The Women That Contribute To Male Chauvinism

A few weeks before my wedding, my mother decided to give me “the talk.” Now I know what you’re thinking but my mother is an Indian woman with her Indian sensibilities. Her opening line was, “If you dry roast all the masalas for a few minutes until the raw smell goes, the dish will taste better.”

Believe me, that’s no euphemism.

After her instructions on spicing up my (ahem) curries, she told me the following words to live by that I never lived by, “A man’s ego needs to be constantly stroked. Keep flattering him every now and then.” She further went on to add that there is no harm in apologizing at times even if he was at fault, because “men are like stubborn children” (well, I agree to some extent to that bit in quotes).

Luckily for me, the Mr. had by then seen me at my nicest, and also during my absolute vampiric worst, when he knew the safest way to approach me was to hand me hot beverages held on one end of a stick, while standing preferably two rooms away. His sans-moustache-Rhett-Butler attitude preferred someone who spoke her mind over someone who mindlessly flattered him, and thus was qualified to handle me at my best.

What about all the other girls whose mothers have told them the same thing? How are they happy with the “Oh, Johnny Bravo, you da best!” line even at times when he is being only ok? The sad bit is how they do it in hopes of something in return – often a little material something. When I tell my husband he makes the best prawn curry in the world, it is simply because he does. Not because I expect shoes in return.

Women are conditioned – by the world, by their mothers – to keep buttering men up. They are encouraged to bow their head, not make noise, handle the household, quit their jobs. If your husbands are kind enough to let you retain your jobs, then by no means earn more than him, or even equal to him – you are threatening him and his fragile ego. So used are women to being treated as second class human beings that they have led themselves to believe a man who walks all over them is what they want and need. Such is the extent of this belief that they shy away from wanting equality and become eternal male pleasers. Such is their need to be approved by the Alpha Male, that they would rather join a fight for male superiority than demand equal rights. This okayness to be trampled upon is something I’ll never get. What they require is not a companion to share dreams, make plans with and enjoy a lifetime with, but a protector whose classless jokes about nagging wives they can demurely smile at. There are women who have gone so far to believe that by keeping their husbands chests pumped, essentially they are the ones benefitting. Right, what benefits are we referring to here? Again, the little treats?

And the mothers of these great men in our lives – they probably contribute more to male chauvinism than any testosterone fueled mainstream feature film. All a boy has heard growing up is how privileged he is simply because he is a boy and how he will always have more and better opportunities than his sister. At social gatherings, the proud mommies will show off their sons’ successes, much to the envy of everyone within earshot. The same mommies measure their daughters’ successes differently – how much the sons in law earn, or where they work – USA or UAE or Uranus – the fancier the better. And the poor misguided daughters believe that what they want is not success of their own, but a successful man, who can – and we’re back to this statement – buy trinkets! The only other measure they have for their daughters’ successes is how much dowry they gave the groom (dowry-abolishment-laws-are-for-losers, hashtag YOLO). The same daughters teach the same to their “privileged sons” and “substandard daughters.” And so the cycle continues.

Once the Mr. told me that a colleague advised him about “keeping women under control.” Then I told him about the general belief around a man’s constant need for validation and flattery. Then we shook our heads and had a good laugh. Because when you marry someone, you’re looking at a friend and an equal partner. You laugh your heart out at ironies. You are not marrying the Colossus of Rhodes and you do not smile abashedly at his embarrassing spanks on your shoulder in the presence of his drinking buddies. Have some pride!

We all have a very small space in eternity, if you ask me. Instead of fighting for dominion, we should be treating ourselves equal, laughing more often, hugging tightly, and kissing sweetly. Instead we have turned our pathetic lives into a battleground. Funny, only by the time we die in this battleground, we’ll realize there are no winners.

 

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28 thoughts on “The Women That Contribute To Male Chauvinism

  1. Sid Balachandran September 14, 2015 / 8:03 AM

    I am going to quietly clap here and the share it. You are after all, a woman of my own heart and thought process. Practically a twin, barring a few …Erm…differences 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sreesha Diva September 14, 2015 / 9:34 AM

      Hey, not liking Nutella shouldn’t be counted as a difference!
      Thanks for the share! Let’s hope for the changes 🙂

      Like

  2. Shailaja/ The Moving Quill September 14, 2015 / 9:21 AM

    Well said, Sreesha. I certainly hope that the next generation of women and men learn from the ones who do this well and no longer make it an exception. For that to happen, there must be more responsibility borne by both parents and help them bring up amazing kids as well. Let’s aim for balanced and equal respect relationships. Always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 14, 2015 / 9:36 AM

      Absolutely! That’s the aim. I just hope (kinda disillusioned looking at what’s happening around us at present) that while we try to bring about equality, we don’t ruffle the feathers of those content living in the battleground!

      Like

  3. Lata Sunil September 14, 2015 / 10:56 AM

    Aah.. my mom also gives me such talks, even now when we are touching two decades of wedding bliss. When me and my husband were engaged, my mom had mentioned you have to be at home when he calls in the evening (pre-cellphone age). Immediately, I told me then fiance, please dont call me before 9pm as I am out with friends everyday. And he was sweeter. He would call only after 9.30pm. And I knew we would be fine. Mom is not right always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 14, 2015 / 11:18 AM

      How sweet is he! 🙂 It’s the little things like this that matter.
      Yeah, plus my mom didn’t really need to believe that cos my dad didn’t think much of flattery, so my mom never knowingly indulged in it either. Maybe she thought my husband (then fiance) was an average run-of-the-mill chauvinistic dude (Mom, why do you think I would choose someone like that!)
      Funnily, I first heard that “keep flattering the male” statement while in school, from a classmate. So I’m guessing it’s “wisdom” that’s being handed down from mom to daughter since ages :\

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rajlakshmi September 14, 2015 / 6:28 PM

    I love how there’s a big shift in this thinking in current generation, that couples these days are more of friends and constant source of support. I feel it’s when the older generation gets involved, situation gets sticky. I feel men today are quite mature and understanding, of course, sadly there are exceptions to this. I love reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 15, 2015 / 9:21 AM

      The older generation makes it a point to get involved, whether or not we let them!
      I know, guys these days are more understanding and everything, as compared to before, but I still feel they’re the exception – the urban ones are more or less in their right minds, but what about the majority, they still believe men are superior.
      Thank you so much, Rajlakshmi 😀

      Like

  5. inquisitivegeet September 14, 2015 / 8:03 PM

    I have an aunt who constantly nudges her daughter and sometimes to me as well to feed this male chauvinism and yes, she does gets all back from me at least.. And of course, she talks about me behind my back as to what things do I expect from husband or how I talk to him or how I should only do things what he likes..
    Whats worse is, her daughter has given birth to two daughters, and now she’s after her life to produce another child in the hope of you obviously know what!!!

    It was a wonderful piece Sreesha..!!

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 15, 2015 / 9:29 AM

      The talking behind your back will only get worse if in front of her you do anything short of bowing and touching your hubby’s feet! My grandmother’s sister once made comments about a bride and groom cos they TALKED to each during the wedding (their own wedding, yes!)
      Oh dear, she can’t force her like that, bearing kids is hard work, and raising them even more so. What if the next five are also daughters, how many more will she keep popping out. I had written a post about that a while ago, sort of sardonically. There were some people who didn’t get the sarcasm, and thought I was supporting the male-child-is-superior view!
      Thanks, Geets! 🙂

      Like

  6. parulthakur24 September 14, 2015 / 9:18 PM

    I could not agree more. Well said, in a marriage there is no room for flattering or keeping under control. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 15, 2015 / 9:30 AM

      When either of that happens, you know it’s going down in a bad way.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. akaushiva September 15, 2015 / 7:06 AM

    Well said and well written! I am hopeful that things will change…are changing in fact. I look around me, and the couples share similar beliefs, hold their partner in an equal light, work in partnership…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 15, 2015 / 9:32 AM

      Yes, things are changing. There is still a large majority out there that does not believe in equality, but let’s hope that mentality changes soon. Harmony is, after all, what we all want.

      Like

  8. bobbibowwoman September 15, 2015 / 7:40 AM

    Reblogged this on Drawing on Words and commented:
    Yes, and Yes. I was also blessed to marry a man who fought his conditioning with intelligence and humor, as I continue to fight mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 15, 2015 / 9:36 AM

      That’s great, Bobbi! That conditioning is ingrained so deep in our psyche (since centuries!) that it will take some time to fight it off. But we are seeing changes, and more and more people now believe in equality, as compared to before 🙂 Let’s hope there is a larger shift soon.

      Like

  9. pixie September 15, 2015 / 10:13 AM

    ha! Tell me about it! I got the lecture in bits and pieces by an aunt – she said and I quote – you and K aren’t friends anymore. he is your husband.
    I was like – ok? and? 😛 😛
    you have said it all – I have written so much about this – especially about the ladies I meet her and their regressive attitudes.. sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 15, 2015 / 12:28 PM

      Oh yes, the aunts can get real colourful at times! You know a lot of marital probs would be solved if the dialogue was in reverse, “You are not husband and wife – you’re friends.” There, just like that.

      Like

  10. subzeroricha September 15, 2015 / 2:44 PM

    Sreesha I loved the introduction. Especially the little bit on masalas it almost gave me a deja vu. You already know women country wide empathise with your post love 🙂 Beautifully written!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. CookieCrumbs Inc. September 16, 2015 / 2:14 PM

    Wait. What? You are married? :O

    P.S: My mum tells me the same thing – give the relationship your 110% and you will get 50% back (the math is wrong but that’s how the poor dear explains it to me). She doesn’t believe that women are weaker than men, but her advice is from her mother who believes that men are superior and they should be bowed down to by women. Even today we have coffee conversations of a man having to come back to a dirty house as being a sin. I simply asked: what if the woman is working too? Grandma doesn’t have an answer because her world does not known the possibility

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 16, 2015 / 4:15 PM

      Clearly, I am doing something very-unmarried-like, cos I get this a lot! (?)

      Oh yes, moms and grandmoms advocate that bit of erroneous math. Interestingly, it makes both men and women look bad. They just don’t realize it or what, I’ll never know.
      Oh, that clean house thing would so not hold true in my house. We both are crazy messy, plus there’s an almost-four year old in house who is messier. We just clean it up together (while the kid waits with a gleam in his eyes for the right opportunity to mess it all up)
      The list of sins is endless. Sometimes I wonder if the ancients cooked up sins to make women feel bad about themselves.

      Like

  12. Eli Ert September 17, 2015 / 3:17 AM

    Halleluja! What a powerful message, and very interesting (and funny) read. “women are women worst” sometimes… Loved the last part – equal partners and friends – thats it!:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva September 21, 2015 / 3:27 PM

      Wouldn’t it be easier for women, and for everyone in general, if we just worked towards empowering each other instead of fighting!
      Glad you liked it, Eli! 🙂

      Like

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