In the middle of an intense chit-chat, her phone beeps annoyingly. A smirk on her face, Aunt Pam—the agony aunt of our social circle extends her phone to me to read too. A WhatsApp group ‘Sexy, Naughty, Bitchy’ with a message, ‘Mrs. X’s daughter-in-law’s marriage is in trouble’. Mrs. Y’s comments ‘SEX is the only solution’. To this Mrs. Z adds ‘Buy this (a link of an intimate wear website), entice him in’.
Aunt Pam: I knew it. If he is not interested in sex, it’s her duty to entice him. What’s the use of crying now? Huh…these girls, I tell you! They don’t know how to keep a man happy in marriage.
Clueless Me: But why blame her only?
Aunt Pam: See, this is the problem. You girls argue a lot. My dear, ‘SEX’ is the key to a happy marriage and a wife should abide by this.
Shocked Me: Why a wife only?
Aunt Pam: Oh Dear, the way to a man’s heart is not only through his stomach but also through little John (she winks at me). Ah! I was here to buy some stuff for the Women’s day theme party and I started gossiping. See you soon. And yeah, Happy Women’s Day!
Happy Women’s Day? Really? Instead of lending support, We – The Women, judge each other! Why does the onus of leading a happy married life fall only on us? Why is sex an obligation and not a choice? Why Aunt Pam, being a woman, is judgmental towards the other woman? What’s the use of this battle for equality, when a woman’s enemy is a woman herself? If a woman doesn’t take a stand for a woman, why blame men all the time?
Sadly, to me, this day is limited to enjoying a complimentary salon service, exclusive shopping discounts, one-on-one glasses of wine on ladies’ night, a series of social media posts with hashtags on #womensday, long debates on feminism (without actually understanding the term) and making it a big battle of sexes!
As a mother to a wonderful daughter, I am a bit worried. How do I respond, when and if she asks me, “Mamma, what is Women’s Day? Well, the answer lies in our support for each other! A mother for a daughter, a daughter for a mother, a mother-in-law for a daughter-in-law, a daughter-in-law for a mother-in-law, a sister for a sister and above all a woman for a woman!
And, while I was thinking all this in my head, a vision of Aunt Pam frantically running towards me surfaces.
Aunt Pam: Do you know the breaking news?
Again, Surprised Me: Wha…what?
Aunt Pam: Mrs. X’s son was never interested in women! His mother forced him to marry and now you see what happened?
Aunt Pam: Her DIL has filed for a divorce. She is absolutely right. Brave girl. I support her!
Elated Me: You support her! You support a fellow woman on her right decision! Wow…Really?! (I hug her). Happy Women’s Day Aunty!
That evening Aunt Pam must have thought a hundred times, as to why was I so happy?