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Things are changing, but very slowly - it still seems a long, long way before women can truly stand equal to men in a society built to favour men.
Things are changing, but very slowly – it still seems a long, long way before women can truly stand equal to men in a society built to favour men.
It was just a minor disagreement between us and I felt frustrated, helpless and seething with anger. It made me feel like I was being taken advantage of and I was a helpless victim who needed to be rescued.
“All men are like this and you cannot be any different. It’s not the first time it’s happening to me. Why did I even assume that you would understand? You are not the one facing this inequality for decades.” I vented out all that was going through my mind and left.
It took me sometime to realize that I had perhaps overreacted to this particular situation.
This was not the first time it had happened. We are all human beings, and we all have such moments when we lose the sense of understanding. Something hurtful is said by one which is responded by equal anger on the other side and things escalate. More often that not, its my husband who bears the brunt of my anger and frustration and sometimes even when he isn’t actively involved in the matter that upset me.
I have had a normal childhood and a family that has been loving and supportive towards me always, but sometimes there are things that scar you for life that even your loved ones are not aware of.
Such incidents may have happened in the past, you may try to erase them totally out of your memory but somewhere deep down they lie and with a slightest hint of anything remotely relevant they trigger all that hurt, pain, shame, anger and frustration as if it just happened recently.
I have this anger deep inside me since childhood about not being able to do many things that I wanted to, such as not wear all that I want to wear living in a small city in India, I cannot just loiter outside alone at any hour I want, I cannot just sit at a random tea stall and enjoy a cup for myself alone without being stared at, it’s me who has to stay away from my family after marriage.. all these are things that are actually not my husband’s fault but I’d often end up venting out on him unknowingly.
Before marriage, I would always ask my mother to involve my younger brother in household chores and she almost always did. I would never let even one thing escape where I could point out that it was unfair to me because I was a girl. Again, it was never my brother’s fault actually.
Sometimes I feel guilty that perhaps people who actually love me and care for me pay the price for things that I suffered in my past that left me with bad memories.
I always wanted to play outside without being concerned of the time, to pick my bicycle and venture into unknown paths but my family’s concern for my safety did not allow me that. Now when I still face such moments where I feel anything is unfair to me or any sort of gender inequality towards me, I can not stop myself from reacting.
I compare everything with my husband and often tell him that it’s not you who had to leave parents, it’s not you who is expected to adjust with the in-laws, in fact almost always a man’s in-laws adjust with him. You get the VIP treatment at both your parents home and at mine.
What deeply saddens me is seeing women pulling other women down. This really upsets me.
Often I feel as if I am bearing this burden of centuries of suppression like an old soul. As if when a girl is born, she brings with herself the traces of the sufferings of all the previous women in the lineage. It would take long to wipe out those.
Things are changing for better, slowly but gradually. But it would perhaps take whole my life to reach a situation that actually feels equal. Till then, it is a constant struggle to balance things- my desires, others’ expectations, just like most of the women deal with almost every single day.
Image source: a still from the movie Thappad
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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