This is the second post of the day, something that I’d been ruminating over for quite some time, but wasn’t able to speak about.. until, late last night when I spoke to someone for the very first time and realised how patriarchy has seeped in, deep within each of us.
The sentence that made me really voice it out and realise to be true when the other person resonated was “women are not afforded the space to be wrong”.
Patriarchy shows up in the big big ways we have now started fighting against — unequal pay, lack of women’s rights, imbalanced workload at home etc. But just like implicit biases, implicit patriarchy is conditioned deeeeep within us; … and we practice it each day without even realising.
One instance that has been coming and going is how easily we excuse men, and their wrongdoings, be it harmful or harmless. A man may have hurt you on purpose, say for example by cheating on you, but we still accept him in the society and our circles, because he completes the circle, the family, the society. A man may have hurt you by passing some rude comments on you. A man may have done something stupid, something harmless, like made a silly joke on himself. Everything is accepted. Women don’t voice it out, and other men definitely don’t.
We so readily excuse a male friend who has nothing to offer in the way of friendship, no good words, no support in times of need, no deep talks etc., … we so readily excuse the bad behaviour of such a male friend when it occurs. We so readily excuse the bad jokes he might crack, or the silly-ness he might engage in. However, if a similar thing is done by a female friend or acquaintance, just moments till we rip her apart. We’ll vehemently disapprove of her bad behaviour, belittle her effort to make it right, make fun of her silly jokes and her just being silly at times… and we’ll not stop, we’ll look for more. Whereas if, by any 1/100th of a chance, we do start doing so about a man, we’ll stop immediately and bury the topic like a dead sparrow.
Men are afforded many mistakes… our expectations from them are merely of existence… they can be our good friends without ever doing anything ‘good’ for us or for the friendship. Whereas women, they’re not afforded mistakes. It’s the first ‘wrong’ thing that they do that we start ripping them apart; grave comment on you, or a silly little joke on themselves. Whereas bad comments by male friends go unheard, their stupidity goes acknowledged in ‘awww’s . It’s a sad manifest of patriarchy that will still take generations to understand.
As an outcome to the realisation of this implicit patriarchy we’re conditioned to carry… I’ve decided to make these few changes, personally, in my life:
- If a man is being a jerk, to me or to anyone around, I’d like to speak up. More so if I consider him my friend, I’d like to stop him from being an ass.
- If, for whatever reasons, I am unable to speak up to that man (fear of losing a loved one, fear of conflict, I am just generally docile), then I will also not insult/belittle or participate in doing so to a woman.
We’ll all acknowledge at this point that all of us somehow take the liberty of trolling women more often than men, be it online or in-person. The least we can do is not do that.
Let’s just take pride in who we are, and extend the space we extend to our male counterparts, to us women. Let’s afford each-other some mistakes. Let’s support each-other in speaking against those who don’t deserve so many chances. Let’s help each-other know that we too fail, we too will be given some space to make mistakes.