The fallacy of women empowerment

I remember very well that I had earned the wrath of my college girls for speaking something on the lines below but I still stick to my opinion because the questions that I have raised have not been answered to my satisfaction till date. Consider the analogy of ‘disease and symptoms’. In what task would you be more interested? Dealing with the symptoms or dealing with the root cause of the disease? An intelligent answer would be to deal with both. While you start by dealing with the symptoms, you are also not carried away just by symptoms eradication. You are always aware of the root causes that still need to be tackled.

Women empowerment is also a kind of such disease and symptom problem. Gender inequality is a problem but providing reservation for women in the parliament or in the jobs,Β  enacting strict dowry prohibition laws, strong laws for curbing female infanticide, etc is like providing solutions to the symptoms only. If you carefully analyze the problem, you will find that at the core of the problem is patriarchy. In simple words, it is the family structure where the senior male member is the head of the family. Like it or not, you do require a ‘head’.Β  It is this family system which requires a woman to leave her parent’s abode and spend the rest of her life in her husband’s family. A lot of symbolic changes follow. For example, a woman after marriage is required to wear something (like a mangal sutra) that makes it easier for others in the society to identify that she is married. She will have to drop her father’s name and her born surname. She now starts using her husband’s name and her husband’s surname to be identified in the society. Thus, it is more and more fun for a family into which a woman enters while the family which provides this woman is left with some hollowness. No wonder that Indian families however wealthy they may be yearn for a son. This also leads to female foeticide.

So what is the solution? Turn patriarchy into matriarchy and you will start seeing ‘male foeticide’ πŸ™‚ By virtue of industrialization, we already have a proliferation of quasi-nuclear families but mind the word ‘quasi’ as the nuclear families of the educated migrants no matter where they are still retain their bonds to the ancestral joint families from where they come from. Festivals are still celebrated collectively. Respect and loyalty to the head of the family still remains. Moreover, the nuclearisation of joint families also leads to the problem of old aged parents left for themselves without any support.

People may find me crazy but I think that Science and an appropriate policy can change this scenario. If Science can come up with some chemical test for gender detection before the development of foetal organs, a policy can well be devised that permits every family to have a boy and a girl. Right now, I cannot see any problem with this solution. I also believe that it would create a balance in the exchange of boys and girls. (through the institute called ‘marriage’) leading to gender equality.

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About guptasudhir

Let us revolutionize education in India !
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4 Responses to The fallacy of women empowerment

  1. Anne De Plume says:

    I appreciate your thought of disease and symptom and womens’ empowerment as a symptom. Converting patriarchy into matriarchy would mark a huge shift. However, is that possible? For centuries we are oriented into a certain kind of thinking and practice — how to change that? If you ask any ‘middle-class’ lady from a generation before us or even our generation who is married as per Hindu or Vedic traditions, she may not want to give-up her red bangles or her kumkum or mangalsutra/thali (might sound absurdly dramatic, but you can try).
    Even the Special Marriage Act of 1954 (under Hindu Law), gives Saptapadi (saat pheras) the legitimate legal status. The entire India is tied by its own set of customs and traditions, you can’t even change that if you want to. Where do you start the changes that you are proposing?
    Patriarchy as a system, many sociologists argue is equally supported by both genders. πŸ™‚
    The changes that you are trying to talk about was partially thought of by a group of extremely bright young men under a teacher called Henry Derozio and the movement was known as ‘Young Bengal Movement’ in 19th century. πŸ™‚

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  2. Shruti says:

    I guess , I was one of those ‘college girls’ whose wrath you survived πŸ˜‰ . Well, still upholding my opinion which you could term as ‘deliberate defiance’ , I believe that the solution you propose is a bit idealistic. Like that, it goes to prove that the very basic foundation of our society is flawed. A more rational approach that comes to my mind is that instead of bringing about the million-dollar change (‘patriarchy to matriarchy’), we can call upon broad-minded, literate young minds like you πŸ˜‰ to adopt ‘Patriarchy’ as just a system where in a male helps and takes initiative to keep a family stable. Patriarchy is present in the western countries but not female foeticide. So we should try to analyse what makes us different from them. Dowry , I believe is one of the most important reason for female foeticide. That’s where we have to start acting upon. I agree with Anne De Plume that no ‘middle-class’ lady would give up our customs but yes, she would definitely stand against the side-effects of the said system (unfortunately over the years people have manipulated it to their convenience).

    In essence, we can try to identify and eradicate the negative shades of ‘Patriarchy'(being dowry, female foeticide, male chauvinism).

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    • guptasudhir says:

      Both the ladies have got me wrong πŸ™‚ I never proposed converting patriarchy to matriarchy as the solution. The solution proposed by me was a boy and a girl child for every couple.

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  3. Shruti says:

    Oops !! Yes, I got you wrong. Guess I overlooked your last paragraph. For this I have to say that, because of few people, by their reckless behaviour have greased our whole system of family, we shouldn’t be trying to change the whole system as such(here i mean trying to bring about the policy of having one boy and one girl for every family) . Rather, try to correct those same people. Why should our structure of family should be driven on the actions of some mindless person? Here I make it clear that you are not trying to impose the policy, but I strongly feel that we create a society which will allow us to choose the kind of family we want to be.

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