There's a list A: the list of 'choices' that a woman exercises and does to express her individuality, sexuality, aesthetic sense, love and/or devotion.
And there's a list B: the list of things women have to do because of a male dominated society.
These two lists are built and maintained by an anonymous, distributed group of people who consider themselves the custodians of womens' rights.
I feel that two of the very important tools of female subjugation that our society employs are:
- Equating regressive traditions to choices that women make to celebrate their womanhood. Be it Madri's sacrificing herself on Pandu's pyre, today's Karva Chauth, or fashion trends for which 'modern' women 'choose' (with due consultation with beauty and fashion brands through the very balanced means of aggressive advertising) to follow expensive purchases, time-wasting routines, non-functional, uncomfortable and sometimes harmful dressing, and beauty procedures ...
- Dismissing those who point these things out while it's not yet deemed fashionable to do so by the custodians of women's rights, as regressive and supporters of rapists.
Surely a few years from now, someone will toss the tradition of fasting and praying and dressing up for someone near and dear from list A to list B.
While we wait for that to happen, thus making it acceptable to talk about them in intellectual circles, I wish a Happy Karva Chauth to all of you!
(Reproduced from a Facebook post of mine)