Monday, May 21, 2012

'Coz of her?

Note: This is not a feminist post. Just a thought on the instant reactions on situations.

The other day I was watching a movie called Troy with my husband. He had already watched the movie but I was watching it the first time. Even before the movie started, he started saying that the whole thing has happened because of one woman. Out of curiosity I watched the whole movie. Once I finished the movie, I realized it was not her fault at all! She had been suffering from a forced marriage with an old man. Finally when she found true love in another man (the younger prince of Troy), she fled with him. Later her husband’s ego made him persuade his brother (King of Greece) to destroy Troy and became successful. Is finding her true love and making it a reality of her life wrong? If it is, then does it mean that she should strangle her happiness for the sake of her husband who understands only one language called power?
Why is it taken as her fault and not because of her husband’s ego? Or the fault of the King of Troy who did not think practically and went against the warnings of his sons twice? When her husband knew she went in her own will, why couldn’t he just let her go? He wanted to keep her ‘in control’ and when he did not succeed, it hurt his ego.  Moreover the King of Greece (her brother-in-law) always wanted to conquer Troy as he wanted to conquer the whole world. He would have come with another reason some other time. Why is the finger always pointing to a woman? And why are men so insecure about their women? Is it because they know that they are not good enough for their women? Are they so scared that women will be ahead of them in competition?

This is not just the case with this movie. Take Ramayana. Why is it because of Sita crossing the line? What was the need for Lakshman to cut the nose of a gal who had fallen in love with him and wanted to marry him? If he had not done that, why would her brother Raavan come to take the revenge by kidnapping Sita? And for Sita to cross the line, why did Lakshman leave Sita alone in the forest in the first place when Ram had ordered him not to? In Mahabharatha, they say it is because of Draupadi. How could the Pandavas gamble her away like a property? Do women, who are being told as the creators, have just so much value of that of a property or a reason for a bad outcome?  No wonder there are many families in India where the man has many wives but still doubts on his wives.

This pointing finger at the woman is been practiced even now. An Indian girl is taught from her childhood not to laugh loudly and to speak in front of elders. They say that a girl’s smile can steal any man’s heart. So naturally the man is supposed to be taught not to fall for the smile or control his feelings. But here if a girl smiles, she is either committing a big offence or she is flirting. That means a girl doesn’t have the freedon to even smile! How ridiculous is that!

On one special Ganesh Chaturti, there was an additional ceremony according to which my mother-in-law had to tuck a jasmine chain on my hairdo symbolizing that her family has ‘chosen’ me as my husband’s bride. Traditionally the jasmine chain would be really long (thus very heavy and painful to wear) which I cannot remove till my in-laws would leave. When I saw the chain, I was startled but tried to hide my expressions. My mom had already hinted that morning to keep quiet and not speak my mind in front of elders. I was praying that someone would have the heart to cut it shorter. If I had spoken, everyone would say bad things about me like I don’t have manners and my parents have not taught me how to behave. Luckily, my husband saw my change in expression as well as the length of the chain and told his mom to cut it to a comfortable length. The instant reaction from my mother-in-law was that she asked me to get a pair of scissors and I got it for her. Later I discovered that my in-laws are too sweet and I have actually made some minor so-called-mistakes after getting married but it was taken lightly with a notion that I am a new bride and I will learn with time. Believe me, such in-laws are rare in India. But generally this is not the case. So does that mean, a girl does not have the freedom to speak her mind?

Another instance is the movie Rab ne bana di jodi. The girl has no physical or emotional bond with her husband. Moreover the day he came into her life was the day her dad as well as the love of her life passed away. Whenever she sees him, she will naturally remember that sad day. She is more like a paying guest in his house. Her life is so colorless and lonely. She finds love and happiness in another man and wants to marry him and she is called a loose character woman just because she is already married! Since when did marrying the man she loves make a girl a loose character when at the same time a man can have more than one wife? Why is a woman speaking her mind and doing what she wants called a bitch? Is there any bad word like bitch or slut invented for a man? Sadly no. And men just love calling any girl one of these names without even knowing the meaning. Ah, there is one bad word for men- SOB. But That will be a bad word for his mother who herself might be struggling to make her son respect women but her husband is again the egoistic insecure scared man and has made life jail for his wife. What about 'dog'? No they themselves proudly agree that they are one so it is not a bad word I guess. The only relevant one is MCP.

In every movie, there is an item song. While the item girls are looked at as bitches, sluts or whores, item boys are still enjoying the respect they used to get before. Heroines are always in news for how much clothes they have shed and never for their acting when the actors are always praised for their acting or the box office success. Moreover, in an item song, if the male lead joins the item girl in the erotic dance, still the character gets a lot of respect. But at the same time, if the female lead joins the item girl to dance with her, questions will arise like ‘Is she out of her mind?’ 

So let me come to the main question- What do men really expect from women? And the answer is- Give as much sacrifices as you can and more, be my possession(read property) and forget about living the life of a normal human, never follow your heart, just follow what I say and I will worship you (read ‘I will not torture you’). So I put forward the most important feminist question- Are women human?

P.S. If you are a man and if you felt offended after reading this, you are an MCP. Instead, if you agree to everything in the post except the last paragraph, There is hope for you.


Shobhit said...

I don't know if you read my latest post which is somewhat related to the topic which you have raised here. Do have a look if you get the time.

I have so much to comment on this that I'll just keep on typing. But to keep matters short, I'll just mention a few points.

We, in India are a society that lives on religion. It is as if without our religions we wouldn't survive. But you take any religion and see if any one of them gives any sort of importance to females. You will not find females as heads of any religion anywhere. But there are countless rules as to what a female should NOT do in every religion.

Just for example, in Hinduism, as you pointed out, we are brought up being taught about Ramayana and Mahabharata.

I wonder, whether Lord Ram should be considered ideal if he kicked out his pregnant wife just because a 'dhobi' wasn't entirely happy about her character.

And I better not mention the ridiculous points of Mahabharata. Where the most learned elder sat as fools while a lady was being disrobed in front of everyone.

These are our epics. And people are ready to kill or die if anyone even points a finger at their 'Gods'.

As far as the life of a common Indian female is concerned, I have already written about it before. But after reading this post, I'm really worked up to write another one.

'What do men really expect from women? And the answer is- Give as much sacrifices as you can and more, be my possession(read property) and forget about living the life of a normal human, never follow your heart, just follow what I say and I will worship you (read ‘I will not torture you’).'

You said it exactly the way it is. That is the reality of most women in Indian society. Did you read the post on 'Indianhomemaker's blog ?

Well, I better write a post on it on my blog now. But you brought up valid points and some hard-hitting but real questions.

Preethika Shenoy Padiyar said...

First of all Shobhit, you don't have the least idea how tensed I was while publishing this post... Your comment has build up a lot of confidence in me... Thank you so much..

About religions, I find the song very apt.. Samajon se rivaajon se kyon tu kaate mujhe kyon baate mujhe is tarah? Kyon sach ka sabak sikhaaye, jab sach sun bhi na paaye? Sach koi bole toh tu niyam kaanoon bataaye?

This is not only about Hinduism.. Even in Christianity you will find lot of such things.. You can find those in The Da Vinci Code book..

Yes I follow Indianhomemaker.

Waiting for your post on the same topic.. :) Anyways thanks again..

Devidas S Maller said...

Very intense and aggresive.. Did you watch the latest episode of Satyamevajayete by any chance? ;)

The perspective is different at different situations and the way we look at it matters. You have to weigh both sides.
All that matters is how you respect & treat the people you interact with, whether they are ladies or men, children or elders, different castes and cultures etc..
We need to have enough sense to differentiate among these & i feel that will be good enough to avaoid blame games!

Shobhit said...

See, that's how tough it is. Even writing about something so important is not easy for a girl. People like you shouldn't feel low on confidence. Such write-ups are needed badly for our society to understand the reality.

Yes, the lines of the song you recalled are so true. We have brought down religions to just being a set of illogical rules. We have forgotten all the good things every religion teaches us. I have the 'Da Vinci Code' movie with me since long. But haven't seen it yet. Will try to have a look.

Will write up the post on my blog soon. Thanks for your inputs in my last post. :-)

Purba said...

It's convenient to absolve yourself of any responsibility and point fingers at the woman. Shackle her with unrealistic expectations.

Thankfully, there have always been men who understood and respected the feminine.

Preethika Shenoy Padiyar said...

Inspiration for this blog is your ex roomie for blaming the gal in troy...

Was very nervous when I posted it.. Thanks for commenting.. :)

Preethika Shenoy Padiyar said...

I agree... Thanks to all the men who respect women and understand their value... :)

Lakshmi said...

Good one

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving me the link to your blog :) Nice :)
I'm living in Spain now, everything is new.....

Hope you are all doing well :)

Pritz said...

Thanks Lakshmi :)

Pritz said...

Thank you Ege :)

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