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Posts Tagged ‘patriarchy’

While reading UnderMuchGrace, I came upon the reason behind the graphic Fight the Mental Burqa on White Washed Feminists. Since I really liked what they said, I’m posting the pledge here.

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Fight the Mental Burqa!

A woman is imprisoned by a Mental, Burqa if her entire formation, or her present indoctrination by those claiming to speak in God’s name, does not inform or enable her to choose the other good means that God allows her in the pursuit of her final end.

A girl is living under the Mental Burqa if she is told that she is “resisting God’s Biblical plan for her” by pursuing a higher education or by exercising a legitimate profession, before settling down to marry, should she believe that is God’s will for her.

She is oppressed by the Mental Burqa if she is trained to believe she is not fit to choose whom she will marry. Patriocentrism treats women as interchangeable, and castigates as “modern sentimentality” a woman’s loathing to be “given in marriage” to a man she finds repulsive, one with whom she has neither affinity of character nor compatibility of intellect.

So, yes, I am for the woman’s right to live as a human being with a rational nature. I am for her right to know she has a God-given choice between the legitimate means to reach Him. I am for her right to the education that will equip her to embrace any state of life. I am for her right to determine, if she decides to marry, which man she thinks will make a good husband for herself and father for her children.

I am for the woman’s right not to be extinguished by the neo-fascist philosophy of a group of men who know that their own agenda is best served by women who have been denied or who have abdicated their duty to act as rational, responsible human beings.

We have a face and a mind.
Fight the Mental Burqa.

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P.S.Only on Cindy Kunsman’s blog UnderMuchGrace did I first come upon the term spiritual abuse. Her blog is also very warm and reflects the kind of Christianity I would like to promote.

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There are many patriarchal things in practice in my circuit; among which the thing that irks me the most is women having to sit on the floor, while men lord it over them by sitting on chairs.

If you have witnessed many lower-middle class functions, you will note that when then there is a scarcity of seats women sit on the floor, while men (even little boys) sit on chairs. A former landlord once was defending this practice of women sitting on the floor. He said, “Women will sweep the floor and keep the house spic and span, only if they have to sit on the ground. If they start wearing slippers inside the house and sit on chairs, they won’t care if the floor is dirty.”

Even today in many Indian households, the neatness of the house is considered a direct reflection of the moral standards of the women. I have heard people gossiping, “She has no sense of responsibility. Her kids always have running noses and lice. She never sweeps the floor. She thinks too much of herself just because she has a job. Her poor husband doesn’t get any decent food to eat.” To which another nosy neighbour will reply, “She wears high heels. It will probably break her back to sweep the floor.” I myself have come under criticism many a time for my laissez-faire attitude towards housework, though our house is tolerably clean.

In the Christian prayer meetings we used to attend, most of the women folk (except the elderly) sat on the floor, while the masters of the house reclined in chairs. It used to irritate me no end. What I found very suprising was seeing the same trend in a fringe Left party meeting also.

When I raised the issue at the next Left party meeting, I was suprised when one comrade replied, “Most of the women attend the meeting because their husbands want them to. They don’t have a higher level of social consiousness. They feel uncomfortable sitting on chairs in the presence of their elders and husbands. Since, the purpose of the meeting is to address social issues, why make them uncomfortable by insisting they sit on chairs.”

I was furious with the reply and gave a strong rebuttal. So women feeling intimidated by their menfolk and sitting on floors is not a social issue? Christians or Communists; I feel people should respect women and accept them as equals. If there are not enough chairs for all the women, then everyone , male or female should sit on the floor. If a widow is made to shave her head and wear a white sari, will we not object? Making women sit on the floor is an accepted social norm; we should break that! Be more progressive! I found his argument ridiculous and his not making any move to change such regressive social norms unacceptable.

As a kid, I out of sheer perversity sometimes used to sit on the chairs and cross my legs (knowing fully well that I’ll get it from my grandma later). Now I’m less brave and sometimes not wishing to make a scene at a family functions like a betrothal join the common herd by sitting on the floor.

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Since, I’m both of the above, I was curious to click on this link on google, while checking out Vasanthi Sankaranarayan’s translation of Retelling of the Ramayana.

Apparently, someone had written something on Sita and the Sangh Parivar had to retaliate.

The Jaina and Buddhist hypocrisy is picked up by the selective scholars, researchers, bloggers etc.,
under the guise of feminism, women lib etc., throwing venom on “Sita”.
Really, it is not known why she has been targeted for more than 2500 years, or 3500 years according to different estimates.

I thought feminists were influenced by Virginia Woolf, Mary Wollstonecraft and the likes, but apparently we are influenced by Jains and Buddhists. The same site also states quite definitely that the Ramayana belongs to Treta Yuga and is dated as far back as 880,000 years in the past. Now how did Rama’s wife Sita get herself suddenly transported to 500 or 1,500 BC?

That such importance given to her, however shows her established status of chastity, ideal womanhood and model wife. It is unfortunate that only “Sita” is targeted – Why? Nowadays, certain women are coming out as “feminists”, but exhibiting perplexing characteristics, dispositions and expressions.

Well, patriarchy loves the three words – chastity, ideal womanhood and model wife and feminism has a lot of problem with the suppression, control and suspicion that ensures that women remain chaste, ideal and model wives. And I wonder what strange perplexing characteristics did the feminists he knew exhibit? Did they grow four heads and eight hands and attain feminine divinity?

They have also accused historian Romilla Thapar of falling for this Ramayana-bashing syndrome.

Recently, Paula Richman(editor)’s “Many Ramayanas” has been discussed in some forums, just to tarnish the image of Ramayana. Whenever Ramayana becomes popular, anti-Ramaya campaign would be triggered to counter it. It has to be pointed out that a woman-historian of stature – Romila Thapar has not been exception to this syndrome. This time, it was Karunamnidhi who initiated such activation through his famous questions of “Who is Rama? In which Engineering college he studied? And so on! Romila came out this time also, but only support Karunanidhi ideologically burying all her historical knowledge and expertise

Now if she had the xerox copy of Rama’s engineering college degree or his birth certificate, she wouldn’t have had her academic credentials questioned. And I know its hard to abuse someone coherently when ur angry, but the least they could have done was getting Karunanidhi’s name right.

But the Sangh Parivar does get some things absolutely right. The snide remarks about how our politicians have many binamies to enjoy their aggregated wealth hit the right chord with me. They seem to have taken pretty good pot-shots at the DMK, though they refer to it as the DK (must be a hangover from the last history class they attended in school).

The DK has tried its best, but it failed, because, their own leaders have only “exhibited the character” of “Ravana”. They have / had more than one wife one many wives with or without concubines. So not only Sita, Surpanaka, Mandodhari and other Ramayana or other women had / have to be afraid of them. And ironically, none of the wives or women of Black Parivar want their husbands or would-be’s to be “Ravanas”.

The article goes on to talk about how immoral feminists must feel inferior when thinking about someone as pure as Sita

Psychologically, their inferiority complex works opposite with superiority complex. They have only one agenda – attack, abuse or even blaspheme Ramayana, you get attention of all easily. But, they may or may not realize its seriousness. It is just like calling one’s own mother a prostitute (Though I am very sorry to use such expression, as otherwise, people understand only such language in some cases)

As to why feminists are so bad. They say, its because of

a) Love failure at school, college or neighbourhood levels

b) Pre-marital experiences from touching to sex levels affecting them psychologically after marriage or during intercourse with present husband

Note the word present. Its supposed to mean feminists will naturally have many husbands and they – the family moralists, are talking about the plight of the current one

c) Divorce, second marriage with children with indifference of the second husband

If the husband was indifferent, how did they get the kids in the first place? Our guru of Indian traditions and morality explains…

d) Divorce, second marriage without children, but husband living

e)Inter-caste marriage, clash of thinking, culture, etc

This is really disgusting. What do they mean? That all people are not equal? That some people have blue blood, others have red and yellow-coloured blood in their veins? How snobbish, castiest and disgusting!

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