Of Will And Resilience: How Women Thrive In The Face Of Adversity

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When the going gets tough, the tough get going. When there is a will, there is a way. Fall down seven times, stand up eight. I’ve always felt that motivational proverbs can be a double-edged sword. Sure, they motivate you to strive harder, but they also lay down oft-unrealistic standards of productivity and confidence that end up negating individual experiences and societal burdens. While adversities are a part and parcel of everyone’s life, women often have to go the extra mile to overcome them due to the double subjugation they face because of their ‘socially-inferior’ gender. However, does this mean that women bog down at all? The answer would be no – they just fight back that much harder.

Gender An Adversity In Itself?

Besides major adversities that change one’s life forever, most women face everyday challenges like ensuring their safety in public spaces, voicing their opinions in a patriarchal society, and shirking off rigid gender roles. Consequently, for women, gender ceases to be a biological concept and turns into a lived reality that governs all aspects of their lives. When adversity strikes and brings along its concomitant challenges, women have to face the same while simultaneously carrying their gender-specific burdens. As a specially-abled person, a woman has to overcome the adversity in question as well as challenges like even more heightened dependency and safety concerns. An adverse life experience like substance addiction spells more trouble for women for they have to overcome the addiction as well as face character assassinations. Additionally, women are often schooled on how to deal with adversities as society always assumes that it knows better even when it comes to the former’s most personal tragedies. Traditionally thought to be submissive, accepting, and sacrificing, women are expected to exhibit the same qualities in the face of adversity.

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Furthermore, various life adversities are either specific to women or prove to be all the more challenging for them as compared to their male counterparts– miscarriages, divorces, widowhood, and sexual harassment. In the aftermath of her divorce, pop star Miley Cyrus admitted to being villianised due to being a strong woman who knew her own mind: “(the divorce) That’s okay, I can accept that. I can’t accept the villainizing, and just all those stories.” Meghan Markle and Chrissy Teigen were recently trolled for opening up about their respective miscarriages. The bottom line remains that most adversities assume different, and more challenging connotations for most women.

Fighting Back Like Superwomen

Despite the going getting tougher for them, women fight back like the superwomen they are. Perhaps the everyday challenges faced by them prepare them better for greater challenges. Or maybe it is the will to prove themselves despite the unfair cards fate, rather society, deals them. Recently, Indian para-badminton player Manasi Joshi opened up about how she overcame a road accident that made her lose one leg nine years ago: “Although I am proud of the decisions Ive made and the directions I’ve chosen, I still feel that the journey of last few years has been challenging. I was privileged to choose sports and am proud of myself that I continued giving my 100% to it inspite of 10,000 obstacles.”

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In a world that believes in the ‘survival of the fittest’ ideology, women redefine what fittest really means. It is this inherent resilience that makes them truly thrive in the face of adversity.

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV