Exploring Patriarchy – Chapter 12
Organized storage gives things lying around a home – a place where they are kept and where they can be found. The constant putting away and fetching that had earlier left MM without time to rest, ended. And this caused unexpected friction.
MM realized then, that her husband had a very sub-conscious idea of love that was based on his upbringing. Where his mother had served and fetched as an expression of motherly love.
MM saw much resistance to home organization within her extended family. Some from a genuine desire to have the comfort of familiar ways, some from elderly hoarders, and some from a desire to hold on to a system that allowed women to be fetchers.
A lack of home organization allowed the boy child in the family to receive love in a way that his father had. With hugs that children usually receive moderated for the boy child, because it is thought he needs to be tough. And replaced with fetching.
These ideas go deep and the expectations a man has from his wife are often shaped by his relationship with his mother. MM’s husband realized that his expectations of love from this wife were in direct conflict with his desire to see his wife rest when she needed.
The internal conflict he felt was upsetting for him and made him bad-tempered and difficult. The extent of the conflict within him was very much a function of how deeply rooted he was in patriarchy and gender roles. And he saw now, that his ways didn’t match his progressive thinking.
MM started to plan spaces in her day when his moods got too much too handle, as she needed to learn coping skills. She also needed to think about her priorities and what she wanted from life.
To think about what her husband wanted from her and the kind of wife he really wanted her to be. And to think about whether it was possible to find a balance, because change like this doesn’t happen in one generation. It takes time. And it’s best done in small steps.
MM was an unusual woman in that she had a tremendous amount of patience. And an ability to work within established comfort zones, working for small gains that would take root and grow over time. And develop a momentum that would push barriers on their own, without her efforts.
I don’t wanna be the woman behind the man let my dreams flow down the sink as I wash the pots and pans. I don’t wanna be the woman who’s burning up inside and sees dirt in the smile of her sisters eyes. Don’t wanna be the price that you pay when we’re old, and I’m bitter because I had no say. And you don’t wanna be the man who sat by, watched the dreams and hope fly out of my eyes. Don’t wanna be the cause and the reason why my wings were stuck and I couldn’t fly. You wanna be the man behind the woman who pursues her dreams and has a life of freedom. So we’re partners searching for equal, working side by side, sharing our dreams and our daily lives.
Thanks so much for reading this. I’d appreciate feedback on whether the story of Microwave Madam gives this poem more meaning or makes the social issues behind it easier to understand.
I invite you to read all chapters of Exploring Patriarchy and walk with Microwave Madam as she explores the impact of patriarchy on her life and on society. And looks for solutions.