Intolerance And Tolerance In Patriarchy
By Vasudha Rao
02 December, 2015
The dictionary meaning of Intolerance is unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one's own.Other words which convey the same meaning as intolerance are bigotry, dogmatism,fanaticism,narrow mindedness, small mindedness, etc.
The media is rife, with intolerance of various people towards each other.Authors, artists returning awards in protest of intolerance & others intolerant towards those who return awards & speak their minds out.Vegetarians intolerant of non - vegetarians, artists intolerant of non-artists, government intolerant of public , police intolerant of accused ( not criminals ,mind you ),& so on.The reverse is also true...there are religious bigots, atheist bigots, vegan bigots, & of course, the government bigots...perhaps, the worst of the lot, as they wield a lot of power, with which, they flay all.
And amidst all this, a news item " Sabarimala board wants machine that scans menstruating women." was lost in all this cacophony of bigotry.And to think of it, that in this country of ours, men have made the whole society intolerant of women. And not one celebrity, political party nor member protests. Because , in such a country, which thrives on patriarchy, such small talk insulting females is the norm .And of course, when were women respected anyway .So why bother ?
And many have been telling that we are a very tolerant society &nation. I agree ...women in this nation have been very tolerant.Intolerance is the inborn,inherent, innate trait of men .Nearly half the population (this is being so optimistic, despite the fact, that the sex ratio is screwed against females) is tolerant & has been tolerant of the intolerant male population. Men are intolerant of an equal female population .That’s why systemic killing of the girl foetuses began
Since ancient times, women have been discriminated against.And as time passed, newer & horrendous concepts were adopted to subjugate women.Widows were frowned upon & women were told to commit sati. Widowers could marry & no man ever burnt on the funeral pyre of his wife.When & if his wife (or wives) wives died, he was married off to younger women, one after the other.Polygamy was the norm.Girls & women were forbidden from going to school .Slowly but surely, things changed because women along with few men got intolerant of the plight of women .Women have come a long way since those times & yet some conditions remain unchanged .Some factors in fact, have worsened as time went by.
Hence, nowadays, there are problems of female foeticide, stalking, molestation,rapes,dowry killing ,domestic violence etal.And, as if these are not enough to stress women & girls, religious institutions discriminate against females all the more.
Sabarimala temple upped the ante against women when it said that it will allow women to enter the temple once it installs a machine which will screen menstruating women! This is not an isolated instance.In almost all places of worship, menstruating females are disallowed entry.This applies even to those places, wherein the presiding deity is a Goddess ! What an irony! It is said, that when a woman or girl is menstruating ,she is impure. And yet, we visit temples to purify our minds .In other words, is impurity of a female / s so large that it overwhelms the purity of the Almighty? If yes, then why is God called Almighty? Even in homes, menstruating women & girls are disallowed near the place of worship .In other words, when women gets pregnant,she is pure as she stops bleeding.Hence, women need to be perpetually pregnant to maintain purity when they are in menstruating age.Before & after that age, they ( cannot& therefore ) need not get pregnant to remain pure. This would add to the bludgeoning population of our Bharat.Is the Government listening in, to all this rabid talk about impurity & purity talk by religious heads?
Men have made these rules that menstruating females be disallowed in temples to shame women.Because,this is one of the ways, men can try to get even with women who are far ,far superior to men in all aspects. This is so very evident now, that women are scaling new heights & breaking the glass ceilings in all fields.
The Indian patriarchal society is intolerant of menstruating women & yet, tolerant of sexual trafficking of women & girls ( some are as young as 8-10 years ). Devadasis have been a regular feature of many temples in India wherein the virginity of the girls forced into becoming a devadasi was played around by the male management of the temple.And did the "PURE" men refrain from sex when the devadasi women were "IMPURE"? The answer is obvious .In fact,devadasi is always 'Pure “because she is abused by men who are PURE.In fact, men would have us believe, that they impart purity to (women since all women bleed & are hence, impure) women by having sex with women as purity is transmittable from men to women via sex! In fact, this is what men are upto, when they rape!
It is time, women become intolerant to all & any forms of abuse.#HappyToBleed is the response to the Sabarimala dictat. On 25th of November, 2015, India Gate was lit up in Orange colour to celebrate the International Day of Elimination of Violence against women.We as women, need to get increasingly intolerant of patriarchal attitudes of men & society in general.And simultaneously men, will have to get increasingly tolerant .Only then , will our India become an equitable world.
I am a law graduate from Government Law College,Mumbai.I am a Fellow in General Insurance ( technical qualification for insurance ) .I am a homemaker at present, having worked for nearly 16 years in General Insurance in the Public Sector. I blog about recipes @http://vasusanchayah.blogspot.in/ & my views @http://vasu-smaran.blogspot.in/.