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Saturday, 5 December 2015

"Women should be seen not heard" REALLY?????

One of the things that I have begun to  ponder about, is how women are really not present in public discourse in small towns and suffer condescension and disrespect when they do voice their opinion in rural areas, towns and tier 2 cities in India. What I mean by this is not a criticism of my own sex but, just the fact that I have begun to notice how much we, as a voice are ignored by men, especially those men who I personally deem intellectually inferior.

One example of this, is the men living in our building, who completely ignore my mother and I, even our reasoned suggestions, and their generally condescending behaviour. What really gets my goat, is that they not only rudely interrupt and counteract us at every turn, they actually pretend to invite us into discussion in the name of "democracy" only to completely ignore us. It is mystifying for me, to come across the "women should be seen not heard" brand of misogyny in the second decade of 21st century India.

What can we as women expect, in reality ? In my opinion, men really are the product of what they learn at school and at home, especially from their mothers and other women. The Great Indian Joint family, according to me is capable of producing men who are the proponents of the most regressive, and misogynistic thought in current  times, as well as some truly remarkable men who believe in a diametrically opposite thought process. I believe that women are the most powerful agents of change in any society. It is on the laps of mothers, that sons must be taught to respect women and be open to change and accepting of difference.

The irony is, that many of the men, who I have come across in recent times are fathers of daughters, who have seemingly strong wives. What is mystifying, is that they are perfectly incapable of respecting women and display a disturbingly condescending attitude in particular towards women with strong personalities. This is what I find highly objectionable and alarms me on a personal level. I end this post with a question to all my sisters out there; if I as a highly educated woman have to suffer such condescension; how do those who are not living a privileged existence like me suffer through this?