The oxford dictionary describes woman as:
1. An adult human female
2. A female worker or employee
3. A wife or lover.
(Origin from Old English words for Wife and Man.)
The same dictionary defines man as:
1. An adult human male
2. A husband or lover
3. A person
4. Human beings in general
But what amused me so much, was a footnote added, highlighted in a box,
“Many people now think that the use of the word man to mean human beings in general is outdated or sexist. You could use the human race or human kind instead”
What the makers of the dictionary forgot to mention was, women were also advanced species that are, on an average intelligent beings capable of doing work on par with men, (which they were previously branded incapable of) and are having about as much grit and determination as a man (again a fact looked upon with an amused incredulity even by the politest of men). And that many women had to fight a long and hard battle just to change the word ‘chairman’ to ‘chairperson’. Yes, it is an ongoing, perpetual, perennial fight.
But it has sadly also become a fight in which even the supporters of the cause have become hypocrites and opportunists. Most of the time when people flare up on hearing about women abuse and a sad story of their fellow sister the indignation is laced with just a merest hint of a patronising air. People have become followers of this cause just because it is rightly wrong to go against the popular opinion. There are people who look at niches in which their names can be noted as supporters of a noble cause. Because supporting women is the ‘in’ thing to do.
Then there is the rare breed of people who really do care. These people do not shout out their ideals as slogans. Instead, they silently do their bit and hope for the best. They look for survivors of abuse; ask them to share their horrific experience. These are the set of people who are not ashamed to admit that they have gone through hell. They are also ready to motivate others who have gone through the same hell. This is one such attempt to do something that matters. People across the world have lent their voice for a campaign, to honour a brave-heart who lost her life, to remember her suffering and try to be brave, to make sure there are no more Nirbhayas. Come see what it’s all about, at Womanifesto – TO LIVE, NOT JUST EXIST!