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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    How are women leading in this Patriarchal society

    If we agree or not, we are living in a male dominant society, a society which is almost controlled by men and their thoughts. However, we can find multiple changes in the same aspect. Women are playing an equivalent role now and has been holding big positions altogether. But the status seem to be almost the same if we talk in general terms, is it because of the femininity in us, we have created such sort of surroundings. Because we think men are great.
    There was a stupid tendency earlier that a girl has to look beautiful in order to get married and a girl used to follow that, with a thought that how will the guy think about her in that case. See, how the thought changed by the girl herself. So, it is our own thoughts that changes everything.

    Today I was watching this video, about a girl who faced the worse acid attack and survived out of it. Her name is 'Laxmi Agarwal'. She talked about how she faced that terrible moment of her life and then it was so painful for her to come out of that situation. She said just one line"He threw acid on my face not on my dreams". Her dedication and positive attitude was empowering. She is one example among the great women of our society.
    We can take the great example of Smriti Irani, the political leader of our country. She has been an actress, a model and currently is the Information and Broadcasting and Textiles minister in the Government of India. She once made a speech in Parliament which was out breaking and talked all the issues in our country and how they are not being dealt properly. A great lady of the hour.
    We can take multiple examples like Sania Mirza - the great tennis player and Saina Nehwal in the field of Badminton. Many more women role models to come. They will keep empowering women in all terms.
    Even if the thoughts have improved in our country, but even today a women face daily challenges to live a normal and easy going life. A women staying in a village still have to undergo the same ill-mannered behaviour from her husband, while in some cases, the family do not understand. Education to girl child needs to be inculcated in every parent mind, to create awareness and make them realize the importance of a women or a girl in life. Women's empowerment still play a major role towards the development of Indian society.
  • #608375
    Well now the law and the situation ably suits women to forge ahead of men in any form or direction and only thing is that women must have the guts and confidence that they can do and wont miss. Either too there were restrictions and forbidding, now the world of opportunities invite the females to lead in the life and compete with men and in some areas they are reserved seats for women to which men cannot compete. For example Air Hostess is such a job were men are not suitable nor solicited like wise Nurse is such a noble profession to which only females are preferred and required. It does not mean that women must choose only those professions. They can choose any sports activity and prove their mantel. Mithali Raj as a cricketer has proved the world that grit and determination would bring success automatically.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #608382
    As rightly pointed out, women need to be empowered and this can be done through education and by providing her with the same opportunities as boys/men. But, education alone is not enough, because, in a majority of Indian homes, education is still seen as a 'ticket' to marriage (finding the right groom). After marriage, a woman's husband/in-laws may not allow her to fully utilise her education. She is usually relegated to the 'tea-making, spectacle finding "good" daughter-in-law! That is the hard truth.

    Women who have shone through every adversity have had very supportive parents behind them. Society still looks at them, as women, and questions their choices.

    1. In an interview, Rajdeep Sardesai asked Sania Mirza, when is she finally going to 'settle' – meaning start a family? Her world ranking or her long list of awards didn't count. She still needed to conform to societies demands of becoming a mother.
    2. Mithali Raj – Twitterati attacked her for showing a bit of cleavage, questioning her. The mindset of the Indian male remains unchanged.

    These are just examples, but these women stood up against the 'bullies' if I may call them that, for they have been taught to recognise their own strengths. They choose to do what they want. And society as a whole must learn to respect choices women make.

    Parents must raise their daughters to be successful individuals and not as someone's wife. A woman's identity should come from her own achievements and not by virtue of being someone's wife. Women have every right to dream and live their lives on their terms.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #608395
    Actually in 2014 upsc mains there was a question like this
    1. What role does patriarchy play in position of middle class women?
    The answer is quite complex. Bear with me to start from fundamentals
    To answer this we have to take take the history of patriarchy in India. To answer this we have to first differential between role and position. Every person Man / women have to play a role in this society. As a man he has to be father, husband, brother etc.. As a women she has to be mother wife sister etc.. This is role. Every man and women have their position as the same roles above and have to be a doctor, nurse, engineer, scientist, armed personnel, politician etc.. This is position.
    So now this is there and again as a head note another thing.
    1. Sexual exploitation of any sex male / female is the highest crime done to humanity. More crime than murder.
    2. No one must prohibit anyone man/ women from realising their true potential as they seem fit.
    And technically women can live without men as per science after advent of artificial insemination. So now starts the problem. Women are needed to sustain any society and not men technically. Men need women in their life. But not so for women. Of course This is science and I am not saying about reality. But this fact must be borne in mind.
    This fact was understood by human race ever since it came into existence. Here came the problem. When a particular person is needed to sustain the society be it man / women that person needed to be protected no matter at what cost. Sometimes against the persons wish. Because during intra tribal conflicts the fight for resources turned ethnic fearing backlash and the motive is complete annhilation. During this men and women thought of survival of society and left behind women to fight the war. The victorious tribe too after winning concentrated on looting, sexual exploitation and murdering women and children to make annhilation complete and gain control over resources for generations. This made a division in society. The concept that women are to be protected came into being. This was completely unacceptable but in age where there was less chance of treaties between tribes due to lack of proper communication everything was fair in war. So tribes were left with no option but to protect women.
    Slowly tribes gave way to civilisation and there was understanding that instead of complete annhilation subjugation was preferred to meet slavery needs and expanding nature of materialistic life of humans.
    Now time for a bit difference in this for India and west.
    In India subjugation was made by cultural sanctity. The idea of purity of women came into being. Now this is unique to India and is a side effect of caste system. There is huge explaination of why this uniqueness. This is because in India the tribes agglomerated with each other instead of complete annhilation due to geography. In India topography varies very frequently and so tribes accustomed to one topography didn't have expertise to live in another and so they let each other live as there was lesser conflict for resources. Eg. Plain tribe has different mode of living than hill and so they need different resources. This led to some powerful tribes claiming higher status and caste evolved. As a side effect intra tribal co habitation was prevented again for economic reasons. Women in this scenario were just prevented from intermingling like men with each other and the level of protection was clearly less. Women within their respective tribes were giving economic roles but as sub servient to men only. And also in Indian phisophic traditions women subjugation though was admitted to be in existence was severely condemned. The famous Mahabaratha clearly explains that any exploitation to free spirited women will result in complete destruction of society. This is done by proclaiming Draupadi as a free spirited women who took equal efforts in statecraft along with Arjuna and yuthistra. She gives the declaration of war on Pandava side.
    But in west women were treated a as slaves. This is clear from work of the greatest philosopher of west during ancient times Aristotle in his own words " women are inferior to men and the relatiionship between the two is between that of men(ruler) and subject( women)" ( I completely disagree with this though one of the finest philosopher indeed) . This is because in west geography is more vast. There will be continuous forest or plains for several lahks of square kilo metres and presence of more than a single Tribe within same area became inevitable leading to conflict for resources and protection for women became more, caste system too didn't evolve as complete annihilation was preferred in case of defeat.
    But in modern as industral revolution started with advent of science of science and technology the position and role of women became different. Women were slowly given role as household jobs and men into industrial activity and wars. This is true to India too but purity remained. After advent of world wars women role in society became prominent. They entered into men bastions and outperformed them in several fields. They even created new fieldsand made it women dominated.
    So with this history in background we must look into present.
    Women particularly in India are becoming more aware of their rights and potentials. First we must understand that every human being is a end in himself/ herself and is not a means for society. Economic needs of society must not be given preference over individual rights. This is the mistake human kind is making since its evolution.
    And also in increasing modernisation men and women must learn to work together. Nowadays Situations have come where women / men have to spend more active time outside their home with persons who will be strangers. The idea of friendship is getting complex and more individual oriented.
    In this I agree society is still by and large patriarchal. But it gives some privilege to women too. For eg. Relationships by and large are defined by women. The idea of equal society is still a dream.
    From men point of view too there are certain constraints. There is a tendency among men nowadays to not go to work and instead take care of young ones at home and live peacefully. They too want women to go and work in some families. But they are humiliated describing them as lazy and not being like a man in society even if his wife agrees.
    During war in ancient times some men might have fought against their own wish / fear. They were forced by words like valour, Manhood etc. Which he might have not been interested in.
    First in society there is a misconception that certain activities like upbringing of child, giving emotional support to family members are not work of value. This must go and men and women must be equally encouraged to do any work.
    If a women wants to work any work hitherto considered men's domain it must encouraged. And if men wanted to do any work hitherto considered to be women's domain it must also be encouraged.
    But technically women are the future of any society and this cannot be negated. Men don't have the biology to procreate as of now and in society procreation is a major duty.
    Finally I end by a incident in my class
    when one of our professor was scolding a boy by telling see how girls are studying better he simply replied only if they study well they can work better and he can happily live at home taking care of young ones. Though entire class including me laughed at that time it is worth consideration.
    By this i am not saying men must look after home ( even i work in government )but everyone be it man/ women must be allowed to lead a life as per his/ her wish by society. No more wars, subjugation and exploitation.
    Just today morning I read in newspaper Indian army is illtreating its women and not considering them at par with men counterparts. This is completely unacceptable because women have outperformed in several army jobs. They have killed infiltrators in borders with less resource than men, scaled heights and lead missions hitherto considered difficult by men.
    I hope I have made my points clear.

  • #608457
    This is what I always hear, Male dominated society and I feel to a major extent it is true. Once you are out of your house for duty, many paces you will find the domination of Men only. In my education days, the number girl students entering in to Engineering courses was never crossed single digit. There was a general feeling that females can't do engineering courses. Girls has to sit decorated to please the boy coming to see her for marriage. Really a big punishment. This a story now. What I was describing was very common in 1980s. But now there is sea change in the entire situation. Girls are competing with males in all fields and emerging victorious. Girls are performing much better in all fields. So there was a change now. But still the way in which males behave with girls has to change. They should also be treated as equals. We should not think that they are next to us. We should see that they will lead us. These days girls are rejecting boys. They are not ready marry anyone their parents show. They have their own perceptions and they don't have their own preferences. Situations are changing. In many of the families are run by wives than husbands. It is good that change is coming. We should see a day where males and females combine to work together without any other thoughts. They we can say that ladies are treated as equals.
    always confident

  • #608493
    This debate is getting one sided with everyone of us converging on most points. But still many questions remain.
    1. Does patriarchy affect only women?
    2. Definitely we live in men dominated society but does it necessarily mean influenced by men's thought alone? Are men also forced to take certain roles in family and society as men?
    3. Are men only responsible for patriarchal tendencies ?
    4. The most important. In patriarchy what level of empowerment must be given to men/ women?
    5. Is there a tendency that achievement in certain field is considered more important then others and presumably those fields were hitherto dominated by men?
    The above are surely grey area and the views of members are solicited.

  • #608501
    #608493: Gokul Sir, This debate is not getting one sided. In fact, people are accepting what the truth is and I do not think there is any impact in that. I read the comment you gave about how our society from the earlier times have evolved this way of being male dominant. How the tribal people considered women and how behaviour changed from that time. That was really knowledgeable. But, what I have written is simply on the reality, that there are many people still who have to face challenges to come up to what they want to do especially talking of girls. I am not objecting the male counterparts here. But what is being considered is considered, our society is male dominant and it is, there is no harm in that.
    But the point I wanted to raise that as Anauja Mam said "every human should respect women", and also most of the women who have reached a higher level today they have faced the same bullies from there family and then facing all that with their strengths, made them reach there.
    There is nothing of grey area around this thought. What is true will remain true.
    1. Does patriarchy affect only women? : It is not related to the male dominancy- it is related to the thoughts a man is holding for a woman, regarding her life, her color whatever it is. And of course women are affected with these things and a lot. Because they are male counterparts , both have to live their life hand in hand.

    2. Definitely we live in men dominated society but does it necessarily mean influenced by men's thought alone? Are men also forced to take certain roles in family and society as men? : So, does this mean because of those roles and responsibilities a women, a daughter, a wife or a mother has to sacrifice or I can say she has to listen to it and follow it, even if she does not agree.
    3. Are men only responsible for patriarchal tendencies ? : No, I would say both men and women are responsible for this. Because this tendency has been inculcated right from the day we are born.
    4. The most important. In patriarchy what level of empowerment must be given to men/ women? : Level of empowerment to live their life the way they want to. Here , my concern was for rural areas, In rural areas especially, right of a women is highly degraded. They do not even have the right to appropriate or elementary education. I have the biggest example in my society only where I live "the girl who irons our clothes, her education was being stopped when she was in class 6 and her parents asked her to iron clothes with them to have an earning." The Government needs to take care of such sections especially, and see where the empowerment role needs to be implemented.

    5. Is there a tendency that achievement in certain field is considered more important then others and presumably those fields were hitherto dominated by men? : Yes, it happens in most cases and it would be great if you could explain me this point clearly so that I can cite an example against this also if I have a different view on this.

    My main focus is on the thinking of a man that needs to be changed. Please understand the nature of a woman and adore her in all possible ways. She is the backbone of every family , our society and our country.

    Do what inspires you !!

  • #608507
    Response to #60850110.
    First I want to make clear that I am strictly against patriarchy for several reasons. Patriarchy was responsible for many evils in name of protection. One example I wanted to cite is recent 2008 financial crisis. There was a research among Indian policy makers and they concluded that the crisis was due to aggressive investment decisions of men on board of companies and if women were there they would have prevented the crisis by taking sustainable decisions. This is why in recent companies law government made it mandatory to have atleast one women member in board of directors of companies.
    Now the response
    Basically I wanted the thread to be more active because it is very important that more members participate in these discussions. This is a very important topic to be discussed and debated
    I understand the reality and yes surely women face lot of problems at all levels in society. I am sorry for those philosophic response. But I felt the need to debate upon why humanity did such inhumane cruelty to the part of society who, they consider as source of power and God. The questions were asked in UPSC interview. So I thought of circulating them. Because apart from day to day difficulties certain incidents are shocking and particularly when persons to stature of SC judge and institutions like army are involved in exploitation of women.
    To make question no.5 simple suppose a women achieved something army it is considered to be greater feat than in other fields. It is because the situation where a women achieved somwthing in a field that is male dominated. This is what I meant.

  • #608508
    It is truth that we are living in a patriachal society but that never become a barrier for the women who were leader. They still emerged through difficult times, conservative menatlity,iliteracy and made a name and place for themselves.
    And becuase of these wome, mindset of our society has evolved very much and to the extent that today our government is ready to add women in the army for combat roles.
    Author has given few good example of such leaders and I want to add up to this list with few leaders added recently
    One such lady is first women defence minister of India Nirmala sita raman.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #608540
    I had written an article sometime back, based on my experience, raising my daughter. I did everything to ensure that she grows up to be a confident and successful woman. In the article, I shared things that I consciously did, as a parent. I was also fortunate to have educated parents, who gave me the same opportunities as they did to my brother.

    You can read through the article here -How to instil confidence in daughters

    @ Mohan – Air Hostess is just a job title. Of course, a man cannot be an Air Hostess, because only a female can be a 'hostess'. Males doing the same job go by other job titles, such as Cabin/Flight Attendant, Cabin Crew and Flight Steward Etc. They may not be as common as the Air Hostesses, but they are definitely part of the airline business. Most airlines, flying the domestic sector do employ male flight attendants, but they are generally more common in the international sector.

    Similarly, male nurses are also there, and again, they might not be as common as female nurses, but it is a misconception that only females are recruited as nurses.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #608567
    @Gokul SIr #608507 : That is absolutely Ok. I agree that the thread needs more participation and thoughts from people. Patriarchal society is not a problem, the problem is human mind or a man's mentality and his thinking. Even I have no bad thoughts on male dominancy.
    But the need of the hour is how this equality in behavior between both men and women can be achieved. How this stupid thinking needs to be removed from so many males of our society? That women are not objects. Don't view them as objects and do not objectify them. They play similar roles in a family or society as a man do.

    Do what inspires you !!

  • #608574
    In this apathetic world, many known and unknown women have been struggling and proving their excellence in many fields. I don't call this world patriarchal, I prefer to call it apathetic. This is because when a woman outshine others including males, other women became jealous and try to bring her down by various means.

    I personally know many such women. In my office, a widow lady has been struggling with her children to survive and to give best education for her children with limited means.

    In Calcutta, I know a less-educated lady who became widow with two very young children, was thrown out from her husband's house by other relatives, started a business of selling tea and established her two children. Now, after almost thirty years of struggle, she has been trying to help other similarly-placed women by providing them employment.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #608593
    Let us come to another important related but less debated issue. Gender sensitivity in a patriarchial society. This is very important because as men and women work together and sometimes have to face controversial things. Recently in an organisation they have started giving period leave on the first day of mensural cycle which can be availed by any female. This is surely a positive step.
    Boundary setting
    Defenitely every men/ women have private spaces and it only they who must decide how much privilege others have inside be it anyone. There is no objection. But generally in most cases men seems to have the private space completely determined by his decision alone, but when it comes to women the society has some influence over it. Is this right?
    This private space has diverse things like physical intimacy, emotional, words we speak etc.
    Particularly in fields like police where the policy is to have women in all police stations from all women police station these things become sensitive. Because police women may have to sometimes depend on their male counter parts and vice versa to a larger extent than other fields.
    And of course reservation and other benefits. A study must be done how these things help women and what kind of positive reservation needed to bring better roles.
    Basically a study has to be conducted how Indian women face difficulties in society which is very different from west. And our sexual harassment policy and several other women issues must be framed in this way.
    These are issues which even I need to understand many things.
    Because in certain cases I get perplexing response from women on their expectations form their male counterpart be it at any level. Their response varies from secure environment to love and being supportive emotionallly etc. I recently had a conversation with a women police officer in these issue and her reply was women are not to be understood but loved. Beyond equality what type of sensitiveness do women expect for them to lead?
    @ Juana Madam. I went through your article. It was really inspiring. I would like you to participate more in this debate.

  • #608597
    Their is a drastic change in women's status as well as their involvement in various areas which were earlier thought to be the domain of only males.

    Still the road is too long to cover in a short period as there are large number of women suffering in darkness of interiors of many developing countries. It is a world wide phenomenon and is a matter of shame for not only the male chauvinists but also the whole humanity.

    We talk of women empowerment but how many of us can tolerate their superiority over us. Many of us are still not out of those reminiscents of male dominant society.

    Anyway things are going in a brighter direction albeit in a slow pace.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #608599

    excellent thread that has had many well thought out responses. We have come a long way atleast in many parts of India from a tradition Indian woman being confined to the kitchen to the modern day world where there are so many women CEOs, Ministers and Global leaders. Recently I read a report of a group of grandmothers laying down a road and being frustrated by the lack of any response from the municipal authorities. What an achievement by the women and what an embarrassment for the officers ( i'm sure there would be many men in it)

    Women do a fantastic job of balancing the needs of home, work, husband, in laws, kids everyday. barring a verbal disagreement things go smoothly. I think is some areas of the country and in the rural areas women are still left behind.

    I think the dirty head of the Patriarchal society often comes up in some common areas
    1. verbal and physical abuse of women in the family
    2. sexual offences against women and the girl child
    3. petty share of parents property ( sons almost always get more than daughter)
    4. difficult work culture ethics for women ( often not equal to men)
    5. suppressing their expression of thoughts, likes and dislikes
    6. different pay scales

    I think if we manage to address this, then gradually the Patriarchal society notion would be a thing of the past is a few decades.

  • #608624
    Finally I end my debate on this thread here. I am sorry to the author Mam for giving points beyond the mandate of the thread. The points I have raised have been due to research on this sociology topic as part of my studies. I completely agree with the above points by Natarajan. And also the article by Juana mam was inspiring. I have writern wrongly attributing it to Anauja in my previous thread and have corrected now. I am sorry for that too. The basic intent of me going beyond the mandate of the thread is to get points beyond equality that may be necessary for co operative role to be played in future society where relations between the two genders are expected to become more complex and how women are going to lead in new circumstances. But of course these are not within the thread main issue and I completely agree with author about the intent of the thread and I am sorry for extending the mandate.

  • #608627
    Thanks for the kind comments Gokul sir, this thread reminds me of our college debate days. I vividly remember one such debate long ago. Should there be schools for girls and boys separate. This thread on Patriarchal society is exactly like that, the only difference is that we are not an a stage but on the common platform or ISC.
    I don't think there is any need for any one of us to apologize unless we have made a derogatory statement, made a personal dig at a particular person or pen down comments against the guidelines of ISC or the country's integrity.
    It's like two sides of the same coin ...

  • #608645
    @Gokul -#608624 : Do not be sorry about anything Sir. I agree what Natarajan Sir said, It is a common platform on ISC and you simply wrote what your thoughts were. You did not write anything bad that you apologizing. Everybody have their own opinions and everybody have right to say that over here, it is just the words we say should not be hurting anyone. I wrote on this topic because I felt like writing , because we have been seeing the bahaviour of people towards women, that is totally unacceptable. I wrote with a thought to understand how other people will relate it to and how this can be minimalized to make living better and worthy for all.

    Instead I would like to heartily thank everyone for posting useful comments on this thread and enlightening us with their thoughts on this.

    Do what inspires you !!

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