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Nine stereotypical phrases related to women that need to die in 2023

Looking for a New Year resolution to follow? How about bringing some real change?

Pooja Mitra | Published 03.01.23, 07:02 PM
Stereotypical phrases about women one shouldn't use anymore

Stereotypical phrases about women one shouldn't use anymore just declared its word of the year and it is “Woman.” The website wrote: “It’s one of the oldest words in the English language. One that’s fundamental not just to our vocabulary but to who we are as humans. And yet it’s a word that continues to be a source of intense personal importance and societal debate. It’s a word that’s inseparable from the story of 2022.” And that got us thinking.

With women still being subjected to age-old stigmas and stereotypes, don't you think it’s time to introspect and bring about some change? So, here are a few opinions, judgements, comments and stigmas related to women that have been doing the rounds long enough, and it’s time we bid them adieu.


‘Women have a higher tolerance level’

From being “directed” on “how to be” since time immemorial, from menstruating from puberty till menopause to the ability to bear children — sure, between society and nature, women have shown enough tolerance. But tolerance is subjective and to each his own. And assuming, or rather asserting, higher tolerance in women is a stereotypical burden that needs to be slipped under the rug, forever.

‘Women can juggle work and home’

Any working adult with a functional capacity to multitask can balance work and life. Expecting a woman to balance work and home, and prioritise home over work is a gender role-based stigma. It is not a compliment and women are not dashabhujas in real lives but are forced to act as one, where they end up giving themselves zero to no basic care in order to make both ends of their work and home lives meet.

‘Women should know better’

Women should know better

Women should know better

Given the crime records data, sure! American civil rights activist and singer-songwriter Nina Simone once said, “I’ll tell you what Freedom is to me. No fear.” But, well, women indeed know better.

And given the many times women are “asked” to wear “proper” clothes, be back home by “decent” hours, “behave” like a “proper lady” and so on and so forth, women do know better. They always have. But, should the opinionated lot not know better too by now, like minding their own business and creating a safer space?

‘Career is fine, but how about starting a family?’

If you are in your late 20s, your omnipresent biological clock has already started to tick faster than its usual pace (FYI, the biological clock has societal standards as the hour, minute and second hands). Late 30s is drumroll and 40 onwards is “tokey shesh boyoshey ke dekhbe re?” followed by rudali. Even if you are doing exactly what you should do — putting your education and skills to use and working towards financial independence, if your l.p.a is great, career graph is inspirational and you have your own plans for your own life — it all boils down to one moot question — are you married and have at least one child? Because the clock is ticking.. Tick… tick… tick…

‘Only a woman can take complete care of the family’

It takes two to run a family, right?

It takes two to run a family, right?

It takes two to tango but one to make a family? Hmm…. Interesting… Since women are ‘wonder women’ they can continue doing juto shelai to chandipath because that’s the generational legacy that has been passed down? It’s time to break the stigma and have equal financial and household responsibilities divided between “all” members of the family.

‘Watch your weight (and your skin tone, fine lines...)’

Ideal beauty standards allow an ideal weight, a fairer and lovelier complexion and if possible, battling signs of aging as much as possible (but botox is expensive and economic disparity a reality). So, for a woman to have facial or body hair, being obese, having thin hair or a large forehead, eventually stepping towards the non-youthful taut skin days is like dreading the inevitable. And in this case, it’s not death, but aging.

‘Are you PMSing?’

Mood swings are not gender binary. But, for a woman to show a flicker of emotion equals to the cliched, nobody’s business assumption — "Are you PMSing?" Well, since women menstruate, a premenstrual phase is natural, isn’t it?

‘Take care of your image, they might consider you as…’

Women should be allowed to live the life they want to

Women should be allowed to live the life they want to

Oh the mighty understanding of character and a supposed slip… and hell hath no fury like the society scorn at a woman, who is now a morally, ethically and every other possible way a questionable lesser mortal!

‘If she is a divorcee, it must be her’

Who cares to know the problems between a couple who decided to part ways? Why did the woman not try to stay put? Did you say the problems could be of domestic abuse, marital rape, incompatibility, infidelity, lovelessness? But the woman filed for a divorce. Was she not taught doli maikey se uthti hai aur arthi sasural se?

Last updated on 03.01.23, 07:13 PM

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