So what answer do you get when you ask yourself, am I a 21st century girl/woman? Of course YES is the instant answer like the instant coffee,piping hot and refreshing in the initial few sips…..but then as you reach somewhere mid-way it gets colder and bitter. Even the greatest coffee lover in the world cannot deny it. Well this is the thing with most (if not all) 21st century women. The fact that we are bestowed with best education, are given the liberty to make choices, decisions are at our disposal etc., gives the boost to engrave in our minds and hearts that we are the 21st century woman. But then what I wonder at times is what defines being a 21st century woman? Good education, freedom of choice, adapting the western culture, being able to smoke and booze and yet not be judged by the society or people surrounding us or walking back home late at night with no fear of being molested or raped? Or yet a level below, not being beaten up by your drunk or conscious husband/ boyfriend (educated men included), not being sold to brothels by father, brother, uncle or husband, or being modern and yet keeping the traditional ties intact. Honestly I am confused!!!
Rape, dowry deaths, suicides due to in-laws harassing may sound primitive, but they still make headlines in our daily dose of news and very much exist in large numbers in our society. What we call a modern day life has lead to in increase deaths due to depression, loneliness, stress and pressure. Something astonishing that I read a few days ago was about the increase in the number of suicides by young and successful models. They define what we call the modern day, independent girl/woman, living life at the edge. But in the glaring lights of fashion and glitterati, they are all lonely beings who live in dark holes where drugs, cigarettes and alcohol are their only friends and their path to solace! Very unfortunate indeed.
While fashion and glamour world is an extreme example of a girl’s modern life, there is something in between that exists which is equally dangerous and terminal. Its like cancer that crawls inside one’s body for a very long time and then finally kills the person. Most of us lead our day to day lives very normally without even realizing that something of this sort exists. As a woman, she is expected to be great at multi-tasking. Gone are the days when woman took pride in being homemakers. Today women live by ambitions, and dreams to make it big. But that doesn’t giver her the liberty to be a mediocre at managing things at home. Maids these days are not easy to get and even if you manage to get one, they are definitely far more demanding than you would be at your work place. What I fail to understand is the fact about women being constantly judged. Judged by parents – (is this seed going to reap fruits?), colleagues ( eg- who said a girl wearing short skirt is trying to seduce men at work or trying to get an easy promotion?), critiques – (Will Mamata Banerjee be able to transform or reform Kolkata? ) husbands – (if a wife does not manage her career and house equally well and pleases his parents and relatives she is not a good wife or is not as good as his mother.)
Success doesn’t come in handy, one has to strive and struggle to taste success. And for today’s woman I guess, it definitely comes with a lot of SACRIFICE, STRIVE & STRUGGLE.
While nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it is going to be this hard!!!