Discrimination based on gender has always been a discourse of concern. From time to time, several unfortunate happenings keep surfacing and piling up our worries. They compel us to question the inherent inequities of our social system and make us wonder how often we take those things for granted, which are privileges for others.
Unequivocally, the human race constantly gets subjected to struggles and hardships. There are personal as well as professional challenges that keep disturbing our equilibrium of sanity. But, it becomes even more baffling when these challenges are thrown at you mercilessly just because you are a woman. And believe it or not, women are expected to be okay with all this. They are supposed to be satisfied with the achievements that they have pulled off so far. Isn’t it worrisome, how beautifully people ignore the head start that men are given right from their birth in the veneer of the past accomplishments of women?
I am not here to do male-bashing in the light of these unjustified biases. We all are somewhere somehow equally responsible for this. We all failed to create an environment in which every individual could thrive irrespective of their race or gender. The main culprit that many scholars have underlined while talking about gender inequity is hazy communication. People often end up miscommunicating their challenges out of fear or other social barriers. As a consequence, people in need do not receive the right assistance.
Recently, social media was flooded with black and white selfies of women that grabbed plenty of eyeballs. With all the goodwill, numerous celebrities were also following this trend. Though the hashtag #challengeaccepted and the notion women supporting women were empowering, it still lacked clarity to describe the actual motive behind this trend. And to be honest no one could be blamed for this, as we all have the right to express in the way we deem fit for a purpose.
Even with its debatable origin and vagueness, this whole movement was able to make people aware of things that were not bothering them earlier. In the whole process, they realized that there was a strong message behind every picture. These pictures were not in the news for the sake of vanity. They were being put to support recent mishaps that were inhumane to women on many grounds. One such cause was femicide happening in Turkey and another was the uncalled sexist remark made by a male politician on a female politician and all the saga around it.
This whole movement has given a good deal of food for our thoughts. We now realize how scary the world around you could be and how difficult it is to raise a voice against something that you find inappropriate. There is a backlash waiting for you in every situation to drown you with its weight. Another realization that hits us hard in this whole scenario is how transient the movements could be if they are not communicated properly. One day people will be all hearts for a cause and the next day they will just disappear like most of the social media trends. So, how should we handle this elephant in the room?
Joanne Lipman in her book “Win Win” delivers a strong message to tackle this stone age challenge. She says when business works for women, it works for everyone. By no means, she is either victimizing women or blaming men for the wrongs in the world. Instead, she is urging both men and women, who want to fight these prejudices to come up and be a part of an impactful discourse. Surprisingly, it is not only women but men are hesitant to come up too. While women fear of getting misjudged or called out for lacking assertiveness, men on the other hand fear of other men’s disapproval and loss of status.
In the book, Lipman has given some insightful arguments to highlight the struggles of women trying to fit in a world designed by men. The underlying point remains the same that pulling both men and women together while planning the action plan is the need of the hour. Talking to women separately about their hardships and empowering them will not offer a long-term solution. Men should be given equal ownership for the same.
Let’s not forget- Like not all men believe that women are entitled to be second citizens, similarly, not all women believe that they should be equal to men. We have people of both genders supporting and opposing women. Thus, it is important to have a more collaborative approach.
Udita Nayak is a bibliophile who wants to explore the world and pen down all her adventures. She has an inclination towards things that have artistic significance. With a dream of publishing her own book in the future, she is exploring writing and has got her work published on Dare2compete, Mith Books and numerous regional magazines.