By Ishma Mahajan
The dragon-lady is a woman of the twenty first century. She is fierce, she is competitive, and she is ambitious. She is a mother, a sister, a wife but mostly a woman who believes in herself. She is the perfect imperfection, yet we fail to recognize her.
She is the woman who no longer remains a domesticated tool of the house. She has dared to move beyond the realm of the home into the outside world. She works hard and she earns. We have labeled her as the working woman but she is a woman who has shown the audacity to put herself equal to men. She has decided to break the myth of the male dominated house. She believes in her individualism and refuses to be defined by any norms. She is an ordinary woman who has challenged the mundane in life and chosen thrill and excitement instead. It seems that she has done it all; made a space for herself in this world and has nothing to be afraid of.
It’s funny how we all so easily ignore a very powerful tool we use all the time, our language. We use it to name people, an act by which we give them their identities. We use it to communicate with one another, an act which we have got so used to that we often forget its importance. We use language to differentiate amongst ourselves. It is the weapon we use to Other the people around us and the woman is the biggest victim of our language. We call her the working woman but fail to see her work. We call her strong but fail to see her strength. We call her intelligent but fail to see beyond the curves of her body. We claim to have given her all that she deserves but fail to see how miserably we have deserted her.
I have come to realize that being a woman is a contradiction in itself. Her identity is a fictional reality. While empowering herself, she has lost all her powers. She is determined yet confused. She aspires to be successful but the consequences make her doubt herself. For a big part of her life, she has been defined by the home she is supposed to nurture. Outside, she defines herself with her work. This constant juggle between the home and the world is a woman’s origin. She makes her way to success but not without the guilt of having neglected her home. She makes her choices and becomes the woman everybody aspires to be. But soon this desirable, smart confident woman becomes the work obsessed, ruthless dragon-lady while a man who makes the same exact choices enjoys his success. She excels in her work but the bias against her sex stops her from doing her best. She breaks stereotypes but gets stereotyped as well. It turns out the dragon-lady is a mirage who masks the truth from all of us. This unafraid confident looking woman is anxious, scared and unsure. The family and the people at her work prostitute her for their respective gains and the dragon-lady in a bid to find who she is ultimately loses herself.