(This post should probably called a disclaimer).
The above statement is not true..
Readers are hereby informed that the eccentric mad cap author of this post is in no way respectable, but is fortunately a woman and unfortunately married, though fortunately to the man of her dreams.
I am a feminist… have been one for as long as I remember and will always stay so.
My mother was recently sorting out my locked up childhood cupboard of ‘all sorts of crap you can ever imagine’ ,literally all sorts of crap. I had a huge collection of dirty toffee wrappers that I picked up from the stress (just because they looked interesting), curious looking stones, machine parts, broken dolls, lumps of clay, foreign chocolates that I simply refused to eat or throw away… you name it .. I got it, bless my parents for putting up with it. It’s a wonder that I have not grown up to be a hoarder..
Well, my mind with its heaps and piles of useless random thoughts make up for it, I guess. I am a mental hoarder( pun intended). I also a have a pathetic sense of humor and insist on “explaining” my jokes( regardless of whether you get it, didn’t get it, laughed at it, laughed at me, wanna run away from me…).
So, anyway, my mom was going through some of the loose sheets of manuscripts, from the time when I was probably eleven or twelve. I had written something along the lines of ” I condemn the male species who think that women are responsible for domestic duties and do not even appreciate them for it. I challenge these spineless cowards to take upon the various responsibilities of a house wife for a single day and successfully fulfill it.”
Such strong words considering I never did any house work and nobody expected me to..as we tamils like to say.. didn’t wash even my own plate (and most often my hands too). I was waited on hand and foot, not because we were super rich but just because I am me. ( Did I mention that I was also a pompous ass?).
In Indian culture, it is inevitable that girl children are initiated into domestic duties from a very young age in preparation for their marriage. The often quoted refrain of the mothers, aunts and other busy bodies is that ” what will your mother – in – law say?”(when you get married, which will probably not happen for at least the next ten years or so).”she will say that your parents have not brought you up well.” In my house though, things were quite different. The fact that I was brought up differently by a wonderfully liberal father and delightfully understanding mother, only made me more observant of the difference in the realities of other young girls around me.
I was a notorious tomboy, who spent half her time climbing trees( My dad was the one who taught me to climb tress when I was probably two or three years old, cool, no?)and the other half reading books, never asked to ” behave properly”, never stood in front of the mirror for more than two minutes( didn’t give a shit about how I looked), basically did as I pleased and bossed everybody around. Did I mention I also have a brother, who is four years elder to me, who had to put up with all my tantrums, be my slave and suffer my abuse? I call him little brother.. little one.. cos that’s what he is to me.. Someone to do my bidding, to be ordered about.
Observing and meeting women from all walks of life, I see one thing in common, that most women are oblivious of the various ways media, tradition, culture and the government inhibit them and force them to fit a particular ‘type’ or model. They don’t realise that without these blindfolds that society forces upon them, they could truly discover their self and their interests and that life would be a lot more simpler. Even when women do realize these hurdles and traps, they do not understand its significance or get past it. We know that something is ‘not quite right’ but we learn to live with it, because we don’t know how deep the roots of patriarchy and inequality runs.