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Submission and tolerance in women is not inherent, as much as a feeling of supremacy in men is not. It is time we stopped defending these ignorant stereotypes!
We lose our sense of self very early in life. From a very early age we are taught how being social is essential for survival, how important it is to prioritize other’s wishes before ours.
“Smile more”, “Don’t laugh loudly”, “walk delicately”, “Don’t ask so many questions”, “Talk less”, “If you want to keep a relationship, you must tolerate some things. Develop patience towards another person”.
I don’t know if men are told this, time and again for every relationship. I haven’t personally seen anyone advise this to men. But I have seen enough women being told to control impulses, not get angry, adjust some more. All this is told to women under the garb of “Women have the inherent ability of being tolerant and accomodating”. They then tell us in many words how this is how women ‘are made’ psychologically by the maker.
Being a lonely child, I was always prone to look for affection outside. But this formula of passivity fed into my naive mind by everyone in the society made me succumb to a psychological condition where I, for the longest time, kept genuinely believing that it is love when a man dominates me. I wanted to be adored and pampered, and devoid of a father figure all my life, I kept looking for a man who ordered me, protected me – because that is the social fabric I grew up with.
My social conditioning was ‘women have to be docile’ but my blood has always been angry. So after plenty of adjustments with dominance, I rebelled strongly. And since I rebelled after keeping quiet for a long time, people around me believed that I was being unreasonable. The men in my life were given sympathies by my own people because I was known to be ruthless while breaking up. It looked as if I let them rule over me and suddenly one day I decided they cannot.
I blamed myself too for the longest time. Apologized profusely for my failed relations. Was tremendously impacted mentally. It isn’t easy to blame yourself day and night, and then hear your close ones say “You should have adjusted some more perhaps”. It is a destructive thought.
Until one fine day I sat and contemplated. I thought about how everything that went before was ignored. How was my idea of being loved so flawed since the beginning? How was their idea of loving someone also so flawed? Did I not give them enough chances? Did I get any? Do you HAVE to give chances? Doesn’t that depend on who you as a person are?
Women are NOT psychologically tolerant. They are conditioned to be so since the day they are born. They are conditioned to think they need protection. They are conditioned to think that a loving boyfriend/husband means one who is possessive and orders them around.
Women who defend domestic violence as “husband has a right to hit me” have been conditioned to think that way. Getting hit by someone, and taking pride in that is NOT how women are born by default. They have been told this by everyone. They have seen this being practised by their elders around them. Similarly, the opposite conditioning happens for men. And when men don’t satisfy their social conditioning, they are called ‘joru ka gulam’ and some such atrocious things.
Darwin’s theories are being reevaluated. Role of conditioning in brain development is being studied. So please stop defending supremacy of men as their inherent ability, and stop defending submission of women as theirs. It is extremely, pathetically idiotic to generalize this whole thing. It has ruined lives and relationships.
Published first on the author’s Facebook page.
Image source: shutterstock
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
At one point, she confesses to her mother that the beatings are no longer physical, they have started affecting her mentally as well, and she wants to break free of this cycle of abuse.
Trigger Warning: This deals with domestic violence and may be triggering for survivors.
I recently watched Darlings on Netflix. It’s a quirky, dark satire featuring the dynamite duo of Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah. The movie depicts domestic violence and the psychology of abuse.
Even though the subject matter is dark, there are light moments and humour, which make it immensely watchable. It stands out for its powerhouse performances and unique storyline.