Friday, October 23, 2009


When does a woman stop having to ask for permission? When she's 16? 23? 30? 45? or is it never?

Permission to watch a movie, to go out, to stay late, to do wear this, to eat that, to drink, to breath, heck even to live?

Why are there so many frigging double standards. As a girl you can't do x, y and z. Oh and I'd certainly advise not doing a to w too. How about him? Oh he's a guy, for him its ok.

When I was in college I had some illusions, that perhaps once we start our own jobs , we'll become independent and all this nonsense will stop. Within a few months of starting work, as I saw an outing plan collapse under the onslaught of the "permissions" I lost some of the hope.

But now I realise it never does end. The night curfews, the flexible sets of morality, ( ever heard of a man of loose character? ) The non- stop nonsense.

And yes, its a choice between fighting it and living in a state of constant seige, or giving in and folding up your wings.

Well I wasn't brought up with "permissions". And if push came to shove, I'd choose to live in the seige, or choose open warfare. World out there, be prepared for that.


Niranjan said...

This is probably true in our society more. In the west, this is probably not there, or present in bare minimum. The women need not take permission, the fact that they do so, is probably first thing they should stop doing if they want their complete "freedom".

Tess said...

yes, I'd love to advocate 'stop', but the trade off isn't easy for everyone.

The cost of 'stop', is always constant warfare, things sometimes sliding down to having to walk out of the house, breaking up relationship you cherish. Many would choose to fold their wings, rather than pay that heavy a price.

Before marriage, its up to girls to fight it out, and its much easier, since own parents, however much they may disapprove, will finally come around. Alternatively go for higher studies and get out of the house, a route I've seen many friends take - more power to them.

After marriage, it of course gets trickier. Some support from husbands would help, rather than double standards.

Niranjan said...

I would never recommend the alternative approach, solely for this purpose, since that is just escaping from the reality.

Yes, after marriage life is different and difficult for both husbands and the wives. Lot of freedom is lost on either side and it is this challenge, the balance of the loses on the either side that enables a long, lasting and successful relationship.

Remember that grass seems to appear greener always on the other side.

Tess said...

hmm I'd advocate it, I don't think its escape from reality, its escape to a different setting, away from controlling parents, and there's no reason an independent existence away from them is any less a "reality".

as for marriage, yeah lots of adjusting, but in no way equal adjusting. It never can be if you expect the girl to go to the guys house or his parents to live with the couple. NEVER.

You start with a new household with both people working, and you might get some , just some, level of equal adjustment.

You put a girl in a house with a MIL, and there's no way ever, that its equal adjustment. I've seen the everyone , every single married man I know, stop seeing the obvious. There is no hope of any damn equality in that obsolete, stupid, patriarchal system.

Niranjan said...

I feel the women has a very special place in the family, and yes moving to the husband's place (which I would call family) is also an integral part of the entire setup. Otherwise we lose the concept of family and togetherness.

It is relatively easy to setup one's own setting, and live the way one wants to, the challenge is to make it successful in a hostile environment.

Yes, the sacrifice by the women is indeed more and shall always be more. The men of our country in the coming generations have to acknowledge this and show due respect to this sacrifice. That is the change that is required in our society. Otherwise, I can bet, 10-20 years down the line our country too would be having the same concept of family that exists in the west and other so called 'equal' countries.

May be I sound old fashioned, and someone not supporting the cause of the women, but I strongly believe that the women of our country are making the same mistake that their counterparts in the west made some 30-40 years ago.

Tess said...

well we'll just disagree on that one! :)

i feel family's overrated. its a support system and a social security. and it works primary because of the extra "sacrifices" from women.

Both the support system and social security are needed, however I don't think holding on to the patriarchal system is the only way. Alternative approaches will emerge, for the simple reason that they are needed. It might take a while longer than 40-50 years certainly.

Although, I'm curious as to what do you term the "mistake" of the women of the west or us? That we stopped putting up with bullshit, and so divorce rates went up, and the shit that went on behind closed doors of family became public?

Niranjan said...

Exactly! I think there are women in this country who value their family. And there cannot be any alternative to family and close relationship. It may be harsh, but friends cannot be an alternative to family, never. If relations and emotions were nothing, then we would be mere robots.. so I don't believe that there can be an alternative system in the future too.

And yes, divorce is not a very good thing to happen, to simply relate high divorce rate to women uplift/freedom is the greatest mistake one can make.

Well, we may not agree... but anyways....

Gunjan said...

I think lot of freedom comes with financial independence of women. I see women taking lot more decisions and being heard a lot more now than they were before. They do take independent decisions and rather than ask her father/husband/MIL...

It's more like joint decision or informing sometimes.

I attribute it all to education.

May each woman get educated, be financially independent and not take any shit from in-laws or rather out-laws (pun intended)

Tess said...

@Niranjan - disagree with almost all the points, but I guess the differences are part of who we are! :)

@Gunjan - Yes financial independence is a huge part certainly. However its certainly not enough. What had triggered this post was ( of course!) something at work. Financially independent woman yes, but in a "hostile" enviroment. So then do you fight everyday and live in a house full of the hostile "out-laws" ? Hard choice.
Not that own parents are necessarily more likely to give "permissions" but then at least the equations there are different.