Reflecting On Things I Had Forgotten
Recently, I watched Thappad - a movie I had been waiting so long to watch. And it was worth every millisecond I waited for it. I felt like through that film, my ignorance had been slapped so hard that suddenly my vision of the society would never be the same again!
For me, it wasn’t just a story of one slap. It was the story of every household, every family and every marriage where the wife is married as an equal but never treated as one, regardless of their caste, creed or position on the social hierarchy.
It brings to light many questionable things no one ever questions! The biggest being 'deep rooted patriarchy!'
Especially the one that takes place at every home - like the husband sitting before the wife for a meal or how the husband’s needs will always upstage the wife’s, no matter what!
And when you look at the bigger picture, patriarchy has seeped its way into almost everything and everywhere - be it a girl getting disgraced for smoking but the boy doesn’t, where some widows have to shave their heads after the husband’s death but not vice versa and where women earning more than their significant others is uncomfortable but not the other way around! Never the other way around!
And patriarchy is so normalised in the society that none of it seems odd to us anymore! We’ve grown so accustomed to it that we’ve not only stopped questioning it, we’ve also stopped looking now! Exactly what misogynists wanted!
In fact, it also made me question the basis and institution of marriage itself.
It made me question every girl’s and boy’s upbringing in India and how they are raised so differently when it comes to their part in marriage!
It made me question that if given a choice, would my grandmother have taught my mother differently and my mother to me?
It made me question if compromise was a prerequisite in every marriage, especially for the woman!
If every 'housewife' was meant to live her life supporting her husband’s every wish and dream, even if it meant foregoing her own!
If every woman, however progressive she was, would still not have any individual identity in the marriage!
And if her in-laws would still love her if she wasn’t their son’s wife!
And of course, if a relationship without mutual respect is not a relationship at all!
It reminded me of some things I tend to forget every now and then - that despite all the hats women don and the roles they play in others’ lives - be it your wife, mother, sister, girlfriend or even your maid, they’ll still always be individuals with their own life to live! And to live happily and respectfully! And not even having a husband or being a 'housewife' can take that away!!
By - Maanya