A brief encounter with sexism in India

Whenever I am in company of people who have been bitten even a slightest bit by the sexism bug, I end up in a heated argument.

When I hear someone say and believe me I hear this a lot, ‘why do women have to work full time when your husband is earning enough? Who will look after the family if you go out working full time??’ Trust me, I feel like taking my sandals out and beating the guy blue. (even some ladies for that matter )

I do that but only with my words. Words they say are powerful than swords. But if only they could knock some sense into these chauvinist minds.

Just the other day when my husband and I went out for a long drive with a couple of friends I told them about one of my college friends who went to America to work for a few years. It was the best moment in her career and I was really happy for her when one of my friends in the car said –

“What’s the use of such a life? You have to stay without your husband just for some stupid work you do for others. ( He is a son of a businessman and doesnt quite understand people with corporate jobs) Instead why cant she stay at home and look after her husband when he comes back from the office? Such a peaceful and happy life they can lead!!”

And before I could even sink in his words he continued,

“Her husband must not be earning enough. That’s why she must have no other option but to work herself. Or may be she dreams of a lifestyle that her husband cannot afford”

Now this was the point I wanted to take my sandals off.
Coming from a guy of my age, this was a complete shock to me. Really?? Her husband must not be earning enough??

First of all where this courage comes from? To be so judgemental about people you haven’t even seen before?

And about the wife staying at home, may be he forgets that the husband is a grown up adult and can completely look after himself. Even if a woman is a housewife, she works equally hard at home as her husband and no one can tell her to “look after her husband” when he comes home tired. She gets tired too. Who ‘looks after her’ then? Not her husband of corse if he is slightest bit like my genius friend we are talking about.

I don’t know should I feel angry or sad about the situation. From the very start of mankind, women are thought of as the caretakers and men the provider. But gradually roles changed, mindset changed and today both walk shoulder to shoulder when it comes to either run a business or take care of the family.

It is pathetic to hear the youth of our country saying such baseless words. And the saddest thing is, it is not out of misogyny but of ignorance. He wasn’t even aware that he was being hurtful (read sexist)

I do not know how to change such people’s thoughts. Yes, I did my part and argued a lot with him but he remained stubborn on his stand. I feel pity about the stereotypes we still have to deal with, that there is still a need to even discuss this matter!! Can India never be free from such gender differences?Are we moving forward or pulling ourselves back in the name of culture and traditions?

I am sure you must have experienced similar situation at one time or the other. How do you react? What would you have done if you were me?

By-Sweety Pateliya

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11 thoughts on “A brief encounter with sexism in India

  1. Everyone must have faced such a situation, and that too, especially in a country like India.. Here, people adapt to wrong concept and blindly believe the word of mouth(I also sometimes fall prey to it).. So its hard to completely make people realize about the equality that has started to prevail all around the world.. but sooner or later, people will understand this when they themselves face it!!

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    1. Some people just can not change. I do not think such people can ever change their minds. We can only hope to raise the next generation in an environment free from such stereotypes and that can gradually bring about some improvement.
      I hope there was some better instant remedy to cleanup the waste buildup in the minds of such people.

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      1. Yes, there are many situations for which instant remedy is just to sit and see what happens when time passes by.. Next-Gen will do better, at least in equality rights.. and many such serious matters!!

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  2. Mindset is such a difficult thing to change! I’ve faced such questions too…and these people just fail to understand others’ point of view. And believe me, some of them belong to the upper crust of the society and are so called ‘educated’ persons !

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    1. Yes, Anusia we do work out of courage. It is the changing the sexist behaviour and thoughts that I feel helpless about. Not that it affects me on a personal level but it does affect the society as a whole.

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  3. Mindsets are based on upbringing and conditioning. It will take some time for people to change such thinking. What is important is that we are having these conversations. Hopefully, somewhere in their families will start giving them a piece of their minds as well.

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    1. True Ananya. We can just continue showing them the truth ( by arguments and debates ofcorse;) ) and can just hope one day they open their eyes to it. N hey I tried commenting on your blog but couldn’t. There was no option for wordpress users. Kindly see to it:)

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