The Breakthrough Voice 30th August, 2019

A ‘Golden Cage’: How Women Are Kept Caged In The Garb Of ‘Protection’.

A parrot feels cherished and loved because its cage is made of gold. But the poor bird doesn’t know that a cage is a cage even if it made of gold. It can never be free of it but will have to eat whatever the owner gives and dance and speak whenever the owner demands! Many of the women who may pity the parrot do not realize they are in the same boat as the bird! They are given a splendid house to live in and are decked in gold from head to toe but sadly, they are still prisoners; Prisoners of the so-called tradition, values and moral codes which are written differently for men and women.

When men write poetry about women calling them moon and lotus, women swoon and fall at their feet. Why would anyone like to be objectified when just to say woman is itself enough, because a woman embodies all that is kind and lovely on this earth! Just imagine what will happen if a girl should reject all this poetic nonsense and declare herself as just a fit and healthy girl, nothing more, nothing less. In one stroke, a death blow would have been dealt to the billion dollar film industry, the ever pervasive advertisement industry and all the cosmetic industry which cater to the need to be fair and lovely! God forbid!

The worst culprits are, I would say, the Bollywood lyricists! In the age where man has landed on moon and laid eyes upon its craters and hills, isn’t it absurd to compare it to a woman’s face? Songs like Chaudhvin ka chand ho, Yeh chand sa roshan chehra and many more, blatantly commit this travesty. Chandrayan II has happened with women hemming the prestigious project! When is Bollywood going to wake up to the reality?

It is laughable how many insults a woman is subjected to in the name of ‘providing’ for her. The parents take upon the burden of saving up enough to ‘provide’ dowry and marriage expenses for the daughter. Understandably they are frustrated because the boy’s parents have no such worries. This hidden anger comes out in different forms. Money is not spent on girl’s education, at least not to the extent as for a son. Sports are a strict no-no. The girl cannot become sun-tanned. Nobody will marry her then. And where is the money to spend for sports academies? Therefore, the girl starts with a disadvantage right from the beginning. Her entire upbringing is done with the focus on her marriage. Don’t talk or laugh loudly, don’t sit with legs open, don’t question our decisions, don’t wear this dress, don’t, don’t, don’t… 

After marriage, it is again the husband, and later the sons, who take up the job of ‘providing’ for her. Since she has nothing to do except sit at home (housework is not considered work at all), she must at least look good and be servile. No need to consult her in any decisions, leave alone financial. Her job is to adjust to wherever she is asked to go and uncomplainingly manage the family. 

If there is any hope of change in this situation, it has to come from the parents. They have to take a stand that the girl should be treated in the same way as the boy. They should educate the girl without  making marriage her priority and give her as much chance for employment as the boy. The push for change can also come from the girls,  who should be able to go out into the world and prove themselves.

Of course, it won’t be easy. Once men realize that a woman is their competitor, they will fight tooth and nail to retain the status quo for themselves. Girls should not cower before this competition, but rather stand up and fight for her rights!  Having come out to earn, every woman must equip herself with knowledge and skill to do justice to the job. 

So, girls! Let us stop thinking about how to please a man. That part is a small part in our lives, not the entire show! All the other parts will just fall into place in the entire scheme of things.    

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