I was apprehensive about airing my views in a public space on this topic, but it had to be done. Too long have my thoughts endured the dark shadows of my mind, pining to be shared with the world. The hour has come to talk about the largely misinterpreted and controversial topic of women empowerment.
Reservation has been touted as a possible solution to the problems faced by the modern woman. Corporations maintain a strict sex ratio, positions in the government have been set aside only for women candidates and there have been seats reserved for women in the bus transport facility in my city ever since I can remember. It seems to be quite a rosy picture indeed. Except that it really isn’t.
Recently, two of my female friends got placed in a good company for a high compensation and the company in question hired only two female undergraduates from my college. It came as a surprise to everyone, but what surprised me even more was how nobody thought they deserved it. Of course it was because those positions were reserved for girls. Of course that was the only explanation of all the facts. Of course Sherlock would come to the same conclusion. It definitely could not be because they had a more impressive profile. That would be blasphemy!
The next accusation that will be invariably hurled at me after the previous paragraph is that I’m being a hypocrite. I enjoy all the privileges given to women and yet complain. Tests are scheduled earlier for us so that I get home faster and I also enjoy reserved seats on the trip home. I should be grateful, right? Except I’m not. I believe that there would be no need for those measures if I was assured safety on public transport after dark (not that it’s much better in broad daylight either, but let me not digress). If women from all parts of the country had access to quality education, there would be no need to reserve jobs. Reservation makes the fundamental assumption of a disparity or inequality. However, if the statement “women are equal to men in all respects” is accepted to be true (it is), reservation has no place in such a world.
But this is a tall order. I’m talking about a paradigm shift in the psyche of a world that is used to seeing women confined to the house for generations. I obviously don’t expect it to happen overnight. We are labelled, discriminated against and stereotyped even now. ‘Blonde’ is synonymous with ‘stupid’, the condescending look women drivers get conveys a lot more than words ever could and Malala Yousafzai is targeted for being an advocate of female education to this day.
Nonetheless, things are much better today than in the previous millennium. When once women wrote under pseudonyms to hide their gender, there’s a large number of female writers proudly declaring their names on book covers these days. Successful ladies have become global icons in areas like sports, the sciences and the corporate world. The United States maybe even looking to vote their first female president into power. All of these make me hope that humankind is slowly but steadily moving towards a new, enlightened era which is shaped by the words and works of men and women equally.
This post has been crafted in response to the Daily Prompt: Luxury