Have you commenced the second phase of your career after a career break? Share your story & get featured at Women in Corporate Allies 2022.

Are You A ‘Sensible’ Woman? Don’t Accept This Compliment Of The Patriarchy!

When men label a woman as 'sensible', it isn't always a compliment. What other words have been twisted out of meaning, to suit a man's purpose?

When men label a woman as ‘sensible’, it isn’t always a compliment. What other words have been twisted out of meaning, to suit a man’s purpose?

My neighbour Martha is a hardworking woman. She is good at juggling a lot of things, be it minor plumbing work, carpentry work in the house, or homeschooling her kids during Covid. She is good at navigation, driving, and yes, housekeeping.

She is not single though. She has a cheerful husband who is fond of golf, bird photography, and catching up with his cronies every other evening at the Golf Club.  

Unlike him, Martha even knows the medicine routine of his parents. 

Everyone knows Martha or has at least noticed her. Maybe you have also witnessed her during your trip to the grocery store, where she is balancing five grocery bags in one hand and her child in another.

‘Martha is such a sensible woman!’ A man almost announced in the midst of a social gathering.

‘Sensible? How?’ I asked.

‘She never complains, throws no tantrums, and unlike most other women, doesn’t bug others for help in this and that. She knows how to manage things on her own.’

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

The man almost sounded envious of her husband.

So, if you are a hardworking mule, good at managing, are a non-demanding, non-troubling superwoman… and yes, always well-composed in public, then you are a Sensible Woman.

How many of you are this Sensible?

That’s another definition with patriarchal colours struck off from my dictionary today. Have you come across other such skewed definitions? Homely, mature, grounded, marriage type or Sada-Suhagan... What other dictionary terms has patriarchy adapted to its own twisted means?

 People vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Liked this post?

Register at Women's Web to get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads! Or - get a couple of really cool reads on your phone every day - click here to join our Telegram channel.

Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!


About the Author

Vartika Sharma Lekhak

Vartika Sharma Lekhak is a writer based in India. She is the author of the short-story collection – Bra Strap and two anthologies – When Women Speak Up, and The Take Off. The short-story collection read more...

21 Posts | 108,338 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

Organisations & Inclusion of People with Disability 2022

All Categories