In Bhopal, two intoxicated girls engaged in a fight over a boyfriend. This happened in front of a bar from where the girls had arrived in the company of their friends. Although the police arrested the two girls and their friends and released them after they both offered a proper apology, the case leaves us wondering, why do women get into fights over men?
There is a very common saying among men, which I do not want to use here as it dehumanises women, but it basically is a pledge to put your bros, or friends over your girlfriends. This pledge is yet another part of the legend that shrouds male friendships which are said to be unbreakable. Men also love to brag about how nothing can provoke them to turn on their bro, be it love, money or lust. Can women say the same about their female friendships?
According to a report, the girls who got into a brawl at the Bhopal bar came from upper-class families. After they were arrested by the police, they came to their senses and apologised to the police for creating a ruckus. The police did let them go, but not before they apologised to each other.
This is not the first time that a girls’ brawl over boyfriends was reported in India. A few years ago in Meerut, two women fought with each other on the streets over a boyfriend. Reportedly, one of the women loved a man but he was interested in the other woman. She often spotted the other girl spending time with her love interest and issued warnings to the woman to stay away. When that didn’t work, things took an ugly turn and led to a full-blown brawl.
Why do women seek validation from men?
Today, many women seek relationships because they feel that a benevolent male gaze is what gives worth to their beauty and life. But wouldn’t it be better if women recognise their own worth and wear it with pride? Why must a man’s validation get to decide whether a woman is good or not?
Now let us see how the reel life too pedals this narrative of women fighting over one man. Many daily soaps revolve around the concept of a sanskari woman, trying to face the evil tricks of a vamp who wants to "snatch" her husband. Recently, I watched a serial in which two sisters married to the same man were ready to harm each other. One of the sisters, who was portrayed with grey shades, has sex with the man when he was intoxicated by tricking him into believing that she is his first wife. And by bearing his child, the sister succeeds in her plan to be called the real wife.
Why are these narratives so common in our general entertainment space? Why do women resort to violence and defamation just to be with a man? Is the companionship of the particular man more important than a woman’s definitions of boundaries and what is right and wrong?
Why can't women own their worth?
The major reason is that women in our society are conditioned to believe that their identity is validated only by men. Only when a man appreciates her ">beauty, skills or food, the woman believes in herself. Since men hold the power to dominate society, everyone wants to be favoured by them.
But dear women, why do you let your worth be dependent on a man’s approval? Why do you give men the power to elevate you or to burry you down to emptiness? Why can’t women be the owners of their own lives and choices? Why can’t they embrace themselves and be proud of who they are rather than waiting for a man to do it?
It is a very common adage that if you have the ability to love, love yourself first. Once you are comfortable with who you are, no matter who comes into your life they will not break the bond you have built with yourself.
Views expressed are the author's own.