No cow, she!

Women cannot be branded as some separate special species or some subclass of humans

Syeda Afshana
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jun 18 2017 12:21AM | Updated Date: Jun 18 2017 12:21AM
No cow, she!File Photo

According to Jewish folklore, Adam had two wives. The first was Lilith. She was banished from the Garden of Eden when she refused to make herself subservient to Adam. When she was cast out, she was made into a demon figure, and Adam was given a second wife Eve, who was fashioned from his rib to ensure her obedience to him.

The image of Lilith is highly disparaging. There are also other folktales describing how Lilith captured Jewish babies in night and ate them, and how she led young girls and boys astray. Although Lilith was demonized by early Jewish culture as a symbol of promiscuity and disobedience, many modern Jewish feminists see Lilith as a positive figure: a model of woman as equal to man in the creation story.

In general parlance, Lilith is a hag who gives jitters to every noble soul, and firmly establishes her notoriety. She exists as a votary of evil, responsible for every misfortune that strikes the mankind. Her being a woman is the only fiducial point that connotes a subtle meaning.

The fact is that there is no let up in stories and doctrines, which profess such absurdities regarding woman. It’s at times disgusting to see how the image of woman is hackled and humiliated by illogical concoctions and maligning stories.

If someone breaks his bones, why blame a woman? If you bang your senses out, why incriminate fair sex? Why chide her for the wrongs you dabble in with open eyes and arms? Why snub her for the blunders you commit so bravely?

Woman was never meant to be an object of ‘enticement’. She never compels a man to ‘fall’ for her. She never demands a maniacal devotion from him. In fact, the forces that drive any man nuts are very nearly as irrational and unjust as those by which it makes any woman blindly and arrogantly possessive about something. 

The fault lies in the assumption that man, congenitally deemed rational, is drawn into a dragnet by a woman who is generally bereft of stable and sound mind. This style of drawing distinctions between male and female nature is not only largely arbitrary and often pure hogwash, it is absurdly beside the point. We perhaps ignore the essence of human nature. The imperative question is not whether women are or are not less logical by nature than men, but whether education, effort and the abolition of our illogical assuming and presuming can improve on nature and make them (and, incidentally men as well) more logical. What distinguishes human from any other animal nature is its ability to be unnatural. Logic and rationality are not natural or instinctive activities; but our nature includes a propensity to acquire them.

Woman is certainly not from an infallible species. At times, she too goofs. At times, she too lives meanly like ants, and fights with cranes like pygmies. Even today, it rankles as to why didn’t Jane Austen marry her savior Mr. Darcy; why Emily Bronte died so young; why Emily Dickinson flitted; and why Christina Rossetti looked at life through the wormholes in a shroud.

There is a numbing paradox lurking in woman’s nature: the same questions, the same answers, the same dilemmas, the same defiance, the same fears, the same hopes, the same delusions, the same realities. The worst is the sameness of suffering, of stigmatization in the face of ridiculous allegories, analogies, doctrines, theories, and of course, shaggy-dog stories ala Lilith’s attached to her.

Women cannot be branded as some separate special species or some subclass of humans. She is as angelic as any man could aspire to be by ennobling his conduct, and at the same time can be as beastly as any male by falling to abysmal depths of dupeness.

Woman is neither a ‘holy cow’ to be revered nor a dassi of any earthly Parmeshwar, nay she any longer needs to be declared as endangered species. She is not to be taken for granted as a cabbage-head factotum. She has to deliver at all fronts in the dynamically changing world and come up to the mark in all aspects – not by condescension, sympathy, reservations, quotas, nepotism, rhetoric of MCP’s and malafide glorifications of voyeuristic literati. She has much more at stake than to carry and wail over her stature or moan endlessly over the generally prevailing diseases of demeanor. 

Bottomline: Woman has to live life every moment beyond the ugly realities where idealism proves to be nothing but all gas and gaiters. Every dawn is special to her, every dusk a precious one. Life, with all its searing pain and soothing pleasure, calls to her every instant. The beauty of rare moments and memories make her journey easy. There is no time and scope for her to squander on trivialities and weepy stories. This is something on which there should be no futile foreboding because she can’t afford it in a wicked world she breathes in!