Feminism isn’t a threat, it’s a need! Feminism doesn’t mean women being more equal, it means true equality! Because of many such powerful, thoughtful women, now women can vote, and are able to fight to prove their existence. Equality and respect is the agenda.
The concept of surname/last name suggests we all are part of patriarchal societies, and in certain cultures, it’s still a struggle for a girl child to enjoy life. And in certain others, it’s a struggle for a female foetus to push her way out of a mother’s womb. It’s also strange that as families many are supportive of female prosperity and empowerment, but not as societies! Me too is just another example of the same global scenario.
I should also remind fellow women to be bold and confident as they are! We don’t need plastic surgeries to be endowed or put makeup on to please others. Every human being looks beautiful with a smile on their face and empathy and love for others.
Anyway, I met a good friend after a gap. She looked brave and beautiful after a double mastectomy early Jan. Not sure why three out of five I meet in the US have had or been diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to the advanced Medical research and technology, lives are saved. Even prouder of the women who are part of not only science, technology, self defense, et al, but also role models of exemplary nurture building progressive societies. Such women who are strong are an inspiration. We want women to be bold mentally and strong physically. Happy women’s day!
A mother/amma is the one who has warmth and care for anyone who needs it; needless to say, we all do, don’t we? One need not deliver an offspring to be called a Mother. Not everyone who does can be a caring mother. To all those wonderful beings who nurture anyone in need with care and love – Happy Mother’s Day!
It will take me another forty years to describe my mum, Sarada, her warmth, and nurture. Born in an affluent family, being raised with utmost love, she molded herself to the needs of the family she is married into. My dad hailed from a lower middle class and always was quenched in thirst for knowledge, but he had the responsibilities of his siblings-older and younger. At a very young age of 21, he joined as a lecturer and continued his quest to learning deeper and more by doing PhD. But alongside, my mum was the one who had a lot of compromises and sacrifices to make to let everything run smoothly.
Over the time, with my dad, Dr Ayalasomayajula Gopalarao garu, becoming a well-respected and busier literary personality, she resigned her job as a teacher at a school where my sister and I studied, and continued her studies online and earned her master’s degree. But, none of us had to do any compromises that may have had her duties lessened. My mum, who never cooked until she got married, believed the same in raising us. She always believed women should be financially independent and thus always did what she had to, to make us totally believe that we were in the ‘student phase’- only studying and having the fun a child deserves, and encouraging us to make great friendships- nothing else was thrust upon us! At that point, me and my sister were the only ones from our neighbourhood who went to an English medium private school that was then the top most rated in the town! My dad took every cue my mum gave him with regards to our raising. To date she has this fascination of speaking fluently in English- that I am sure, we, as her daughters fulfilled.
My dad growing up with financial restraints and unable to study at University as a full time student, always had a special place for students with similar struggles. So, he continued the tradition of ‘varalabbay’– feeding students on 2-3 specified days of the week at home. He couldn’t have done these without my mum’s support as she has to cook fresh for all of us on those days, and not an easy task! Those students considered my parents as theirs.
One of the best memories from childhood usually are the birthday parties. Until now without needing any reminders, friends and relatives wish me on my birthday only because of how my mum used to host the parties. Dad is also all up for celebrations too. Mum is an excellent cook and used to bake egg-less cakes in pressure cooker on sand in place of water. Those were the days sans internet- WOW! The other regular birthday dish was ‘saimya pulao‘. The whole neighbourhood buzzed with her hospitality. I have had so much fun celebrating birthdays with friends as a kid and an young adult, now I make it a point that I celebrate it not partying but through giving to those in need. Here, I have to thank my husband, who cares and shares this joy of giving.
My mum is a softhearted person with self-respect and due respect for others. I am sort of short tempered, and all she tells me is to hold on to my emotions and reminds me to not let them loose; how ever others may behave, I shouldn’t change my core principles but be my caring self; I shouldn’t do anything that make me regret of my deeds in years to come. A tough ask but I am trying my best. At this juncture, I must mention my maternal grand parents who were as soft, and were enamored with this culture of spreading love and warmth.
Mathru devo bhawa, Pitru bevo bhawa acharya devo bhawa Athidhi devo bhava –Respects to Mother, Father, Guru and Guest. They are all forms of God. This is the culture that nurtured me and alike.
We, women, don’t need any lost sandals leading cues for princes to rescue. We don’t want any long sleeps that could be broken only by a kiss; we don’t need any stardom that could kill us with paparazzi; we don’t need any sympathy to be recognised as women. We don’t need any domestic violence that presses us to put heavy make upon; we don’t need any benevolence to be able to look after our interests, our needs, our rights. May be we don’t need any change of identity; change of surname (last name) at any point. Pets in some countries lead a better life than women in certain parts. Aren’t we one equal?
“Me too”- how is it going to change the fate of a woman? This was my original thought. But lately it dawned on me, to speak up itself is a big leap and the exploitation happening in Hollywood is just a tip of the iceberg. A baby boy’s struggle inside the womb of a mother; a woman, gives immense strength for him to dominate the “more equal” game, once he is out! It’s the right of every “man” to dominate the world, the way he desires. For women, it’s an everyday struggle right from fighting for the right to vote to equal pay act to possessing a driver’s licence; to be able to study, to attend basic needs is still a dream for many. Yaay (?), it’s not a pertinent problem limited just to the under developed or the developing countries. It’s the fight even in the developed countries by women, for women, to women; to be safer at least in the future. Physical abuse, body shaming, and luring have been happening everywhere. Power to suppress comes with money and women themselves are also part of that ‘powerful group’. That’s sickening!
It’s shocking to find ‘numbers to call’ to talk in private about any domestic violence in women’s rest rooms in certain developed countries’ maternity wards! It’s depressing to see for the same job title, a man draws more salary than a woman.
It’s a shame that ‘every’ Indian reacted, showed empathy, sympathy towards Hollywood’s ‘me too’ campaign. But when it comes to cleaning their own backyard, everyone is being ‘naive’. As a common, yet, responsible woman, I have stopped watching any Indian (I rarely watch Hollywood one’s) movie related programmes even on tele. As rightly pointed out by one lady activist on a discussion channel, can any Telugu movies be made without attempting rapes or without abusing the vulnerable on the name of casting couch? Now, for that matter, can ANY movie be made without the dirty acts? Can any work place treat women equally? Can any house/neighbourhood be safer for girl children? Can boys be raised with just and equal thoughts? Can women join hand in hand and give the vulnerable a supporting hand? Goddesses in idol form are prayed everyday for wealth and prosperity by men. But women in real life accept and succumb to the harsh brutalities.
Let’s welcome millions of to-be-men being born this second across the globe who could be deciding the fate of women across. Yet, hats off to those men, dads, husbands, sons..who celebrate the women and girls in their lives.
My two cents would be that every child, especially girls, must get trained in some form of martial arts and must carry a physically strong too, outlook! May be more boys in ballet and more girls in kick-boxing :)!