Patriarchy has been fed to us so much that we have internalized it. It is wrong to say that it has only harmed women. Although women have been the primary victims who have suffered in very tangible and horrific ways. But men too have had to succumb to patriarchy, not realizing that they are numbing themselves down to conform to society’s definition of a man.
Patriarchy still holds strong not simply because men enjoy the privilege, but because women are equally part of wrongdoing. Where there are men who do believe they are superior to women, there also exist women who play the victim.
So where men enjoy the ‘male privilege’, women retort with the ‘victim card’.
Dear men, women are not the enemy. Dear women, men are not the enemy.
The enemy is the mindset that pits us against each other.
We call ourselves a modern generation, where women walk shoulder-to-shoulder with men. Parents send their daughters out for higher studies or working purposes. But let’s not deny that we all have seen at least one example where our fellow colleague, relative or even a college-mate is getting a college degree for the heck of it. I have definitely seen some cringe-worthy examples.
Working or not working remains a personal choice. Accepted!
But why is it only available to one sex?
The problem begins where women get comfortable with the notion of being under the shade of either their father, a husband or brother.
Learn something from Tanya! (Not your friend Tanya). The character Tanya from the web series Permanent Roommates. It would not be wrong to say that she embodies the qualities of a truly independent ‘modern’ woman who works hard, loves fiercely, is extremely practical yet vulnerable and has a heart. She shows that there is no need to choose between work and motherhood to be the woman that she is.
MEN STILL REMAIN BREAD EARNERS!
A woman’s sole responsibility does not lie in being a homemaker.
Firstly, by no means am I questioning the work of a homemaker or a housewife. Being a housewife is indeed a tough job. There are ENDLESS examples of women who have given their heart and soul to their families and lent support in every way possible, whether financial or emotional and have gone extra miles to stand-up for their family.
Kudos to such people (both men and women) who stand strong!
Formerly, the typical scenario in an Indian household was of a father being away for work for a larger part of the day and the mother handling all the household chores and her children.
Gradually the concept started changing for the good. We had a growing number of women going out to work and earn their living. But there were and still are apprehensions about this in some households.
At least in the metropolitan areas, women started working but their work is weighed more in terms of leisure and largely a ‘before-the-marriage’ practice, which they have the option to leave at any stage.
(But let’s keep in mind that this analysis is solely restricted to women in an urban metropolis. Women in the rural areas, according to statistics, work a lot more than men in rural areas.)
What I intend to point out is that even though more and more women have begun to work, still men carry the tag of being the ‘bread-earner’.
HOUSEWIFE BY CHOICE
A look at the flip side tells us that there still remains a section of women who opt for the role of a home-maker or a housewife. Moreover, with crèches and tuition classes for children to the rescue, a lot of pressure on the mothers has been relaxed.
Although this was a concept largely relevant and useful to working mothers, there is no shortage of women who while being the ‘home-maker’ send their children off to tuitions or various other extra-curricular classes (which costs extra money).
So in such a scenario, the father pays for the children’s fee single-handedly, their extra-curricular activities, the luxuries apart from the basic needs and that too of his entire family, including his wife without barely any contribution from her (monetarily).
LIFT THE BURDEN ON HIM!
FOR ONCE, imagine the plight of a man who solely earns for his entire family not only for their survival but also strives to maintain a good standard of living. Unfortunately, a lot of such men give up on a passion which is monetarily less rewarding. They do not have the privilege to leave a job that drives the life out of their existence. Their work is not a mere leisurely job. For them, taking such a step, does not mean following what they love but to put the lives dependent on them at stake. How fair is this?
Here, patriarchy wins! We not only convince women that their toil is not so important (and hence, the wage gaps in some instances) but we begin to evaluate men in terms of the money they earn. The mentality that only when a woman earns a 5-figure salary, will she get a husband earning a 6-figure salary, NEEDS TO STOP!
I KNOW THAT STEREOTYPES ARE BREAKING AND I HAPPILY WELCOME AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEM. BUT EVEN IN THE SO-CALLED INDEPENDENCE LURKS A DASH OF OPPRESSION.
And when oppression is disguised as privilege, patriarchy stands tall!
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