Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 30 –
There had been a time when the struggle with chores and gender roles took over every meeting or conversation that MM and her friends had. And finally, it got too much for MM so she began to cling to her hobbies for dear life. Letting friendships and WhatsApp-only communications cool or grow distant but holding on to friendships she treasured. Friends so dear that she was willing to listen. Willing to learn HOW to listen actually because the art of listening rarely is an innate skill with the human race.
And then, something wonderful happened!
Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 29 – They can’t shape her in their likeness,
can’t swallow her whole. Can’t figure her out as she won’t keep her dreams small.
MM had seen quite a few families where elderly disfunction runs high. Much of it supported by tradition where elders express love by allowing younger women to serve them.
Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 28 – Temper. My Friend. You keep me safe when the load gets too heavy and they won’t give me a break.
Speaking out calmly and assertively when there’s pushback is always a risk. Now, it was a risk she was willing to take. A risk she was angry enough to take.
Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 27 – It’s cuddly dog and happy face and we have to look our best, hair always neat and in place. Skirt around what’s going down because talking like it’s okay can turn things around.
This chapter was inspired by a wonderful book on positivity – ‘I’m OK – You’re OK’ by Thomas A Harris, MD.
Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 26 – As I mentioned in Chapter 24, Microwave Madam had begun practising sovereignty. This meant unlearning ideas that make women think that running on empty is ok. And learning that support is a two-way street.
Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 25 – They wanted their stuff. And their ideas. Even if they didn’t work anymore because life and lifestyles had changed so much.
Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 24 – Microwave Madam learns new skills.
Practising. Some steps forward. Pushback. . .
Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 23 – MM was horrified at the lack of a law on marital rape in India. Read this article by the Times of India – Why Marital Rape Exists In Homes, In Data, But Not In Law. MM had only ever experienced caring and kindness in this aspect of her marriage, but she knew women who hadn’t. Women for who the bedroom was a place to tolerate. To endure. To dread. And to fear.
Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 22 – MM loved her mother-in-law (referred to later as MM’s MIL) for many reasons I’ve mentioned before in ‘Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 3 – Equality at Home | A Wonderful Woman’. A separation of living spaces goes a long way in helping mother-in-law and daughter-in-law love each other. And there’s one more important factor we often under-value, namely, the role of the Indian man.
Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 21 – Those of you who live in India will understand the term Building-Uncle even though it might be new to you. For those who don’t, in India, all elderly men are called Uncle wherever they go, and elderly women, Auntie. The Building-Uncle is my term for the uncle who lives within the same housing society or building.