‘Colonialism’, is a very familiar word. A primal dictionary would define it as “Exploitation of a weaker country by a stronger one”. Now, let’s personify them. The former thinks it’s his burden to civilize the latter, where the latter being insufficient to manage on her own. While personifying them, we have subconsciously decided their gender. Stronger=male; weaker= female. So, obvious right? Not so obvious. Firstly, who decides these synonyms? Secondly, what is the criterion for it? People will find it absurd to relate these two terms but, let us put it in this way. Initially, we are lured by them in a way that seems beneficial to us, but, slowly we realize that what seemed beneficial to us actually benefited them. Isn’t this the trick used by our British colonizers? The trade policies, education, and finally the administration! If we scrutinize this trick, we’ll find that the trick was nothing but the control of our minds. We, are still controlled, ruled and governed. The difference lies in who is controlling whom. The human race is divided into two sects- men and women, and even in 21st century “wo-men” are still expected to follow the biblical notion of social hierarchy i.e. to be submissive, obedient and ‘a part of men’. The process of colonization starts with a very tender age, and we are constantly given lessons on behavior by our mothers.”Don’t sit like this, you’re not a boy; don’t speak that way, you’re not a boy; don’t go alone, you’re not a boy!” Then comes our teenage years, at this age we girls come to terms with various issues. We explore our bodies, the opposite sex, our interests, etc. Our tender minds begin to take its shape. Our mothers are still bent on giving us lessons, now supported by our fathers. And now we are told “Learn to cook, you’re a girl; dress up like this, you’re a girl; Grow your mane, you’re a girl”, god knows what all. Fine, now you step in your 20’s. Still the lessons continue? Most of us will agree to a yes. The pointers? Few remain the same and we are burdened by some more to learn. Our parents decide our partners, the age to marry, the career we should choose, whether we should be imparted education or not, how far we should study, everything, every single thing is decided by our patrons. Not that our mothers don’t have any say in our future decisions, but her voice is, to most extent ignored. How vicious this circle is. Neither we are aware of its beginning, nor are we sure of its end. We follow something; because we have seen our mothers follow the same. We don’t question anything, because we were taught not to question anything. We can’t call our mothers the head of the family, because, how can a mother be a head of the family? The position is assigned to our dad right? Reiterating my question, “Who decides this all?” All of this are so deeply entrenched in our minds, that it has become a pattern for us to live. A standard of normalcy! Few of us, who want to break away from this pattern, are labeled as ‘rebellions’,’defiants’ or ‘feminists’. On one hand, it’s insignificant, but on another, this subordination has hugely impacted us. Probably the reason why rape cases are not registered, the need for campaigns like “Bell bajao” is felt, we require pepper spray to protect our respect. No boy would have felt the need to do so, right? This is the scenario at the microcosmic level. But it’s disheartening to see that even at the microcosmic level, the male community is desperately trying hard not to send our daughters to schools, ravishing them for their lust, trading them, bartering them for their greed, the list is endless. True, they have succeeded in controlling our minds. But there is no denying of the fact that things are changing, we are realizing our importance. Still, a lot has to be done. A lot to achieve! We need more Malala’s, more Mary Kom’s, more Lubna Hussein’s and more Virginia wolf’s to snatch what belonged to us, for God has not given any special preference to any sex, We were made equal in every aspect. The need is to reverse the superficial roles, so that it won’t take another 200 years to free ourselves from mental slavery.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Vaishali Soni, our Intern. Vaishali is pursuing English Hons. from Delhi University and she loves to sketch, dance and listen to music. She believes that if our ideas are radical enough to bring a change then we should make an attempt to spread them.