I casually throw these words away in friendly conversations with my people. Sometimes jokingly, sometimes desperately trying to hide the hurt with a joke. I understand I am not entirely fair in throwing these words around so easily. But, it just makes life a bit easier to hide under these blanket statements than pinpoint this person or that incident.
Patriarchy. We are all victims and survivors of it. Men, women, others. Young, old and ‘lost in the middle’. You, me and them. But often, the grand layer of privilege helps you look beyond it. Privilege of money, people and freedom lets you move forward and leave it all behind. But yet, once in a while, it creeps up through tiny crevices and hits you before you know it. Misogyny soon follows and drowns you in a pool of guilt and helplessness. That’s not to say we are bunch of helpless clueless beings. But when the blow comes from unexpected directions, it’s only naturally you fall and struggle.
Very evidently, this blog has been all about me and my experiences and how I perceive life. This is also one such, but I am unusually hesitant to write this down. It brings me shame and sorrow to quote people from my life this way. But I need this to be off my chest. So here it goes. Fair disclaimer: none of these is immediate family/friends. Phew!
- Doesn’t matter what you achieve or do. A woman is a burden to the family. ‘It’ needs to be unloaded onto another family through marriage.
- You will be defended and protected because we care about you. But only as long as you abide by the ‘rules’ we lay down for you. Else you are an outcast. An immoral woman.
- You may be 30 or 50. You better check with ‘family’ before you decide what to do with the money you earned. Oh this credit card? No, that’s not for you. Why would we waste our time trying to sell it to you!
- You may be on the right track, driving abiding to rules of the road. Bang! But that accident is all because of you. Why did the men of the house ‘let’ you drive?!
- Okay, let’s say the mistake is on both sides. But now if we go to the police, it’d be ‘uncomfortable’ for you. So let’s just say your male family was driving, and not you. 17 year old teen boy would also be okay, just not you.
The list doesn’t end, but let’s just stop with top 5 for now. So is the blame all on the world and none on me? Absolutely not. There a lot of times I have played the ‘woman card’ and got of annoying insurance/loan representatives. Many times when I have been over protective and unnecessarily worried about a female family member or friend. I have enjoyed a childhood favourite movie overlooking the spewing misogyny. It’s one step at a time to break this century old thoughts and ideologies. One step at a time.