October 3, 2023

“My idea of a woman is a combination of sacrifice, care and purity at one place.”-Premchand

In our country, women are treated as a goddess but what I hear often is “why is it that there is such blatant discrimination and violence against women in a country that worships so many goddesses?” Well, I think we women just want to shout out loud, “Don’t treat me like this, I am not your goddess!” I remember the first time I got my period. I asked my mother, “why do only women have to endure this pain?” She replied wisely, “We are the chosen ones, God gave us the responsibility to create this world. He knows only women can bear all the pain and suffering because she is the strongest one.” It is a very narrow understanding of a ‘woman’ who is more often attributed to the features like shame, sacrifice, motherhood, purity, softness, silence and if any woman doesn’t fulfil these demands of patriarchy, she is considered immoral and is not a goddess for them. In our society, people don’t worship goddesses but more so the attributes performed by them. Is this believes are inject by the patriarchal society??

In this context, just have a look into our social system. In India, Women form about half of the population of the country, but their situation has been grim. For centuries, they have been deliberately denied the opportunities for growth in the name of religion and socio-cultural practices they continued to regard women primarily as mothers and wives, inferior to the men in the society. A woman in Indian society has been a victim of humiliation, torture and exploitation. There are many episodes of rape, murder, dowry, burning, wife-beating and discrimination in society. Men predominate the Indian society, hence women are a victim of male domination in the respective sphere of life; especially in economic life, over decision making on resources, on the utilization of her earnings and her body. Hence, a woman’s life lies between pleasures at one end and danger at another end. Patriarchy is a social and ideological construct which consider men as superior to women. How men became superior to women? Or who decides the superiority or inferiority? It’s all about the attitude of the society. Our society is always promoting patriarchy and gives men a higher position by considering them as strong and giving them the role to lead the family. At the same time, society moulding women to represent as the symbol of purity and sacrifice and teaching them as their role in society is to serve men.

Do you know how society is injecting this patriarchal norm to every girl child?

In my opinion from the birth onwards she faces the gender inequality. Even in this era, we can see many infants are being killed. It’s only because they are girls. When a boy is born to a family they feel proud and in case of a girl they think as a burden. Here begins the journey of women’s lives in a patriarchal society. Each and every stage of a girl’s life everyone including her parents is forcing her to behave according to Indian culture. The Patriarchal society is using the term “culture” to create obstacle in her path of life. Society always creates certain rules and regulation in a girl’s life so that it’s difficult for them to rise beyond boys. Even in the case of toys also they are showing gender discrimination by giving entirely different toys to both genders without their concern.

After attaining puberty, every girl has to face many extra strict rules in addition to the previous rules. They teach every girl that they should know that their place is in the kitchen and not outside of it. Girls must maintain proper decorum and behave properly according to patriarchy rules. Girls should not wear shorts, or backless tops, or dresses because fashion can attract unwanted male attention. Girls should stay away from Westernization and probably just live in a village. Girls should never step out of the house once it’s dark. Girls shouldn’t be adventurous. Girls should not go partying; either alone, or with friends. A girl should be at her house at 6 pm. Keep in mind your curfew time. If you are not in by that time, you are to blame. Do not talk back to your elders /boys despite the fact that they are speaking ill about you or anyone close to you. Basically, shut up. Don’t talk loudly or laugh at men’s jokes because then it means that you are interested in them.

Stereotype believes says that Boys are valued for their ability to protect and provide, while girls are valued for sexual, reproductive, and domestic labour. These certain norms from the society are not actually helping girls to grow rather than it is destroying every girl’s life by building the wall of restriction to their dreams. The society also has a habit of blaming a girl even after she is raped. Every time when there is a crime against her society have a tendency to point fingers at women. When will we stop blaming women for every evil in society today??

At some point of life, every girl in our society has thought of being a boy would make life better. It is not because of the gender it’s because of the attitude of society. They are not getting enough freedom to choose their life or to make a decision in their life. At this century, women in our generation have the opportunity to raise voice for their rights But still, the patriarchy exists. In fact, she needs to struggle a lot to catch up her dream. Now challenging patriarchy is something that has been ongoing for countless generations and it should be eliminated completely for the better tomorrow. What is surprising is most of it happens inside our homes. We people always forget to encourage girls to take more challenges in their life. Qualities like control, power, and competitiveness are all ‘masculine qualities.’ We should stop telling young girls that they are bossy just because they want to be class president. Encourage girls to take charge. These women are our future leaders. Don’t forget, “little girls with big dreams become women with a vision”. Fixed ideas of what is masculine and what is feminine are harmful to both men and women. Eliminating the patriarchy is every woman’s dream.

Break all the patriarchy ideas and Let them fly like a phoenix bird!

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