Not too long ago, I was on a train and a girl and a boy were sitting just a few seats away. They were looking at something on a phone and suddenly the boy yelled ‘she is just crazy’ so loud that I did a double take. I have no idea what they were looking at but the intensity with which he said ‘crazy’ made me a bit uneasy.
For centuries, women have been grouped together and called many things. They are both good and bad stereotypes but hey we tend to somehow get known by names that unnecessarily represent ‘a bit’ more than just who we really are. One gender with so many faces in the society and thus being a woman can be very confusing. Usually portrayed in sex-stereotypical roles such as wives, mothers, daughters, and mistresses — she has been constantly called things that are used in derogatory terms. In many cultures around the world this ‘calling women things’ is so common that hundreds and thousands of women of all ages are forced to commit suicide, are ostracized, thrown out of their homes, abandoned by their families or even murdered in the name of honor because of the tags they receive from the society.
The point is that without knowing someone’s story or the circumstances one’s been in, we tend to burden her with tags that act as weapons —which has the ability to destroy her life. I have come to realize that not all of us can voice our thoughts and thus this piece is dedicated to every woman who at some point in their lives were called things that they are not and for reasons that were never uncovered. This is a voice that people need to hear.
She has been called…
- Crazy because she dreams of becoming someone in the society
- Bold when she rejects any abuse and speaks her mind
- Shameless when she is unapologetically direct and knows her rights (oh yes, we do!)
- Characterless when she has been unlucky in love and dated more than once
- Career woman because she is ambitious and dedicated to her work
- Modern when she doesn’t fear to be the sole breadwinner for her family
- Emotional when she is hurt by the people she loves
- Bitch when she can’t stand any mediocrity
- Whore because she has been sold to sex traffickers
- Trophy wife even when she is genuinely in love
- Dumb when she understands the flirtatious comments but chooses to be respectful
- Witch when she is naturally beautiful and attractive (For real!)
- Bossy because she has inherent leadership skills (Trust me — we do)
- Cold because she can control her emotions very well
- Drama queen when she complains about things that are not satisfactory
- Catty when she responds to negative remarks directed at her (they deserve it!)
- Feisty because accepting injustice is not her thing
- Curvy when she is trying her best to cut down on unhealthy food for a better health (mind you – and not because she wants to look like a barbie doll)
- Attention seeker we can all be that and not just her
- Moody well.. just try not to catch her in a bad mood
The list can go on forever…
Just remember — someone somewhere has been called one of the above terms and maybe she is preparing to end her life now just because she couldn’t take the burden of the meaning that got associated with her identity.
I am no hardcore feminist but I think it would be worth our time to give some thought the next time we call someone ‘something’ without knowing why that person is acting in a certain way. This is not just for women but we should refrain ourselves from calling men things that they are probably not. Of course there will be gaps in our thought process and we are bound to stereotype or call people things — but trying to be more considerate doesn’t cost a thing and hence we should give it a try.
Previously published on medium
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