Today is Mother's day in my country. As I scroll through my social media feed, I'm instantly drawn to the hordes of panegyrics that my online friends have written for their mothers. It makes me smile but at the same time, I cannot help but think about how those same people often post sexist posts lambasting women for daring to be themselves. In a patriarchal society like mine, a woman is only sacred if she's a mother, or a sister to a man. Otherwise, she's just a living commodity, to be leered at and mocked, to be attacked for the most mundane crime of all-daring to choose their own path in life.
To be a woman in my country is akin to having no identity for you are to follow a set of rules that will deify you in the eyes of others. Should you seek to eschew that mighty pedestal, you'll be robbed of your very identity, your very humanity. I've seen it happen time and time again. Female politicians don't even care about the female cause because fighting for women in a patriarchal country is seen as a nefarious goal. I've never heard a female politician clamor for women's right to choose, clamor for independent women who aspire to greater things than just to be someone's mother, someone's sister.
But as I keep trawling through the various posts adorning my home page, I cannot help but feel a sense of relief. A relief that's come about because I realize that our freedom is imminent. How will they keep oppressing us when our voices are no longer echoing within sexist barriers, but reaching previously unknown limits? It seems cathartic to me, that social media might bring about the change we've all been waiting for because social media does eradicate taboos endemic to specific cultures.
In my culture, everything from sex to abortion is taboo and the idea that you might broach a topic within that spectrum, used to be at most, preposterous. But now, with the advent of various forums and websites such as this one, people no longer feel comfortable clinging to age-old taboos. Social media allows us to have conversations that might seem too risqué for business-as-usual media. One such conversation that's worth having is the incidence of violence against women in my country. In the past, even addressing this issue would rub people the wrong way, but now it's evident that most people- even though some of them appear to be mildly sexist-understand the tragedy that's impacted our gender for so long. And even though authorities and local media might turn a blind eye to it, people on social media are becoming more aware of the disparities that have flourished in a society like ours due to our collective resistance to simple conversations.
Social media has also allowed women in my country to mobilize against toxic masculinity. No sexist meme shared goes unnoticed, every girl regardless of her age, takes umbrage when she sees a degrading post about women. This has given rise to an ascending culture of mutual respect, whereby men understand that mocking women is no longer in fashion, and we deserve the same amount of respect that we freely give to them.
Witnessing this gargantuan change has filled me with hope and a newfound contentment, for the women in my life-my mother and grandmother-never expected this change to occur in their lifetime. They were robbed of their agency and their desire to succeed just because society deemed they'd be better suited for domestic life. They were routinely bossed around and subjected to humiliation just because they carried an extra X chromosome, but they persevered and embraced their tacit suffering for the sake of their loved ones. With this new determination to extinguish all sexism on social media, I feel proud that I live in an era that will see us finally freed from the bondage of gender-based discrimination.