We live in a patriarchal society and you can find “the torch bearer of patriarchy” almost anywhere. But mostly, the loudest voice belongs to our own flesh and blood.
I have read in Bell Hooks’ essay “Understanding Patriarchy” how the patriarchal system usually worked in our society. It passed down the rules from generation to generation without any written document because it’s an oral and oft practised tradition of our society.
The Male child has been taught since childhood how to be a ‘Man’, and a girl child has been conditioned since childhood how to bear the weight of patriarchy and make a man’s life more worthy by sacrificing her own.
If you observe closely, you will get endless examples of how this system works. How a man always suppresses the woman’s voice. When a woman speaks for herself or voices her opinion on an issue, they shut her up pointing out either her weakness or just brush off her view by demeaning her. The worst part of this is that other women support the man and laugh at the victim feeling relieved and proud that they were not at the receiving end. The jeering women feel proud over the fact that the man is man enough to show the victimised woman her place.
This is the true colour of patriarchy and this is the real face of our society. In politics, we see how men and, sometimes women politicians, taunt other female politicians about their private lives and even make vulgar suggestions about their character.
We, as a society, are stopping our sisters, daughters, friends, girl friends, wives from speaking her mind. By not taking women seriously, when they voice their opinions, when they speak up, when they want us to listen to their views however childish they may sound the society is indulging in its inherent patriarchal misogyny. But it’s time to break free from age-old myths of superior male ego and inferior female intelligence.
So, next time when you see a man making fun of another woman, remind that man that they come to this world from a woman’s womb. Don’t cheer for those patriarchal men, don’t support them but speak up instead. Don’t stoop so low that you can’t ever stand up when needed.
“Be a woman who straightens another woman’s crown without telling the world that it’s crooked.”