Why Women Want Freedom From Society and Labels?
What is that one thing that comes to your mind when you encounter the word Freedom?
Freedom from slavery? Freedom of speech and expression? To use your rights without any restrictions and boundaries, in the way you want? Freedom from slavery and trafficking and from getting raped?
Everyone has ‘n’ number of perceptions and interpretations of the word freedom. Women yearn for freedom in all these ways. Young women are all set to embark on a new journey altogether. A journey that won’t restrict or label them, but would facilitate their growth in every possible way.
We want freedom, but not the kind of freedom that has been written in the constitution or preamble. They are seeking the freedom they deserve and earned.
We want the freedom to be our own selves. To wear anything and even nothing without being judged or called a whore or a characterless woman. We believe there is no ‘objectionable’ dressing. The young blood and soul of this generation seeks freedom, not equality but equity too. We aim at standing on the equal grounds with the boys and do all that they do without being questioned.
Real freedom for me is when I present my opinions without being afraid and scrutinized. Freedom for me is to be able to walk out of a violent relationship and not be a slave. It is to be able to smoke, drink and go clubbing without being answerable. Freedom for me is when I sit in the way I want to without being told “Madam, you are a girl, sit with decency and sophistication”. Also, it is to have the power to choose a man for myself and reject him too.
What real freedom means to me is to be able to dress prettily, hang out with boys without any fear, get drunk, dance and still not get raped because certainly I was enjoying and ”not asking for it”.
Freedom for me is when I am not recognized by my beauty or size of the assets or figure dimensions. Freedom for me is to be able to go around menstruating without worrying about the blood stains on crisp white pants. It is to openly ask for sanitary napkins and even condoms without whispering it. Also, to be able to deny sex and even ask for it, to be in a ‘friends with benefits’ relation, freedom to love the person of the same-sex, to wear clothes that show cleavage or are transparent.
We, the women, don’t want to be labelled and called names or whistled too. We have dreams and aspirations and everything is not as Cinderella-like as it seems.
Women have been taught to walk slowly, speak slowly, rather whisper, not argue, be submissive, comply and conform to what the boys say, dress in clothes that don’t show skin. But why? Women have a life too. They have all the rights in the world to do whatever they want to – like boys. They can’t be barred or restricted from doing anything.
It’s time we realise how our freedom can’t be limited or bounded by the society’s perceptions of “How to be the perfect bride material” or “tips on how to become cultured 101”. We seek freedom from the society and labels, from restrictions and judgments, from stereotypes and the perceptions of females as the weaker sex. We seek the freedom to be free. Free from everything and everyone in real terms.
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Sanjana Chawla studies Journalism at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi. The views expressed in this column are author’s own.