Embedded Patriarchy

On a road in an unknown city, I was walking with a friend of mine late at night. The roads were not dark but empty and silent. The only sound I could hear was of our footsteps. A car passed by, people peeped out from the window, smiled and went. It was not-so-difficult to understand that it was a scary moment for both of us.

However, my fear got over, the moment my friend said,” It wouldn’t have been this scary if I was alone, I feel responsible for your safety too.” Now, the feeling I had was more of a burden. I was feeling bad but I knew he was right in some way or other. Thanks for the training which tells me that I am supposed to shrink myself to cater the fragile ego of males; how I am always going to get the protection for my body from a male. Well, I asked him sarcastically if he would want to go, his answer was a no, obviously!

But, that day, something pierced my heart to know how vulnerable a woman is without a man! How my parents and relatives asking me every time about my ‘future’ is always about marriage not about the aspirations that I have, not about where I want to be in the next ten years. Why am I expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important thing and that too with a male? Marriage can be a good thing, a source of joy, love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage, yet we don’t teach boys to do the same? Is it just because of biological vulnerability? Why the messiah for woman’s lives is always need to be a man? Why do we teach boys to be afraid of fear, of weakness, of vulnerability?  We teach them to mask their true selves because they have to be a hard man! Then I realize that we simply internalize ideas from our socialization.

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