Womanhood and the Like
It was a sundry experience; I had, watching the movie 300 last Saturday. Raving about its picturesque entertainment apart, I believe the film makers had gone a long way to appease the female audience. Here was the role of the queen of Leonidas who was an unmatched sensuous, audacious, sharp and patronizing partner to the King. Having watched a myriad of off late Kollywood and Bollywood dramas, where so-called commercial cinema meant a zillion shots of a woman’s Torso, a Casanova hero and grotesque skin show in the cheesy name of “item-number”, 300 seemed to respect the very existence of a woman in every man’s life and in the man’s world.
When someone said – “Behind every successful man lies a woman”, I believe it meant way beyond the carnal pleasures she offered, and much into the assurance and solace she provided. I am reminded of the story of Sudha Murthy, wife of Narayan Murthy, who found a place in workshops of Telco and in the heart of JRD Tata for her daring gesture to take up a male-preferred job. Later she gave up her career for Infosys, her husband’s venture. Women like her have proved that womanhood is all about being daring, composed, wise and elegant.
I am no feminist; neither am I a believer that every man on this earth is a MCP. For the very same reason, I think that reserving 35% seats for women in Engineering colleges is no less a discrimination on the basis of sex. Incidentally on Women’s day last week, I caught myself arguing with a colleague on women managers. He seemed to believe that being powerful and stringent to get work done was completely unfeminine. I countered the statement, insisting on the pressures of being a woman in a male dominated environment and yet succeeding because of their level-headed temperament and not because they seek equality and neither because they were born as women. I exemplified it with Indira Gandhi and the remark on her as “the only man in the cabinet”. End of it I wondered if this debate would ever have a true winner.
I recall the little incident as a six year old, which left a mark on me till this day. It was the evening of Krishna jayanthi and the house was laden with the aroma of ‘palaharams’ of sweets and everything mouth-watering. But the ambrosia was taboo until the pooja. I had overheard my aunt remark that if children ask for the sweets before it was offered to the Gods it was acceptable to give them. Overcome with childish greed I had dared to ask for a bite to which my mother not only vehemently opposed but left a comment that it would have been agreeable if I were a boy child, but being a girl I was not to ask. I had turned a helpless rebel after that, not understanding why the boy cousins enjoyed certain luxuries in the family that we girls didn’t. I later consoled myself that what my mother meant was girls were milder in disposition than the boys.
Seventeen years and later, the very scenario seems poignantly satiric to me. I wonder if I am caught in a sea of transitions; A world of independent single mothers, hardworking super-moms who manage Multi Nationals, women who are expressive about their sexuality as much as about their wit, women underrepresented and wanting equality in the man’s world. I am not blatantly independent to walk the ‘altar’ alone. Neither am I a coy undercover, who can’t handle life the way it comes. It leaves me guessing as to when will us humans, live as humans and not as man or woman.
As I find a few answers and feel strangely discomfited doing so, I simply boil it down to I as an individual with identity, passions, dreams and destinations. I am happy to see this world as a woman and enjoy the phases of femininity without complexes of a weaker or stronger sex. I am contented to be able to run the mile, chase away shadows, follow my dreams and wear a happy smile. May be that’s the true meaning of feeling like a woman!