Friday, August 12, 2016

A Woman Is A Woman's Worst Enemy

It's sad that a woman is a woman's worst enemy

I recently met an old, close friend who works in a school. She was talking about how some of her colleagues weren't allowed to go on school picnics because their husbands did not permit them. She said one of the teachers sometimes came to school with bruises on her face and arms. It was evident that she was a victim of domestic violence. A woman with a job and financial independence! When I asked my friend if she did anything to help her colleague out, she just shrugged and said that the girl's parents who lived in another city nearby also did know anything about her plight.

This set me thinking. A woman who evidently is going through something so bad and her colleagues just shrug it off. The woman herself doesn't want to confide in her parents - even her mother! And for what? To keep the 'married' tag intact? How would it affect her kids - she has 2 - to see their mother being treated like this? Isn't she setting the wrong example for them?

In this case, the colleagues who work together could form a bastion she could fall back on and confide. Their backing her up could mean the world to her. And maybe the only encouragement she needs to make that life altering decision, to choose to not put up with humiliation anymore, to take a step towards a better future for her children. But instead we just choose to ignore it like it's not none of our business.

Another friend had an arranged marriage at 24 and found that her husband spent nights out and refused to explain where he went. She confided in her mother hoping to find some support. But her mother told her to ignore it since men did what they wished and asked her to focus on bringing up the kids. By the time she was 30, she had 3 kids and husband who was least interested in her. If her mother supported her, I think her life would have been very different today.

Some of you might wonder why am I finding fault women who are already so helpless! For ages, we have held responsible for the oppression of women. Yes, the man who treats his wife like this deserves to be punished - severely. And I am not supporting him. But I am drawing attention to the fact that women themselves do not support each other. Women, who go through the same grind in our lives and should have the highest level of empathy and support.

Take another situation - the classic tussle between the mother and the daughter-in-law. History is full of instances about how they just cant get along. And the drama is played out in pretty much every household in the country that has them. A woman leaves her house hoping to find the same love and understanding from another woman who also left her family behind at some time. But it doesn't work that way. It isn't empathy that works out here. One unwilling to relinquish control to the new comer and the other hoping to score in other ways. 'Support' is not a part of this relationship dynamic.

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth is a mammoth 1000 page book. But one of the things that stands out in my memory is about how a character comments that men can divide kingdoms but the women of the house will never be able to decide who gets the pots and pans in the house. And this is so true.

I can go on and on. But the sad fact will remain that a woman is a woman's worst enemy. It is us who keep patriarchy alive. It is us who keep whatever this hatred for each other is called, brewing.
Men just bond over simple things. But women judge! We do! Be honest to yourself and accept it. We bitch about other women, size each other up when we meet and are the first ones to condemn them when we are in trouble. A qualified mom who gave up her career for her children is judged as much as a mother who has a full time job leaving her kids behind. A mother teaches her daughter to keep her periods a secret. She passes on the legacy of being a good daughter in law. Which then goes on to the next generation. And the cycle continues. Haven't you sometimes found an empathetic hearing from a man and felt more comfortable sharing things with a male friend? And it felt better to do it since you knew your women friends would judge and in all probability blame you for your situation?

I don't think we should blame men for any injustice perpetrated on us unless women folk have solidarity amongst us. What do you think? Have you come across experiences that have made you feel the same way?

This post has been written for #CreativeCurves under #BlogOEmotion week and today is day Day 5 with the prompt, Sadness. 

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