Independence In (or From) Patriarchy
When I started writing this article, I had many ideas floating in my head on a cloud of passionate zeal and suppressed rage and of the like. But then, I sat down with my device, wondering how to start tracing the dependence of the fairer sex despite their wants, and words failed me. You see, I’m exhausted. I have been a part of far too many discussions on the same, trying to convince the other sides of why it’s okay for us to have equal rights, and how the swastika associated with feminism today is not what feminism really is. Typing out the word feminism makes me groan. My head screams at me, “Why? Why are we doing this again? Why would you keep doing this?” Well, I am doing this again, and I keep doing it, because despite how exhausted or how angry I am at the world, there is hope.
If you search ‘feminism’ on any social media platform, you’ll find thousands of posts and opinions and events being followed up on the same. The idea is to spread awareness, and to educate people as to how it is okay for both the sexes to share equal rights. I have a friend, she’s Muslim by birth, and currently she’s living in the United States for her education. She’s angry. Under Trump’s reign, she has seen every right the nation she has been living in has worked for so long; snatched away. She’s been a witness to callous cases of cat-calling, and forced pregnancies. It is wrong. I fail to understand how this doesn’t register in some minds, but this is wrong. America is one popular example of what has been happening in the Middle East and some other countries since ages. I can’t think of one country where patriarchy has been abolished by its root. Suffrage, reproductive rights, right to education; these are not mere words on a paper; these are ideas whose unattainability is shattering lives.
But as I said earlier, there is hope. So to find yourself a percent more independent from the patriarchy imposed by societal standards and ideas that imply the roles of each sex in a particular task; basically, society, here’s a simple recipe you can try.
Ingredients: ideas, preferably passion fueled; a man belonging to the safest ‘class’ in your area who does believe in the simple concept of equal rights eg. In India, I believe that would be a middle class Hindu working for the government; an audience; attained karate skills to fight back
Stop avoiding places and events because ‘you are a girl’. Remember, the world is yours.
Enjoy, and breathe. Find comfort in your skills, and remember that you are strong enough to fight back.
If you find yourself at the end of remarks like, “What are you doing at this match? Go, make me a sandwich.” and ensued laughter, smile, look him in the eye, and tell him calmly, “Sure. What’s your poison of choice?” and make sure he realizes that the drinks are not on you.
If you find yourself surrounded by his friends while he is scowling angrily in a corner, tell them how it’s been centuries since the countries attained their freedom; how much longer before we attain ours too?
You see, the idea is to fight back. I come from India, and I know how difficult it can be to speak up in a society where your own sex is comfortable with the patriarchy because they are scared of the change. They have no idea how they would survive if feminism erupted and they couldn’t be dependent on men anymore. Education plays a very vital role in the emotional and intelligence rise in a person’s psyche. We need to work towards education. We need to work towards a lot of things, but we really need to start talking. And yes, there are days, heck, weeks when you are too exhausted to explain. But please, breathe through them, and start again. It’s important.
Anushka Bidani is currently a 15 year old student, with further plans to pursue Humanities. She has been an attendee of the Delhi Slam Camp- Summer 2016 and the Delhi Poetry Slam Retreat (Jaipur, 2016). Her work has been published on the Writer’s Asylum, among others. When not writing, she can be found binge watching anything ranging from How I Met Your Mother to Da Vinci’s Demons. Among poetry, prose, films, paintings, or anything artistic, is where she is the happiest.