Hypatia, arguably the first woman Astrologer, Philosopher and Mathematician, way ahead of her times, was rather brave to put forth her research on topics of religion and philosophy. She was a woman gifted with unnerving intelligence to take forward Plato and Aristotle’s works. She studied the secrets of the universe and challenged the understanding of humans on the sun and stars. While this explanation is now routine in elementary education, we are talking about 370 AD when the privilege of studying science and philosophy was donned on a select few, with women definitely not being a preferred choice.
Quite expectedly, Hypatia was stoned to death, openly, on the streets of Alexandria because she put ‘logic’ ahead of beliefs, and for being a lady defying the boundaries of roles based on gender.
Women have forever, played one role the best. The role that has been entrusted to them by nature, its most important function – that of Life perpetuation. Nature ensures life proliferation in any form - through birds that carry the pollen, through animals that dance, coo and whiff to attract their mates, but for humans –Nature only trusted women. We are the womb of the universe. Life chooses to conceive within us, gestate in us and perpetuate through us.
And yet … there is more to a woman than just that.
We sure have come a long way from 370 AD when women were annihilated to death or shut down to take up roles beyond that of a nurturer, charmer and a house maker, but we still have a tough road ahead. We are still stuck in roles outlined by the society and it is our obligation to cross those borders and expand our scope.
- From building a resilient family to building resilient teams
- From running households on shoe-string budgets, to building cost-effective startups
- From managing house helps, to vendor management at work
It’s time we take charge and create a ripple strong enough to bring in a wave of change. And while we are moving in the right direction, just a few simple perspective changes can add momentum to our journey.
Women speaking up for women
If Bromance is real, so is Womance. More than ever, women have started believing in collaboration (rather than competition). Research has proven the accomplishments of synergies and collaborative groups being far more productive than individuals. Possibly the best evidence of women backing up each other is the Lean In Movement. “Lean in Circles are small peer groups that meet regularly to learn and grow together”, brain child of Sheryl Sandburg.
Have your colleague’s back when she needs it. Share constructive feedbacks. And most importantly, don’t judge.
Women speaking up for themselves
It’s time women speak up for themselves. Make a choice and stand up for it. Stop basking in the glory of all the sacrifices that you make as women. Whether you choose to stay at home or step out of it, be an educator or chase adventure in the wild, whatever choice you make, own it.
Women stepping out of their comfort zones
Some job roles, even in corporate enterprises, are more male-centric. And when given an offer, women often choose to pass on the role with the fear of not fitting in. But to make a place female-friendly, it’s important to have a female in it. Instead of making excuses, take up the task and prove your mettle. Carve a path for the women around you. Take charge and make a difference in both, how the society sees you and how you see yourself.
I know you feel that it’s easier said than done. And you are not alone, Hillary felt it too.
Hillary Clinton Campaign speech, 2008
“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it, and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”
Hillary Clinton Concession speech, 2016
“Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”
Losing hope and giving up is not an option. If we stay strong and continue on our path, soon we will break every ceiling, glass or mortar, that tries to stop us.
Nitya Gupta (Author)