Women achievers are often defined by their relationship with the men in their life or nation, and of course their gender. It undervalues their achievements. It’s time we take a look at the way we applaud and cherish our women for their success.
Recently, Sachin Tendulkar congratulated two of ‘India’s daughters’, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu on Twitter for their extraordinary performances in the final of Women’s Singles at Gold Coast, 2018. There was something peculiar that did not stand out in this statement but most people failed to notice it. Most of us fail to see what was problematic with two of India’s top professional athletes got reduced to being called ‘India’s daughters’. I think that we need to stop calling women daughters, wives, sisters or mothers of the nation and the men.
Let me give you another example. You know how a call for action against rapists and molesters is by asking men how would they feel if such a ghastly incident happened with their daughters/wives/mothers/sisters and hence, they need to do better? Such statements suggest that women should be honoured and respected only because the next victim might be the woman you share a relationship with. It also suggests that one should only treat those women with respect to whom you have any sort of relationship otherwise, you wouldn’t care what other men say or do to women. Women deserve respect women regardless of their relationship with men. In addition to being someone’s daughter, women are, at the end of the day, people.
Defining women by their relationships with the men in their life or the nation is misogynist and alienates women. You’re undermining the women’s accomplishments and achievements if you refer to them as a man’s someone. If you ever find the time to read a celebrity couple news headline, you’ll notice the woman addressed as Mr XYZ’s wife, even if the woman is a successful actress. You sometimes might not even notice such things because you become so used to reading it all the time that the headline might seem okay to you.
Calling them daughters/wives/mothers/sisters of the nation and the men take away their identity as individuals. Sachin and MS Dhoni were never called sons of India. Saina and PV Sindhu are professional athletes first, even their gender comes second. Let’s hope the narrative around this change because honestly its time women are addressed by their names and their capabilities and not by their social identities.
Feature Image credits – Indian Express