Scene 1 : A girl from a particular community is not allowed to pursue studies in medicine because “it takes too many years” and she won’t get good husband if she ages too much, loses her charm or becomes “too smart” hence she takes home science instead.
Scene 2: World no. 1 female sports player is asked “when she is going to settle and have kids” by a veteran journalist on national television.
And many more such scenes happen every day. Let me make this clear- I am not a men hater feminist. I am not here to fight for equality. Nor am I going to change the perception of every sexist. I am not going to say that men always consider themselves superior and they shouldn’t and women can prove them wrong. (Although it feels relieving to write all those things)That is not my objective.
It is true that women are blessed with motherhood. The most beautiful moment in a woman’s life is the day she gives birth to her child. But it is not her only identity. She is not merely a baby maker, man helper side hero of the story. She has her own personality, her beliefs and her wishes. The ultimate aim of a woman’s life is not merely to get married and have kids. But, we all are interested in saying and proving the opposite, aren’t we? What do we say? “Do whatever you want to, study whatever you want to, become a doctor, become a scientist, go in space or go to hell, but you can’t be called a successful well settled woman unless you cook good food, get married and have kids.”
Some of you might have guessed, but for those who don’t know, the girl in scene 2 is none other than Sania Mirza, world no. 1 in tennis who perfectly replied to questions asked by Rajdeep Sardesai
Sardesai: Amidst all the celebrityhood, when is Sania going to settle down? Is it going to be in Dubai? Is it going to be in any other country? What about motherhood… building a family… I don’t see all that in the book, it seems like you don’t want to retire just yet to settle down.
Mirza: You don’t think I’m settled?
Sardesai: You don’t talk about retirement, about raising a family, about motherhood, what’s life beyond tennis is going to be…
Mirza: You sound disappointed that I’m not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world at this point of time. But I’ll answer your question anyway, that’s the question I face all the time as a woman, that all women have to face — the first is marriage and then it’s motherhood. Unfortunately, that’s when we’re settled, and no matter how many Wimbledons we win or number ones in the world we become, we don’t become settled. But eventually it will happen, not right now. And when it does happen I’ll be the first one to tell everybody when I plan to do that.
Sardesai: I must apologise, I framed that question very badly. I promise you, you’re right, I would never ask this question to a male athlete…
Mirza: I’m so glad, you’re the first journalist to apologise to me on national television.
Later in the interaction when asked how she’d like to be remembered, Mirza simply and yet smartly said, “(hope my achievements set a precedent that) no girl is asked at the age of 29 as to when she is going to have a child when she’s number one in the world,” before adding, “that’s no settling in.”
Rajdeep understood the subtle jibe and once again apologised for the question. I too hope that the person reading this too understands what this means. And those people who say we live in 21st century, these things don’t happen now and not all men are like this and blah blah. These incidents are from July 2016 and yes, not all men speak like this but some do, and also there are women who are more interested in knowing why Guptaji’s daughter is not marrying this year. I hope you know what to say if she’s your mother.
Watch Sania’s interview here:-