Martyrdom – a loss celebrated
Martyrdom is graceful, respected, decorated and celebrated. In this way, we give meaning to a death and by reverse engineering we give meaning and purpose to martyr’s life. Let’s give it a second look, the person who is a martyr now- felt this grand feeling of celebration for how long? May be in the moments when she decided to give her life for the cause. Mind it ….Give her life not live her life. And once she died she felt nothing – very natural. And now coming to life around her (members of her family)..it’s a mixed feeling of pride and loss for sometime and then loss for rest of their lives. So, martyrdom is a loss – personal and everyone else’s who is entangled to the martyr’s life. Wouldn’t it be better if we could avoid this loss AND get celebrated in lifetime and not only after death AND find grace in living not in dying? I do accept at certain fronts and certain fights such phenomenon of martyrdom can not be avoided. But since at some fronts it is inevitable does not correspond to martyrdom in all walks of life. The women from generations are fighting equality battle with men and we have sacrificed countless lives – of our fellow martyr women and their family – so far for this cause. Since the battle does not involve swords, guns or any other weapon the phenomenon of martyrdom also has different face. It is a face of high stress, anxiety, guilt, non realistic expectations, mental and emotional breakdowns,exhaustion and physical illness. Look around a woman fighter; she happens to be a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter and a fighter. When she is fighting outside, inside a part of her is in great guilt that she is not able to give her best to her kids, a part of her is in guilt that she can not be with her parents in their illness, a part of her is in guilt that she is not around with her needy husband, a part of her is in anxiety when this fight will get over so that she may return to her other responsibilities and she never has time to relax and enjoy. Round the clock she is running like time. Is this worth celebrating?
Why big chunk of martyrs are women?
Women need and demand equality. We need to be considered as equal humans and not super humans. Nature has endowed some extra responsibilities on women but unfortunately does not provide us with cape and flying abilities. A woman as a human is blessed with different strengths than a man. During the course of time because of their mightier physical strength and comparatively less emotional quotient than women, men were fascinated to experience their strength in full glory and wanted to be the rulers. Rulers of everything and everyone. Women had to bear the consequences of inequality from then. Slowly when a woman faced enough of suppression and oppression she became rebellion and decided to fight for equality. This was a very noble cause for the upliftment of complete humanity and human race. She decided to declare a war against the inequality and since then fighting this battle and sacrificing her life. But, why this battle is not yet over after generations of sacrifices? Do we need to check our strategy? Do we need to fight the battle on women terms? She has been fighting on men terms. She conditioned herself to think and master in manhood attribute and slowly her own attributes, her womanhood started taking a backseat and that is responsible for her major guilt (one of the most prominent face of martyrdom). Nature has its expectation in place with a woman and this should be respected. Woman has expectation from herself and this has to be fulfilled to feel good about herself. Society and family has expectations from woman and fulfillment of these expectations give her feeling of self worth. Lot many expectations causing stress (another face of martyrdom).
Bread earning and caregiving are two equally important aspects of survival. Based on their strengths men chose to earn the bread and so women chose to be caregivers. Initially it was probably the best choice and an ideal one. But we women gave credit, respect and acknowledgement to men’s bread earning skills and to him. Sadly, men got lost or spoiled by this appreciation and also because understanding women had been his weaker point, he started giving no credit, no acknowledgement and no respect to caregiving and to women. Since bread earning comes in currency form, is measurable and love and care giving can not be measured. It is also that in our social setup we seek respect and we get that mostly based on what all materialistic objects we have acquired.To acquire something money is needed and men earned the money. Hence men and manhood got more respective position in the society. Our men community was already ignorant and we female also got caught in confusion. Confusing ANMOL(that can not be valued) with BINMOL(that of no value). And this confusion lead us to demean our womanhood and glorify manhood even more. We demanded credit, acknowledgement and respect and thought only earning can lead us to that and not our own skill set of caregiving. We indeed harmed our womanhood.
Let’s Change the war strategy
It is smart to go to gym and build muscles to win a fight against physically stronger person than you. But it is more smart to challenge this physically strong person to fight on his weak fronts. Let him explore and do something extra to win. This has higher probability of preventing your martyrdom and making you a winner in your lifetime or to have a win win situation i.e; a tie, where both of the fighters acknowledge each other’s strength and weakness. Let’s think on the possibility of woman getting all that a woman wants from her womanhood i.e; without engaging into martyrdom. What if we start with self respect and acknowledgement that our skills are great and we will make everyone understand this. Right now, why we don’t have stay-at-home father and stay-at-home husband? I think because a woman finds a competitive, earning and successful professional as attractive partner or respective male. When a man with more of feminine qualities is not attractive to woman then what is the motive left for him to respect and embrace the feminine qualities of caregiving and loving? On the other hand a woman if not competitive, not earning and not a successful professional is still attractive to a man. 🙂 So, see…we have something extra in us that we need to understand.
I am not against women working but I support that a family must have a balance of bread earner and caregiver, more importantly when you have kids at home. I propose that let’s make caregiving such a cool thing that a man does not feel that he is keeping his manhood on the line, if he chooses to be a caregiver. Let the pride of manhood not be devastated when his wife is working and he is stay-at-home caregiver person. Let’s work for this perception change at personal and social level. I know, this is not going to happen in short time but then from generations we are fighting this, what is the harm in trying a new strategy? If we woman would be able to raise our girls and boys with this perception than effectively by their generation we have a chance of less martyrs and more celebrations. And who knows before dying we could see the peace. 🙂
My parents fought this inequality battle in their own way. They raised me and my brother in equality. I have a professional degree like my brother. I worked in corporate sector like my brother. When my brother got degree and job my parents were happy but when I got degree and job my parents were not only happy but proud as well. At that time I was puzzled why my achievement meant more than my brother’s? I didn’t know then but I came to know about it when I entered into motherhood. I decided to quit on my job because now I have a bigger responsibility. My priorities changed. Before becoming a mother, I enjoyed working it gave me independence, money and sense of achievement. And outside office hours I had time for myself and for my hobbies. So, it was a symphony of work and pleasure. After becoming a homemaker I started feeling the inequality. My husband is so supportive and understanding that he respected my decision and me. He never made me feel that by quitting job, I lost my worth, respect and appreciation. But the society, constantly tried to change my mind. My parents, my in laws all wanted me to work again. And outside the orbit of family everyone else especially the working female friends started treating me like a person who has left with nothing to be appreciated about. Now, I could see why my parents had very different meaning and feeling about my degree and my job. It was actually the happy result of their fight. The fight of equating women to men. But, when I looked at my kid I thought would I continue this fight on expense of her happiness, her firsts and her better upbringing? Or should I look for some other way to fight and support the long battle of social equality? Would doing justice to my professional degree is more important Or my kid’s need are more important? And I was surprised to find this new outlook and life and being woman in womanhood domain. I get time for myself without any guilt. I am able to pursue my hobbies (singing, dancing and blogging) and feel good about myself like I did in my childhood. 🙂
I respect all the feminists out there, fighting the fearless battle and I get wounded by seeing your martyrdom. I am with you ladies but in my own way. Our ways are different but intentions are same , we all want equality. 🙂
See you again.