Posted by Foram Doshi
Dear cisgender men,
If you are one of those guys who’s completely clueless about what we women really think, read on, you might find some answers. Ladies, tell me if I’ve got us right.
What does a woman want?
A woman wants to be loved and respected; and I would go as far as to say she demands respect more than anything else (don’t we all?). We want to be free, free from running away from the shade of our skin, from the manifold ways we re told that our bodies are not perfect.
We want for men to stop treating us as objects, as the item songs we are so accused of being. We want to be safe from the thousand leering stares and the “innocent” brushes that we get on a daily basis.
We want to walk freely at night. We want to wear whatever we want. We want to be able to live, without the incessant fear of getting raped.
A little advice on the relationship front
Treat her with care and courtesy. Appreciate her personality and not just her looks. Whatever happens, DO NOT chase her. No means NO. I’m here to tell you that the DDLJ concept is as broken as it gets. Nobody likes that a man dangles their bra in front of them just to get their attention. Respect our boundaries. Please.
If you are already in a relationship with someone, open doors for her, give her your jacket when it’s cold, we all love to be taken care of. And know that she will take care of you too; relationships are about give and take and being equals, nobody wears the pants.
Some common misconceptions about women
- Women are complicated.
Instead of labelling a woman as ‘dramatic’ or ‘complicated’, try and understand her situation, understand what she has gone through. We women have, more often than not, had traumatic experiences as survivors of predatory attacks and hence, some of us are extra cautious.
Because if we are not vigilant at all times, then we get raped. And when we do, in addition to being victim blamed, we will be told that we have nothing left of our lives and that we are as good as nothing. Savdhaan rahe, satark rahe, they tell us, because it’s always the woman’s fault, is it not? How do we not go crazy in a world where our sisters are constantly being subjected to one crime or another?
Women are the weaker sex. Women are more emotional and less rational.
Giving birth is probably one of the most physically painful process that anyone can go through. Women put up with so much, every day. The amount of expectations from us is excruciatingly agonising. And yet we live on. Would you really call us weak?
As for intelligence, women have been denied opportunities for generations. Our social norms dictate that we are meant to stay at home and take of our children ONLY.
While being a housewife is an applaud-worthy achievement, what about those of us who want to become something different? We want to become mathematicians and physicists too, but it is difficult in a world where our voices are not heard.
Sometimes, we don’t want to be the reason behind a man’s success, we want to be the reason for our own successes instead.
I leave you with these questions and some food for thought. I leave with a spark, hoping it will turn into a roaring fire.
A misunderstood cisgender woman*
* The author understands her position as a cisgender woman with a certain social privilege and hence, does not write this as an exhaustive list as much as a lighter social commentary.
Featured Image Source: Shreya Tingal/Feminism In India