Stree

There was a time when I used to cry ‘injustice’ even if I was asked to lengthen my hair a bit. I was very aware of my rights you see, having been fueled by TOIs reports on bride burning, female infanticide etc. I always felt that injustice was done to women on these counts
->Women have to wear sarees. Doesn’t that constrict mobility?
->Women in some households are not supposed to take part in any household activity and sit outside/ other room during ‘those days’
->Women are not supposed to go to temple in ‘those’ days.
->Women could not actually participate in auspicious activities.

Well my grievance list was longer, but these were the main ones.

Wearing sari is not mandatory now, but I have realized that the curves and curls come out nicely with the sari. 😀 Also a sari hides what is to be hidden and shows off what is to be shown

My grandmother when I was about 20 or so explained to me why women in earlier days were not allowed to visit temples in ‘those’ days and had to sit outside/other room of the house. This is what she explained:

In earlier days all the activities of a person were connected with worship and devotional service. Also at that time there was the joint family concept. Which meant large families, big cooking utensils and with not much of gadgets, lot of work. Even if there were maids available, the work was plenty. Lifting these utensils required skill and of course strength. So on those 4 days of the month, the women were asked to sit in another room, so that they do not have to lift those heavy utensils. The women actually enjoyed the breaks. As my grandma told, they slept for as long as they wanted, read, learnt something new(a new stitch, a new design). Joint family structure was such that someone would mind their children. It was a period of relaxation.

Also in earlier days going to the temple did not just mean to prostrate in the front of the Lord and return. It also meant doing some service-help in making prasadam, clean the floor, help in making garlands etc. And so women were given a break from these chores too during those days.

Also whether we admit it or not, there is a certain body odour during those days. and though there were perfumes but there were no deodorants and all and so women thought it better to stay in the house than to venture out. Remember the only mode of transport was bullock cart for those who could afford. For those who could not it was only their two legs which would help them to go out. And so on both these counts, women voluntarily opted to stay at home during those 4 days.

I hear that girls are ridiculed, insulted etc just because they are females and they menstruate but for me, it’s a celebration of womanhood.

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I used to get angry that it’s always men who perform pujas, aarti etc but now when I see women doing so much- from selecting-stitching the dresses for the deity, setting the menu and then preparing the food, getting everything ready for the puja so that the men can do their work that the thought struck-Who actually manages the show-men or women? Actually it’s both, both have to do their duty for the wheels of life to move nicely.

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20 thoughts on “Stree

    • Welcome roopakm to Searching Self.
      Well I won’t say suffer. Physical pains, yes but otherwise it is indeed a celebration.
      Apart from the fertility angle, the curves that women have is because of it. Also women natural produce calcium needed for their body that way. Most post menopausal women have to take calcium supplements because their body no longer can produce enough calcium

  1. Each supposed ritualistic dogma actually has a logical reasoning behind it…time and dogmatic individuals having interpreted it differently and its lack of relevance in changed societies does create confusion and blindly following it creates restrictive compulsions on existing for sure…question them and do what is right for you and simply start doing it…the rest can be ignored…

    Celebrate Life and this moment is what I would say…celebrating “gender” in 2011 is well to blase…but then that is my cussed opinion…don’t mind me 🙂

    Well written, enjoyed it

    • Agree with the first part of your comment but not on the second
      You are talking about Mumabia where women are at par with men but in many parts of India leave equality, women are still ridiculed, chided, insulted because of their gender. If you aske me, don’t bother ABOUT equality, each has it’s own roles to play and each should complement the other.
      I blog for my own sake Kau and write on topics which interest me,I am not concerned. whether the topic is blase or not,
      Further, I am long past that stage when ANY comment hurts me.

  2. Thats also true bhagyareema…But there are still households asking ladies to stay inside a room! It is so horrible that some of our sisters are suffering even today.

  3. hmm now this one has given more info and somehow i agree with what you say … It is good logic as to why it happened to women in those days.

    and I truly 100% with you on ur reply above that majority of times its a women who is treating another women badly ..

  4. I always clebrate the difference in gender..itys not discriminatory.but two people are different in their physical form and capabilities and work accordingly and make a harmonious family

  5. In my opinion, it does not matter to me if the rituals started with great logic because that logic is no longer relevant. Now those rituals create resentment and discrimination. With evolving times and better facilities, it is better to leave them behind. If one continues to follow them then one is stuck in a time warp. There are so many wrong notions about menstruation even among educated women that it scares me. Most of them have been filtering down from their own families. What is surprising that education does not teach some women to move on or question some weird rituals. Also, what about those women who do not want to do some rituals and are forced? Would they be able to appreciate the facts? Just some questions that came in my mind. None of these apply to me as I was brought up in the city.

    • Its person; whether you want to follow something or not. I merely put out something which I came to know.
      Somehow most of us object to whatever we are told to do without understanding the logic behind it. I don’t say that any idea should be forced on anybody. and with time things change but it does not mean that whatever was done or followed in the past was wrong

  6. Well I can identify with what you have written as even i used to have the same questions and like you got the same answers for it which were satisfactory….
    However my problem used to resurface when people used to pick on people for going a particular way touch someone etc not even knowing the basic reason of the staying seperately logic….It used to be just the pleasure of feeling superior…….
    Anyways used to rebel then and now to anyone who do does all that so am at peace with myself ……..Coz understanding a superstition is imp coz i believe people in the old days were extremely intelligent and all superstitions had strong logic to them.

    • I am against people who propagate something without understanding the logic. The reasons were correct for that age and in no way should we belittle those. But at the same time, certain changes have to be made to suit for the current age. Like for instance, we can be as active as we want during those days because of better life style but at the same time sensible not to lift heavy stuff as the uterus is tender at that time.
      BTw I am also against people who say that whatever was done or followed in the past was wrong because as you rightly put, people then were highly intelligent. Can there be a future without a past?

  7. Inte-resting logic. I will think of this every time I listen to someone who says – oh I can’t go inside the temple today and looks meaningfully at me. I have several such women in my distant family and it irritates me no end. But, to each his own. I am happy that I am allowed to pursue my own logic in stuff like this and I hope it remains that way.

    • Actually entering the temple was never forbidden. Only the ‘seva’ or helping out was not allowed for reasons given in the post. Many like to follow without understanding, now that irritates me

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