About Being ‘A Respectable Married Woman’

(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.

 

 

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18 thoughts on “About Being ‘A Respectable Married Woman’

  1. I think that there are so many things a girl is expected to be and people feel disappointed when they fail to meet these expectations. When boys do something, they’re let off with a simple ‘boys will be boys’. Why? As long as we get our part of the work done, does it matter if we’re not as lady-like or graceful as tradition expects us to be?

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  2. I so agree with you. For the most part our culture dictates the choices we make in life. I was also a girl who chose athleticism and the outdoors, in the same way most of my male peers did. Married for 37 years, my husband and I raised two girls and a boy. Every morning my husband would make the lunches, set up the ironing board and our girls would bring our their clothes for dad to iron. To this day he does all of the laundry and most of the cleaning. We are retired, but I am too busy being creative to do housework. He is an amazing grandfather to six young kids and our girls married men much like him. Our son is his clone and serves his wife as if she were a princess. People comment all of the time on the strength of our marriage. It was our commitment from day one that in our marriage we would serve each other, and we have. He just has more energy than I. You are singing to the choir and I LOVE it! Keep up the good work!

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    1. You husband and son are truly awesome because our culture dictates that men doing domestic work and household duties are essentially emasculated men.. So, to break such constructs and conditioning is simply great.. I am happy, you have such wonderful men in your life.

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  3. Just when I think I am amazed as I can be, you wow me with your incredible gift for introspection, engaging writing, wonderful worldview, and willingness to share who you are with us….thank you so much…what a privilege and a blessing…you are absolutely delightful! 🙂

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      1. Thank you so much…I promise to complete and pass this on some time tomorrow…and, I love! the questions you’ve posed…I am really excited about this, my wonderful friend…thanks for thinking of/including me!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  4. Greetings from the other thread upon my blog. Was not sure the best place to poise this but since you took time to comment on mine several times I owe you a….potential discourtesy in the form of a challenge that was cast upon me this very week….a three day quote one to be precise as per here…where I nominated you under no obligation at all save shameless cross promotion 😊

    https://fictionisfood.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/quote-challenge-day-2/

    Love your blog layout by the way and also the sentiments of this about you post. It makes the blog follower see the person behind the words…thank you for sharing that with us 😊

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    1. Sorry for responding so late my friend, a little caught up with my doctoral thesis, not that I am doing a great job with it(apart from using it as an excuse for every possible situation), Thank you so much for the kindness and I will definitely take up the challenge and try to live up to your expectations 😉

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      1. Oooh I remember doing mine…takes time but eventually it will hang right. I ended up proofing other students theses back in the day too…still not sure how that came about 🤔

        You just take it up when time permits…I know how it is because I’ve not posted anything in over a week….it might be two now…my excuse is similar to yours….I’ve written a book and now it’s eating time in the now what phase 😜

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