Patriarchy is a social system where men hold the primary power, predominate in political roles, moral authority, special privilege and control of the property.
The female alternative is matriarchy which is nowhere seen in the world. Not that we women want that to happen, rather we desire equality. The fight with patriarchy, chauvinism and misogyny is not new to us, we have been fighting for equality since the very beginning of the world. The lifestyle practises that initially began for the welfare and warfare of a family have now become the chains that tie both men and women of a house, irrespective of their age.
Women are considered the weaker gender and objectified very easily, “chedenge hum tujhko ladki tu hai badi bombard”, what gives men the authority to mess with a woman irrespective of whether or not she is hot! There is a given set of behaviour for both men and women that they must follow and any deviance would lead to objectification, more of a woman than that of a man, hence any woman who is either too beautiful or expressive has to be exploited by a man.
There are these 7 things that when done by men are acceptable but look absurd when done by women for those who disagree to the facts stated above:
1. Being too loud:
Indians have always asked the women in their house to be polite, calm and not very expressive. Being loud is a trait women cannot possess and if they do they’re silenced by either getting stripped of their freedom or beaten to it. When we also see a woman arguing in public or simply being loud the first conclusion we derive from this is that the woman is crazy and erratic to have been acting this way.
2. Staying out late:
Streets of our country are not very safe at night and every citizen living in this country would agree to that. Our capital is the most unsafe city for women even during the daytime. Parents allow their male children to stay out late at night and not have any restrictions but forbid girls from stepping out after a certain time unless accompanied by their husbands or male friends. Why is it so? If women stay out late then the men take it a sign of weakness or that they should be harassed. Why not tell the boys to come home on time, not stay out late instead of keeping the women at home, denying them freedom. Of course, safety is an important issue and that every human being should be aware not just women.
3. Earning more than a man:
It is a trait of every man to have someone they can subdue or rule over, be it their children, parents or their partner. They want somebody to depend on them and unconsciously even fear that the other gender would become dominant, hence having authoritative behaviour. Children rarely display such qualities rather those of unity and equality but it is the Indian parenting that teaches boys and girls how to behave. When a woman earns more than a man, apologies more than a “when” it is an “if”. Women have been fighting for their rights since the French revolution and even now many are not allowed to vote or even get the same salaries as their colleagues. Husbands or partners do not object to this but the society does definitely condemn them for the fact that they are more economical than their husband because a woman according to the orthodox, conservative misogynistic Indian is one who contributes to the economy by providing manpower i.e. children.
4. Talking openly about their desires:
A woman in India is supposed to withhold her chastity and virtue but no men are asked to do the same. When a man talks openly about desires he’s wanted by many and a woman does the same is called ‘shameless’ and ‘vulgar’ and unworthy of finding a partner.
5. Not helping in household chores:
In a typical Indian home, when guests arrive, we display our hospitality by serving a glass of water to the guests. Who is asked to do that? A young woman of the house, despite the fact that a young boy is also sitting in the same room. Men are not supposed to help in household chores. They will not be asked to make one meal for themselves, or clean their room, or even fetching a glass of water for a family member and when asked to do so they openly refuse are not condemned for it. But when a woman does the same, she’s taught that the ability to manage household chores in an essential skill that she must possess because that is what will lend her a good husband and be in good graces of her in-laws.
6. Having many opposite gendered friends:
We have often seen how a man being around a bunch of girls is seen as a macho and stud but when a woman is seen with a group of men, she’s considered desperate and a slut. Some may even that it is a bad company and spoils the ‘good girls’.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Riddhi Dhamanwala, our intern.