Noklenola A, M.A. 1st Sem , Dept. of English
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11
When I took counselling for Baptism, I was asked "Are you getting married soon?" When I decided to continue my studies after graduation, I was told, "What is the point? Even with all these degrees; once you get married, you will live under the reigns of your husband". Some said, "If you can teach your children, you are qualified enough. Get married!".Some even added, "Educating a girl is only investing for her in-law's lineage".
I am very blessed that I have very supportive parents who stand by me in all my decisions and there are many parents who do the same for their children too. But just like, "There are always some unhusked grains in a bag of rice", not everyone appreciates higher education for girls. These are the people who make comments and questions the girls. I am a victim of those interrogations and I know, there are many more victims. Unfortunately, some might be the daughters of these people.
Many times, I answer back to clarify their doubts and to make them aware of my objectives. But there were also many times, when I chose to remain silent and ignored their comments. And now I question myself as to why I held myself back. I think now is not the time for anyone to remainsilent and ignore the things that happen around us and definitely not the people who belittle us. If it were the unhusked grains in a bag of rice, there is no complication; we can simply pick them out. But here, we have the people "Some people". We cannot pick them and isolate them somewhere far from us . How many of you believe in the adage "Action speaks louder than words? "Rome wasn't built in a day." Good things take time. So, what about the times when the actions are not loud enough? Is it fair to endure the remarks, while we proceed on making an impact with the actions.
I suppose, we can no longer "ignore", we have to make them understand that we are no less than anybody, we need to make them realize that we are all "equal" and not the "inferior gender". We have our goals and ambitions in life and marriage is certainly not our only goal neither is being a housewife our aim in life. We aim for so much more than that and with the right zeal and enthusiasm, we can achieve our dreams.
Of course, I wish to get married someday and I am also not undervaluing the role of housewives, it is one among the most difficult jobs in the world, where a woman works without a time frame and without getting paid. But the problem lies with the fact that there are unfortunately, "some people" that I mentioned earlier that expect every woman to settle down and become that "housewife". All women are capable of being a good daughter, a good wife, a good mother and all of us wish to fulfill and excel in all these criteria. But before we settle down to be a good wife and a good mother, we wish to be good in something for ourselves. We wish to become somebody and contribute something to the society.
Deborah Day, a Canadian film director and writer said, "Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy to one will be felt by us all. For we are connected, one and all". A little encouragement can really push a person towards their goal. We are all connected and a person's success will definitely have a positive impact on us. So why not just put in an encouraging word to strengthen them rather than criticism, unless it is healthy criticism.
India is recorded as the most depressed country by WHO, conducted for National Care of Medical Health (NCMH) with at least 6.5 percent of its population with mental disorders such as depression which iscausing a rise in suicide rates. Being criticized or judged triggers our mental health that causes depression and it also lowers our self-esteem. And if a person is too weak and sensitive, the result may be tragic. I believe that the negative pressure from the society is the reason why most people plunge into depression. All the questions and comments with which I started off my article were lashed out on me some months ago when I was already going through a hard phase; it really did affect me mentally and emotionally. Luckily, I succeeded from almost falling into depression because of the support I received from my family and friends. And it terrifies me to think that may be someone, somewhere is facing the same situation I had faced and what if they do not have anybody to support them. Life is hard and everybody is fighting their own battles, is a bit of a cliché, but we never know what a person is going through in their life and a small negative remark during their "hard times" can be devastating. May be, if we cannot appreciate, we should not criticise either.
I just want to conclude by quoting, "Letus all be uplifters of one another and not criticisers". Before anything else, if every individual aims on becoming a humanist first, there won't be any need of feminism. Perhaps, then we might find a little piece of paradise on Earth.
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Dr. Aniruddha Babar, Noyingbeni T. Erui, Meren and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.