An Appeal to the Hashtag Generation

As i open my Facebook account, my timeline is flooded with my female friends posting pictures of themselves as part of some women’s day challenge. I see men commenting beneath these pictures with the usual “Looking beautiful” and a minor addition of “Happy women’s day”. The colour of my face has changed and my mind is filled up with questions already.

I wish to ask all these amazing women that how does posting a picture of yourself on Facebook help the cause of women empowerment or feminism? Don’t you post pictures on Facebook anyways!! Then how does one picture on 8th of March with a slightly different hashtag make a difference?

As a woman I completely believe in celebrating “International Women’s Day”. In fact i believe we need to reach the point where we don’t need to celebrate women’s day at all, because then that would mean we have finally achieved our goal of being treated as equals in this world. I know that this seems a far fetched dream, but it is always our dreams that give us the courage to overcome our fears and grow.

But who should we celebrate today for – just us? Us sitting in our cozy chairs with a college degree and a good job in an MNC? Yes of course we are special, of course we are making a difference but then have we grown up to take our privileges for granted? How many of us have ever thought about how lucky we are to be born in the first place! Because in India female foeticide and infanticide is rampant. As per our last census of 2011, the child sex ratio  was 940 girls per 1000 boys.

Education another thing we have taken for granted. Women fought battles over the past centuries so that we could have a right to education, schools would open their doors to us, colleges would award us scholarships. And yet here we are today, immediately turning into home makers the moment you marry “a highly educated, well settled boy.” Even now, girls have to fight to go to a municipal corporation school, while some of us throw away an ivy league degree in the name of marital bliss.

Don’t get me wrong i am not belittling any achievements of yours, i am not saying you haven’t had to struggle to stand where you are today. Rather i am simply making you aware of the challenges other women have faced.  I ask you this – instead of posting just pictures of yourself with women empowerment slogans, why don’t you go ahead and talk about the women scientists at ISRO or the women who are rape survivors or women who work 3 jobs a day just to put her kids through school. Let us talk about the widows of farmers who committed suicide leaving the women to run a household. Let us talk about women in the Armed Forces, fighting for our beloved country. Let us talk about girls who refused to get married at 16 or who refused to pay dowry. Let us talk about women who walked out on a physically abusive husband or a woman who gave birth to a girl child even though it meant having to leave her husband.

Let us talk about women who have had to struggle every step of the way, to survive in a world surrounded by wolves. Women who have channeled their inner “Adishakti” and overcome demons.

We are all phenomenal women, by virtue of the fact that we are thriving and conquering every peak on our way to gender equality. And so i appeal to you, use your social media platform, to make people aware of the inspiration that women truly are and make them aware of the power of feminism.

This women’s day, take a hard look at the harsh realities of life and talk about somebody other than yourself, somebody you truly believe is a warrior in the battle of life!