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Just let her be

Ramya Srinivasan, Mar 13, 2014 : 22:56 IST

It's time we let women do great things, and also commit mistakes at the same time.

The international women’s day prompted me to introspect on the image of a woman in the modern society.

Different individuals perceive her differently as she dons several avatars. She is the incredibly patient mother, who cringes on a few extra kilos in her teens but struts around her tummy bearing the little one, for nine months, with a regal pride. She could be terrified of miniature bugs and rodents, but when dealing with a sick infant, her instinct takes over and she handles the situation deftly with the confidence of someone who has been doing it for years.

She is also the quintessential working woman, who is smart, savvy and gutsy enough to navigate through the corporate ladder. She is the homemaker, who stands as the foundation for the family, the glue that holds the various personalities together, the one who works tirelessly for hours with an effortless elegance. She is also the daughter or the daughter-in-law who tends to the elderly with an unmatched selflessness. She is the explorer who loves to travel across the world bringing with her treasured memorabilia and countless experiences. She is also that entrepreneur who is willing to take risks to bring ideas alive. She is outspoken, compassionate and graceful, yet lends a charm to clumsiness.

Could we accept her as the mother, who, exhausted with sleepless nights, longs for one day without the screams of the baby? Could we envisage her as a daughter-in-law who has trouble adjusting to a new family and longs for her space? She could also be the woman who speaks her mind or acts in haste only to regret later. She could be the tough, mean boss, who ploughs ahead with an undistracted focus. She could be wrong and even selfish occasionally and can certainly be an imperfect person who shows limited poise while handling a tough situation.

The divine personification of a woman, portrayed as made out of some material which gives her super-woman powers is at times annoying and alarming. Both men and women fall into this trap of hype and glorification. Sure, there are women, who have shown exemplary qualities, but that’s not because a supreme hand designed them like that, but it’s because of the enormous strength the individual chose to demonstrate.
When we talk about equality between men and women, maybe we could just stop putting her on a pedestal or fitting her into a mold. Instead allow her the freedom to do great things, but also commit blunders at the same time.

So, she knows that it’s okay to fall down a few times before getting up. So, she knows that it’s fine for her to make unconventional choices and still be accepted because that is her right.

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