No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. -Eleanor Roosevelt

long trips make me contemplative. the subject to be tossed around in the idle mind really depends on one’s current state of affairs and that of the people one is surrounded by. it is a devilish zen state, because it does make me appear glaze-eyed for unnatural periods of time with a thrilling debate going on in my head. shidzoid, you say? i agree. but i always win.

in my last trip, i met two interesting girls, whom i think embody the reality of today’s women. and by the way, it is only stereotypically biased if men label women. if i choose to highlight my own gender into a category, its called gender awareness and empowerment.

anyway, the first girl chooses to be a step behind men. they remain within the shadow of a man. not because that is where men put her. but because that this is where she thinks she belongs.

there is nothing wrong with this way of thinking provided that it is a conscious choice of the woman. and it does not matter if it is influenced by her upbringing or education either. as long is she feels that this is where she belongs, and where she feels her calling lies, and most importantly, where she feels appreciated the most. in a relationship, she remains still within a man’s shadow. he leads. she chooses to follow.

the second woman i met feels that there is a need for her to be seen in her own right, not with or without the presence of a man, but rather as an individual, regardless of the male presence.

she does not aspire to be superior to men. but she believes that she is not any lesser than one either. she is inquisitive. she is an explorer. on the path of life, she walks side by side with her man and both their shadows are cast behind them. she may roam freely in life beyond the reaches of her man, but she is the butterfly that they are refering to let go. no matter how far she flies, she will always go back to her man. he needs to trust her.

regardless of how i choose to live my own life, i have immense respect for both these women. what i find most astounding about them is that they are where they are by choice. the glaring contrast between the lifestyles between the two women only goes to show the range independence stretches to.

you see, being independent does not mean you have to break away from the norm and be a one person show. independence does not mean breaking away and flying solo. i’d call that a hermit’s way of life.

independence means choice. choice to be where one wants to be, without being judged any lesser for having made that choice, but rather, on the intentions behind it. intention, as i have repeatedly stressed in this blog should be the primary judge of a person, not their race or religion of gender or whatever. the choices made based on the intention, and not what influences it, is what really matters.

many women today are a balance of the two women introduced above. the difference is to which women she is more partial to. a little bit of this, a lot more of that.

of course, there are still a number of women who are put in ‘their places’ by men or family or friends or sadly, fear. but this is not an article about them. as much as i symphatise with their situation, i feel that the modern woman should have this freedom of choice – this freedom that they grant themselves and not wait for it to be presented to them. for better or for worse, i am a firm believer in the survival of the fittest. you need to get a grip of your life and make a choice for yourself. or else, you really are not worth my or anyone elses’ time and breath.

we have to celebrate our individual independence. only then, will you be able to understand what an independent country is really all about.

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