Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Patriarchy is one of the oldest surviving ideology..

Title of the blog is actually a sentence taken from this very powerful, hard hitting video which once again delivers another tight slap on India's (or world's) patriarchal culture. I really don't know how many slaps like this our society will need to wake up and realize that this culture is totally wrong and we need to change it. Actually it will be unfair to blame only India for having patriarchal society or culture, it is prevalent more or less in all parts of the world, but I am going to discuss this only in relation to Indian society as I come from that society and can comment about it based on my own personal experience. In ancient times when development is science was not much, most jobs or even day to day tasks used to require lot of physical stamina and power men got superiority in every society due to their more physical strength compared to women. This superior physical strength gave them natural advantage and dominance in that society, they seized this advantage and made all rules and traditions which heavily suit them. One can see this pattern in all cultures and religions (as it is also a part of culture). This natural advantage game men to design society as per their own needs and slowly role of women was reduced to support them, satisfy their needs and help in reproduction. This pattern continued for many many years until we saw emergence of feminist movements where women demanded for fair and equal treatment. For many this demand of equality was a shocker, they couldn't believe that women can demand something like this, many such people such oppose demand of equality and that is why we still need feminist movement and feminists in this world.

Some people might ask the question, what is wrong with patriarchal ideology? Why we want to change this culture? Patriarchy is going on for years and society survived with those values and customs so why we need to change theme today? Just because it is really old? Actually even today many people want to preserve or continue with these type of traditions in name of culture or religion, they defend them because this thing was invented by their great forefathers. They believe that as their forefathers were very farsighted and intelligent so how can anything invented by them be wrong? Somehow they fail to see that these practices are discriminatory and biased in nature, most of these traditions favor one particular gender (in most cases male) and put other gender at receiving end with minimum or no rights (even protest is considered as insulting or offensive). Just because something is old can not be a good reason to discard anything but if the system is old, seriously malfunctioning and harmful then definitely we need to think about it. A system which treats nearly half of our population from our planet as substandard citizens definitely need to go, no matter how old or traditional it is.

Actually this patriarchal culture is directly or indirectly responsible for many traditions or rule which are unfairly biased against women. These type of rules are present in very culture, religion and civilizations. Their influence is so strong that not only men but also mane women oppose to change them. Because of years of suppression women are brainwashed to believe that they are weaker sex and need presence of man in their life for protection and survival in our society. This all need to change, but this change is not easy, as I said even many woman believe that by nature they are inferior to men and are dependent on men for social recognition. It will take lot of efforts and awakening to wipe out this mentality, changing this age old belief is not an easy task. Consistent efforts from feminists groups and more participation of women are necessary to make this possible. As long as women don't help themselves no amount of external help will be enough to elevate their status in society. Fight for equality is not easy fight and even if it comes equality comes at a cost along with lot of responsibility to maintain it. Women need to prepare themselves to bear this cost and carry the burden of that responsibility which comes along with this, if not then patriarchy is here to stay. Terms will be dictated to women about how to behave, how to dress, what work to do. If they are not willing to take control of their own lives, men will try to control almost each and every aspect of their life, this is what patriarchy is. This ideology is as strong as organized religion, during past few decades feminist movements, brace women and thinkers have made big dent in it due to their consistent efforts but still lot needs to be done. I am glad to see that many women are coming forward now to challenge this age old ideology, this is really good sign. Their consistent efforts like this only have capacity to change these things. Patriarchy might be one of the oldest surviving ideology but I think now time has come for it to go. This ideology is not only biased against women but it also puts tremendous pressure on men. The concept of masculinity is based on many gender biased beliefs which are product of this ideology and this puts lot of pressure on men to fit into that definition. Getting rid of this age old mindset will be very good thing for our civilization. Just imagine lifting barriers from minds and potential of half of world's population, just imagine lifting burden of 'being a man' from minds of other half of world's population. So many more talented people will be coming forward to contribute towards well being of our society. So many people will be free from social pressure to fit into stereotypes associated with their gender. If this happens it will be one of the greatest events in the history of human civilization. With our consistent efforts I am sure this will happen, so let's keep on trying.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

1. A Group Of Women Speaks Up To Send A Very Powerful Message To The Indian Male Dominated Society

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