It is tough to trace where or how this tradition germinated but if there is something that unites most families and tend to blur the distinct boundaries existing, it the art of putting the reputation and honour of a family in the vaginas of female members. Beginning from toxic statements like “She is someone’s daughter/sister...blah blah blah” to “I trust her that she will not do anything that will harm the family’s reputation” and at the same time expecting her to reach unimaginable feats is an oxymoron in itself.
I distinctly remember how my school uniform, specially the skirt was adjusted when I was 10 years old and a man had tried to tickle me at my thighs. It never was the man, but always me, my medium skirts my yoga pants, my polo tee-shirts and even my cute blouses. Things elevated to a higher degree when I was asked by my previous landlady not to dry my undergarments out in the balcony as they were apparently of a bigger size; a size big enough to catch attention even on the third floor. Magic, eh?
It is true that I have met many patriarchal men; I have also seen some equal patriarchal women who seem to carry forward the virus of patriarchy always. Reasoning why it is not ‘female-like’ to keep sanitary napkins in a dustbin to regarding me as an untouchable during my periods, some of my aunts have rightfully become of heir of patriarchy. The question that looms large is that do we really need very strong persons to react against this? The answer is most probably no, what we need is a protest, even the most meek ones are also signs of protest and that is what can stop this trauma.
The obstacle in the power of empowerment and choosing one’s own identity is not present always outside the house but sometimes inside the very corner we call home. A thought, a minor thought that can pass off as a trifle is enough to germinate into patriarchal norms someday. It is tough to protest and raise our voices against our family who nurture such thoughts but at the same time, it is necessary, it is inevitable and undeniable.