Women’s Day is that special day when your womanhood gets celebrated. Our grandmothers’ generation might find this idea a bit odd, but modern women understand the need for it. People who haven’t quite woken up to the idea may ask with a snicker if there is a Day for ‘manhood’ to be celebrated. Very funny, but Women’s Day is no joke.
Some women lament that the very fact that we still need a special day means that we aren’t where we should be. That manhood, macho manliness, swashbuckling, hairy belly-jiggling mandom wins every other day of the year. Seriously, ladies, stop playing victims here because the poor men too have their own day. Though they probably don’t even know it. (No kidding, see this.) But they are the real victims. Nobody gives them pink promotional hampers. No President wishes them on their special day thanking them for their contributions. Between Men’s and Women’s Days, Women’s Day is clearly the glamorous celebrity spouse and Men’s Day, the perfect henpecked husband. And people still have doubts about equality among the sexes!
As a woman, you are as special as the Day. One day in 365 days is rather special. There are about 945 women for every thousand men, so we’re not such a rare species. Yet we get our own special day. Now, please stop thinking of the missing 55 women and focus, will you? There’s a promotional email in your inbox announcing 15% off on lingerie. The lady in the mailer is a blonde white skinny woman who is curiously well endowed in exactly the right places (women of all shapes need goals!). There’s a flyer in your newspaper telling you that the friendly neighborhood salon is giving away a basic haircut free with a full body wax. Imagine, you’ll be as hairless as a plastic Barbie, and get a free haircut (don’t blame me if you end up getting fancy outdated layers for an extra 400 bucks!). The gym people will help you take control of your body and lose all that flab with 10% off on their annual membership. So together with the lingerie discount, the hairless Barbie body and this membership, you might actually stand a chance to look like that lingerie model, at least a brown version of her unless you use one of the many splendid fairness products. But even if we did not get carried away with those ambitions, we must admit that Women’s Day is good for the economy.
The special day is not all about commercial stuff but also a day when a lot of companies take responsibility. On this day, you are most likely to get a sweet email from HR, something about your dedication and I-forget-what. But someday we hope they start paying us as much as men, maybe? Lol, JK! But really, most workplaces are so fair these days that we should feel genuinely grateful.
Your company may organize a self-defense workshop. Honestly, what better way to express their genuine concern for the lady folk? It is a sincere effort to keep them not-raped and alive (and kicking, like literally). Some companies might choose not to wear out your delicate wrists with karate chops and offer a personal branding workshop instead, complete with a guide to dressing for your body shape. (Psst, I’m a bit embarrassed that I didn’t know I was a pear myself. No wonder my butt looked like a giant hippo’s, because I’d been dressing the wrong way. So much to discover!)
Bless those companies that actually pamper their female workforce with nail art kiosks. What with maids taking off and all that dish washing, some women really let their attention slip from their nails. Nails really complete any look. What’s a 5000-Rupee dress with the full body wax without a manicure and nail art? Now if your company just did roses and rangoli competitions, I’m sorry, but at least they thought about you!
On Women’s Day, women tend to be drama queens about rights and equality. In fact, your Facebook feed might look so krantikaari that you have to double check if your account was hacked because your friends are usually chill. Nobody loses their shit over wife or women jokes on Whatsapp. But of late, it has been getting a bit much, all these feminism rants. People are saying little girls should not be wearing pink or even reading Cinderella. So fine, go ahead and dress your cute little girls in dirty brown overalls.
So many things are happening these days that somehow, you end up with this nagging feeling that women are really not being treated like human beings. But women have never had it this good, if you ask me. Widows used to be burnt with their dead husbands in this country. Let’s not forget that in a hurry. We’ve certainly come a long way. Plus, it’s not like we’re in Saudi Arabia, jeez! We need not get our panties in a bunch over some U.S President being a jerk (he’s not our President, remember?). Or for that matter over some women’s march and all the smart alecky protest signs making headlines. ‘Girls just wanna have FUN-damental rights,’ it seems. Really? There’s so much and yet we nag. No wonder people come up with nagging wife jokes.
Fortunately for us, we’re in India where women are worshipped. We have dozens of female goddesses. Yes, now and then, things go wrong, and injustices happen, but it isn’t so bad. We get by, don’t we? One only needs to stay indoors, wear respectable clothes, avoid getting raped by creepy strangers/family/friends, conform to the time-tested rules of society and not expect one’s opinion to be heard or respected or even allowed. Why is that so hard?
Deepthi is a Freelance Writer and Editor from Bangalore. She started writing her first novel as a 9-year-old and quickly abandoned it. She hasn’t made any other attempts since then. For now, she likes taking long walks and writing short stories. She attended the Bangalore Writers Workshop recently and a fiction workshop at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis before that.