Everyday sexism #1
I feel the need to record sexist, misogynistic, patronizing statements I come across every day. Pointing them out to the speaker or the gathering at the very moment of occurrence is not always feasible owing to the decorum one has to maintain. So here’s my attempt to capture the angst that accompanies my observations of daily casual sexism.
Who: Newspaper guy
What: “Until my daughter got married I didn’t allow her to work. It’s a year since she has started working at HDFC bank.”
Why is it sexist:
- The fact that a father has complete control over his daughter’s prospects of earning a living is classic disbanding of a woman’s agency. She might have spent 24 or more years in an environment that didn’t consider her an equal member to earn in the family
- The said daughter has an M. Com degree which goes to say that maybe she was allowed to study Masters but the financial usability of that degree rests with the husband’s decision
- Many Indian parents are of the opinion that a daughter is burdensome if she ventures out of the parental control before marriage. They are either so scared of the society outside or that they don’t trust their daughter’s decisions. One other possibility could be that they don’t want to accept their daughter’s independent decisions.
Why does it create angst in me?
- I am part of this regressive society where a working woman’s decisions might not be associated to her agency. Instead our breed is looked down upon.
- A career for woman is a good to have not a must have. This automatically lowers societal expectations from the woman to make her own living and life.
This culture of systemically taking away women’s agency to form a meaningful life always places woman second to a man in society.