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How Normal is the “Normal”?

Shivani Rayamajhi, Youth Champion

Teacher: Who is the head of your family?

Student: (Without a second of delay) My father.

The title “HEAD” is mostly entitled to male members of the family whether it be grand-father, father, uncle, brother. This all reflect the “PATRIARCHY”. Let’s smash the patriarchy and teach our children a simple equation of “EQUALITY”.

Instances are countless but the implication remains the same; hegemony leading to gender inequality. How often do girls get the opportunity to express themselves and beyond? Almost never. Because the ‘active oppression’ against women is rarely seen in our “progressive society”. This is so internalized that the women do not realize they have treated as subordinates for decades. Thus, women all around the globe still face ‘passive oppression’. This passive oppression is leading to hesitation among women which is nothing, but just mere symptoms of a much deeper, severe and dangerous disease named PATRIARCHY. Patriarchy has been influencing our actions to be discriminatory since the very day we were born.

We have come a long way from ‘Sati Pratha’. Women have been denied the basic rights to vote and live an independent life. This, in retrospect is considered to a step closer to our vision of a world or so as they say. Is this path really leading us to the destination that we have envisioned? Or has the path unknowingly been deviated and turned into a maze where there surely is a clear beginning, but now we seem to be stuck somewhere in the middle.

I might sound a bit vague or pessimistic as many people would say! But let me give you an example. Imagine a woman, in her mid-20s. She is feisty, opinionated, scrappy and stands up for what she thinks is right. Now, what would she be labelled as? Aggressive, short tempered or a “feminist” (with a hint of sarcasm). Then imagine a guy with same qualities. He is regarded as wise, thoughtful, confident and a man with true leadership quality. As absurd as it might sound, this is our TRUTH, this is our REALITY. We have been so used to this. We find it quite normal and casual. Patriarchy has invaded over our minds and has pre-decided our gender roles for us. This, I believe, is the toughest battle to fight against in our pursuit of gender equality.

Let us question our concept of normativity. Tweak it just a little bit. Only then will we be able to see what a world without prejudice really looks like.