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What will you do different this Women's Day?

Amrita Tripathi
Amrita TripathiMar 06, 2016 | 22:16

What will you do different this Women's Day?

Women's Day has become so much more than it ever aspired for. Isn't that wonderful?

A day that emerged from labour movements and symbolises equal rights for women and adequate working conditions (which many of our sisters in the subcontinent might not know was a movement), has evolved to the point we are at. It's a cutesy ginormous social declaration, where you can label things pink and wrap them up in shiny bows.

Anyway, don't you want to buy the special "Power Woman" in your life a diamond to show that you care? By the way, forget your sons for the moment, do your daughters have the right Barbie, the new Barbies? The ones that show her she can be anything, silly! You must keep up with the times.

So if you haven't been invited to any panel discussions, or been featured in any special "women-oriented" stories, or written any such stories, I have one question for you: What are you doing with your life?

Hurry up, now you just about have the time to make it if you try hard enough. Tweet to someone, leave a sufficiently witty comment on a news website and then Facebook anyone you know. Or if everything else fails, come up with a catchy hashtag. Worry not, there's still time.

If you're itching for something deeper, and god only knows why, here are some questions bound to make you think and possibly even confront your own bias, only for a little while, don't worry. It's a one-plus-one deal, because automatically, you will feel worthy! (No need to worry if you're not that action sort, this is strictly a drawing room conversation.)

How about it?

This Women's Day, will you pledge for parity? It is the official International Women's Day theme, after all.

Will you stand for gender equality?

Or take it easy and... Step it Up for Gender Equality by 2030. It is more realistic, and is the official United Nations theme. Presumably, you'll only be stepping up with some of the UN members and global citizens. (Others are busy looking the other way trying to ignore the ravages of civil war or the mass of humanity that spells out that pesky refugee problem. Oh ho, but Children's Day is another day. Don't get distracted).

Will you promise to educate your girls as well as your boys, and "empower" those who could use a leg up to do the same?

Will you stop killing your baby girls in the womb for missing the "Y" chromosome?

Will you stop saying that it's the rural folk or uneducated folk who are doing it, and not "people like us"? (Urban India, we're looking at you!)

Will you consider yourself quite the liberated employer and try not to sexually harass your employees, at least today?

Will you speak to the help at your house the way you did yesterday?

Can she use the same glasses you do? Sit at the table if she wants?

Oh dear. Another faux pas, I'm sorry about that, it's not "Know Your Class Privilege Day", it's Women's Day. Uff... all these new-fangled notions, I tell you! (Let's just wrap a big pink bow around it and call it a great day before going to a champagne party with the gurrrrls. A kitty party by any other name! But that's terribly derogatory, darling, like "auntie". Tsk!)

Will you check your male privilege, or is that an "uncle" thing?

Will you try not to ask employees, no matter how fond of them you are, what they actually need a pay hike for, since they're not married and don't have children? Will you try not to imply it must just be to go shopping?

Will you try not to objectify the women around you, or if you must, be democratic, and objectify everyone?

Will you try not to victim-blame or just randomly, not girl-shame today?

**

Who's going to solve these issues and rework social conditioning? I don't know why you're looking at me?

I have a panel to prepare for, a story to pitch and one to write (here's looking at you, kids!).

Meanwhile, whatever your gender, remember that 365 days of the year are meant for all of us. All year round.

Wear that as a hashtag!

Last updated: March 06, 2016 | 22:25
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