The Book of Genesis of The Bible, states that the first man and woman created by God, were Adam & Eve. Blessed were these immortal creations and they led a happy and free life in the garden of Eden. Their only restriction, never to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. But the couple succumbed to temptation.
The temptation came first to Eve, the woman, who managed to persuade her male companion. For their sin, the two were banished from the Heavens and cursed with hard labor and pain. Some believe, that the punishment for this Original Sin should be borne by all of Eve’s daughters and her daughter’s daughters and so on. Meaning, the woman is to be given no importance and should be subjected to all kinds of hardships.
Ask any woman and you’re bound to get a long list of the various physical traumas they endure throughout their mortal lives. But the sons of Adam, i.e. the men decided that was not enough punishment for the women folk. So it came to be that the woman in almost every civilization was to be given no post of any importance and be subjected to humiliation and inferiority complex time and again. Thus began the mental trauma that every daughter of Eve has been enduring since times immemorial.
Some of you may argue that this is all in the past. After all, today’s woman walks shoulder to shoulder with her fellow man, excels in almost every profession, industry, endeavor as much as any man and has thus come a long way since the days of the Bible. Are you certain?
Take something as trivial as arranged marriages in the Indian society. Although now a crime, the groom’s family still insists on some form of ‘dowry’ from the bride to be and her family. Why? Well after all, the groom is a man, the bread-winner, the king of the castle. This despite the fact that the bride in question is as educated, well-read and probably has the same salary as the groom in question. But still, her gender has already decided her importance in her in-laws house-hold.
India and many other nations in this part of the hemisphere consider the birth of a girl-child a liability. To the extent that until recently female infanticide was an epidemic and governments were forced to take drastic actions to curb this practice. And if you’re thinking this is a belief in rural parts, you’d be surprised! Most urban families staunchly believe that a male child is a must to carry on the family name.
For the longest time, the Catholic churches shunned the very idea of a woman priest. The same is true for the temples, mosques, synagogues of other religions. Although today women priests are becoming more common. But even with all the progress and acceptance I doubt I’ll ever see a female pope in my lifetime.
Even the entertainment industry is no exception to this practice. Compare the price tags of male and female actors and a stark difference is obvious. The same is true for the life of either gender of actors. You won’t find too many forty something female actors romancing young hunks, but the opposite is almost always common! As recent as last week, when the Oscars were announced, in the 82 year history of the Academy awards, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman director to win the coveted award!
Closer home, a battle is raging to pass a bill that would guarantee the reservation of seats in the Parliament and State legislatures for women. Opponents of this have valid justifications but the fact remain that of the 539 seats in the Lok Sabha, a paltry 44 are occupied by the fairer sex. Obviously somewhere we aren’t taking the steps to ensure equal opportunity.
So what is that I wish to say. Well in a nutshell, women are still treated a second-class citizens in our society. Whether or not that is correct and should anything be done is a choice I leave to you, the reader.
But just remember this the next time you try to snub a woman – the individual who carried you nine months in her womb, gave birth to you, fed you, let her personal life take a back-seat and treated you as if you were the most important person in the world, was a woman. Would you like it if she was treated as a nobody? Answer this truthfully and you’ll have made your choice!