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5 Ways Women Aid Patriarchy

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So, women's day is over and we all have put up posts/status talking about how awesome it is to be a woman and what are the changes we would like to see going forward. Stories of many strong and successful women were shared, unheard of stories came to the foreground and every woman was celebrated her own way. God knows we all deserve it. I'm not the one to go ahead and say that why are women celebrated only for a day and all that jazz. If a certain day exists, good. Maybe it is the day we talk about the good and bad of being a woman and strive the rest of the 364 days to make the world a better place for women. Either way, this is not something that can be accomplished in a day or a month or a year. It is going to be a long journey and it is going to take a lot of time to achieve equality. Yes, feminism is all about equality and nothing else.

In order for the world to be a better place for women, we need to smash the deep rooted patriarchy in the hardest way possible. We women must hold hands, form a circle and not let patriarchy escape until it is shattered and destroyed completely. While most women are willing to do this, there also exists a sect of women who believe that patriarchy must exist. These women knowingly or unknowingly aid patriarchy in more ways than one.

I love being a woman. I come from a family of two daughters and I was the younger one. Still, my parents did not feel the need to treat us differently as we were not boys. Throughout my entire life when I lived with them until I got married, not once have they complained that they do not have a son. They gave us the best of everything they could and not once were we asked not to do certain things as we were girls. Not once have I thought of what a drawback it is to be a woman. I was living my life the way I wanted to, I was earning well, I was meeting wonderful people and doing everything that I wanted to. I was enjoying being a free human first. Then, I got married. The worst two years of my life thus began, until we moved out to a place of our own.

I honestly hadn't thought much about patriarchy and feminism until then. There was no need to as I did not face any gender bias anywhere in my life. I was bold, brave and I always voiced out my opinion. No one asked me to shut up, no one took me for granted. I always mattered. So, obviously you don't feel like the minority then. I always knew patriarchy existed, but it did not influence me. When it did, it came as the rudest shock possible. That is when I realized that more than men, it is women who actually aid patriarchy. They fuel it, they keep the fire going. They believe that is how the world should be. 

Here are 5 ways in which women aid patriarchy. They do it knowingly or unknowingly, is still a debate. There maybe more ways too, but these are the ones that come to my mind now.

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1. Being a woman is a curse.

Gosh, the number of times I have heard this is probably more than the number of times I have heard my own name. All in the span of a couple of years. Right from cooking to managing a house to menstruation, everything was made such a big deal of. I am someone who has her own logic. I believe that you should do something because you want to, not because you have to. If you want to crib about it, then don't do it. If you think you have to do it because of your gender, fight for it. Women toil endlessly cursing themselves for being born a woman and they subject the same to every woman around them. As a woman, you should do this. As a woman, you should do that. I wanted to scream out loud and run away at times. The harassment I faced during my monthly period was something else all together. That was the only time I felt that maybe I shouldn't have been born a woman. Just that one time and I can never forgive people for making me feel like that. I love being a woman and if ever I plan to have children in the future, I sure as hope that I have a daughter.

2. Men will be men.

This is a huge topic to cover, so let us just take into account a small time frame. The pandemic. Many friends of mine spoke endlessly about how hard it has been for them to manage the house, office work, children and the family in general. Most men never lift a finger at home, be it to cook or clean. Thankfully, I've been blessed with an awesome partner and I have never felt the need to used words "men will be men". Let me ask you a question, how many of you men were asked by your mothers to help your wives? Most women, especially mothers, think that men are not supposed to do the housework. Years of patriarchy is ingrained in them and that is what they learnt from their mothers and they from theirs. I just have one question. If you are so unhappy with it, why didn't you do something about it? Did you at least try? If you didn't succeed, it doesn't mean that you pass it on to your daughters and daughters-in-law. Men will be men, yes, but who says men can't be accountable for household work?

Also, since men will be men, as a woman you are not supposed to do anything to trigger them or entice them. Yes sir, that means you should cover up your body and keep your mouth shut. Did you know that most women believe that if a woman dresses and behaves the way she is expected to (by them and society), then crimes will not occur? Victim shaming is done firsthand by women.

3. Man = Money, Woman = Domesticity.

Every time my husband and I used to head back home after a long tiring day at work, he was asked if he had a long tiring day, but I was asked to go make coffee for the both of us. When our house was getting ready and the kitchen was done, it was pointed out to me that my department is ready. Both these times, my partner put his foot down and voiced out his opinion. Both of us have invested in our home without taking a penny from anyone and while the kitchen is supposed to belong to the woman, the entire house belongs to the man. Utter nonsense. Women need to stop associating themselves with the kitchen. If they can't, they shouldn't push it down the throat of other women at least. If one woman thinks that it is her duty, so be it. It is her choice. Doesn't mean it should be the choice of every woman.

One more thing I have often noticed is that, even if the woman is working, she carries the credit card of her husband while shopping. I do not understand this at all. I know the pool is called "our money", but when you are looking at equality, this is not how it works. A man doesn't have to tend to your wants. It is not the duty of the husband to buy things for you. Just like how it is not your duty to cook for him. There is no gender involved when it comes to earning money or making a meal.

4. Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi.

I went through it, you should too. This seems to be the mantra of most women. Mothers subject their daughters and mothers-in-law subject their daughters-in-law to this. I thought that the purpose of humanity was that if I go through something bad, I shall try my best to ensure that it doesn't happen to anyone else. While some women understand the pain they have gone through and make it a point to not pass it on, some pass it on with a vengeance and interest. It is sad really, if you look at it closely. I have heard endless tales of harassment while being subjected to the same. Some women don't understand that some things need to be put to an end. Some things need to be buried. Some things don't need to exist. But no, it is almost like they are making up for what happened to them decades ego. If this is not sadism, then what is?

Such women have a problem when their daughters turn out to be strong independent women and when their sons respect their partners or women in general, in spite of not having learnt that from the parents. If a woman is living the life they did not get to live, they don't like it. Because, why should she?

5. The man should have the last word and yet whatever the man says/does is because of the woman he's with.

He's afraid of his wife. He doesn't have a say in his house. His wife controls him with a iron fist. How many times have you heard these lines? Patriarchy puts men on a pedestal and no one should question his decisions. But when he says something that is not expected or something that doesn't align itself with the very concept, they are being influenced by a woman. Most likely, the partner. I find it really funny when women say this, mainly because it automatically has me thinking that if they are thinking on these lines, it means they might be trying to influence their partners as well. Clearly they have failed. Men are wonderful human beings with fully formed brains of their own. They are smart, they are fit, they are intelligent and they are more than capable of thinking on their own. Let's give them the credit for that. Let's look at them as more than breadwinners.

It is in human nature to err and make mistakes. It is human nature to analyze a situation and make a decision based on it. Gender has nothing to do with it. Men think from their brains (or another often used anatomy) and women think from their hearts - this is the most annoying thing that I've ever heard. Humans think and act based on their cognitive capacity and their emotional balance and the last I heard both genders have them both.

As a feminist, in this fight for equality, I think it is very important for women to stand up for each other and stand by each other come what way. If we put up a united front, we can go into this battle stronger. Somewhere men have started to let go of patriarchy and become more aware of the other sex. That is a good sign, no doubt. But, we also have a section of women who drag themselves and others back two steps every time a step is taken in the forward direction. All in the name of patriarchy. 

So tell me, do you think women don't aid patriarchy?

Comments

  1. You are a true feminist, Soumya. You put things as it is and give us the right frame of mind towards empowerment.

    I strongly agree to your point that women aid patriarchy. I have witnessed and have also faced shameful words that makes me cringe when I think of it.

    I am blessed that my husband is very good at housekeeping. He used to help his mother as well. She used to manage really well, I appreciate that. However, it's the shaming that I couldn't get over.

    There was a point where I accepted that I am not as good as them in handling a house and that actually set me free. I started to do things myself and now I'm the happiest when I have a kitchen of my own.

    Whether someone wants to cook or not is their own decision to make and that is true. Also, how and what they want to eat is again their choice.

    You break a lot of strong knots in a woman's life. Thank you.

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  2. You've nailed them all. Couldn't agree more!

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  3. Oh God Soumya... I nodded to every bit of it. Gone through, going through every one of it. Add to this, when folks look at me with sympathy because I have two girls ARGh!!!!! I am even told that I need to save more money....because I have two girls ARGH again!!!

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  4. You've put it so well. This thought process is so rampant that half the time people don't even notice it, have no clue how wrong it is to think this way. I am glad awareness is increasing. Like you, we are also two sisters and were never made to feel we were any less than anyone else. I count that as one my life's biggest blessings.

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