Indian women are hardly any role models

Indian women are hardly any role models.

I am talking about someone who is closer. I wish, my mother had taught me to be bolder. I am from an environment, where the first time I went outside the house wearing a capris pants, my grandmother commented that my grandfather would not allow me to go out. I went out anyway, even when the little bit of my ankles were showing. My aunt on the other hand advised us to stay indoors when sun would hit the horizon and the boys who were friends were a complete no no. My grandmother, my aunt and my mother are all very well educated.

Indian women are hardly any role models.

The only other friend in my class who read something substantial was one in 60 students in a class full of girls. We were in fact discouraged by my mother at one point of time to buy any novels. I did not read Enid Blyton or Jane Austen or Arundhati Roy or Anne Frank or Jhumpa Lahiri. During my library period at school, we were handed down Women’s Era to read, if the library period happened at all. In the crafts period we were taught year after year to do embroidery, make a stuffed toy, sew a button, make a flower vase,all useless things. Nobody encouraged world cinema because it was “apparently” full of sex. No teacher taught us how to handle our finances when we would finally become financially independent. Right now, I know only a handful number of women who have handled their car payments, home payments, electricity payments, phone payments, insurance payments, credit card payments and downpayment of any sorts completely on their own-without their fathers or husbands to help. Many will get offended, but Indian women are supported by their family and then their husband’s family financially in most cases. I know a woman here in USA who is educated, smart, intelligent, works full time but does not know how much is her monthly car payment of the car she drives. Its all taken care by her husband. So why bother?

Indian women are hardly any role models.

I talked about sex, my mom and I. When I had my first boyfriend, me and my mom had the “sex talk”. My younger brother saw sanitary napkins in my cupboard and did not know for a very long time what they meant and why were they used. When he had his first girlfriend, I remember distinctly telling him to not hurt or disrespect the girl, ever. I told him about menstrual cycles. I asked him whether mom had the aforementioned “sex talk” with him, and he said no.

Indian women are hardly any role models.

I am an Instagram fanatic and follow Bollywood actresses. I never see one actress holding a good book and posing. I see them in their gyms during their workout. I see them with their makeups and cute dresses. I see them with hair and nails done. I see them doing pilates or doing pull-ups or being an arm candy. Then I see them giving interviews about body images and how we should not be shameful about our own body. I never see them without makeup, ever. What an irony!

Indian women are hardly any role models.

Maybe times are now changing. Maybe. I wish I was pushed for pursuing Karate or Judo or any self defense class more instead of pursuing just academics. My body shaming started from my very home. I was overweight and I was instilled from the very beginning that if I continue down the path, I will not get a good groom. A good groom! The answer to all questions and worries. My mother was more worried about my marriage when it was discovered that I had vitiligo. When I talked back, my grandmother taunted me that I would be a failure if I talked like this with my in laws after marriage. When the guy from nowhere grabbed and dug his long nails in my boob when I was with my mother, my mom told me to hold my tongue. Nobody should know. I continued ignoring his nail marks for days to come. When my ex boyfriend pushed me on the road, hurting me, I kept my mouth shut. Nobody knew.

We are hardly any role models.

We see inspirational messages on Women’s day. I feel its just like Republic day or Independence day where we feel patriotic twice a year. Then there is mother’s day, where we forward messages and share pictures on Facebook. Our duty towards ourselves and others end right there. We lament on the fact that men don’t respect us. Men display power and men consider us weak. The men dominate us. The men rape us. The men demean us.

Let me tell you. The women around you do not respect you as well. You don’t sometimes respect yourselves… How can you demand it from someone else?

We are hardly any role models for ourselves…

 

Fin

 

 

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