Sunday, 26 October 2014

Being a Woman - A Strength or a Weakness?

Photography by : Prakash Daniel 

Many times. Several times. Enough times for me to write about it have i been asked this question
Is it a weakness or a strength to be a woman on stage? A young girl sat across me with curious eyes and dreams so fresh that i could smell them off her long beautiful dyed hair and fair soft skin like butter milk. She grabbed her paper and pen - thanking me for coming down to oblige her for an interview for her university's class project.

Topic : As a female/woman comedian - how is Sharul Channa coping in the market since it is a male dominated industry.

Just this once i prayed under my breathe hoping she will interest me in talking about  other topics to do with comedy or she will ask me the same question in a way  that i won't even realize she is asking me this question i have been asked a thousand times.

She managed to succeed in asking me more than she intended to and i answered more than i had intended on answering. At some point, the conversation boiled down to - so is it a strength being a woman or a weakness?

I found myself just hesitating to properly answer the question. Somehow i couldn't find the words to put it in a sentence - maybe i needed a paragraph. I believe sometimes while talking to others, you manage to find a nugget of knowledge which you didn't otherwise think you have or could come up with. It's like you connect with the divine or some sort of energy to say something so profound that you shock yourself - did I really say this? I ? Who am i to know this? How did this simply drop into my psyche, my soul, my brain?

Many a times women start to believe that its strong to be a weak woman and its weak to be a strong woman. Meaning?

If you come across  as a strong woman- you know the sort…yapping about everything and talking about woman rights and what she really thinks  and making bold statements because she truly believes what she is saying. Society tends to think that she is too strong and women should not be like that because we're not supposed to have such strong opinions. God forbid if you have a husband who speaks less or have a good friend who keeps quiet - Suddenly, they start looking smarter compared to you and people go , " Oh, your friend is very sweet and classy!" and all they have to say about you is…"You potty mouth!"

These judgements are many a times made by women themselves - for other women. Some sort of jealously to see a liberated woman because they themselves could never speak so freely. It happens.

So what was my answer? Strength to be a woman or a weakness?

Many women have made their gender their own weakness. I have heard many say - "but how will i do it?" ," but i need some help? " , "but i am alone?, " but what will they say? " , "but i don't know?" ,
"should i say something? " , "things will sort themselves out." , " I need to discuss this with my husband."

Funnily enough, i have heard these same women say things about other women who dress well and run businesses and go for late night parties - " Ah, she is such a slut!" , "Just look at the way she is dressed!" , " She doesn't really take care of her kids!" .

I think the day women start thinking that they are good enough and self-sufficient to achieve what they need to - their relationships will improve and so will their self-worth. We make it difficult for ourselves by heavy negative self-talk and  we disgrace other women at the same time. We need to empower each other and face society with confidence,power and continue to work hard. Believe in yourself and everyone else will. You could be a man and take this same advice. You need no one's support but your own. Go out and do something. One thing everyday to prove to yourself that you are self-sufficient. Its perfectly alright to love yourself and let it be known. Yes, at the same time - don't be mean to others and please keep your kindness intact.

How do i find my confidence again? - some might ask.
Book a flight for one and travel alone to any destination. Get lost and find yourself. It is the most beautiful feeling in the world.

It's a strength to be a woman and weaknesses can be manipulated to become another strength.

Go find a paper and make a list of things to do and call it
If i wasn't afraid of anything - i would :
And then do those things.

I will write my list below and you could share yours with me too.

If i wasn't afraid of anything - i would :

1. Smile more often
2.  Call up some people and tell them that i truly love them
3. Go hiking
4. Take a trip somewhere to just write more jokes
5. Book a theatre and do my one hour show
6. Cut my hair - Pixie style
7. Start my own youtube channel
8.  Do a corporate show without feeling extremely nervous of saying the wrong things
9. Wear sleeveless cos i have always been shy of my arms
10. Tell my dad that he needs to watch one of my stand-up shows without me bursting into tears because it will be emotional for me


The interview went well btw and it was great talking to Dora - hope she finds her strength in being a woman and fulfills her dreams. :)

Btw, if you think i am too strong a woman for you to handle - you have a weakness you need to work on. ;)

Love and laughter,

Sharul Channa

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