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There are completely illogical things we believe in, just because a patriarchal society told us it was so, right from when we were born.
While reading an article on gender based issues in India, I came across a very simple thing that we often ignore. Most of us grow up with patriarchal norms that we’re led to believe are ‘facts’.
This is especially true if you’ve grown up in a house with a brother; if yes, then you’ll be able to relate with many of these things!
The last portion of your favourite food was often reserved for your father or brother. Reasons (excuses) given are – he is at a growing age/ men need more calories/ their metabolism is high, etc.
Whether it is a little boy or a grown up man, men somehow always ‘need’ more calories to survive. And whether it is a doctor or a sportsperson, women somehow never seem to have attained that growing age in homes.
Cooking is somehow a woman’s job. However, restaurant cooks are mostly males because apparently they are more ‘talented’ than women.
Really? Exactly when cooking becomes a paying job men can cook, and even better, but at home it is a woman’s (unpaid) job? It takes some stretch of imagination to believe this. That said, cooking is a life skill everyone must know, and a woman needs to cook for herself even if not to feed a man- child.
Yes, if she does that, she will be jailed for that under section 498A of IPC.
Also, if you’re a parent, why will you send your daughter to a house where someone can beat her for something as ordinary as keeping the fridge door open for longer than 30secs?
Right, because men can’t do a task so menial, of course. So boys in the house must also not be asked to pick up after them.
While there are many homes now which normalise love marriages, growing up (I was 14 years old) what I heard from my parents was “if you get married according to your choice, we will pack 5 of your clothes in an aluminium case and kick you out.”
After 3 years of hearing this shit, I questioned them that if my brother did the same, what would they do? My father said, “We will get the bride with her aluminium case into the house.”
I would never wish for any parent to tell that to their child growing up, it bloody ruins your mind for years, and widens the gap between siblings as well.
Because what will people say?
Girls are tormented for dowry while growing up (we have to save for your dowry), when they are getting married, and years after that. (And believe me, it still happens).
So apparently my father’s friend wanted me to be his ‘bahu’ (not explicitly said, but implied) from the day I was born. When his son qualified his MBBS exam and I didn’t that year, he called after up to tell my parents that now he will get his son married to his batch topper. I was told by my parents that now he will charge ₹40-50lakh for his son, and that’s why he won’t marry you.
Well, his son already had a girlfriend (I knew this), and sometimes relationships do last, which parents should now realise!
Sentences like “I have saved 20/30 lakhs for your marriage” weakens the girl into believing that getting married is the ultimate aim for a woman.
“Itna dard to normal hai” – This much pain is normal!
“Aajkal ki ladkiyan kamzor hai” – Girls these days are too weak to tolerate it.
“Hume to kabhi dawai nhi khani padi” – In our times we never needed to take any painkillers.
“Baad me bachhe hone me problem hogi dawa mat khao” – Don’t take so many medicines now, later you’ll have trouble having kids!
I guess these must be too familiar to most women out there.
On my first day in the maternity ward, there was a woman in labour and she was slapped by the nurse as she cried in pain. The nurse even said to her, “Karte hue to bahut maza aa raha hoga, ab jhelo.” (You had fun when you did it, now suck up the pain!)
When we have painkillers for the express purpose of use during labour, why the hell do I need to “jhelo” the pain?! What will I gain? Moreover, if some person can endure pain easily, maybe I cannot; everyone’s body is different.
If you get a chance, do search an experiment on YouTube in which a group of guys were made to try out period cramps by machines and note their reactions!
But why? What if he turns out to be impotent or gay or disabled? What will you do then people? “Chirag” kaha se aayega? Naam kaise aage badhega? Maybe its high time we empower and equalise the gender norms.
Please do calculate how much was spent on your education, your brother’s education, and your marriage. More often than not it will be skewed in favour of the boy of the house, even if you combine your education and marriage expenses. You will be given all sorts of explanations for the same.
My friend’s brother got into a private medical college which cost a fortune. He was an average student and my friend was a class topper. Her parents told her that since he was not good at studies, they wanted to secure his future and hence all the spending was necessary. After the 1st year, he got an iPad along with many other gadgets ‘for studies’ while all he does is play PUBG. Still, his parents have no regrets, because a doctor boy is worth a lot in the market apparently! #facepalm
Many of us are fortunate enough to have understanding parents, but we should know that the inherent patriarchy is too deeply rooted and mostly we don’t even notice that this is unfair because “this happens with everyone/ we went through this everyday.”
You know why girls go to someone else’s house after marriage and not men? Because apparently even the man’s own parents cannot tolerate him after a certain age! I know that even girls say and do these things because maybe they think that things cannot change, but can’t we make a little effort for the next generation and try to make things better?
Do let me know some other things that were normalised while they are pretty bizarre!
Image source: Marriott Wedding ad
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I'll be 43 soon and yes, I almost gave in to my conditioning and asked myself- what did I do wrong? Did I lead him on? But not any more.
This wasn’t the first time something like this has happened, and I have a feeling that this won’t be the last either!
So on May 12th, I ran into this man. I was waiting for something and it was raining. He seemed decent and we got talking. About work.
I realised that his company could actually do some work for my NGO and we exchanged numbers. After that we talked about general stuff on WhatsApp sometimes, and he connected me to some others for the work I had in mind.
To think that money can buy you anything is as wrong as singling a woman out after her divorce because the world feels she got overcompensated.
A lot of people are attracted to money and that’s not a bad thing. Which is also why everyone talks about money and the rich. The rich always make the headlines.
The rich, also, get upset when their personal lives are talked about, and rightly so. They have all the right to privacy.
Time moves on. However, people do not.