I have been posting a lot lately which is an oddity in itself. I only ever post something when I know I would be satisfied with the outcome. Among many of my posts are poetry and admittedly, depressing stories inspired by the things in my life (sad, I know). The small remainder therefore, goes to these types of posts i.e thoughts on worldly issues. This is a very important issue I would like to address and have wanted to address for a long time. Hence, prepare your popcorns because this would be a long one.
What is the role of women in the society?
Ladies and gents, I present to you an old question.
Back when I was a child, I thought that women ought to know how to cook, how to do household chores and most of all, how to present herself in a “proper” manner to the world. That was how I was raised. That was, perhaps, the childhood of a person born from a country with deep patriarchal roots. Therefore, that was my answer to said question. But of course, I was introduced to books and slowly, the idea had varied. I molded myself, my mind, to the shape of the strong heroine that these books had told me to be. Over time, I realized that this shape is an ever-changing one and intentional or not, was bound to be a reflection of a single perspective or a mirror of several people’s thoughts. Be that as it may, I wanted to be a strong person like these characters I have read about. However, like a confused chameleon, I did not know what parts of myself should I change in order to fit into this notion of the woman I wanted to be.
Until I have read of this in an epigraph of a book:
What is a woman’s place in this modern world? Jasnah Kholin’s words read. I rebel against this question, though so many of my peers ask it. The inherent bias in the inquiry seems invisible to so many of them. They consider themselves progressive because they are willing to challenge many of the assumptions of the past.They ignore the greater assumption–that a ‘place’ for women must be defined and set forth to begin with. Half of the population must somehow be reduced to the role arrived at by a single conversation. No matter how broad that role is, it will be–by nature–a reduction from the infinite variety that is womanhood.
Reading this was like waking up and being scolded at the same time. I have my favorite author, Brandon Sanderson, to thank for that. Ironically, it took a man to tell me an obvious thing about being a woman.
There was no role, after all. There was only the fact that a woman can be anything she wishes to be and whatever it is, the fact that she puts her determination and passion towards it, that she chose it for herself was the key to her strength. Moreover, it has come to me that the idea of success is a personal definition and not one driven by the standards of society. I can be a mother and be successful or I can be a scientist and still feel satisfied of my achievements. This idea was the start of a revolution I have geared for myself. This has been an important reminder to me especially that I am young, a woman, and in a considerably high position in a workplace dominated by men.
I AM WHICH THAT HAVE I DECIDED FOR MYSELF.
It is a constant struggle when I am told of what I should be, what I should achieve at a certain age– be it marriage or a doctorate degree, or how I should act or say when I am among people just because I am a woman. It is often disheartening to hear of other women in my workplace be harassed and then be casually asked, “Well, what were you wearing?” or alternatively, to hear that this accused man would not be capable of doing this immoral act because he is known to be a nice person. I am disgusted at that thought. I watch many a crime documentaries and most victims were women; their killers, mostly men they were involved with, are described to be “nice” individuals.
(cont…) A woman’s strength should not be in her role, whatever she chooses it to be, but in the power to choose that role. It is amazing to me that I even have to make this point, as I see it as the very foundation of our conversation.
– Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Women often find themselves strangled by this world and what it deems “proper” and “ideal”– be it in the shape of our bodies, the face we present or the success that we have in our chosen career or family life. I am grateful that I am in an era which celebrates the continued discovery of the infinite variety that is womanhood. To see women of every color and age in social media be presented with strong wills and determination is such an empowering act. It is tough, yes, but it is a fight that has long been fought by many women. The world may have met us once in silence but the time has come that we show them that there is a reason that we too was able to survive since the dawn of the first humans.