I wonder sometimes that being born as a girl is the biggest curse, especially in the Indian society. Always being judged on whatever we do. Ever realized, how poignant it is for a girl? Right from the time they come into this world, their fate is sealed. She has to go to another house so don’t expect much from her, don’t spend too much on her studies, don’t give her too much freedom she will become a shame to our family and the society. Her decisions doesn’t matter, neither does her choices. The society has to decide what she has to wear. And the worst case is when a girl is physically assaulted, all these people come and start pointing fingers on the girl, her dress would have been revealing and so it turned the guy on? I mean for god’s sake! At least have some mercy on the poor girl.
But thankfully, in today’s day, at least the thinking of some people has changed a bit, not completely though. We still have those old owls waiting for the opportunities to blame the girl for any and everything that happens in the society. Take a look at some of the startling figures that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
- 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
- 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
- 70% of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
- 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.
And I guess every woman would agree to this. If you wear a saree, people call you behenji or aunty, if you wear a mini, they name you as slut. If you go out partying, you character is sealed. Forget about people, my husband himself does that, if any girl comes properly dressed, like fashionably, he says, this is what they come to office for, They don’t work, just expose, blah blah. And all I do is, just listen and smile thinking someday his thinking and all the other men’s thinking will change. The need of the hour is to break the stereotype.
This reminds me of one of my close friends, who with her performance just broke the stereotype. We both used to work in the same company. She had a great dressing sense and would always come prim and proper, unlike me, who just didn’t like to get ready; I would wear anything which I find in my wardrobe. And she would always scold me to dress up smartly. I would just shrug it off. But her appearance, made all the eyes turn on her, some would just give her a weird look, some would comment the most mean things on her back. I used to feel very bad for her. I asked her one day, “Do you know what people say about you?” to this, she just smiled and said;” some day they will stop saying so”. I wondered how someone can be so indifferent to all this shit.
One day, our manager told us to prepare a presentation on the women of today, as a big client was to visit and this would be a great opportunity for us and the company to join hands with this client. This client was a big daddy in the advertising world. So we were all super excited.
It was an individual performance. So everyone was working their butts out for this one. But this friend of mine was nonchalant. I asked her, “Are you done with the presentation?” she said, “Will do it”. Now the Day arrived and all were dead nervous. Performing in front of the esteemed clients and big shots wasn’t easy; we had thousands of butterflies in the stomach. Now when Riddhima’s turn came, all eyes were glued on her, and gave a sarcastic smile, as if saying, she can only dress up smart, and not perform. Her half an hour presentation, left everyone awestruck and in tears.
She so clearly expressed and explained how a woman’s appearance can be a hindrance in her career, and people don’t judge her by the performance but the looks, Stands so apt for her. The snarky eyes of the society always poke her, as if saying,” You have no right to dress that way, you are a girl.”
She got a standing ovation from one and all, and she literally broke the stereotype. No one dared to comment on her looks post that incident. Though she was always an out performer, but her appearance always out beat her performance and people would just judge and comment on her looks. She sent a message loud and clear, that we are not going to tolerate this anymore.