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It's 2020, and women are still considered 'lucky' for things that men take for granted. Time that men took responsibility for their privilege.
It’s 2020, and women are still considered ‘lucky’ for things that men take for granted. Time that men took responsibility for their privilege.
“We couldn’t be in front of men or elders without ‘ghoonghat’, and now, you don’t even have to wear saree. I’m an open-minded mother-in-law! You’re fortunate to live in this era!”
“You’re so lucky! Your in-laws ‘allow’ you to work, ‘permit’ you to go out with your friends occasionally, take care of your child (their grandchild) when you go to work!”
”Your mother-in-law wears kurtis and suits, not saree. She’s ‘open-minded’! You must have done some good karma! She would ‘allow’ you to wear jeans!”
“Your husband (helps you) in some of the household chores, you don’t have anything to complain about! You’re privileged to have such a husband!”
And the familiar list of ‘luckiness’ goes on…
Do any of these ever happen?!
”You’re so lucky, bro! You can wear shorts in front of your in-laws! They ‘allow’ you!”
”Wow, man! Your in-laws are kind and generous, they took care of your pregnant wife, paid bills and helped her to raise your child (their grandchild)! You’re privileged one!”
“I feel so jealous of you man! Your in-laws treat so special when you visit them!”
”Your wife gifted you a luxury watch as soon as she got promoted! You must have done good karma to have such a wife!”
Does any of these sound familiar or is commonly used for, or said to a man in any generation? Have you ever heard a man called ‘lucky’ for his ‘khatiradari’ (royal treatment) by his in-laws even in this century?
There is no doubt that I (or my generation in general) have better rights to equality and more privileges than my mother (her generation) and she had more than the previous one and so on.
And yet, a woman has reason to complain about unequal and unfair treatment than a man in any generation. Because a woman is ‘luckier’, ‘better treated’, ‘more privileged’ than only her previous generations. Her freedom, respect, and rights of equality are constantly compared with previous generations, not with the freedom, respect and rights given to men in the on-going generation.
Women have been treated unequally for generations, despite positive changes over time. Expectations vs. Rights of women, especially for married women, were, are, and will be (don’t know till when) unfair compared to that of men in any generation.
Patriarchy has caused negative effects on men too which should be discussed separately.
A woman sees, listens to, experiences the privileges given to men, and the discrimination she faces routinely. For this, she feels agony and agitation, remains confused, overwhelmed, and low on self-esteem and often finds herself dependent.
When she complains about the unfair treatment, she’s often lectured to and shunned by others in power above her, who explain to her how ‘lucky’ she is as compared to previous generations! These ‘others’ include men as well as women.
As a result of this (gaslighting) she also starts to believe in her ‘good fortune’ and passes on the same ‘fortune’ to her peers as well as to the next generation.
A woman certainly wants to feel ‘lucky’ or ‘privileged’ as gratitude for the love, respect, security, and the EQUAL rights she should receive, like a human being, in her present times. And it has to be irrespective of any generation or gender.
So the next time when someone tells you that you’re luckier than your mom, tell them that they’re lucky to live in such an unequal society; otherwise they would have been slammed in an equal rights society!
First published here.
Image source: a still from Masaba Masaba
Observing, listening or experiencing social biases and penning them down in support for the gender equity. Earning bread through data crunching. read more...
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
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Time and again, there is one phrase that keeps coming up in the social media discourse on feminism. Any guesses?
Ah, no prizes for guessing the infamous “itni bhi feminist” or “too much feminism” phrase, a classic eye-roller for me, and I am sure for many more of my tribe, in the realm of gender equality discussions.
Pray tell me, how can an ideology, a movement be too ‘much’? It’s not salt or the seasoning of your soup where you can go, “Oops, too much salt, only one spoon was required”. Either you stand for what feminism stands for, or you don’t.
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