Concept of empowerment
There have been a lot of discussions & debates about feminism & women empowerment in recent times and the intellectuals have put forth their views regarding the same, many have agreed that women empowerment is the best solution for the betterment and growth of the female society.
I profoundly respect their considerations and opinions, however when I try to understand this concept of empowerment, my subconscious mind takes me back to the dictionary meaning of the word empowerment, and that is where, perhaps, the contradiction lies. The word empowerment means giving or granting power and my memory keeps on reminding me that I have learnt throughout my life from my experiences, academics and even from my peers that power can not be given to someone, it can not be inherited from one generation to another rather it has to be achieved by one’s own deeds.
An incident from ‘Mahabharata’ would be apt to understand this concept of empowerment. In this epic, Lord ‘Parshurama’ while addressing ‘Karna’ explains the same concept of empowerment.
Karna is questioning Lord Parashuram why does he choose only a selected section of the society to empower with his knowledge and wisdom, why can’t everyone get the the right for the same, why should I suffer for the knowledge when others can get it very easily because they belong to that selected section of the society. To this Lord Parshuram gleefully and patiently replies that he has chosen a selected section, not on the basis of birth, caste or creed but on the basis whether they deserve to be empowered or not. He further says that the basic rule of empowerment is that only a weaker section can reap its fruits not the ones who are on the other side of the equilibrium, few just can not be empowered because of a simple reason, which is, that they are not actually weak but have been made to think like they are.
This conversation clears all the doubts about the concept of empowerment, women just can not be empowered because they don’t belong to the weaker section but just have been made to think that they do.
Do women really need empowerment
Whenever this question pops up, I just recall that 10th standard biology chapter, reproduction. There, it was clearly mentioned that the female chromosomes are far more dominant in nature than that of their male counterparts. It simply means that biological formation of females is far more dominant than that of males, and that is perhaps the reason because of which my subconscious mind is unable to understand that how can the already powerful female DNA, RNA, cells and tissues be empowered?
Not only biology but mythology also represents the same scenario. In the Hindu mythology Lord Shiva is referred to as the supreme power, he is said to be at the top of the food chain, he is a symbol of male supremacy but whenever it comes to female characterization, the same Shiva is shown lying flat beneath the feet of kaali, and that is what makes me wonder about the fancy idea of empowering the empowered gender.
It is not only confined to science and mythology but also the law of universe reflects the same thing. The biggest responsibility in this universe is to offer something new, the best return to the nature is giving something of your own kind, which is bringing an offspring to the world and that responsibility of birth has been granted to women but not to men. It might be because even the nature understands that men don’t have that patience to bear the pain that is required to bring something new to the world, it might be because even the nature understands that men lack that conviction that is required to keep something inside their body and nurture it, feed it for months through their own tissues and plasmas and it’s not only confined to birth but also after that taking care of it till it becomes adaptive to mother nature, and that is what my perplexion is, my subconscious mind is unable to understand that how can that patient, loving & caring mother be empowered?
Power of repetition is the cause
Science, mythology and nature all present the evidences that women are already empowered then what may be the causes for domestic violence, eve teasing, poor literacy rate etc, and one simple answer to all this is “power of repetition”.
Before adding anything else let me just elaborate to you this power of repetition by an example. The example here is of the legendary Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram, when he was in his prime during his playing days, he dominated most of the opponents he played against including legends like Lara, Ponting, Waugh and several others of the same stature however when he represented against India he could not repeat his magic against Sachin Tendulkar. When Wasim got retired from international cricket at the age of 37, one journalist asked him why did this happen, why could not he show his dominance over Tendulkar when he was impressive against all other contemporaries. To this Wasim replied that whenever I used to play against any other team, my team mates used to say in the dressing room that Wasim bhai will take care, whatever be the situation of the match but my team mates always said that Wasim Bhai will take care, however whenever I played against India, the same dressing room used to say repeatedly that its tough to get Tendulkar out as he knows how to tackle the reverse swing, and I believe that is where I lost the battle, whenever I used to enter in the ground against Tendulkar, the reverse swing rarely happened though the grip and run up were same but it was those repeated words of my team mates that did not let it happen. This reply of Wasim Akram is the answer to all the questions related to women empowerment, the cause is this power of repetition. When a girl child is born, her DNA is more dominant than that of her male counterpart but afterwards those repeated sentences of the society that unlike her male siblings, she should not go to school, she should cook, she should return back home early, she should not study, she should not be outspoken, she should not work etc don’t let her flourish.
Therefore I must conclude with a saying that women should not be empowered because they can’t be empowered as they are already empowered rather they should be motivated and encouraged to start thinking that they are as good as their male counterparts, and maybe if this happens, someone like me might write on men empowerment instead of women empowerment in next few years.