Fearless. It is a word one would naturally associate with every urban, independent woman who steps out to earn her rightful position in society, who demands to be treated with respect and who deserves every bit of independence she gets. But does the word even hold true of these women anymore? Are the urban, independent, educated women honestly fearless, or are they gripped with a constant sense of impending doom every time they step out of their houses?
The rapidly increasing rape cases, the growing boldness with which eve-teasers are approaching women, the incredibly hostile treatment which women are getting when they’re asking for help are all indicators of how much most of us have been pushed into a corner. We’re judged for our “open” viewpoints, we’re judged when we step out to go to work, we’re judged when we wear clothes which are flattering to our forms, we’re judged when we have male friends over, and we’re judged when we return home late from work, or from a social engagement. All of these factors are held against us when we stand up to complain about being mis-treated by men on the streets. We’re not just made the perpetrators of the crime by the police and other public bodies, but often, our friends and family tend to tell us that we got what we deserved, because we’re too “fast” in our norms, and that we must maintain a low profile so as to not provoke the male libido into action.
If we were to honestly be fearless, we would wear whatever we wanted to, without giving a second thought to how our characters would be assessed, we would dress without worrying about the uncontrollable male desire which may spring up on us, much against our will. If we were to be fearless, we would not worry about how we talk, walk, and behave, we would not constantly feel the ire of society upon us, because we’re independent women, and we would not be scared to walk down the streets even during midnight. To be fearless is to be unapologetic about our clothes and about our growth. To be fearless is to not always curb everything we do so as to not attract attention to ourselves. To be fearless means to not be afraid to celebrate our sexuality.
But most importantly, to be fearless is to speak out. If we know that we are being made to hide ourselves, quite literally, under layers of clothes and demure expressions, we should stand up and raise our voices against it. We should be able to stop and stare the moral police in the eye. We should be able to change the subtle reinforcements which exist in our very homes, the small things which condone and breed sexism and patriarchy. To be fearless means a lot of things, but most importantly, it means, to be able to change what we want changed. It defines the courage that is required of every woman with a voice.
This is a guest article by www.glad2bawoman.com. To read articles on Health, Lifestyle, Relationships, Empowerment and Leisure, visit this woman-centric online magazine which has a fast growing community of over 75,000 members.