Pillars on which the world leans on – Happy Women’s Day
Civilizations have withstood the vicissitudes of time and so have its member species. Owing to the contemporary debates, we have realized the struggles of each of the genders of our species have been starkly disproportionate and paradoxical. The 50:50 playground has been one of the most pertinent utopia that we have been chasing. Nations & organizations have actively sought & fought to take measures, and many of those bore fruit, not in full measure though, but definitely substantially.
So it raises the question upon us that, have we understood the question well enough?
I personally had a half-lit idea around the question before I read Lean In. But though it's immature to boast this, I do feel a changed person, more importantly a changed man. The best thing about the narrative in the book was that it totally leant in, living up to its title. It aims to trigger an epiphany among women to realize the roots of their ‘cultivated’ psyche and then offers solutions around them. The solutions offered, I felt were far too diplomatic and called out women to walk a very thin line, for example, ‘you have to be nice and feminine just enough to not come across as rude, while arguing for what you want without making it seem like you’re selling yourself too hard!’. But this is quite a convincing middle ground proposed by Sandberg.
The book caused me to slip into a retrospection of my past experiences on the scales of gender parity. My first reaction was to go from appreciating my mother to worshipping her. She has, for almost half-a-century walked that nano-lines Sandberg talked about, with remarkable poise. I can also connect more with her frustrations(in & around the family!), achievements and so-called failures.
Then, there were countless instances where it was convenient to stereotype women without really understanding the short-sightedness. A most vivid instance of this was my aggressive sigh at my sister when she would want to be mediocre and avoid the limelight. I also felt guilty of having applied the similar branding on other women on other accounts.
I formally apologize to you all!
A doctor mom of a friend reiterated a popular notion in my native region that a teaching job is ‘best suited’ for girls since it allows them to manage family while having a comfortable & fulfilling career. It reflects that even a ‘life saving’ doctor feels that she has not fulfilled her duties towards society. I bow down to this humble and caring trait of women.
Though the book advocated action more to female readers, it also highlighted how contributions from family, friends & mentors helped out.
So, I also want to be part of this ‘next wave’ such that it's the ‘last of all waves’. Apart from acknowledgement of the under-representation of women across careers, the society has a long way to go. I totally agree with the author that we cannot legislate our way out of it. We need to start from being better sons, brothers, boyfriends, husbands and dads. A radical change on individual level would be to share the underrated, yet most important, role of being the ‘family’ guy. Then as a society, we can curate an environment which allows women to study & then work safely, efficiently and without the feeling guilt of her trinity roles of ‘a daughter, a wife, a mom’ .