Is Women Empowerment Still a Myth?
The wife cusses the mistress while the man watches. The society too defames the mistress, only her. The man has the license to infidelity, the mistress doesn’t, so the woman doesn’t. One speculates that the wife hasn’t been able to satisfy the man, causing him to be distracted. The man can’t be reprimanded.
What I described above is the general course of actions for situations like these in our society. A man’s unbounded space to practice his will and the general hesitancy in questioning the practices simply reassure us of the existence of maleficent oppressive forces at work. What they also suggest is how men are not always the designated drivers of patriarchy as one would tend to believe.
Many of us continue to define Women Empowerment in these narrow terms – the economic and social upliftment of women – suggesting that an empowered female is economically independent and socially ac- tive. Do we then not, by corollary, or even inadvertently also state that other women such as those involved in domestic chores are not empowered because they are not economically productive?
There also is a lack of acknowledgment of the tasks that women are then expected to do forcing them to aspire for tasks traditionally assigned to men namely the duty of earning and so, our attempts at empowering women are entirely displaced be- cause of our willingness to fit them into the system governed by the patriarchy.
So, it seems, there is a need to propose a more relevant, a more justified and a more appropriate definition of empowerment such as this: the freedom to exercise one’s will and to make choices without hesitation. The sense of having choices in most societies is frankly just an illusion. What else can explain that geographically and temporally separated women must most often struggle with to choose, apparently between a career and domestic responsibilities. Somehow, it seems that mother- hood compromises a woman’s intellect and working ability. Fatherhood, apparently doesn’t reap the same effects for a man.
I also consider it necessary to mention how women and their choices in our society work like a pendulum. A pendulum is defined as a body swinging to and fro between two fixed points, its movement defined and restricted by a fixed string. When you add life to a pendulum, it takes the form of a woman, the woman being the weight at the centre who is guided by the stringy social ideas of what a real woman is supposed to be. She continues her monotonous trajectory which, in turn, disables her from exploring other choices than what are presented to her. She lives as a desolate even as she is accompanied by other pendulums, not knowing that there are other viable possibilities as well! Women empowerment is still a myth and shall remain so unless we liberate ourselves of our conventional ideologies.