All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players
I really enjoyed studying As You Like It, the play by Shakespeare which covers various aspects and layers of human emotions. Here, he describes the world as a stage. There was a time when I was a dancer. Stage was pretty much a part of life. As we danced on the stage, we memorized the steps taught to us by our dance teacher, a woman. We acted with grace, danced with the rhythm of the music. It took us months of hard work, to learn the steps as instructed by our teacher.
Now, the question is,
who dominates the stage of the world ?
It’s dominated by a society driven mostly by men. In a part of his play Shakespeare wrote, “Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold,” which signifies that thieves are more provoked by the beauty of women (here it was in the context of two women in the play) than wealth. This woman, in the play, thinking about their own safety, one of them decided to disguise herself as a boy and then start their journey to the forest of Arden.
How much has the society in large changed so far?
Change has happened since it is the only constant of life and Yes women have been empowered,
But truly, have they?
Empowerment and equality not just mere constructs are however gazed through various prisms. These prisms unfortunately are driven by societal perceptions. Most woman while reading this writing will be able to relate to sexual harassment that they have mostly faced. Weather it’s the bus, train, house, apartment, you name it and inequality shines like the prince in charm. Another interesting thing is, this prince in charm who feels that it is his right to touch a woman without permission, is praised, praised a society which sees nothing wrong in his actions.
Yes, there has been lots of talks about victim shaming throughout the world,
Yes, it is a patriarchal society, Yes, what they do is wrong. But hey learn to ignore it.
No, these aren’t my words, this is something which the majority of girls listen to. Let’s ignore the inequality you faced, let’s live in denial because ignorance is the magic wand which can cure cancer, remove poverty, and increase equality. Everyday, a woman is trained by society to normalize the sexual trauma that she receives. No wonder that many marital rapes are unreported because they didn’t understand the difference between sex and rape.
As a girl tries to fight the wave of ignorance that tries to drown her like the big wave which you are always afraid of, there comes another group of people: those who accept what happens. Yes, the woman wore short clothes (I would like to use the line: even an infant is raped, how do you justify that? is wearing short clothes directly proportional to getting raped?
These are facts feminists have tried to put on the table for the decades, but, wait didn’t Nietzsche say
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
So, these groups of people consider talks about equality to be vague because they do not have an adequate understanding about the broader views of life. They will point out:
Men and Women are biologically different, It’s alright if a man can not control his sexual desires. But a woman should not try to match herself with a man ever.
In this tussle between what is right and what is wrong innocent girls loose their lives. We come across incidents such as Nirbhay, Unnao, Hathras almost everyday and the list, yes, the list goes on and on like a tunnel without an end. A chilling remainder of a society paralyzed by a patriarchal mindset.
My family has a history of writing.Writing to express their views, opinions, facts. I grew up seeing both my parents writing something or the other. I wrote my first after a personal loss at the age of eight. Since then, I knew that writing is my tool of expressing what I feel in the world. Hence, I write this piece with a hope that equality someday prevails, if that makes me Utopian? So, be it.
As a child, my grandmother used to teach me Bengali. There was this Bengali poem about a bird in the forest. The poet pleads with the bird to come in the cage made of gold and stay there. “But, you see, a bird of the forest cannot be happy in the cage, she will eventually long for the forest, go back to the forest,” said dida.
A woman, longs for equality. Let her have it.