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As we daughters grow up to be women, we understand the marital problems that were between our parents. We need to stand by our mothers who surely have suffered as wives.
Society is like a paradigm of patriarchal politics that suffocates women, aligning itself as the centre. Women have been subjugated since ages; still don’t dare to go against the grain.
While growing up, I saw a patriarchal milieu in my house, without even understanding it. I experienced it when my father came home late, and got violent with my mother. It was one of those nights when I, a 10 year old got up in the midnight, realizing that my mother had just been slapped a few minutes back. I couldn’t understand those nights, as I do now. Now I do understand, what my father needed those nights. He needed sex.
I am a grown-up woman now, and I completely understand the structure, and fragility of my mother’s body. She is a mother of three daughters. Needless to say, she has gone through a few miscarriages, all in hope for a son. I have heard many of my relatives saying, “A family is always incomplete without a Son”. Fortunately, my parents failed to have one.
Periods, forced sex, labour pain, and miscarriages were not all that my mother suffered. She got a slipped disc (herniated), a condition which refers to a problem with a rubbery disc between the spinal bones. She couldn’t get up without help, and I was her help at 10 years of age. In the midst of all this, I couldn’t understand the aggression of my father.
It’s a question that has stuck with me. Did my mother owe sex to my father? Did my father have the right to force himself on her? Were those violent nights were a consequence of trying to say ‘No’ to my father? Who was responsible, my father, mother or the way this society has raised them?
My parents are middle-aged now. Their experiences in life are evolving; so is their relationship. But this doesn’t lessen the crime that my father has committed, knowingly or unknowingly.
Being a grown-up woman myself, I understand the humiliation and pain comes with forceful sex. It takes away a woman’s self- respect and pride. It takes away her rights not only over her body but over her marital relationship. My mother, just like many other women in the society, was a slave to patriarchy, and got married to procreate and fulfill her husband’s sexual desires.
It makes me think of the demands usually made by husbands. They expect their wives to be the mother to their babies, a motherly wife who feeds them thrice a day, and a seductress at night, who wears sexy lingerie, and lures them (men) to have sex with them. They want their wives to ask for sex.
Was my mother failing to fulfill these expectations? Was she failing in being a wife? No, she wasn’t, but my father failed as a husband.
He failed to be a supportive husband.
He failed to empathize with the pain and exhaustion that comes with motherhood and household responsibilities.
He even failed to understand that my mother needed some open space, freedom, and time to get back to herself after delivering three babies, and miscarriages.
My father is evolving now; considering his old age, I do not question him. But I do not forgive him, either. My mother still cries remembering those years, and considers herself a survivor. But I’d rather call her a warrior that I never want to be in my life.
All I am certain of now, is that we need to realize that whether our mothers share their experiences with us or not, they never owed sex to our fathers. Instead, our fathers owed gratitude to our mothers.
Header image is a still form the movie Lipstick Under My Burkha
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
A new Gallup poll reveals that up to 40% of Indian women are angry compared to 27% of men. This is a change from 29% angry women and 28% angry men 10 years ago, in 2012.
Indian women are praised as ‘susheel’, virtuous and to be emulated when they are obedient, ready to serve others and when they put the wishes of others before their own. However, Indian women no longer seem content to be in the constrictive mould that the patriarchy has fashioned for them. A Gallup poll looked at the issue of women’s anger, their worry, stress, sadness and found that women consistently feel these emotions more than men, particularly in India.
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