The Feminist Times
TRADITIONS BEGIN AT HOME!
Updated: Apr 17, 2021
On an average day span, a lot of thoughts cross our minds. But there are only a few that remain with us. Those keep coming back to us. Those refuse to sink in! Here the question is, do we need to supress them or do we need to embrace them?
While growing up, my mother always taught me to be an aware soul. She taught me to never follow festive traditions and ceremonies only for the sake of it; but to find out their origin, study it and then follow it. Which is why I wondered if I was supposed to follow this pattern in real life too? We talk about gender equality all the time; we also talk about how charity begins at home. But have we actually started “the charity at home”?
Do the male members of your house move around in their vests? Can the female members walk around like that? If a child is unwell in the house, does the male member take a day off or the female member? Do the female members eat with the entire family during a big family dinner or do they eat after they’ve fed everybody? Of course, it’s so necessary to serve hot food to the elders, children and men; after all that’s what family dinners are all about. Do your grandparents get jittery while talking to their daughter’s in-laws or while visiting their houses? Does your opposite sex sibling possess the same set of societal knowledge and freedom as you had at that age? What name is mentioned on your house nameplate? How many families do you know who have the names of both spouses on their nameplates? Do the female members of your house switch to “fully covered” garments when an elder member is around? Do the male members do the same? What does your family think about “ghar jamai”? Do your mother and your father have the same say in a joint family discussion?
It’s true that we need better sex and gender education in schools. It’s also true that there are bigger sub issues under gender equality that our country is fighting at the moment. But, what’s equally true is that every lady in this country deserves to be treated with equal dignity and respect. Not as a favour, but as a right. Inequalities are present in the smallest of actions that we do not even notice on an everyday basis. We have all sunk so deep into our world of patriarchy that we do not even realise when this becomes a part of our normal routine. And now, my friend, we do not need any more campaigns or awareness workshops. What we need now is realisation and action. We need to be woke. We need to question our ‘normals’ of today and establish new reformed normals for our next generation. It sure will take time but we need to begin from somewhere. It is time that we introspect and if needed, we reset; because charity, my friend, begins at home.
Tanya Nanda, an enthusiast living to make experiences euphoric.