What is the duty of a good Indian woman? For most of our society, it’s ‘upholding traditional values’ .There are restrictions are disguised under the claim that it is against India’s moral fiber and traditional customs of ‘dutifulness’. And this includes smoking.
Many might find this a weird feminist stance. ‘Are you really fighting for the right to harm one’s body?’ The answer to that is, not at all, no feminist movement aims to damage lungs. The struggle is about the right to choose for your own body, irrespective of what that choice may be.Is smoking really an appropriate symbol of gender equality?
Smoking of cigarettes is as harmful to the male as it is to the female. Yet here is a word of caution to all young girls and women out there.Don’t you dare smoke out in the open because again, your character will be judged!
The same men standing outside a paan shop will judge young girls for buying a pack of cigarettes, but who will go home and smoke in front of their wives and children thereby making them passive smokers. Similarly, the same women that judge other women for smoking will not say a word if their son comes home with a matchbox in his bag. Such is the hypocrisy of the society that we live in.
Smoking for a woman is injurious to her character…If a woman was to hold a cigarette in her hand, it would cause raised eyebrows because it would make her look un-feminine, unseemly, bold and progressive.
Now, I really wonder. A guy drinking or smoking is considered normal. Okay the guy might be considered indulging in the wrong habits, but wouldn’t be judged much. Whereas any girl smoking or drinking would automatically be judged as ‘loose.’If a woman is smoking then who are you to judge her nature and character? She might have many reasons to smoke, maybe she is in distress or maybe she simply enjoys it.
- Why don’t we question men when they smoke?
- Why we still want to show women ‘their place’ in society?
- Is this judgement another one of our many ways to oppress women?
History says royal families sharing Hookah together …Is equality the only right of royals ?Or is it because we couldn’t question them because of their power or position?Or is it because we don’t question our history and our ancestors?
Silver screen effect:
In our movies,women are always shown to be smokers just to enhance their self-image or for a sense of independence and liberty.And few to control their emotions, for sex appeal or for power manifestation.
And these days in the world of web series and other platforms ,any progressive female protagonist character is incomplete without a joint or a cigarette. Strange !!!Ain’t it ?
Stereotyping a woman is so easy…Either you portray her as a Sati-Savitri or a downright bitch !
Change:(If not now,then when ?)
We have to change our mentality in order to make it easier for women to do what they like. It is time we create some gender-neutral norms which serve both sexes become better versions of themselves.
Smoking is a bad habits indeed and judgement if any at all must be restricted to its implications on one’s health rather than association of the same with anybody’s character.Smoking is neither women’s aspiration to ‘equal’ the social position of men nor her expression of liberation.It is by all means an “informed” choice.
P.S. Smoking is highly harmful. It sucks!Some addiction are better avoided…
Hi! I am Anushree Dash…
1 Part Entrepreneur
2 Parts Writer
3 Parts Social reformer
4 Parts explorer
5 Parts photographer, Too many Parts.
A free-spirited,non-conformist,,impenitent,independent,adventurous,boho soul and an admirer of life. Loves my Indian roots, Culture, Aesthetic Living, Saree, Poetry …