Culture and Society

That Little Backward Woman

Yea very backward for this ‘progressive minded’ society.


It’s not that I hate the idea of ‘aspiring women’. It’s just that I hate the idea of ‘not-so-domestically-skilled’ women. I don’t see a reason any woman should be proud of her bad/no cooking skills. I find it disgusting how it’s becoming a trend for city chics to say that they have bigger career aspirations and so they lack basic home-management skills.

Some years ago it used to be such that the man of the family used to be the key earning person of the family and the women managed the domestic work. It nowhere ever meant that the women were any less intelligent than men. But, it made so much more sense that way. The responsibilities were divided and an overall harmony was maintained. Though, eventually that concept of home-staying-mum lead to a very conservative mindedness in women as well. Part of a reason why a lot of hopeless traditions, concepts and ideas exist till the day is due to women. As example, the whole thing about how women shouldn’t enter temples during their menstruation. This thing exists in the society till the day more because of women themselves.

Yes, I agree both the genders should be treated equally. Yes, I also agree in this hardcore materialistic world if a woman is aspiring and wishes to apply her knowledge/ skills and make a strong social stand she has to be working. But, at the same time I see no reason why anyone should have to link the idea of ‘freedom’ with the idea of ‘economic independence’. I would like to ask them “What’s the point of your ‘education’ if the only reason you are/were ever studying was to get a job?” Don’t you clearly see some women working solely because that gives them a reason to escape from the house-hold? Basically there’s a kind who studied solely to get a degree and to get a husband who had an equivalent degree. That kind I would like to me is an ‘escapists’. They have never seriously done anything else but fooling around and running away from any kind of hard-work. Never cared about putting efforts into anything. (A worst story goes with most the Indian young men these days. But, that we will talk about some other day.) The only reason they keep on blah-blahing about how men should bear equal responsibility with domestic work and how men should be a hand in cooking or growing up the young kid is that the women themselves are running away from any efforts more than anything else.

Again, I am not trying to opine about if women should work outside of homes or not. No, not the point. But, a middle ground on this would be rather a happier place. The question is against the social structures and overall mentalities more than anything else. Wasn’t education suppose to make you wiser? Isn’t this ‘equality’ rather blurring the lines between the genders? Isn’t it confusing the simple things up? And if you think you can never be a ‘wiser’ or ‘successful’ woman without earning money, you are definitely an unenlightened degree holder.

On a side-note I belong to a family where my mother was a working woman. I am a working woman myself (I don’t have a family to look after though). Rethink if you think I am saying all this without having seen both the sides of the coin. However, I disagree with the idea of an exaggerating feminist society as much as a male chauvinist society. If this is the feminism the females want to live with where they shamelessly claim that they send their Lower K.G. kids to tution classes only so that they don’t have to look after them for that much amount of time, I would rather be a backward woman. Moreover, why do you want to be equals with men anyway? Why do you want to be alike? Men and women are different and isn’t it great that they are?


  • Shruthi Venukumar

    I completely agree with the part where the author says that women need not aspire to be alike men as we are created different. But “why do we need to be equal?” is a question which can get us all into a confused muddle in future just like the practice of keeping a woman out of worship houses during menstruation (which was started with the aim to allow the woman rest during her chums when she, in those days, felt particularly weak due to below-the-mark nutrition etc) took the face of hard-nosed conservatism gradually. That statement is not exactly an embodiment of the middle ground that the author speaks of. Freedom is not per se seen by women to be only achievable through financial independence. The reason it has come to be so is because society itself has come to judge a woman’s (and everyone else’s) worth in terms of the pay packet she brings home. There was a time when a homemaker used to be viewed as an active participant in the process of division of labour. But since then, that status has refused to stay, thus goading women on to try financial liberation. Every other piece in the write-up is great and speaks of the encroaching female chauvinism that we have come to witness. But we must understand that much of the female chauvinism can be traced back to the years of pent-up agony and angst against society’s raw deal met out to women, tales of which are indoctrinated into women since girlhood. That is wrong yes, but there is a psychology behind that. By putting that statement with the word “equal” in it, the author has called into question her own stand in the beginning of the article that said that household chores did not make women any less than her domestic counterpart.

    • Prima

      ‎- The example of menstruation thing is listed under the idea of what happened with the home-staying-mums and the intention is to point towards how an average home-staying-mum rather got involved into caring about things that don’t really matter. Trying to present both the sides of argument here before asking to reach a middle ground. The intention was to show both the sides of coins and to show how bipolar they are.

      – Freedom IS at the ground level seen to be connected with the idea of economic independence. Not only by women today but also by men. Whenever asked “Why don’t you raise your voice against it if you think what’s happening is wrong?” majority of the answers go something like “Because I am dependent upon my family/ I live in my parents’ house etc. and so I can’t say anything against it” Or something like “I am not that capable yet.” (By which they mean they don’t earn heaps)

      – and this at the end of the day is the biproduct of the materialistic place we live in. An individual’s capabilities and their measures have somehow gotten into the matrix. They are judged either on the silly board exam results, University results, the college they get admissions in and eventually the annual income and amount of material they are capable of providing to their families which I have pointed to right at the beginning explaining why the idea of ‘earning’ has become so important for an individual to have a decent social stand again regardless of sex.

      – About what has happened in history is not unknown by any of us here. Right from the concept of Adam and Eve till the day it has been horrible. It’s even worst in other parts of worlds. Mohammad had suggested that women should be protected and interpretation of it and further interpretation and some more interpretation has brought them to a situation where they have completely missed the point by making ‘hijab’ and ‘burkha’ compulsory. Absolutely ridiculous. But, what has happened in past is past. Exactly how male chauvinism has eventually led to extreme feminism, extreme feminism will again lead to male chauvinism at some point. An endless cycle of a worthless battle it will be.

      – Also, a what happened in the past can not be a justification for what is wrong in present. Past and present are two entirely different stories. What has passed will never be repeated if it were good and it won’t be corrected if it were bad. All what we can do is try not to do wrongs in present regardless of how bad the past has been.

      Your feedback is much appreciated. I can see where you are coming from. Things you pointed out actually sound pretty vague when I go through it now with a fresh eye and thus the clarification here about what was exactly meant by those statements. :)

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