Saturday, 16 January, 2021

Entrenched Bias Against Females

Nishtha Shrestha

Many of us probably would have heard this line: "Now that I have a son, I am free." Having a son still gives relief to a family. This is a license to stop having another child and most importantly entry into the elite circle of motherhood. The love for the male gender crosses geographical and cultural boundaries. The world has advanced materialistically but the society continues to cling on to this worn-out thinking.
Calling out people for adopting this learning labels the person as "feminist", another word that is misused and misunderstood in the world. The intensity of the differential treatment varies but we all are guilty of choosing one over another. Whether we are aware of this deeply ingrained mode of functioning is, however, debatable.
The discrimination against the female gender is not a new discovery. The point of interest is how the chain of inequality has been modified with time. Due to the laws and certain level of awareness among the people, female foeticide has been controlled. The family members do not openly express dissatisfaction over the birth of a girl in the house now, but the disinterest is conveyed subtly through gestures, celebration and gifts for the baby.
The mission to educate girls has been taken seriously and this has helped increase the number of girls attending school. While one can rejoice at the new avenues for future women workforce, the society has created another barrier by casting them as potential ineligible candidates for marriage. Humans seek validation for their efforts and when this is not received, it is sure to make any normal individual question their actions.
Although we are now in the 21st century, our views towards gender have yet to change. The roles assigned to a female after marriage could be its best example. Even till today, the skills needed to be a successful woman includes cleaning, raising kids, cooking, etc. In addition to this, the rising level of expenses has also been included on the list: a job requirement. The society has created the illusion of a modern woman with the addition of this new criteria but it has failed to distribute a share of the workload to the other gender.
Do only girls need to live their life meeting the ideal set for them? When one type of discrimination is eradicated, a new version is created to take its place. Will the chain of discrimination ever be broken? Critics may argue if a woman is as liberated as she says she is, why is she fighting for marriage if this is an institution that is exploitative? The answer to this is, the need for love and belongingness is a human right and society cannot deny this to a woman just because she is ambitious or independent.
The anger and frustration expressed by women do not promote hatred against the men. It calls for a change; a deep and much-needed cleansing of the perspective of people. The share of this responsibility lies in both the genders. Women need to stop promoting this ancient image of a "perfect woman" and men should start calling out these practices in their family. This change requires team effort. If only one gender continues to fight this battle, the defeat is certain. 

How do you feel after reading this news?