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Martyrdom is graceful, respected, decorated and celebrated. In this way, we give meaning to a death and by reverse engineering we give meaning and purpose to martyr’s life. Let’s give it a second look, for how long the person who is now a martyr felt this grand feeling of celebration? May be in the moments when she decided to give her life for the cause. Mind it, Give her life not live her life. And once she died she felt nothing – very natural. And now coming to life around her (members of her family), it is a mixed feeling of pride and loss for some time and then loss for rest of their lives. So, martyrdom is a loss – personal and everyone else’s who is entangled to the martyr’s life. Wouldn’t it be better if we could avoid this loss AND get celebrated in lifetime and not only after death AND could find grace in living not in dying? I do accept at certain fronts and certain fights such phenomenon of martyrdom cannot be avoided. But since at some fronts it is inevitable does not correspond to correctness of martyrdom in all walks of life. The women from generations are fighting inequality battle with men and we have sacrificed countless lives – of our fellow martyr women and their family – so far for this cause. Since the battle does not involve swords, guns or any other weapon the phenomenon of martyrdom also has different face. It is a face of high stress, anxiety, guilt, non-realistic expectations, mental and emotional breakdowns, exhaustion and physical illness. Look around a woman fighter: she happens to be a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter and a fighter. When she is fighting outside, inside a part of her is in great guilt that she is not able to give her best to her kids, a part of her is in guilt that she cannot be with her parents in their illness, a part of her is in guilt that she is not around with her needy husband, a part of her is in anxiety when this fight will get over so that she may return to her other responsibilities and she never has time to relax and enjoy. Round the clock she is running like time. Is this worth celebrating?
Why big chunk of martyrs are women?
Nature has endowed some extra responsibilities on women but unfortunately does not provide us with super powers. A woman as a human is blessed with different strengths than a man. During the course of time because of their mightier physical strength and comparatively less emotional quotient than women, men were fascinated to experience their strength in full glory and wanted to be the rulers. Rulers of everything and everyone. Women had to bear the consequences of inequality from then. Slowly when a woman faced enough of suppression and oppression she became rebellion and decided to fight for equality. This was a very noble cause for the betterment of complete humanity and human race. She decided to declare a war against the inequality and since then fighting this battle and sacrificing her life. But, why this battle is not yet over after generations of sacrifices? Do we need to check our strategy? Do we need to fight the battle on women terms? She has been fighting on men terms. She conditioned herself to think and master in manhood attribute and slowly her own attributes, her womanhood started taking a backseat and that is responsible for her major guilt (one of the most prominent face of martyrdom). Nature has its expectation in place with a woman and this should be respected. Woman has expectation from herself and this has to be fulfilled to feel good about herself. Society and family has expectations from woman and fulfillment of these expectations give her feeling of self-worth. Lot many expectations causing stress (another face of martyrdom).
Bread earning and caregiving are two equally important aspects of survival. Based on their strengths men chose to earn the bread and so women chose to be caregivers. Initially it was probably the best choice and an ideal one. But we women gave credit, respect and acknowledgement to men’s bread earning skills and to him. Sadly, men got lost or spoiled by this appreciation, and because understanding women had been his weaker point, he started giving no credit, no acknowledgement and no respect to caregiving and to women. Since bread earning comes in currency form, is measurable and love and care giving cannot be measured. It is also that in our social setup we seek respect and we get that mostly based on what all materialistic objects we have acquired. To acquire something, money is needed and men earned the money. Hence men and manhood got more respective position in the society. Our men community was already ignorant and we female also got caught in confusion. And this confusion lead us to demean our womanhood and glorify manhood even more. We demanded credit, acknowledgement and respect and thought only earning can lead us to that and not our own skill set of caregiving. We indeed harmed our womanhood. We never needed quality, as a man and a woman can never be equal, they are so different. But we always needed that our differences should be acknowledged, respected and loved.
Photo in the blog is shared from google images.