Poorna Malavath of Telangana set a new record by scaling the seven highest peaks in seven different continents. This feat was a feather further added to her cap as Malavath is already the youngest female in the world to scale Mount Everest. Then, she was just 13 years old!
Malavath’s adventurous achievement compels us to appreciate every other woman who has used their strength and wisdom to break the glass ceiling. Be it, Mithali Raj, for being the first woman cricketer to score 7000+runs in ODI or Kamala Harris for becoming the first African-American and first Asian-American to hold the post of Vice President in the USA or Sindhu Gangadharan, the first woman to head German-tech giant SAP Lab India. Women are making their mark in every field which was previously dominated by men. They are proving with each feat that there is nothing that women cannot do.
Poorna Malavath Seven Summit
Despite the record-breaking feats of women, they are made to realise that their gender is not capable of doing things that require more strength. But it is all a myth. To prove that, let us look at some ‘masculine’ things that women aren’t allowed to do even though they excel in them.
Women cannot handle finances
It is believed that only men have the wisdom to handle money. Women are often shamed for being spendthrifts and are kept out of the financial conversations even when it is their own hard-earned money.
Do you know women are better at finances than men as per a study by the British newspaper The Guardian. The article revealed that women make better decisions during financial risk compared to men. Another study states that including women in financial sectors helps in maintaining their stability. So let’s break the stereotype and encourage women to explore financial skills.
Women cannot inherit the family business
Our society’s obsession with a male child is because the male heir continues the family tradition and inherits business and properties. Daughters are never expected to handle the family businesses firstly because they are paraya dhan and secondly because it is believed that they don’t have a knack for business. Many people even ridicule the idea of women becoming successful entrepreneurs. Even if they believe in it, it comes with an assumption that their project is nothing more than aachar and papad.
On the contrary, the law has given daughters an equal right to inherit family businessed and properties. For example, Roshni Nadar Malhotra is the CEO and Executive Director of HCL. She is the only child of HCL founder Shiv Nadar and by inheriting the business. Nadar Malhotra became the first woman to lead a listed IT company in India. Recently, the news of a daughter inheriting her father’s carpentry business went viral for the right reasons.
Women cannot play cricket
Another myth cricket is not for women. Not only cricket, but women are considered incapable of playing any sport. Women’s position is in the kitchen not in the field. It is okay to get burns while cooking but it is blasphemous if they get sunburns while playing outside.
But dear society, have you not checked the record of how female sportspersons are soaring to new heights? Jhulan Goswami is the first woman cricketer to take 250 ODI wickets. Mary Kom – queen of firsts – is the only boxer ever to win eight World Championships. And who can forget Hima Das- the first-ever Indian athlete to win a gold medal at the IAAF World U20? The list is exhaustive.
Women cannot drive
In the era when women racers are breaking records, many still like to believe that women cannot handle the steering. It is assumed that women either cannot drive or they are very bad drivers who should not be allowed on the roads. Even today, social media is flooded with reels and memes that ridicule women for their lack of driving skills. Vehicles are assumed to be the extension of masculinity and so it is often unimaginable to see women driving them.
Contrary to the popular myth, women have a lesser tendency to crash vehicles than men which makes women safer drivers. Moreover, nowadays, women are being hired as public transport drivers. Uber and Ola are now ready to hire women as drivers, DTC buses are hiring women and Pune has 100 women auto drivers. So what more proof do we need to accept that women are good drivers?
Women cannot lift weights or be coolies
Whenever a woman is seen trailing luggage, it is assumed that she is not strong enough to carry it. Women are stereotyped as naazuk kalis who get hurt easily and need men to do basic things in their lives. This is all just to prove that a woman is nothing without the presence and support of men.
But did you know that suitcases were added with wheels to make them gender-inclusive? As in, women no longer need to lift the suitcase or need a helping hand for it. They can just pull it around easily. Moreover, female coolies, though a rare sight, normalise the fact that women can lift weights. Sandhya Marawi, a 30-year-old woman from Madhya Pradesh, is India’s first lady coolie. She is among many more lady coolies who are mainly based in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Not only this, but women who work as farmers also break the stereotype that women cannot perform hard labour. And how can we forget that women have gained records in the sport of weight-lifting? Mirabai Chanu, Karnam Malleswari, Kunjarani Devi and Neelam Setti Laxmi are some of the historical female weightlifters of India that have made the country proud.
Let us stop here, although there are a lot of other myths that need to be busted. What we need to understand is that it is time now that society lifts the curtain of patriarchy from its eyes and looks at the records that women are creating. There is no use in being in denial because there is simply no logic or reason to stop women from doing what they want. Even if you stop a woman today, how will you justify when other women dared to rebel.