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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The real reason why men try to control their women

India has male-dominated societies and everywhere men control women. Whether it's father, brother, husband, father-in-law, brother-in-law or even son, they all try to control women. Here's a lovely article on AkkarBakkar where a woman from Mumbai tries to give the reason behind such an act:

I am a “Pakka Mumbaikar” and the move to a new city to pursue higher studies changed my whole perspective about parenting. I was raised in a middle class family along with my two sisters, and I must admit my parents were quite liberal in the way they raised us.

Getting educated and making a career for yourself were always at the top of their priority list. So being independent was a necessity and not a luxury.

Coming from a very rational and progressive family, some parenting beliefs in this new city was very debatable and dubious. It was despairing to encounter a culture where girls were raised to always put their family honour and irrational values before their career aspirations. Where a girl is protected beyond what is needed and is curtailed from making any decision independently, be it something as trivial like hanging out with friends to something as crucial as choice of education or career. What perplexed me is that, these beliefs were fostered by parents who were highly educated and respected.

Restrictions, permission for the smallest of things were not unheard of. Men in the family take decisions they feel are best for their girls. Their cactus-like ego pops up every now and then that ensures that the women are always financially dependent upon them and what best way to do this than stop them from working.

A woman is raised to believe that the sole purpose of her life is to take care of her family even if it means giving up her own identity. This kind of regressive and orthodox mentality exits in several parts of various cities.

Being a student of psychology, I was always intrigued by this kind of paradoxical thinking and I found its root in 'Evolutionary Psychology'. It’s a concept called 'paternity uncertainty theory'. So, evolutionarily ovulation is concealed within women and fertilisation occurs internally, men had no way to ensure that they made 100% genetic contribution to their offspring. Women always knew who the father of the child is but back then men did not have any sources to confirm this. DNA test was not an option then.

Only way to ensure fidelity was to marry a women who is much younger, mould and control her in a manner that she is absolutely crippled without financial and emotional support from her family.

Other measures that were resorted to were not letting a girl pursue her education and not allowing her to work. Additionally, women were also subjected to domestic violence, all of this to ensure that the woman doesn’t cheat them, otherwise their parental investment won’t be profitable. What's disheartening is that several women have grown to accept such behaviour as a way of life. Technological development is pacing at a very high speed and sadly, mentality of many men and families has not been able to keep up.

Very few women have mustered the courage to shackle and break away from this conservatism to create an identity for themselves. And many in this process have suffered backlash from their families and society.

They say, "Behind every successful girl, there is a family who trusted her and not the society." I totally agree with this statement.

We need to create an environment conducive to empowerment of women. Education and job are the only way a woman can be empowered. Honestly, why should creating an identity for yourself be a choice, why can’t it just be a way of life.

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