At times, all of us need to question whatever we have been taught. Schools are those places which teach us the ideal ways of this mad, mad world. Here in these classes, sitting on those benches, we were taught the concept of ‘Ladies First.’ Ever wondered what we are implying when we say this? Do we ever question the tone, the meaning, the intended remark that this concept makes? No? Let’s think about it now!
An ordinary person will always think that when he holds the door for a girl or when he lets her have the first bite of the pudding, he’s being a gentleman! The feminist in me says no. If we, the women, cannot open our own doors or eat whatever we like or choose to take the second bite, we will not become less feminine. Talking about that, aren’t men putting women down by taking for granted the fact that you need to be helped, even in simplest tasks of your day? Sure, every women wants to be pampered, to be paid enough attention and to and to be followed around like a queen! But do you like that position of being left without power? If tomorrow, the same man will decide if you work or not, the same man will decide at what age you’ll have kids and how many kids you’ll have. Don’t you want to take control of your own life? Have we started doubting the concept of ladies first?
This is not a recent problem. Even with the biggest acclaimed dramatist of history, Shakespeare also portraits his female characters, like Desdemona in Othello, who are weak willed and who just do not seem to possess a sense of intelligence. It feels as if the female character of Desdemona is just sitting there and letting Othello kill her. Do we want that? No! Poor old Shakespeare cannot be blamed for this fact however as he had female characters like Lady Macbeth who is capable, strong, and less fearful and more willful when compared to her husband. So what do we really want to be? Desdemona or Lady Macbeth?
Moving on, females have always been considered small, tender, and delicate and people always rush around to help them same is the case for children. Agreed, that by doing the ‘ladies first’ bit, we try to show that we are giving women more priority and preference over the males but do we realize the fact that by doing this we say that women need to be given priority, they need to be given preference. Is this an equal world where we live? I don’t think so.
Consider the other scenario, where women hold the doors for men, where men are given the first priority, when they are given preference in the way women are given preference? How would they react? Certainly, a man will no longer be manly if a girl holds the door open for him, he will obviously have a bump in his ego if a women pays his bill for him, if a lady would step down from her place to provide it to him, if they gift him something or if a women earns more than him, especially if she is the wife. These are the things which a man takes upon himself to do, considering that the power cannot be given to these females as they are too delicate to handle it. It’s not just limited to ego clashes and who does what, it’s all about who is better.
Considering the age old fight between girls and boys, we tone it down by saying that it’s okay if nobody wins. However, we cannot forget the glaring fact that even in the constitution of various countries, separate laws are made for women, in sports also the level of competition is reduced for the women compared to men, thinking that they are not capable to burden themselves that much! These divisions in gender lead to the division of mental concepts of men and women and these concepts, without fail, leave the women fending for help, attention, financial security, approval and love from men.
Isn’t this wrong? Don’t we want to be in a place where we do not have to get out outfit for a party approved by our father or our boyfriend or our husband? Where we do not have to cook in order to make a man fall in love with us? A world where going to the gym to be as slim as a Bollywood actress is not at all important? A world where we would not require men to protect us? A world where we can be loved, unconditionally, without them putting us down and doing everything for us?
I want that world. This is for all those females who are accustomed to being treated like that, do you realize that your freedom of choice is taken away from you? That when these men HELP you, they tend to prove that they know better. As women, can they know better? Never!
So take control, ask for love in the correct manner, wear whatever you like, eat out, party, protect yourself, pay your share of the bill, sometimes pay the entire bill, open your own doors and believe me, the self-doubt that we all have, will vanish in a flash!