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In an attempt to figure out from where does this sense of privilege come or as a society how are we so forgiving to the male species, over the last few months I started observing conversations around me in my everyday life.
The #Metoo movement hit India a couple of years back, with many brave and courageous women putting themselves out there.
The result — unsurprisingly, most of the accused men are back to work, with no repercussions, while the women are being shamed and given no work. (I am not going to name the latest scumbags who are being rehabilitated and give them the desired publicity)
Well because at the end of the day we do live in a patriarchal society where the boys are brought up with the notion that they are privileged and their actions will have no consequences.
And as a society we prove it to them that yes there are no consequences for what they do, irrespective of how badly they have damaged another life.
Forget consequences, there is no remorse either, as can be seen in the defamation cases against the victims, and so-called apologies on social media.
The apologies are so convoluted that one has to sit with a dictionary to figure out if a ‘Sorry’ has even been mentioned.
And we cannot blame just the accused, it is the whole society as such since it is us who are taking them back to work, accepting the cases which are filed, excusing them saying they have a family to support and have to earn their livelihood.
This deeply affected me in ways I cannot explain, so in an attempt to figure out from where does this sense of privilege come or as a society how are we so forgiving to the male species, over the last few months I started observing conversations around me in my everyday life.
I was shocked to realize how our everyday conversations are so sexist and pro the male gender. It does not matter if you are a feminist or not, but we as a society, men and women, both have excuses for the men we know and are sexist in our daily language.
It was shocking because I believed myself to belong and move around in circles who are pretty out there in terms of exposure, education, and modernity.
It is not that they don’t realize that the son may also be in the wrong, but that is generally excused by saying, “He is like that only” or “We all know his personality is such, she should understand,” or “He is a guy, what else can you expect from him?”
The moment such statements are made, they have excused their son or any other guy whom they are referring to and put 100% blame on the female.
I ask — why can’t she be like that only, why can’t her personality be such that maybe he can look at the situation from her point of view.
I ask — if your son is old enough to get married, he is old enough to make his own decisions. If nothing else, have faith in your own upbringing.
Do you realize that living intimately with another person involves give and take, so obviously there will be changes in both not because of marriage alone but also due to external factors as your son matures?
And this is not just men, but plenty of womenfolk who give this advice.
I ask — Why because I guess women cannot be ambitious enough to wanting a profession of their own, irrespective and independent of her husband’s earnings.
“She is so busy with work, that she has no idea what happens at home, what is there in the kitchen or what needs to be bought, her husband takes care of these things, weird isn’t it?”
I ask — have you ever thought that your husbands are also lucky, since you are taking care of the home and kids? Or the fact that marriage and kids involve two individuals and so both share responsibility?
“What women empowerment talk, everywhere I see women are empowered, see my wife, her friends and my cousins they all go and do what they wish, I have never said anything”
I ask — Don’t you think the word allow just created an oxymoron in your sentence. And maybe just maybe the world is bigger than the 5 women you just quoted.
I ask — in the 10 or 12 such pairs, why not one pair where it was reverse?
“Are you sure you are looking at making a profession out of this and it’s not just a hobby”, “What does your husband do?”
I ask — I will manage the same way as the male candidates sitting outside. Oh, sorry! You wouldn’t know since you forgot to ask them.
I ask — what does safe space in reality mean and what kind of value will that guy add who has not even taken the time to understand what my business is all about.
I can go on and on, the list is endless. Not to forget the sexist husband — wife jokes that keep circulating. And these are statements used in their everyday conversation by educated, well-travelled and moneyed people who consider themselves unorthodox and modern.
Since I started consciously observing, I realized how common sexism is in our daily life. It all starts from acts and words like these which we have normalized as a society and this is what the young boys and girls around us are observed and internalize.
The time has come for each one of us to call out every time someone says these kinds of statements, else in a passive way we are encouraging the elitist and privileged attitude which boys grow up with.
Would love for you to add on to the statements and the acts in this list, so that we become consciously aware and start calling them out.
At least start making people realize what they are saying because most of us don’t even know when we are being sexist and contributing to the patriarchal attitude of the society or the samaj as we call it.
Image source: Gildi via Getty Images, free on Canva pro
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Strong believer in the power of conversations and finding comfort in uncomfortable conversations. Love to encourage both genders to break the chains of patriarchy and come into their own indentity.
Also love exploring the space read more...
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.
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