As far as I can remember, growing up in this country I have learnt to let the strongly routed patriarchal culture pass through me. It really has come in from a long way, with longer time till it stays, until we may be able to uproot it.
The Indian culture from ancient times, like from the earliest times, suggests a very bold and wise culture, a very open minded settlement. Known as a land of wisdom, where people have come full circle in life to realize the ironies of it, and set their priorities right. Those times are known to have the wisest Rishi-munis and Saints, who had everything figured out. literally! The Vedic texts, the maths, the science .. they just had it all figured. The Chanakya era, known for its progressive lifestyle of a kingdom. From various studies it appears the ancient indian sub-continent was very open-minded about their women, ranging from their influence in the society-to how they dressed. Kama-sutra is one such huge example of the advancement of this society. There are even Sanskrit texts that have stories with women protagonists who were very open about their relationships with men, stuff like extra-maritals and multiple partners. By advancement I mean exactly what you are questioning in your head? a character-less woman ? My stupid dear, what does character mean to you ? I’m certainly not interested in your definitions of character, but for me it is the sole quality of a human to survive at his will, with may be some integrity which won’t involve hurting others. That is all, no amount of relationship graph can possibly define someone’s character.
It occurred in the mid-century where some numb-nuts thought a peaceful world is not good enough. They did not mean to find meaning in life, instead they wanted to take away everyone else’s peace of mind, and control as much as they could. I’m referring to the Alexanders & Mughals who started the trend to invade the peaceful sub-continent. Not that within sub-continent there weren’t negative elements, but most of it was outsiders. I’m basically suggesting we always have the dim-wits who do not get reason or logic. So these invasions caused the sub-continent to protect their women against assault, they required to hide them and cover them, in order to protect that pride-respect associated with a family or clan.
Up north of India had dramatic changes in the culture of open-mindedness, women could no longer wear single shoulder drapes hugging their bodies, showing off their beautiful curves, no longer bathe in open rivers and ponds and walk out wet to entice strange men. They could no longer be treated as equal to men, as they desperately required protection of men, they could not support or defend themselves, they were refrained from being themselves i.e. being free humans. All this only because the women have a little slit down under, which happens to be creator of life, the biggest power known to this world. Thus, it has been speculated many a times, that a patriarchal society originates from this fear, that if a women can give birth, she can have the greater power. The only way a man finds his solace is by having control over this possible threat to his false-ego – The woman. Constantly over a period of time, women were deprived of gaining wisdom through any means, education or interaction, were continually made to believe they were the weaker sex, they can’t survive without the stupid Adam. And c’mon! we have this woman in all of us. What? you don’t agree? you definitely need a man to control that thought about independence. Without a man , you are nothing, at least in this country. (being sarcastic.. duh!)
And of course, the men have continually been taught to be all-mighty and the big power all this while. Why are you disappointed if you yourself have been participating in this. All women I’ve known have constantly believed in themselves to be something to be protected, and fearing if its intruded upon. Its all these women.. our mothers, our grandmothers, mother-in-laws who constantly instruct their daughters and daughter-in-laws to behave in certain ways in order to protect that imaginary and glorified pride. This Pride has been over-rated, over centuries.
Why a woman’s pride must be tagged to that of an entire Clan or family ?
why is she constantly burdened to be carrying that weight, even though she is supposed to be weakest of all others ?
why is she made to feel ashamed if she lost that pride due to an un-called for event ?
Why must she feel she is capable of losing her pride at all, or anyone else’s ?
Ask yourself, and I hope this generation of mothers or grandmothers who have instilled this belief in us are reading such posts online, to reflect upon themselves, their education, the values they pass on to their daughters. What about sons? you definitely wouldn’t instill good values in your son if you haven’t for your daughters.
You are the culprit. You always let other’s interest stand over your own self-respect. You always have been dumb enough to let them make you weaker. This is because of your slight need for comfort or may I say .. laziness. Of course you like to be treated as a princess.. just like men like to be the King, but don’t you think you need to have some pride of your own to go with it ?
Men have succeeded in making you believe that his pride is a natural occurrence and yours isn’t. You are someone who just needs to follow his pride and lose yours on the way. That isn’t collaboration, that is slavery. Giving the argument about being physically weaker than men, is another scam. Eat well, and keep trained, nothing with a hanging organ can ever do anything to you. Not even when you are leaking with red.
It saddens me to have such mothers and mother-in-laws myself. In my mid-twenties my mother had once instructed me to protect my virginity, as she thought it was horrendous to lose it to someone you won’t marry. Many social stigmas behind that, that you can’t question. My mother-in-law constantly wants me to cover my face and hide in the back-room of the house, as people outside the house may just have a glimpse of me, and since I hold the pride of the household, no free-shows! The Karwa Chauth being the most dim-wit kind of fast invented by the north indians. I mean why in the world must I refrain from food and water for an entire day for the husband ? for that matter Roza for Ramzan sounds better, as then you fast in the name of God atleast. oh oh .. the husband is supposed to be our God you mean ? .. ah now I get that. well ..fuck that! And if I do not fast for your son, it is a matter of worry for you, because it possibly holds a threat to his long life is it ? ohh.. poor that you actually believe that crap. I’m a women, I can control birth of a life, not finish it. duh.
That does it. I do not mean to carry any dim-witted cultural stigmas and rituals into the next generation. I quit being this weak woman. What happened in Delhi lately, will not change unless you stop being so fearful of it. The man needs to be shown, he possibly cannot make you lose pride. He is not capable of it. And certainly that little tool he has hanging below, isn’t actually a tool that can destroy someone.