by: Sabahat Mir
The requirements of our age make it necessary to examine and weigh once more many matters about which it is no longer enough to accept the old assessments. The equal status of women in the society is one of these matters.
In this age, it has been commonly supposed that the basic questions in this area are the “liberation of women” and the “equality of their rights with men”. All other problems are off-shoots of these two matters.
The development of mechanization and the ever-increasing growth in production at a rate greater than the level of the actual needs of people, the necessity of persuading consumers through thousands of deceptions and frauds, the urgency with which all auditory, visual, psychological, sensory, aesthetic, artistic and venal means to transform man into an involuntary agent of consumption, further required that the capitalist should take advantage of woman’s exustence; not of woman’s physical strength or her work power as a simple worker sharing with man in production, but rather of her power and magic to attract with her beauty and elegance, by trading in her honour and respect, through her power to entice, to captivate minds and wills and to transform them, to impose consumption on consumers. It is clear that all this has been done in the name of her ‘liberty’ and her becoming ‘equal’ with man.
Politics also did not lag behind in making use of this factor;one can read the circumstances of this regularly in newspapers and magazines.In all these things, the existence of woman is exploited and she is used as a means for accomplishing the aims of man; and all this is done under the cover of ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’.
Clearly, the young man of this century did not fail to avail himself of this precious opportunity. He stopped taking to the traditional responsibilities with regard to women, and made the seeking of a partner something cheap and gratuitous, seizing her in his talons.These people then shed more crocodile tears than before over the unfortunate condition of women and the unjust discrimination against them.
There is no doubt that our century has removed a whole series of misfortunes from women, but the point is whether it has not actually brought another series of misfortunes as a gift. What is the reason for this Is woman condemned to one of these two calamities, and forced to choose one of them, or is there nothing to hinder her from banishing her old misfortunes, as well as the new misfortunes?
The fact is that there is no compulsion or inevitability. The misfortunes of the olden days were mostly caused owing to the fact that a ‘woman is a human being’ was forgotten, and her modern misfortunes are because, intentionally or otherwise, the womanliness of a woman, her inborn tendencies and nature, her mission, the axis around which she turns, her instinctual needs and her special capabilities are completely ignored.
Women need care, compassion, encouragement and appreciation. Women have great convincing power. They can transform the minds of many if they are themselves empowered and extricated from the stereotypes and stigmas. (KNB)