PATRIARCHY

by | Aug 10, 2023

 

The prominent factor of early patriarchy in Indian society can be seen in the monastic and hermit traditions of Buddhism and Jainism. In the earlier age the women were not allowed to enter the temple. The reason for this discrimination was completely misogyny. As with the passage of time, women were slowly allowed to enter the monasteries, but still women had to follow a lot more rules than men and still they were not allowed in special parts of the temple. So, this was the beginning of the systemic patriarchy and misogyny in Indian society. In the past we had heard that women should be desirable, but they themselves cannot desire and those who desire, have to go through strict punishments.

The term Patriarchy derived from the word ‘patriarch’ in greek. It is a term for societies in which male is the privileged gender and in which he holds power, dominion and advantage over female. In simple words, patriarchy could be termed as a social system which upholds the idea that men are superior to women. It gives power,control and superiority to men comparatively than women. Patriarchy signifies that men should be in charge and women should follow along and do what men ask them to do. Patriarchy is made up of structures or institutions that exclude women from participation in or indulge with greatest power as economically, politically, culturally and religiously. It is a biassed social system that marginalises, discriminates or is oppressive to women. We need to challenge the patriarchal mindsets and ensure that both male and female should have equal access to opportunities and decision making and freedom. The core characteristics of patriarchal culture is purely male dominated, male centred, male identified and control obsessive. The insignia and concepts which make up societal norms are rumours.The term patriarchy generally refers to the class power relation in which males are considered as dominant and females are as inferior to them. The inferiority of women is expressed in various ways in both private and public areas, where females are opposed to having their rights and access to many things that are easily available to males. The patriarchy as a notion helps in the critical understanding of the status of women in any society. According to the famous gender historian Gerda Lerner, ‘patriarchy manifests and institutionalises the domination of men over women and children within the family, and extends its influence over the public sphere in a society.’ As per the study by the international peer-reviewed medical journal TheLancet revealed, ‘that around 5,00,000 girl children died in India every year owing to sex-selective abortion and also in the last 20 years, around 10 million female foetuses were aborted in India, and the practice is common even among the educated families.’

Male dominance over women’s social, political and economic life and decision making is a core issue to patriarchal society. In many cases this male dominance, whether it may be political, social or economical, is maintained through patriarchal oppression and violence. Briefly the patriarchal society, the social, economic and political rights of all marginalised gender identities and sexual orientations are regulated by a system. This system considers that any indication of femininity, non masculinity or non conformity to the custom and practices which are dual and rigid gender roles are considered as inferior. Patriarchy can evident itself through various social, cultural, political and religious can shapes too. For example the property and titles are mostly succeeded by male members of the family, as male members are considered as the karta of the family. In recent times also, the representation of women in leadership positions has mostly remained as deteriorated in some specific areas. Women are considered as a liability or property of men. Even today, in our Indian society there is a ‘son’s’ preference for various reasons. The term patriarchy can be used as an inter-related term with gender inequality, gender stereotypes, gender biases etc. The drawbacks of patriarchy are- oppression of women, wasted potential of women, and enhanced gender issues. Patriarchy disadvantages women but it also brings a set of behavioural norms and responsibilities that hinders men from expressing their pressures to perform in adherence with traditional notions of masculinity. Though, it becomes more and more important to not just challenge the patriarchy but also to understand how it reflects itself in other oppressive structures.

In current scenario as many women are still facing the issues like gender discrimination, sexual abuse, harassment and illiteracy. As in Indian society women are considered as the goddesses. The people worship them as goddesses, though on the other side, they treat them badly. So the difficulties which are encountered by them shows the contradicting view of this. In Indian society the women are still facing sexual abuse and harassment, according to the most recent government report on crimes in the country, India logged 31,677 cases of rape, or 86 cases per day on an average, while there were approximately 49 incidences of violence in every moment against women were reported.

As per the article published in, ‘The Times of India’ the article was published where it was unveiled that how pandemic has strengthened the patriarchal system in our country, ‘Domestic maintenance work and care, much of which are done largely by women within the confines of the home, have become the pillars of post-COVID life and coping strategies. This is especially so in patriarchal societies like ours, in which they are overtly belittled, yet idealised and imposed as an integral part of “womanhood”.

To tackle these problems which are faced by Indian women, each and every person must work to ensure that it is safe for women to be there, including the Indian government. For a positive outcome, we should ensure that all females should have an education. For the safety of our women in India, we all must work together. As a result of this, we all should be prepared to treat women equally. We all must support them at each and every stage and excel that by giving them the freedom to choose for themselves. By taking proper steps, these problems can be resolved and also by ensuring that women would no longer experience discrimination based on their gender. In conclusion it can be said that patriarchy is a debatable issue which is seen from countless years and it can be eliminated only after taking proper and balanced steps by each and every person in the society. Apart from this there are numerous possibilities which we all can take to oppose the societal norms of the patriarchal system.

 

 

Written By Nancy Sharma

I am Nancy Mahavir Sharma, a passionate legal writer and , a judicial service aspirant who is interested in legal researching and writing. I have completed Latin Legum Magister degree. I have been writing from past few years and I am excited to share my legal thoughts and opinions here. I believe that everyone has the potential to make a difference.

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