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Women Empowerment: Change Your Mindset First

There’s more to women’s empowerment than appearances.Women Empowerment :  change your mindset first

There’s more to women’s empowerment than appearances.

These days, we come across the term women’s empowerment quite frequently. In advertisements, in speeches, debates and so on and so forth. But what is exactly women’s empowerment?

No, I am not talking about either the feminist quotes about ‘equality’ or pseudo feminist quotes like ‘ladies first’.

Because for me ,women are equal to men in many ways ,and ladies first means playing a victim card ,which I detest with passion.

Does it mean education, a career or something in the same vein. Or, does it mean living a glamorous life, flaunting your body and saying, “I am confident of my body and I feel comfortable when I show it off. If you don’t like me showing off, you should change your mindset” as I have heard one actress say in a movie.

Why do we label a woman ‘Behenji’ the moment we see her wearing an Indian dress? And why does someone think that wearing a short dress is modern while wearing a traditional or full length dress is old fashioned?

Why don’t women use their time to enhance their knowledge rather than beauty? I can hear a huge protest from people saying what’s wrong in dolling up? Trust me, there is nothing wrong with it. But beauty can’t replace brain. We should work hard on our education, to provide the best possible education for our daughters.

We have to make them believe that their physical beauty is secondary and their education should be the first priority.

When I see, kids wearing make-up and dressed up, I really feel like giving their parents an earful. I don’t know how one can be empowered by all this, so please enlighten me if you can.

I personally cringe at the idea when someone uses or flaunts her body to get ahead in life and the same person later complains that people stare at her. Be empowered enough to fight them back, then and there. Work on your self-defence skills to protect yourself.

I still remember what one of my aunts told me when I was on the verge of adolescence and quite fascinated by all the skinny models. I was quite overweight at that time. She said, “Beta, be modern in your mindset, not by your clothes.”

I don’t know why but this line has been etched in my brain since then. So, I started focussing on my studies rather than my appearance. Yes, I often got taunted for my girth but I just smiled and moved on. Later, I even managed to crack self-deprecating jokes about my own weight.

And then I realised that real empowerment comes from within. Beauty will fade with time but your knowledge will be there. People often taunt me, “How much will you study? You are not getting any younger.”

I just smile and carry on. Because my hunger for knowledge and academia has not been quenched yet. I will stop when I want and not when someone tells me to.

One more thing, I often wonder when I see a woman shed all her signs of being married in the name of empowerment. But the same woman will drill other women from another culture to adhere to their marital signs. Really, hypocrisy should be these people’s middle name.

Whatever you gain by shedding your identity, can also be achieved with keeping your identity intact.

Women want to be heard and not get ignored. Women need to be appreciated for their efforts and get their due respect. They want to be their own decision makers and not be dependent on others.

It’s a never-ending battle between men and women. But first we need women to be empowered by the women.  Be the voice of the less heard. Be empowered enough to empower other women of your society. Don’t let society or anyone else make you feel inferior because of your skin colour or choice of clothes or, for that matter, gender.

Let me narrate an incident that happened with me. A quite well-read person judged me and labelled me as a housewife as I was wearing my marital signs. When I informed him quite politely that the picture was from one of my live classes, he just brushed it off.

I was not able to decide whether to laugh or cry at this labelling mentality.

So, girls be empowered from within, rest will follow.

These days, we come across the term women’s empowerment quite frequently. In advertisements, in speeches, debates and so on and so forth. But what is exactly women’s empowerment?

No, I am not talking about either the feminist quotes about ‘equality’ or pseudo feminist quotes like ‘ladies first’.

Because for me ,women are equal to men in many ways ,and ladies first means playing a victim card ,which I detest with passion.

Does it mean education, a career or something in the same vein. Or, does it mean living a glamorous life, flaunting your body and saying, “I am confident of my body and I feel comfortable when I show it off. If you don’t like me showing off, you should change your mindset” as I have heard one actress say in a movie.

Why do we label a woman ‘Behenji’ the moment we see her wearing an Indian dress? And why does someone think that wearing a short dress is modern while wearing a traditional or full length dress is old fashioned?

Why don’t women use their time to enhance their knowledge rather than beauty? I can hear a huge protest from people saying what’s wrong in dolling up? Trust me, there is nothing wrong with it. But beauty can’t replace brain. We should work hard on our education, to provide the best possible education for our daughters.

We have to make them believe that their physical beauty is secondary and their education should be the first priority.

When I see, kids wearing make-up and dressed up, I really feel like giving their parents an earful. I don’t know how one can be empowered by all this, so please enlighten me if you can.

I personally cringe at the idea when someone uses or flaunts her body to get ahead in life and the same person later complains that people stare at her. Be empowered enough to fight them back, then and there. Work on your self-defence skills to protect yourself.

I still remember what one of my aunts told me when I was on the verge of adolescence and quite fascinated by all the skinny models. I was quite overweight at that time. She said, “Beta, be modern in your mindset, not by your clothes.”

I don’t know why but this line has been etched in my brain since then. So, I started focussing on my studies rather than my appearance. Yes, I often got taunted for my girth but I just smiled and moved on. Later, I even managed to crack self-deprecating jokes about my own weight.

And then I realised that real empowerment comes from within. Beauty will fade with time but your knowledge will be there. People often taunt me, “How much will you study? You are not getting any younger.”

I just smile and carry on. Because my hunger for knowledge and academia has not been quenched yet. I will stop when I want and not when someone tells me to.

One more thing, I often wonder when I see a woman shed all her signs of being married in the name of empowerment. But the same woman will drill other women from another culture to adhere to their marital signs. Really, hypocrisy should be these people’s middle name.

Whatever you gain by shedding your identity, can also be achieved with keeping your identity intact.

Women want to be heard and not get ignored. Women need to be appreciated for their efforts and get their due respect. They want to be their own decision makers and not be dependent on others.

It’s a never-ending battle between men and women. But first we need women to be empowered by the women.  Be the voice of the less heard. Be empowered enough to empower other women of your society. Don’t let society or anyone else make you feel inferior because of your skin colour or choice of clothes or, for that matter, gender.

Let me narrate an incident that happened with me. A quite well-read person judged me and labelled me as a housewife as I was wearing my marital signs. When I informed him quite politely that the picture was from one of my live classes, he just brushed it off.

I was not able to decide whether to laugh or cry at this labelling mentality.

So, girls be empowered from within, rest will follow.

Sneha Prakash
Author: Sneha Prakash

Sneha is an Entrepreneur, Teacher, Feminist, Literary Critic, Book reviewer, Writer, Culinarian, Mother, Wife & Daughter. She is Certified in Feminist Studies at IIT Madras and holds Master's degree in English Literature from IGNOU. She runs her online classes ,and write columns and reviews for different websites and magazines. She writes stories which are hugely admired. She is an avid reader .

Sneha Prakash

Sneha is an Entrepreneur, Teacher, Feminist, Literary Critic, Book reviewer, Writer, Culinarian, Mother, Wife & Daughter. She is Certified in Feminist Studies at IIT Madras and holds Master's degree in English Literature from IGNOU. She runs her online classes ,and write columns and reviews for different websites and magazines. She writes stories which are hugely admired. She is an avid reader .

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