The Society & Status Of Women!
A woman’s life tends to depend on the structure and nature of a Society from her very birth. The society has tried its best to empower women, as well as to put a stop to violence against them. However, the overall situation remains the same for them, especially in the Developing Nations!
In a Patriarchal Society, the birth of a baby-girl brings tension, as well as uncertainty (about her security), to the family. In other words, the Patriarchal Structure makes a girl weak, thus, prompting her to depend on male members of the society. Although the society has made minor changes for its own sake and has provided women with some opportunities, the basic structure remains the same! Also, there is hardly any change in the mindset of the society. The modern Indian Society still carefully nurtures the rules mentioned in Manusmriti (an ancient legal and religious text of Hinduism), and the social norms of the Victorian Era (in England) in order to keep women under control, albeit in a new package! Of course, a Patriarchal Society is committed to protect the dignity of women, but it is aimed at ensuring the male superiority (or domination)!
One may love to think that s/he makes no discrimination between women and men. Of course, s/he is a liberal personality… however, the fact remains that one can be that much of liberal which is allowed by the society. Else, the society will disown her/him. Since the ancient period, the society has imposed various restrictions on women. Women get their due respect only in a Matriarchal Society.
There are many smaller structures within a larger structure in a society. Common traditions, customs, culture, religion, education, law, marriage are smaller structures upon which a society is based. Since their birth, human beings gradually become social animals. The society does not just include them in the structure… but, they become the carrier of that structure, consciously or unconsciously! If one considers Patriarchy as a source of power or authority, then both women and men do everything possible in order to help the system survive…
Whenever the socio-cultural tradition or heritage tends to face crises, the heads of the society make some changes in the smaller structures in order to keep the larger structure intact! Usually, the social structure does not welcome any reforms, especially when they are related to empowerment of women. The society, in its specific ways, tries to control the lifestyles of unmarried women, separated women and widows. In Developing Nations, the single-mothers face more difficulties in upbringing their children!
Whenever some women talk about their basic rights, the society criticises them for being Feminists! Not only the conservatives, but majority of people believe that Feminists are dangerous for the society, as Feminism encourages women to become wilful activists! Actually, Feminism is multidimensional… Feminism not only encourages intellectual practices, but also triggers political movements against gender discrimination. Women enjoy the Right to Vote, Equal Pay for Equal Work, and other rights only because of Feminist Movements. Although the modern women enjoy economic freedom, they are still in the trap of Patriarchal Power Structure. The society has a great curiosity about their behaviour, dress-codes, and character. While thinking of this as a perverted culture, it can be said that the society has not become vulgar all of a sudden… the liking or aesthetic senses of the people have changed through ages. Perhaps, it is not even correct to describe this change as perversion!
Culture is not constant… there is a sort of stagnation in the word ‘perversion‘. Those, who believe in perverted culture, blame women for the degredation of culture! Still, the society blames the dress-code of a rape victim, instead of condemning the criminal act or the psychology of the rapist! There are some members of the society who wage wars against this so-called traditional mentality. These people prompt the society to introduce laws in order to protect the women’s rights. However, the basic structure remains the same. Patriarchy certainly teaches us to respect women… but it’s an imposed learning process, which actually explores different ways to exploit women!
Still, a Patriarchal Society does not welcome the birth of a baby-girl in Developing Nations! The society also encourages female foeticide, considers women as products and forces helpless women into prostitution! It becomes a common practice to harrass a woman, if she criticises the patriarchal social structure. Whatever problems the women face on a regular basis are created by human beings. Human beings also play an important role in sustaining those problems, thus, disrupting the pace of progress! No one is really interested in treating women equally…
A question, thus, arises somehow: When will such a human society turn humane?
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