Have you heard of the cliché – Society has given many roles to women?

By Supriya Iyengar in Health & Nutrition 11/05/2016

Society is ridden with clichés. They exist in every form in our day to day life and conversations. While some of them are actually the best way to describe a situation, yet some of them need to be reflected upon and let go.

Have you heard of the cliché – Society has given many roles to women?

Now that, is a done to death sentence & has had a trickledown effect giving birth to more clichés. She is a mother, a sister and all the other roles, so an epitome of generosity and love in the world. There is nothing wrong with these brackets. The misconstrued definition of feminism has given rise to a sect of people who really believe that women are better than men. The ones probably contributing to more clichés. What these defined roles bring is the added pressure to be the supposedly nicer race.

We are not better. We are not nicer. We are equals. Equally capable of the greatness and the bad.

I draw my inspirations from the imperfect women in history because that is how life is, that is how people are – imperfect. “Nobody is perfect”, now that is a cliché I can live by. The many colors of women don’t just include a ray of sunshine; it also has a darker shade. What seems to draw a grimmer picture, indeed draws a real one, a more relatable one at that. Let me draw some references from history to illustrate my point.




Queen Elizabeth I is acknowledged as a charismatic ruler known for her doggedness in a tough time. Despite being known for her short temper and indecisiveness; she is still iconic. Cleopatra was known for her beauty and intellect and remains an iconic figure in history inspiring many a works of art. She was also known as a wily temptress in her time. Princess Diana was a rebel and defied the role she was supposed to play, that of a princess. Yet part of her did not stop from performing her princess-ly duties towards humanity. Indira Gandhi, the first and only woman prime minister of India was not perfect, yet she stands as an inspiration to many. These women are certainly not exemplary of the generalized picture of woman that is painted. But that does not stop them from being an inspiration to many, ironically with generalized acceptance.


I am not saying that one needs to draw inspiration from the imperfections of women displayed through time. Most of these women had the courage to break the shackles and stand as a testament to many. But the pressure of these brackets has resulted in shackles that some of us find hard to break. Not to mention the enormous number of stereotypes that come with these roles.


She is not ambitious to not want a child and concentrate on her career, she is selfish. She is not enterprising to get work done through professional help, she is lazy. She is not honest and frank to talk about controversial topics, she is shameless.


These blatant brackets have more or less come into the picture because of the clichés coined by the society we live in.


Apart from the above conjecture, we also have the fact that there is an aversion to accept certain imperfections in women. The very idea of its existence is outrageous. A woman can’t be a murderer. If you search, you will find an illustrious list of men who are serial killers. Yet an equally brutal group of women have carried out their own mass slayings. From poison to torture to cannibalism. This is a list that is bound to shock regardless of the person committing the crime, yet the list of women will invoke more of a reaction because you don’t expect them to be involved in such heinous crimes.


Sometimes the benefit of this doubt can be unfair on the not so fairer sex – the men. What I have stated is an extreme example, but some stereotypes work against men in day to day life. How is this equality? Because I am every bit of a feminist and promote its true idea, I want to raise this question.


Acknowledge women as part of humanity. They are different but they can’t be predefined or incapable of a certain emotion or a role. There is a need to establish the equality at all levels. We can be what we want to be. Every human being is capable of good or evil, the better in us makes us more human, not a man or a woman.


Supriya Iyengar

“A writer is by nature a dreamer, a conscious dreamer.”

With a decade of experience in writing, my complete oeuvre includes an eclectic mix. From working in the Indian crafts sector to writing short stories for children, I have associated with start-ups and established enterprises alike. After freelancing as a writer I was entrusted with heading the content for one of the leading startups in India. My stint with feministaa promises to enrich my portfolio by penning down articles that aligns with the philosophy of the organization and what I believe in, as a writer.


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