A wallflower, a doormat. One who doesn't have a voice, no freedom no life! If, this is our first impression about 'her'; it is not she but us who need an education.
Good morning Toastmaster of the day, fellow Toastmasters and guests. I a modest woman of the 21st century pose to you a grave question. Are all women stereotypical? Some of you may agree, some disagree. Further down the line maybe you'll debate on their ethnicity. Asians may say middle-eastern are oppressed. The middle-eastern might pity the western women who are free and yet bound by clutches. While the west may have a similar opinion on the Asian counterpart. All lost! Every change in the vicious cycle of categorising women, sometimes by women themselves . But hey, have you ever bothered knowing what's beneath. Beneath the skin irrespective of colour, caste, religion and creed. There's a heart just like yours that beats.
Indian woman. What comes to your mind when you think of an Indian woman. A god fearing, head bowed down to respect men obedient and homebound, waiting to be freed of the age old philosophy. Or an uneducated village girl or a modern girl from city who idolises the western society. To each his own. Unless you are totally ignorant or a foreigner, your impression of Indian women solely relies on the media. What the media shows is not always the complete picture. True, villages are the heart of India but not every village woman is uneducated or backward. If that were the case there would have been no woman teachers or sarpanch. What the media shows is a twisted image of the condition of women sometimes for some political agenda other times simply for the sake of gaining sympathy and viewership.
On a more global and personal level, there are two imageries that are the most common ones; picture a muslim woman and the accompanying image comes with a burqa or an hijab that's the headscarf. And if the lady in question doesn't wear none then lightly put, she's more than likely to hear wow! You're a different liberal woman. Hello my dears!!! Is the outer covering or the lack of the only thing that describes me as a woman? She is covering herself she must be a religious conservative, shy and a victim of male domination. Poor soul doesn't even get a chance to voice her opinion. Oh my God isn't that harsh? Isn't that again stereotyping? How do we know she's all those things? Did we find it out first hand or like everyone else our first impression was made with the media image? Not everything is as it seems, true 10 % may fall under this convention but what about the rest? Take time to think before you reach a conclusion.
Another recent example of this can be the condition of certain women in the European countries. Let's take France for example, I'm sure everyone hears the news. The latest burkini ban! Duh what is that? It's just a term coined using burqa and a bikini, a beach wear designed for hijab and burqa clad ladies. India approves it, after all burkini beats bikini here any day. Alas! Peace is always short lived, there is always some or the other ban taking place somewhere in the world. Ban the hijab, ban the burkini, ban woman from voting yes yes it's the Vatican City, ban woman leaving home at night and ban the bikini too. Oh no no, the last one is okay, it's nothing to worry about. But in the 50s even woman donning bikini's were stereotyped as loose morals and banned by the church. Are they truly?
Why 50s even now when women wear short dresses or something that is not 'society' approved there is an uproar. So miss X was raped, it's her fault why was she flaunting herself to him and travelling alone at night, women are supposed to be in bed by 9. Or she had completely hidden herself in her veil, I'm a hot blooded man obviously I was curious, it is all her mistake. So much for woman liberation and equality where people judge us on the way we dress!
Stop double speaking, stop judging woman by what you see what you hear. Next time you see another woman, whatever her colour or attire be. Stop that brain of yours from wondering about how she is, you might be wrong. There's a saying 'Don't judge a book by its cover', so 'Stop judging and start embracing.'
Note: Speech is made out of facts and figures researched from the Internet. (Topic required a little research)