What is freedom for women?

Sitting in a quiet restaurant was a Spanish girl, looking restless and sometimes between her words that kept coming out from her lips, she smiled. But her eyes were restless, she was telling me a story about how the idea of love is killing people, killing women. She studied gender and she knew a lot about women in third world countries, where men rule and women obey. Where men lead and women follow, and worlds where men get more and women get what are given to them.

She’s European and I’m Asian, but borders and oceans that separate us prove that being a woman is pretty much the same. She did some research about how myths’ of love destroy women. They believe – or want to believe – that the idea of love is real. The origin of marriage happens when people realize that in order to expand the family businesses, they need to merge with other families by legal bonding, thus marriage was created. Not for love, but money and power. But as civilization changes, people want to have a better idea of a marriage, love becomes one sole reason in modern world to wed.

Now the world is changing again, women feel that they also contribute in how the world works and they realize they can make big things happen, important changes and moreover, they realize that they are a person capable of living their own chosen way of live without help of men. Feminism to the extreme level happen and though this baffled men in many ways (plus, I think men never take women seriously) the old myth that said woman was created from man’s ribs and solely to company Adam who was lonely, in other way to say that women exist to complete men always rings awfully true.

There are many ways to look on women’s role in society and it really depends on how we look at it. Some women’s opinion differ from other women, some even criticize they way other women think. But try hard as we women may, we would be lying to ourselves if we declare that we need no men. Men can live without women, but women -psychologically speaking- find it hard to live without men. There are, of course, many young women who chose to live all by themselves and provide themselves, some even raise children by themselves and declare bravely that they’ll be a mother and also a father for their children. (This case not applied to widowers of course)

These new type of women think marriage is a terrible idea and they don’t see any reason why – if they’re with a partner – should government meddle with it. Being married – if it’s by love – should not need certification or legalization by government. Why should I prove it with paper and seal that I love this man I am with? Some argue that government protects mothers’ rights to their children in case of divorce and inter-citizen marriage. (Which I agree with)

But the idea of freedom for women still lingers without no one has a real grasp of what it means. Being a woman is a hundred different things, being a wife and a mother is another hundreds different thing.

The Spanish girl sipping her drink, realized she had talked too much and apologized. I told her to keep talking because she interests me. She told me that lots of her European friends think that Western women are freer than Asian women or Muslims because in Europe they don’t have to cover their skins and free to wear clothes as they like. She was angry and said that her friend is stupid, “do you think by showing skins means that you are free? Do you think by wearing sexy clothes you are freer than women who wear jilbab? Yet you told me that your parents demand you to get married! How free you are!!”

Now define freedom for women,

If it’s not by the choice of clothes,

or by freedom in living a life,

or by saying what they meant without being judged,

or by feeling proud that they make money,

or by the choice that you married by love not an arranged one,

or by getting equal education, opportunity, and salary with men,

then what?

I think this moment, me sipped tea in small restaurant feeling a weird connection with this girl, was some kind of freedom.

The rain started falling and everything turned grey. There are many questions left unanswered and maybe the urge of women around the world to answer this with their own way is freedom in its own weird form.




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