Dear Women, Your Worst Enemy Is You.

Every achievement big or small is first achieved in the mind. In her book ‘full frontal feminism’, Jessica Valenti says “What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now.

You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank.

Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.”

Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally messed up.”

We’re cultured to be loving, empathetic and emotional only to be treated with the exact opposite at all constant points in our life and yes, IT IS as gory as it sounds.

It’s true, isn’t it? In a world where women are prisoners of their own thoughts, where women are taught that everyone should be an Eve and no one knows of Lilith (who was a very interesting character, by the way, look it up) and where submission is glorified in women and rage condemned; achieving success doesn’t come easy. At all. We’re cultured to be loving, empathetic and emotional only to be treated with the exact opposite at all constant points in our life and yes, it is as gory as it sounds. If anything it gets worse. There’s the obvious sexual harassment at work, the lack of self-belief due to constant degradation. Women are taught that their lives are settled once they’re married. #SaniaMirzaRefernce.

(Just in case you’re living under the rock)

And god forbid you do fulfill your purpose of being married. You’re magically the house maid/baby care taker/nanny/wage earner. House- work, partner and children are all responsibilities of the woman.

The society has made a comfortable peace with women being unambitious and the ones who are, are shunned down with tags like “bossy”, “judgy” ,”bi@@@” and you know , the rants you get when you speak your mind. The psychological, social, emotional and sexual stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: “It’s a girl.” You can’t be too independent, just enough to fit the stereotype of the modern girl, or too loud, just fun enough to not be a boring prude, but oh, not too fun that’s a cheap look for a girl.

You can’t be too independent, just enough to fit the stereotype of the modern girl, or too loud, just fun enough to not be a boring prude, but oh, not too fun that’s a cheap look for a girl.

Take Shahnaz Husain for example, she was married at 16 and had a kid soon after. Not only did she have her family responsibilities and a kid, she was naive and young. She was, however, more fortunate than most. She has financial and emotional support from her family. Not everyone is that fortunate. At a fragile age, she was given massive responsibilities. She had to take care of a married life, raise a baby all the while trying to figure out how to develop a new business. A man rarely ever has the same amount of responsibilities. He has more exposure in the corporate and little to no harassment at the workplace to deal with.

Take the example of Rajni Pandit, the first private detective in Maharashtra. In a country where people worry if their daughters don’t reach home before dark, Rajni Pandit broke all stereotypes and became the first private detective in Maharashtra. This couldn’t have been easy for a woman to manage her safety which was constantly under threat.

There are countless examples of women who have had to make it against incredibly tough odds. They have to balance family and business life, cope with the fear of failure, constantly be shunned for having a voice, try excessively hard to have their voice heard and sometimes have limited access to funding.

A 2014 Babson College report found that less than 3 percent of venture-capital-funded companies had female CEOs.

While these are some success stories, in today’s society you can be ambitious and successful but not more than your man. More than the external factors women are taught to be prisoners of their own thinking; of themselves. We live lives where we are made our own worst enemy because you can’t escape if the prison is really just you!

We live lives where we are made our own worst enemy because you can’t escape if the prison is really just you!

It takes endless fight and fire to free yourself from your own self. We fight to free ourselves from everything we were ever taught. We fight every day, every second and every decision. A day starts with a fight and it ends with a fight. Women who are achievers are not just achievers, they’re warriors. They fight society, they fight stereotypes and they sometimes fight themselves to achieve what men do without going through the same struggles.

Submitted by Aditi Sharma

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