. So it is clear that women’s clothing is not an issue. Instead of asking women to wear modest clothes, we need to discard narrow thinking.
12. “You Have To Give Up Your Career For The Sake Of Family”
Often women are expected to give up their careers for the sake of their families. They are expected to be full-time unpaid stay-at-home wives and mothers. When it comes to careers, women are advised to look after the kids and in-laws as they are more important. No matter how brilliant and hard-working a woman is, at last, she is expected to give up her dreams.
However, the same isn’t for men. They are never asked to give up their job to look after their ailing and old parents and children.
Advising someone and demeaning and restricting them are different. Women are not objects. If they can take care of their family while working hard in the office, they can take care of themselves. Society doesn’t need to worry about it. Instead, it should care about educating men and young boys about being sensitive and decent.
Wish you all a Happy International Women’s Day in advance.
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Prerna loves to write and shower love on animals. She enjoys reading and exploring places. Though sweet in her pictures, at times, she is difficult to understand. Being a strong believer in hard work and karma, she loves solitude and peace. Apart from this, she loves petrichor and harmony and wishes to achieve her one and only ataraxia for a lifetime.