Men and their Gods are truly intolerant of women. Women are weak so they are despicable. They are despicable because their physical weakness makes them dependent on other men. Because they are dependent on other men, they are prone to blandishments – usually for sex, because traditionally, that’s all women have to offer. Actually, that’s all women can offer. Being prone to blandishments, they learn to use this ‘power’ by manipulating others. (Chimamanda Adichie refers to this as ‘bottom power’ in her language, which, she says is no power at all). This is also what makes us women morally weak. Women, thus, are characterless. They have no capability to own up their character. That’s why, it’s important to place us in the safe confines of a marriage and a home. This is the logic you start with, when you contemplate patriarchy.
Perhaps it all, thus, starts with being physically weaker. Perhaps that’s why most of the physically demanding work i.e. household chores right from the times when there were no washing machines, dishwashers, pumped water, etc. were a woman’s lot. When agricultural economy was the basis of economy in general, women cleaned, scrubbed, carried, tilled the soil, sowed seeds; and harvest was a woman’s job to. All this besides the usual grind – women served at home, cooked, had children and nurtured them, and the worst part: bore the brunt of a man’s sex life. All of this while working hard to generate endless gratitude for being allowed to do so. Women who had not this were fallen women. What are fallen women? – women who were exploited pretty much the same way those who were in the societal folds except they did not enjoy the same status. The status was important because instead of 50 men using you and throwing you away, only one could actually do so. It does seem like a better deal after all.
A woman who was used by 50 men became the receptacle of “dirt” but the one who was used by one man and only one (at least in the manner known) was not a receptacle of dirt. However, both are considered ‘dirty’, in a manner of speaking, when they are menstruating. Menstruation is dirty like nightfall or pre-cum or cum is not. Menstruation is the mark of impurity of us women like semen is the mark of the purity of men – not just purity, semen is what makes a man well, MAN. What makes a woman? I don’t think anyone’s going to say menstrual blood. The studied answer is going to be – a baby. Look how smart the ploy is. A baby is something, no matter how weighty the hymns sung to the role of woman as ‘the creator’, that cannot only a woman make. To make a baby, she needs a man. Therefore, to be a woman, a woman needs a man. To be a man, a man needs nothing but his own sperm.
Within a marriage, this receptacle that a woman is, became a womb and the ‘dirt’ transformed into ‘seed’. Without the seed, it was dirt. Concluded without even asking where was the ‘dirt’ coming from, without even arguing that dirty was a place where the dirt was coming from, not where it was going; not at first anyway. But this you will never hear being said about men. Men are all alchemists – however dirty and impure be the receptacles of their seed, they retain their purity no matter what. A woman who has had sex with 50 men is a whore; heck. A woman who has had sex with anyone outside of certain social conditions is a whore. No wait. A woman is born a whore because remember? – she is characterless?
On the other hand, a man who has had sex with 50 women is a stud. Because, women are not supposed to enjoy sex. That task belongs to a man. A man takes and a woman gives. Always. If it’s any other way, if the woman learns how to take, she KNOWS. And a woman who knows is a fallen woman.
What if a woman starts enjoying sex and starts deciding/dictating what she likes and who she wants to do it with. She no longer remains common goods but acquires an aura of power, exclusivity, ownership, and what happens when she exercises it! Relax. this is just hypothesis. She cannot really exercise any power. Don’t you remember why? Because she is physically weak. That she is and that’s why she deserves to be common goods. One who cannot protect herself has no choice but to become common goods. In fact, there isn’t much becoming there, is it? She’s common goods until in certain very specific conditions she is not. But she generally is. And that is the whole point.
It’s all perfectly rational as you have just seen. This is the hallmark of rational thinking followed by men through centuries, fruits of which we are seeing from day one in ceaseless misery and pathetic power structures built around patriarchy, in a declining sex ratio and a perfectly miserable modern world that wraps its women in miniskirts and burkhas, and uses motherfucker and sisterfucker as the ultimate insult. A world in which we look for “kumaris” to bless us through various rituals and poojas and deny access to entire places of worship to women because they menstruate.
Perhaps it’s lost on the world that we are women because we menstruate. A baby is a matter or chance. Men will have to accept us the way we are. Their Gods will have to love us the way we are. There is a turmoil in the sanctum sanctorum of the patriarchal belief system and just like everything has a shelf life, it’s time is up.
These ‘Gods’ have done such little for us women! I suggest we start asking them questions on purity and impurity. I suggest we women give them some critical thinking – open and read the newspaper: how many ‘impure’ women versus how many ‘impure’ men do we find?
Why did I have to write this post? Look at these articles here – Shani Shingnapur protests and here’s one Article from The Hindu detailing how the Supreme Court of India is asking for logical thinking as to non-entry of women into Sabarimala Temple. Of course, the logic given was that it’s a 500-year-old tradition. Mind you, these are the same men who have adapted to cellphones and internet and social networking websites, the same men who have fully adapted to wearing Western style clothing and certainly the same men who will even bring back the custom of ‘Sati’ simply because it’s traditional.