The Everyday Lockdown

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By Shreeya Raha

Are we hypocrites? Yes! Why not. Didn’t I whine a few days ago that all men are the same just?

Because I got cheated by one among the entire population of the world. It is true that women, for generations have undergone tremendous torture physically and psychologically and till date, we are unprivileged of so many goodnesses of the world. I have quite many times brushed my own desires under the carpet by claiming to myself that “I am a girl; I can’t do that”.

Scrolling through the Instagram feed like any other millennial, I came across artwork by an amateur erotic artist. The artwork illustrates a woman with “physical perfection” and she is demonstrated as a  model to the artists. The artists were seen drawing her and ironically there was a man who drew on his canvas; a dishwasher instead of her. I looked at the image very carefully and then took a deep breath to go through the comments section which followed. Most of the comments read were like “girls are dishwasher…dark joke”, “the feminists might have understood better”, “can someone please explain this”, “Whoah! What a damn chick man!”, “hey call me at 988xxxxxx for sucking”, “God made them women but men made them dishwasher” etc etc. Going through all of the comments made me feel vulnerable and my endorphins were at a rise. I rather asked myself, “Can we be a little more sensible and understand things beyond our vision”.

This was maybe just a piece of artwork that I went across but isn’t art representation o four lives? Well, art like this might seem to be a piece of “eroticism” or “romanticism” for most of us but its quite the opposite. The patriarchy river is so deep and huge that we are often afraid

to cross it or rather even dare to take a boat to sail. The artwork very well illustrated what most men see women in this world as. Sexism and objectification of women’s bodies have been deeply entrenched in society. We see humans irrespective of their sex unconsciously holding onto

sexist ideas. Men have often seen women as a mere mechanical unit whose greater responsibility in this world is to produce babies and be at their service. Art works like this hold strong ideas but people interpret it rather in a more demeaning and defying way.

Women independent or dependent has always been vulnerable when it comes to a setting around men. The only job women are best suited for is domestic chores and in office setting, maybe be a “hot secretary” of a successful boss. Beauty with brains has tried proving itself quite many times but the “brain” aspect fails at the hands of beauty. Men complaints of women having privileges for reservation at public transport or education but did we ever question if women have asked for those privileges or rather they have asked for privileges at workplace for equal pay, not to judge based on physical strength, privilege overpaid maternity leave, a day off on the first day of chumming, the privilege to decide her own partner irrespective of the sex, etc. The geopolitics seems like changing every day but at every window, there is a silent woman who is undergoing through the crisis of her own identity and the deep skin scars of sexism have histories beneath.

Covid-19 has brought about not just a humanitarian crisis but also vulnerability to many women who are behind the closed doors of domestic abuse and are the victims of sexism in their day to day lives. An 18-year-old girl who is a victim of abuse by her father says that “This lockdown has brought about a challenge for my everyday survival, my father beats me up at night and next morning he wants to buy me an ice – cream. I want to study at a good university but with the challenge of Covid-19 and its prevalent uncertainty, my father has become more stringent about my dream of pursuing education in a reputed university”. Mitva, a 29-year-old pregnant ENT surgeon goes to her work place with the everyday horror of the pandemic and wishes if she could only be resting at home in a protective environment but she can’t afford to take leave now because she wants to give some more days to her child apart from her deserving maternity leave.

She says “I choose my duty as a doctor over my child, patients need me more at this time of crisis.”

It is rightly said “private is political” but I would rather put this into “let’s work towards private to make a better political”.

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