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The Freedom to Choose

Women should have the freedom to do what they want in life without fear, without being judged and without societal norms being imposed on them

The Freedom to Choose

Sentinel Digital Desk

In India, a girl is usually exposed to discrimination even prior to her birth, in spite of pre-natal sex discrimination being banned in the country since 1994.

Many times, it has been found that society is prompt to judge a woman who doesn't accommodate the standards and customs set by it like the 'category' of outfits she is wearing to the ideals that the society holds. The conventional image of a 'good woman' is one who is obedient and submissive to elders and men, in particular, shields herself thoroughly, and is docile in putting her family's needs, happiness and comfort ahead of her own. Sadly, a woman who recklessly voices her opinions, does all that her heart aspires to, prefers a career over her family, is free-spirited, individualistic, opinionated, and independent, and doesn't wish to be a mother is decried by society.

In Indian society, the embodiment of a woman's life is viewed as marriage and motherhood. These are significant facets of a woman's life, nevertheless, these cannot be be considered as a necessity for every woman to find happiness in life.

Every single human being is unique in their own way, they act and think distinctively, and perceive and comprehend things differently thereby differing in their gestures and conduct and in the choices they make.

If a woman wishes to be an adventurer, she would have to surrender the concept of a "well-settled married life with her husband and kids". As long as it is her personal choice whether to tie the knot with somebody as per societal norms and give up her passion, or follow her goals and act according to her scheduled priorities, nothing else should matter. Women deserve to possess the freedom to choose whatever they desire to do and who they wish to be. Regrettably, very often most women are compelled to endorse the norms and traditions which they do not want to accept. Innumerable women are forced into a commitment of marriage at times when all they wish is to live a life which revolve around their areas of interest. Some are proffered all the freedom to do what they desire until the time arrives for them to marry.

So now the question comes to light, as to what a woman is supposed to do when she endures such a predicament, where she is "forced" to act in a way against her aspirations, or where her freedom of handpicked choices is taken away from her?

Every single woman in India and around the globe should stand up for herself and her aspirations as well as her opinions. Even though society's perception cannot be changed yet women can transform how they are recognised, scrutinised, and treated in society. Such changes can only turn into reality if one person broadens his or her frame of mind.

It has rightly been said by Canadian poet and author Rupi Kaur, "What is the greatest lesson a woman should learn? Since day one, she already had everything she needs within herself. It's the world that convinced her that she did not."

In view of the fact that every person must not be coerced to wear something, women's choice to wear should also be respected with dignity.

Women carry the weight of patriarchy in multifarious ways. Women are conditioned to represent themselves, dress, and act to please societal norms. Ultimately, the actual freedom of choice transpires when every woman can handpick attires in whatever way she likes, in the absence of the scrutiny and standards of the public. The day women can select their kind of wardrobe as per their wishes without feeling distressed about discrimination, approval or judgment is the day women would have acquired the freedom of choice entirely for each woman around the world.

Women who have empowered themselves can become the root of others' hope and ambition for transformation and inspiration for people to bloom and accomplish the objectives of equality. In several of India's educated and prosperous families, girls are raised to not possess intelligence, to not guffaw, to not unveil their talents, and are rather taught to only be quiet and pleasing. Girls are encouraged to not become an individual, but be 'girls' filled with feminine traits. Even the Indian Government is now welcoming women comrades in warfare operations in the Indian Army yet a corner of society is still lagging behind.

If a woman decides to abandon her career for her family's sake, it should be respected as her choice. Whether a woman should tie the wedding knot or she would make herself a goal-oriented ambitious woman or even a homemaker, the judgment on all such preferences in her life must be assembled by the woman herself.

Mary Kom, the way she punches gracefully in the boxing ring, and the way Geeta Phogat exhibits those elegant wrestling gestures, not only vocalise for themselves but also speak up for the 'choices' women make for themselves and for an open-minded society. Eventually, it has nothing to do with what community, region, or category one hails from.

Society should uplift every woman by admiring their 'choices'. Women who have signed divorce documents and prefer to raise their child in the greatest possible means as single parents should be appreciated. The woman accepting her salary which does not proffer any justice to her dedication, hard work, and talent should be lauded. The women who quietly and devotedly become a pillar of the men's community should also be rejoiced and honoured.

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