From time immemorial, women have been the butt of all the fury of men which shows in atrocities on women. They have always been mere chattels, to serve and please men, but it is their misfortune that, in return they have got only discrimination, hatred and torture. It is thought provoking as to how and why this could continue unabated for centuries after centuries, and no one yes, no one ever thought of the plight that women had to farce.
To my mind the most moot point in favour of male domination for so long has been his physical strength and his being the bread winner of the family. These two together lay all the pressures of domination on women and they could do nothing so they had to succumb to the male dominance. From the time of Manu, dating to centuries past, women have always been a distant second to man, in everything. I daresay that, this is not true of only backward countries like India but, subjugation of women is a reality even in the most advanced countries of the West like Britain and United States. Even in these two so called advanced countries, women had to fight for their right to vote, and women in Kuwait, are still bereft of this right.
Atrocities on women have been manifold. Let us take a birdseye view of the normal and average woman. As a child, she is not looked after or cared for like her brothers. She is not educated, her health is no one’s concern, as, she is not important enough to look after her health. She has no rights of any kind on her father’s property, no right to education, and no right to have any a say in any family matters. All this of course if she is allow – to live at all. In this context, I would like to mention that, in several parts of India, the girl child is literally killed within three days of her birth. She is burden in birth and after birth. Thus her childhood, if at all the sees the light of day is a bundle of unhappiness where she sees here brothers being tended and she being ignored. This scenario does not improve after her marriage. The life after marriage is just an uglier extension of her early days of childhood.
When she grows, she is married to whomsoever is chosen for her. Now, her family changes, her relations increase, her horizon expands, but, her fate remains the same. She is in the new family also just a servant like relation, who is brought as if for her own good. She is there only to produce children for the family and serve as an unpaid maid for the whole family of the husband.
Here, if the husband is not considerate she is in for a living hell. Just see the irony of her fate, she becomes here the virtual backbone of the family resting upon her for all their services, but, she is of no avail to the family, and in no count in the family – what a fate is yours woman. She can be abused, tortured, beaten without immunity, and yet she can not raise an eyebrow or reduce her work. If she has brought less dowry than promised at the time of the marriage, then, Oh Lord, she has had it, and the misery in store for her cannot be imagined. She only has to wait cautiously for the fateful day when her husband and her in-laws join their malicious hands and do a small trick of soaking her in kerosene oil, and showing a small matchstick. This would end her worries but, women will continue to be tortured so. After killing her so cruely, all the in laws, go free and possibly start looking for a new bride for the poor boy left alone in his youth.
From the 18th Century onwards, the march of women towards emancipation had started, and they have taken long strides to the direction of their goal. Today we see that, women have gone a long way, they have their rights to education, to work out of the home and the right in their father’s property. All that is theirs but, still, FATE remains the same, and refuses to smile at them. She has, actually in the bargain doubled her troubles. For now, even if she is working outside on a very lucrative job, her home is hers to look after. No matter what she achieves, she continues to retain her identity as a chattel in the house. She continues to be an unpaid servant of the house and an unsung warrior in the struggle of life. At one time it was believed that, all would be well for women if they could be independent and earn a living but, that was a misnomer, she has achieved so much but to no improvement in her status at home or outside. Life still has not much to offer even to the educated and working woman.
In many ways she has added to her woes at home and outside. At home she remains at the same level of a doormat, working day and night to do justice to her home and her job in the outside world also. Women working in offices are not too welcomes, they always encounter men ogling at them, sneering and jeering at them. They are paid in most cases less than their male counterparts. I must add here to my dismay that, men probably can not see women rise from the dust they have always been and try to crush them at every step and every step ahead is disastrous for men.
I’d say that, right from the cradle to the grave, life for a woman is full of atrocities on her whether they be physical, mental or spiritual. She is crushed to the very bone and is not allowed to bloom. To add to all this there has been a latest trend in the lives of women and that is, killing them before they are even born. The latest technique the scientist, a man, has found is a method of testing the sex of an unborn child. This test is called amniocentasis, and by this test on the pregnant women the doctors can certify the sex of the child, and, obviously, if the child is a girl, she is killed forthwith. Aha – so now we can destroy the child without being born if it happens to be a girl. It may appear to be a great achievement of the scientists but, I personally feel that it is a boon for the unborn girl. She is saved from a life full of tortures, differentiations and humiliations. At this juncture I daresay that, if male chauvinists hear and understand this side of the picture they may even stop these tests as, how can they bear to see a woman to be, saved from atrocities and unkindness of this man’s world.