Did you see the Google doodle today? It’s absolutely adorable!
When I saw the beautiful Indian dancer Rukmini Devi Arundale featured in the doodle, my typical Indian heart obviously swelled with the usual pride. She had breathed fresh life to Bharatnatyam, one of the most celebrated classical dance form in India.
And then there was Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter who showed us women to love our self, to embrace our flaws and be comfortable with our reality, even if it seemed bleak. “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best,” she had famously said.
I also recognised Ida B Wells, the African-American journalist who fought for women’s right to vote. Only recently, a five-year-old cutie dressed up as Wells, to mark the Black History month.
So, Google tried to pack as much diversity and power it could in one doodle, to mark the contribution of women in the society, towards the still elusive dream of gender equality.
So my thoughts went first to the Icelandic women, who in 1975, had decided to stop all work for one day and show the men what they meant. They did it as a protest against unequal wages and shoddy representation of women in Iceland’s Parliament. A staggering 90% of women in the country took part in the strike. They did not go to work, they did not do their chores as home, they even decided not to take care of their children on the day of October 24, 1975. Because of this strike, the very next year, the Parliament passed a law which gave equal rights to men and women.
Today, many people are randomly wishing women “Happy Women’s Day”, offering us chocolates, cupcakes, free goodies, heavy discounts, but for what? What’s to celebrate?
Today is not a celebration of women, today is a day to remember the contribution of women, who actually went out and fought for our rights and for our freedom from oppression. Today is a day to observe that despite being in the 21st century, where everything is just a swipe away, even love and sex, the goal of women’s safety and equal rights is still a far away dream in most pockets of the world. Even I, a privileged woman, who has nothing to complain of in life, is still scared of venturing out in the dark after a certain hour.
Today is a day to remember the rights that have been done to us are due to the sacrifice and courage of a few fierce women. It’s a day to dissent and to remind ourselves that we must keep breaking the glass ceiling in our own little ways. Like not resigning ourselves to traditional gender roles, not doing things because the “society expects us to” and not gagging ourselves when someone does us wrong. Today is a reminder, that we still have much to achieve.