How to Unlearn Patriarchal Ideologies?
Patriarchy has always had an upper hand in the Indian society and obviously it has inculcated the perilous seeds of sexism in all of us, irrespective of our genders. We have been nurturing those deadly seeds all these years and they have taken deep roots within us that we find it tedious to uproot them. Any act that breaks the male-chauvinistic ethos is considered “outrageous” and labeled “rebellious”. It is high time we employ ourselves in uprooting the evils of patriarchy. With all these advancements and awareness around us, it lies in our hands to shatter the wrong ideologies before we mislead the upcoming generations. Let’s unlearn patriarchy!
Learning is tedious but the process of unlearning is even more taxing and demanding. But it is mandatory to unlearn the falsified ideologies which we have internalized, for a glorious tomorrow. There is nothing wrong that we had believed all these lies in all these years of our lives. But it is definitely a mistake if we don’t start unlearning them. Initially it may seem to be a next-to-impossible task and, it may shake us to break our misconceptions and shed our prejudices, because, after all, those had been our basic tenets (however falsified it may be!) of life. But, once on track, it will lead us through the real process of revelation and gradually we will realize that we are being more humanistic towards life. Here are a few things you could do to unlearn the patriarchal ideologies which will help unlearning the lies you have internalized.
1. Ask Yourself: There could be no better judge than your inner self. Keeping aside all that you have learnt, just ask the inner ‘you’. It will definitely reveal the truth that a woman has got every right to live her life without restrictions just like men.
2. Be Humanistic: The best way is to be humanistic. Remember everyone has his/her own set of rules to live up to. So, approach another’s life from a humane point of you. Don’t be judgmental. Don’t gauge her modesty with your own rigid standards and misled definitions of it. Imagine yourself within her shoes. You will better understand her life and realize that no one has got the right to set standards for a woman.
3. Shed/Yield your Preconceptions: In the process of questioning yourself and being humane towards women, there will be so many vital challenges posed to your preconceptions. Yield your misconceptions to those challenges so that you can shed the stereotyped notions about women and embrace or accept her as she is. Yielding is definitely an easy way to unlearn.
4. Research: Even if you are ready to give up your prejudices, your brain will prompt you to be dubious of the unlearning process. It will turn on the kid mode in you—the questioning mode (What is wrong? Why is it wrong? And all other W’s and H of interrogation will shoot out). Don’t let your misconceptions to surface as the answers to those questions. Instead research on it. Ask to the people around. Books and Internet (Fortunately, you are here on one such illuminating and ideal website) will guide you better. Choose the appropriate ones and go ahead!
5. Revise and Practice: Not only learning even unlearning requires revision. You cannot unlearn things overnight and you need revisions. Don’t stop with mere revisions. Try to apply your perspective change in a healthy way in your practical life. Keep trying! Keep Unlearning!
When you agree–‘he’ equals ‘she’, When you accept what had been “seemingly unacceptable”, When you feel normal about what had been “supposedly abnormal”, When you are casual about something that had been “superficially unusual” To you, till yesterday! The process of unlearning is successful! Keep Trying! Keep Unlearning! Best Wishes!
About the Author: This article is contributed by Gayathri Devi. Gayathri has completed her M.Phil. in English Literature from Tamilnadu. Literature instilled her in the thoughts of feminism. And gradually, she was attracted towards this concept and she says it has changed many of her perspectives towards our community & that is how she landed to Respect Women.