I wonder why…
· Women cannot be graceful about other women’s success.
When a woman rises to any position in life, her greatest critics are members of her own sex.
“She must be spending all her husband’s hard earned money” will be the comment on one who is seen shopping in large department stores, “Suchi is rich and lazy”, is the verdict delivered on one who is guilty of being affluent.
“She must be neglecting her home and children”, is the criticism leveled against the workingwoman.
“She must be flaunting her physical assets to get her way”, is the charge against one who rises in her profession.
There’s no way one can win. If you are meek and submissive, you are ignored and perhaps drive your husband into another woman’s arms; if you are pushy and aggressive you are branded brash; if you mind your own business, you are stuck up; if you mind other’s business, you are meddlesome. All this from women themselves!
· Women think of daughters as dummies to be dressed up.
The other day, I was at a beauty parlour where a six-year-old was being subjected to abject cruelty. Her mother was directing the operations and the hairdresser was deftly back combing the little one’s curly hair. After half an hour’s pushing and brushing, the girl had a lovely hairdo any prima Donna would be proud of. The mother, not too satisfied with the handiwork, insisted on a string of jasmine being pinned like a tiara round the hair. So, in went more than a dozen hairpins.
Meanwhile, the girl dozed in her chair and when she was woken up to look into the mirror, she started crying. “I don’t like it, my head pains mummy”, she wailed. The mother chided her into silence with “Shut up. We have to go to the wedding and everyone will admire you”.
“Mama, I want to sleep, mama, I don’t want to go to the wedding”, pleaded the girl, but mama just dragged her out with a rude “hurry with the dressing”.
God help such little ones. As long as there are mothers who treat their daughters as showpieces, there will be no liberation from the ‘burden’ associated with womanhood.
· Women are so preoccupied with looks.
I met an old friend of mine after 20 years, in the club. “My you are looking old!” was her first reaction after we discovered each other.
How do I explain to her that the travel of 20 years is bound to leave its telltale marks on the face of a woman? An 18 year old has the bloom of youth and all the freshness of a budding flower. But 20 years later, the same face has the stamp of maturity, a mellow glow and character. Only someone who does not measure beauty by “dimpled chin and rosy cheeks” can perceive all this.
Women shy away from disclosing their age, and take great pains to hide the markings of passing time. That’s because they only perceive beauty from the surface. True beauty has nothing to do with age or its impressions. When I look into the mirror and see those fine lines around my eyes, I say to myself, “My you are looking good!” More than that, I feel good, for today, 20 years after the roses have faded, I feel more confident because I was a person then and now I have a personality!