Sometimes, I wonder, after all these protests, campaigns, legal actions and so on, why aren’t they coming out of the box? Why aren’t they giving up their despotic role? Why do they keep on arguing with lame excuses? Why do they try to justify their offences? The foremost answer I could apprehend would be the “lack of mental ability” of men (and women with patriarchal mindset). Yes, here lies the root causes.
When patriarchy allows them to enjoy endless freedom and authority over not only women, but also every other sphere of life, then there apparently is no point for them to accept change.
Well, we can dislike this connotation, but can’t discard it completely. It’s easy to talk the talk but difficult to walk it. We need to gather more strength and power to shed light on the deep-rooted darkness of the orthodox patriarchal structure. We are not there yet. Women need to think more strategically, not emotionally (perhaps) for change. There is a long way to go.
Patriarchy weighs too heavily on us and we fail to deal with it. Because, we are left out from the macro management responsibilities of our society, economy and politics. We are still restricted with the responsibilities of micro management of daily life. Our voices are not reaching anywhere.
Despite all the limitations, there are opportunities for women to capitalise on. Women can contribute a great deal to making transformational differences to break down the vicious circle of patriarchy. Dear women, you just need to be passionate for change and act accordingly. Keep trusting your own capacity.
First of all, you need to admit that, grownups do not change. They are already in full shape and size. We can hardly try to reshape them with laws, awareness, campaigns and other human rights instruments; we can write thousands of blogs or articles. But we can’t change them completely. Many of them are unable to understand what are we are asking for.
Secondly, we need to recognize that change takes time. We can’t change things overnight.
So, what should we do?
Women, in general, are taken for granted for micro managing social and family life, where men are reluctant to take part. Women are the primary caregiver and are responsible for raising children, the future grown ups, when men tend to perform at macro level, to be part of the broader public and political arena.
Fine, let them be happy with their public life for the time being. Let’s focus on our micromanagement capacity and skill. Let’s use that as an instrument for change. Let’s set the fire at the base of the society. Let’s build on our family.
Utilise your positive influence as a mother and concentrate on setting up their mind. Try to train your sons and daughters such a way so that they become gender sensitive in their heart. Don’t let them guided by society, rather, give them context. Help them build their ethical standards and confidence; help them to be future leaders – that’s the only way to transform society meaningfully.
Being a mother, you have that privilege. You are the first and best teacher for them. If we haven’t learnt the lesson by now, we will be confronting the same question again and again. Don’t repeat the same mistakes that our predecessors made in bringing up the present generation. Our current adult generation in the society (both men and women) are agents of patriarchy: they benefit and serve it.
Activism, social work, and policy and legal frameworks continue to be important tools to curb the current patriarchal hierarchy – let those avenues continue. But, along with that, please focus on the future society as well.
To conclude, I would like to share a quote from Serbian-American inventor, Nikola Tesla about the future:
“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.”
The article was originally published on October 4, 2016 in Women Chapter.