Another International Women’s Day has come and gone. Politicians, political Parties, some electronic media and related businesses earned ‘points’ or profits thanks to the misery of women. The skilled pretenders have been carrying over their shoulders, the entirety of the fair sex community to lofty heights, a few days ahead and held them at the zenith on ‘March 8’ before renegade confining to their comfortable zones the very next day. The hapless women are back to square-one; some poorest of the poor among them returned to the ill-famed houses to be sex objects catering to the hyper-sexualities of men that included some of the vociferous women’s rights volunteers on previous day as well.
To be Born a Woman in Next Birth?
My neighbour, the maverick former teacher had the nerve to disturb his septuagenarian friend early morning of March 9, merely to express his grief: “I should have been born a female; now that I have missed it, hope I make it at least in my next birth” said he. “It is perfectly normal and healthy, you only shared your feelings; no mental disorders for having these opinions.” I responded. Before I could inquire, the overconfident man himself came up with his fantastic story; it’s nothing but the after effects previous day’s IWD influence, which convinced him to trust dominance by women in the future, until I converted him with facts.
The downtrodden apparel girls, tea pluckers and house maids abroad will undergo continuous agony. Irrespective of the scholarly feminists’ oratory on many a discussion on injustices to women held over TV programmes sponsored by ‘markets’, these unfortunate women would be subjected to their usual core psychosocial perils like sexual harassment and bullying in workplaces and public transport; with a plethora of gender inequality, aggression, late-hour work and conflicts unabated. Most of IWD’s empty cacophony had little to contribute to the wellbeing or in solving the burning issues the fair sex.
How many have read the famous line created by a modern Sinhala poet who wrote, “Weda aree Wedata yathi gehenu.” The talented poet deals with the truth about home bound working woman’s daily routine— she returns home only to commence her ‘overtime’; a perfect depiction working woman’s life, speaking volumes and contemplates the quintessential question in a single line. [For some, a home chore doesn’t end in the kitchen or pantry, but with the man who returns from the Pub.]
Women Wounded Within Windsor Walls Wept Wistfully
Dust has settled though, on Meghan’s disparaging bombshell revelation with Oprah on what goes on in the House of Windsor reminds one of her mother-in-law Diana’s famous sit-down with BBC’s Martin Bashir a quarter century ago. In that interview, Diana recalled, “It was isolating,” and added, “I was the one who was always pitched out front, what I said, whether it was my clothes, what my hair was doing, everything ...” If Meghan and Diana deserve an Oscar for their roles [as some ‘close to palace’ sources chose to affront them], is not a matter for the paparazzi to judge. Women who marry into the Royal family also face sexism; Diana, Kate and Meghan were described as “social climbers” during their dating with princes. “With lots of media attention, came a bundle of jealousy,” said Meghan. “A great deal of complicated situations.” She continued, “I don’t think many will want me to be the queen, I mean the castle, because they have determined that I’m a non-starter.” She ‘abdicated’ Royalty calling to mind the harassment of Princess Margret Rose, the queen’s sister and Meghan’s grandaunt faced in the 1950s, who struggled through life to balance an artistic temperament with her obligations to Royal family that forced her to give up her long-time sweetheart Capt. Peter Townsend, a war hero, and marry Armstrong Jones, that made her life miserable as a divorcee. Marriage lasted a few years; both engaged in love affairs, princess scandalized conservative royals, had romances among actors, ballet dancers, artists, writers and finally with a young gamekeeper, reminding one of Consie and Mellows in Chatterley’s estate.
Even the British monarchy has a long way to go when it comes to gender equality. However, the impact on the Royal family and monarchy itself is not as bad as the after effects of the extravagantly celebrated International Women’s Day [IWD], especially, in Sri Lanka. Macho ideas that fancy confining women to the kitchen, to look after the children, farm and elders, until community and family cut their wings disappeared with Sirimavo. Her husband’s cousin and best-man at their wedding, P. E. P. Deraniyagala commented,
"Even the British monarchy has a long way to go when it comes to gender equality. However, the impact on the Royal family and monarchy itself is not as bad as the after effects of the extravagantly celebrated International Women’s Day [IWD], especially, in Sri Lanka"
“She knows nothing fiercer than the kitchen fire, and that she will ruin the Bandaranaike name and also spoil her reputation”. However, the ‘Evening News’, London’s popular tabloid, of July 21, 1960 reporting on the election of the world’s first woman Prime Minister in Ceylon, said, “There will be need for a new word; presumably we have to call her Stateswoman”. Within twelve months of her taking oaths, she put all her critiques to shame, she had the bravery and wit to face severe threats, warnings, international pressures and bullying.
Women should be brave to defend their rights and dignity under the banner, ‘women of the world unite!’ and agitate for banning the UN sponsored International Women’s Days, as a first step, and call “March 8” the blackest day that took them for a solid ride by those with vested interest or with their own agenda. While Britons live Meghan’s truth that racist family has stooped to ‘trace’ her skin for black pigments, in a monarchy that hasn’t been this unpopular, like our own government back home. Being born a woman, even in the most powerful monarchy on earth, an Empire where the sun never sets, if one gives-in, there’s no peace.
Equality, is a nonentity, you cannot make the two sexes equal; what they need is love, affection and security. By their own action of participation in Women’s days, they inadvertently play in to the hands of male chauvinists. It’s difficult to imagine a ruling than the more often cited feminist theory, ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’ by the great French philosopher feminist, Simone de Beauvoir.
One evening in early 1980s, during family dinner at Breamar, Ward Place, the charming, modest and simple first lady Elina, hastily left the table leaving the father and their only child Ravi, over an exchange of views, for the thinker and witty conversationalist, Junius Richard the ‘king’ to advice the son, [who refuse to be the crown prince], “You should never enter into an argument with a woman…, but love them.” Your life has value so long as you attribute value to others’ lives by means of friendship, love, and compassion.