'Women should stop making compromises'

The characters of innocence and modest inhibitions in women has resulted in harassment against them. Women should shed these characters to come out of the compromises they have to make in a male chauvinistic society, said writer Vaidehi, here on Saturday.

She was speaking at the inaugural of UGC Sponsored national seminar on ‘Feminist aesthetics in the appreciation of literary texts in English’, jointly organised by St Philomena’s College and Centre for Women’s Studies, University of Mysore.

Restrictions that the contemporary society has imposed on women is evident in the works of women authors. Despite excelling in literature, they were cautious enough not to disclose the problems they had faced, she said quoting writer Saraswathi Balwade as an example, who was a victim of child marriage.

Tracing the origins of feminism, she said that it developed as harassment of women and awareness regarding it increased. She said that both culture and society has dismissed women as mere ‘objects’ for long. Women have been restricted to compromise and manage the problems they face.

Society requires a much needed change today. People should learn that the society requires humans, rather than the discrimination of male and female, she said.
Accusing the media of corrupting the minds of the young, she held glorification of women as objects of sex in television was one of the factors responsible for an increase in crimes against women.

“Women have been thinking about managing their own lives, But, how long will we be valued for our bodies? How long will we face discrimination?” she asked.

Quoting an instance from Ramayana, where the nose of Shoorpanaki is cut off by Lakshmana, she said that such instances show that Puranas too somehow entertained atrocities against women. “Or else, how sensible is it to agree with the move of Lakshamana to cut off the nose of a woman, who wanted to marry him?” she said.

While Mahatma Gandhi wanted a free country where women could walk safely even at midnight, she said that contrary to it, women are not ensured safety even during the day today.

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