Tag Archives: patriarchal society

The Subtle Irony Of being A Woman!

 

Sanskrit, the mother of all Indian languages describes women in the following manner:

“Karyesu Mantri

Karmesu Dasi

Rupesu Laksmi

Ksamaya Dharitr

Snehesu Mata

Sayanesu Vesya

Sadkarma Nari Kuladharma patni (Pillai)

By which, the saying literally means that an ideal woman should be a minister in practical affairs, a slave in action, Goddess Lakshmi in beauty, mother earth in patience and  a prostitute in bed and so on.

This is how women have been treated for years and years. We have crossed centuries and ages in India, behind the myth that women here, are treated as Goddess Lakshmi, the four armed goddess of wealth, often depicted holding lotus flowers and an overflowing pot of gold. But where exactly have we reached? We have definitely ‘evolved’ from living as saints and hermits to a well civilised person, but this mythical concept of an ideal woman never changed. Do women get the same freedom? Think about it. Surely, we have come from using pigeons as a source of postman to email’s and messages, but the treatment of women never changed.

The very fact that I have to say ‘treatment’ of women is proof enough that we live in a gender biased society. She isn’t a commodity; she is a separate human being who has her own rights and freedom, who never needs to ask her father, brother, husband, boyfriend, fiancé, father-in-law or any male relative for that matter for any single thing. She has the right to live the way she wants to.

It is her life, it is her choice!!

As a male, we tend to get offended by this. Why not? It hurts our ego. We have stuck with this Sanskrit concept of an ‘ideal women’ only because it suits us and not her. We never stuck up with the concept of

‘Tvamev Mata Chapita Tvamev

Tvamev bandhu sakha tvamev

Tvamev vidya dravidam tvamev

Tvamev sarvam mama dev dev”

This virtuous concept we don’t accept and keep with ourselves, but the concept which should have changed years ago, is still with us. How many of you would dedicate this shloka to your parents today? I mean, yes you love them, and for now you might say that yes you would say this for them but honestly, think of it, would you literally go and say this to them? That you are everything to me?

But this other definition of ideal women seems to have stayed with us longer, way longer than it needed to be with us. The shloka was written ages ago, we have come a long way from it and we truly need to let that belief go. What happened in the yesterday, was in the past, it no longer needs to be with us. This has been our belief always, in everything except for this matter. Sure, women have been done wrong for ages in the past, but it does not need to remain so! Change is the constant!!!!

We don’t follow the old age rules any longer mentioned in the books of Manusmriti, Ramayana, Mahabharata or any other epic or myth then why do we still stick up for this age old saying.

In reality India’s women are discriminated against, abused and even killed on a scale unparalleled.

It’s a miracle a woman survives in India. Even before she is born, she is at the risk of being aborted due to our obsessions for sons.

As a child she faces abuse, rape and early marriage, and even when she marries, she is killed and abused for dowry. If she survives all of this, as a widow she is discriminated against and harassed for no fault of her own.

Any single one of you cannot deny that this does not happen in India, with or without the statistics.

Oh don’t even start me on statistics. You say that the numbers are reducing. I don’t believe it, because the old school person that I am, still likes to read newspapers instead of apps, and every day that I open the paper, I find headlines with ‘3 year raped and murdered’ ‘Women gang raped and dumped’ ‘A 100 year old raped, found dead’. We have crossed all boundaries, my friend. The gender doesn’t matter to men, but so does the number. These psychopaths have not spared any one, they select their predators from varying ages, from months old baby to a century old woman, and they have no guilt inside of them. A little girl who doesn’t even know that she will be able to speak one day, goes through something, which she will never know was wrong, and a woman who has seen everything, has greyed over all shades of life, sometimes is yet to see something more gruesome.

Seriously, are we evolving or are we simply going back to becoming animals?

Oh, no, I am not pointing at you, I am just stating the facts. You might not have done anything wrong.

But have you stopped anyone from doing this wrong?

Coming to an absolutely different perspective. I am still ashamed to see that we still have people blaming women for the things that occur to her. I mean, she gets raped “She was wearing obscene clothes”, she gets molested, “She was talking to men on the road, late in the night.” I mean if talking to someone in the night, or wearing revealing clothes is the issue then why are men never raped when wearing shorts or talking to a female in the middle of the night?

They talk of lose values. I don’t understand what are exactly loose values? The fact that a woman wears jeans or the fact that a man stares at her in a way which makes her uncomfortable to a point that she feels horrible to be born as a woman?

For god’s sake, and it is not even about wearing jeans. Bring me one woman, who says that she wears only sarees and suits and has never been mistreated and looked upon with hungry eyes.

Molestation and rapes are an issue here, accept it, and the sooner we change it the better for us.

Come to think of it, the trouble is not only from the unknown males; the women are not safe inside their own homes. Now, where do you think the problem lies?

“Don’t wear this, don’t go there. Don’t do this.” What if someone says this to a man? Would he follow this? Wouldn’t he be angry?

Yeah? Then women feel so too. It’s as simple as that.

A man wouldn’t like to be told what he should do, what he should wear, what career options he can pursue, what is the time by which he has to get home, then how would a woman like this?

She is just another human being whom we need to respect, that is all. She needs nothing else from us. She can be secure in her own regard, only if we as men change ourselves, because I don’t think she needs any kind of change in herself. She is marvellous.

She is beyond colour, shapes and sizes, beyond the colour pink, beyond kitchen walls, beyond the way she speaks and dresses up, she is who owns power, she is who can never be suppressed. She is who keeps on fighting. She is a free bird who celebrates herself every single day.

She is the woman, of whom, some men have been afraid, which is why they have been suppressing her.

We as a society need to stop this dominance, and let her fly of her own will, and accpet her as she says, she is.

I am a woman.

I am black, I am white,

I am wheatish.

I am a woman beyond colour.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am fierce, I am wild,

I am not feminine, not masculine,

I am a woman, beyond qualities and quantities.

 

I am fat, I am too thin,

I have flappy breasts and heavy thighs,

I am a woman beyond any shape and size.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am emotional, I am sentimental,

I, may be cry a lot,

I am a woman, who speaks her heart out.

 

I am a woman, not a commodity.

I have my own rights and decisions,

I am a woman who owns power.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am beyond pink, beyond the kitchen walls,

I am beyond the dresses that I wear,

I am beyond the qualities that the society wants me to bear.

 

I am self-sufficient, relentless,

I am happy, I am sad.

I am a woman that has in her all.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am a woman that has been smiling,

I am a woman that has been celebrating herself,

Every single day, not only on this women’s day.

 

I am a woman that you have been mistreating,

I am her, whom you have been supressing,

I am a woman who has still always been fighting.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

I am a woman, you fucking idiot,

I can never be owned, never be chained,

I am a free bird.

 

I am a woman that you are scared of,

I am a woman that you can’t ever celebrate,

I am the women you always wanted to destroy.

A woman that you don’t desire.

 

Well, I do not care.

I am a woman of resilience.

I am the woman that can fly,

I am the woman, who pines to reach heights,

A woman that you can’t desire.

 

In conclusion, I would only say that I might not have brought forward any new point here, but all I hope in return is a new outcome the result of which would be a happy and free woman.

PS: This post is written form a male point of view, as a hope and belief that there are some men who think this to be true, and want to see the change which women have been dying to see since ages!!

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Th post was originally written as a guest post for Mona and the poem was written in the event of celebrating Women’s day last year.

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Re-visiting; Re-reading.

I read this following poem time and again, very often, so often that by now I have most of the lines by heart and yet I do not get enough of it.

How can I? Because every time I read this, it gives me, well I won’t say new insight but the very same old feelings that I live with. The feelings are always there, they are ever present, only they come out or I let them come out not too often. These are the feelings I live with, most women live with.

Though there are some days when they flow so rapidly that I fail to control them, or give them a direction and on those days, I read, I read anything, and everything, I read poems, novels, stories, plays. I read this poem all over again.

Today is one such day, and I will share this once again. Because, I am flowing, I am hurting, I am smiling, because it’s all mine, because I am I.

An Introduction. 

I don’t know politics but I know the names
Of those in power, and can repeat them like
Days of week, or names of months, beginning with Nehru.
I am Indian, very brown, born inMalabar,
I speak three languages, write in
Two, dream in one.
Don’t write in English, they said, English is
Not your mother-tongue. Why not leave
Me alone, critics, friends, visiting cousins,
Every one of you? Why not let me speak in
Any language I like? The language I speak,
Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses
All mine, mine alone.
It is half English, halfIndian, funny perhaps, but it is honest,
It is as human as I am human, don’t
You see? It voices my joys, my longings, my
Hopes, and it is useful to me as cawing
Is to crows or roaring to the lions, it
Is human speech, the speech of the mind that is
Here and not there, a mind that sees and hears and
Is aware. Not the deaf, blind speech
Of trees in storm or of monsoon clouds or of rain or the
Incoherent mutterings of the blazing
Funeral pyre. I was child, and later they
Told me I grew, for I became tall, my limbs
Swelled and one or two places sprouted hair.
WhenI asked for love, not knowing what else to ask
For, he drew a youth of sixteen into the
Bedroom and closed the door, He did not beat me
But my sad woman-body felt so beaten.
The weight of my breasts and womb crushed me.
I shrank Pitifully.
Then … I wore a shirt and my
Brother’s trousers, cut my hair short and ignored
My womanliness. Dress in sarees, be girl
Be wife, they said. Be embroiderer, be cook,
Be a quarreller with servants. Fit in. Oh,
Belong, cried the categorizers. Don’t sit
On walls or peep in through our lace-draped windows.
Be Amy, or be Kamala. Or, better
Still, be Madhavikutty. It is time to
Choose a name, a role. Don’t play pretending games.
Don’t play at schizophrenia or be a
Nympho. Don’t cry embarrassingly loud when
Jilted in love … I met a man, loved him. Call
Him not by any name, he is every man
Who wants. a woman, just as I am every
Woman who seeks love. In him . . . the hungry haste
Of rivers, in me . . . the oceans’ tireless
Waiting. Who are you, I ask each and everyone,
The answer is, it is I. Anywhere and,
Everywhere, I see the one who calls himself I
In this world, he is tightly packed like the
Sword in its sheath. It is I who drink lonely
Drinks at twelve, midnight, in hotels of strange towns,
It is I who laugh, it is I who make love
And then, feel shame, it is I who lie dying
With a rattle in my throat. I am sinner,
I am saint. I am the beloved and the
Betrayed. I have no joys that are not yours, no
Aches which are not yours. I too call myself I.

Kamala Das. 

Three Day Quote Challenge; Day1.

I have been recently nominated for “Three Day Quote challenge” by the_aestheticspirit from- https://ecstacy49.wordpress.com and Natasha Tungare from- https://natashatungare.wordpress.com

The quote I am going to share is something that I read recently and have no idea as to who has written it, but I must say that I stand by it, 100000%. Some might agree with me, and some might just not stand to even give a little thought to it. But I will share it no matter what.

123

I don’t need to say anything else.

And so they don’t like me now!

I was sitting with my cousin and my aunt in their house, munching snacks and having a relaxed time over a cup of tea. We were having a blast, my cousins who have come all the way from Gujarat are really chirpy and can make you feel instantly at home anywhere, even if they are themselves not at home, and my aunt surely enjoys their company. Whenever they come over it is like the house is full of people, despite them being only two teen girls.

One of them just went upstairs to bring something to show me and that was enough for my aunt to start on me. She definitely likes to know everything going on in my life, and I on the contrary hate telling her or any one for that matter everything going on in my life. I can tell you just the thing you know but not every petty thing. So somehow we landed on the topic of girls being educated which made her say that she wants a “Beautiful, educated wife for her son who would stay at home and look after everyone.”

I could have made 1000 jokes on this and let it go but I could not, just as I am never able to let it go. I tried to make her understand what she was asking for and yet I could pass nothing into her chained minds. For her education is important but when it comes to utilising it, girls aren’t meant to do it. I mean do these people even understand themselves what they are asking for? They want an engineer homemaker for an engineer man, a doctor for a doctor, a management student for a manager? They want a girl to spend years and years educating her, working so hard to bring her to certain level and when the time comes to marry, they want her to leave it all behind and shove her degrees in the store room.

I respect completely stay at home moms or wives who choose to not work for their families, but the respect only extends to those who CHOOSE it, it turns to pity for them and disgust for their family members just the moment I get to know that the decision was forceful.

I know this brings us to another statement put up- ‘FIGHT FOR IT’.

What do you think? Women don’t? Of course they do, but somewhere down the line, there are many boundaries, emotional or otherwise which she just can’t cross or is forced again not to cross. If a man says he understands all this, I am sorry I am not going to believe it. I think you do not understand a person’s feelings unless you have been through them.

So there I was trying to justify myself but it was very clear that I was speaking Latin to a person who understood only plain Sanskrit.

Before the discussion changed into a heated argument my cousins took over and there was no further chance to discuss anything else, but my aunt’s curt replies and behaviour made it clear that she didn’t like my presence anymore, so making some excuse to my cousins, I left bidding them good bye.

I could not stand being in the wrong. I could not help being there, feel disgusted. The fact that I was trying to explain my point, talk up to my aunt made her feel that I was in the wrong then how are we supposed to make them understand things that are beyond their understanding?

We think that we can change these people, these circumstances but I don’t think so. We will fail until we have such people (MEN AND WOMEN) in our lives.

I don’t care if she doesn’t like me, now that I have raised my voice, put forward my opinion in front of her; what I care about is I like myself. I know I didn’t change her mind, but had I just taken it all without even trying, putting a little bit of effort, I would have hated myself. I failed but at least I tried. Well, that is what I am trying to say to myself and keep calm.