Hitting back at patriarchy

Yesterday, the news about Sania Mirza answering a royally sexist question with the most brilliant reply dominated the media. And, to think the question was asked by renowned TV anchor and journalist Rajdeep Sardesai goes to show how deeply entrenched patriarchy is in us. As kids, whether we questioned the motives and actions of our parents, grandparents and society in general may portray our early independent thinking and analytical abilities, but even as a part of today’s youth or young workforce, it takes me time to separate the norm from the what-it-ought-to-be.

As I’ve always tried to explain to others, patriarchy cannot be exorcised from our mindsets by just reading a couple of books, watching some films or even attending lectures. It takes time, albeit differing from person to person. Sometimes, even if we call ourselves liberals and feminists, we don’t realise how our actions, words and thought processes have changed little from the traditional.

When female celebrities get questioned over motherhood and ‘settling down’, imagine what the many women in their 20s and 30s must face on a daily basis. From constant barbs and teasing relatives, it gets extremely frustrating for women to pursue their career without having to deflect questions from every corner. Hiring at firms too take place accordingly, keeping an ‘eye’ on employees who are prospective brides and mothers.

When Rajdeep asked Sania when she planned to ‘settle down’, ‘retire’ and ‘build her family’, he later rephrased it as what life beyond tennis would be. This is what she said…

“You sound disappointed that I’m not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world at this point of time. But I’ll answer your question anyway, that’s the question I face all the time as a woman, that all women have to face — the first is marriage and then it’s motherhood. Unfortunately, that’s when we’re settled, and no matter how many Wimbledons we win or number ones in the world we become, we don’t become settled. But eventually it will happen, not right now. And when it does happen, I’ll be the first one to tell everybody when I plan to do that.”

Giving birth and raising a family are still seen as the essential duties and responsibilities of women today. Despite women having made a mark in almost all fields, and proving to be equally resilient and focussed when it comes to their career, people consider their lives incomplete without a husband (or boyfriend), children and seriously question their lack of devotion towards raising a family. Of course, Rajdeep immediately graciously apologised to her, on screen, and admitted how he would never have questioned a male athlete similarly. Few would do that.

And it’s world over. We often think people in the West have nothing to be worried about, that they’re aren’t judged the way we are… turns out, this is a mirage. The West is battling their own set of sociological issues. Just the other day, Jennifer Aniston, from the hit tv-series F.R.I.E.N.D.S., penned a column on how the media has constantly hounded her for answers on pregnancy and body-shaming her. While the latter issue I’ll take up on another day, the former spells out the world’s obsession with pointing fingers, casting opinions on the uteri of women and aspersions on her dignity.

While I would call myself a ‘laid-back intersectional feminist’ and even though I don’t face such questions as of yet, please keep your nose out of my uterus.

Participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.

17 thoughts on “Hitting back at patriarchy

  1. This must have been a last minute/day decision to write, I assume. I am glad, because these things need to be brought up. I am also glad to know that there are others who don’t plan much and just write ( again, I may be assuming too much, you won’t mind, right?)



    1. Do you mean ‘last minute’ is a negative manner? I wanted to write a post on a current topic, and the incident had taken place two days ago. And yes, I like planning, but not much of an executor. Somehow, my last-minute actions are the best. :) Thank you for dropping by.


      1. Ahh. No no! I meant it all in the positive manner! May be I should explain. I have seen people planning a lot in advance and blogging. Therefore happy to see a spontaneous and immediate blog post.


  2. The write up brilliant and the last two lines amazing and true . I don’t understand why a woman’s personal plans and decisions bother others so much.


  3. excellent post! I agree, just reading some books and attending lectures aren’t enough to get us to change deeply ingrained mindsets. At the same time, I think it’s excellent that women are speaking up about these issues. Hopefully, future generations won’t be questioned on these things as incessantly as we are!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s ubiquitious. What wonders me is people have the audacity to ask such questions in public, without realizing it is such a personal thing to someone. And why should one be asked such stuff in the first place is what I ask? It is no one’s business, they are not going to do it, or finance it or support it.. I feel why ask it?

    Very well written :)



  5. Ramya , your post was the first thing I read via my inbox today. So strong . So sharp . You stole words out of my mouth and phrased them a zillion times better. I am with you on every thing you say and I feel that we have little chance changing the world and how it behaves . What we can surely try is stick around so here’s to girl power!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Those last 2 lines.. superr.. so true females are ashamed with this marriage and motherhood questions constantly not only by men as u stated but more by women as if life’s an end if she doesn’t get married or be a mother. Good one, keeping an eye on your future posts now :)

    Liked by 1 person

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