Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Woman Second

I have tried for a long time not to write this post. Mostly it was because I had very strong feelings on the subject and was not sure I wanted to put these thoughts out in a public platform. But I have realised off late that it is because I am a little embarrassed about how I feel.

I am talking about being a feminist. Even as I defend my right to work, pursue a pastime, not be tied to a kitchen etc I find I explain myself to all and sundry. I feel solely responsible when my house is dirty and guilty about uncooked meals. Even as I defend my right to wear what I want, I worry about impressions I make. Even as women and wife jokes repel me, I have spent endless hours listening to people I know crack such jokes because I am not sure I want to be "that person" - the spoiler of fun.

Any other group of people that are discriminated against can generally go home and find themselves in a safe environment to express anger against such discrimination. Being a woman I find I am still a kill joy when I do the same. This is not to say that I do not have a supportive husband. But that I feel like I am expressing anger against him every time I complain, which is not my intention.

Inside me is a ball of resentment for all the times I have quietly let people tell me what to do. For all the times I have kept quite while I have listened to educated men pass what are callous comments about the women in their lives. For all the times I have heard women judge other women. For all the time I have not asserted that I am a person first, a woman second. I have the same desires, ambitions, insecurities that any person may have regardless of gender.

I am ashamed of what I am becoming, have become - a silent enabler of my own mistreatment. This piece for me is just a step towards being more at peace with myself.


Shuba said...

Dear String of Pearls,
I love this post and the courage and honesty here. 'For all the time I have not asserted that I am a person first, a woman second.' I love that line. We all need this reminder.

Warmly, and wishing peace,

Snehal said...

You are so spot on! Why is it always the woman, working or not, to assume sole responsibility for the condition of the house? I find myself explaining to friends how I had a million things to do and didn't have time to do the dishes or clean the carpet..while my husband (no complaints abt him, he helps out a lot) doesn't feel the need to say anything. We are trapped in that mindset.

Great post!

stringOfPearls said...

@Shubha - thank you :).
@Snehal - we are indeed trapped. We invent our own limitations.

mooli said...
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