Walking on the pavement with under-cut edges stacked with seethes of mud and disposable litters, I remind myself of the insouciant human satire of keeping the environment clean. Centuries have gone by but still the freckles of heel bear the disturbance of earthly pebbles one might easily topple over or the deplorable stench of excreta lying placidly on the road testifying of how we as a society accept the nefarious tendencies.
It’s time to do something about it!! I prudge and prude…And invariantly my eyes fall on a hoarding that seems to me like a revered misnomer—‘Beti Padao, Beti Bachao’ (educate the girl child, save the girl child). Revered because educating the girl child is all about empowerment and a misnomer because inspite of education, women are disparaged and incarnadined as a desiccated clot.
So what causes the lapse?—the cultural foliage, the nuances of fundamental shocks, pristine doctrine of behavioural patterns or religious metaphors. The wholesome smorgasbord proffers as an untutored mind, wailing and waning the atavistic and co-joining the mind with the soul-spirit to label prejudices as a normal dispensation of straight-laced prophesies.
We don’t openly abhor these aberrations but re-affirm their toxity that has enveloped a woman longing for freedom and fluidity. But the untutored mind is incumbent of forming dimensions and digressions, sticking to its soporific idiosyncrasies.
Do men have an untutored mind? Partially yes, and the fuss is all about how they are thoroughly relaxed in this encasement—the obstinate mind trapped in the cerebrum—a valiant cause of female distress. The plausible hoarding should be painted as:
Beta Padao Beti Bachao—educate the son, save the girl child
How many of us especially fathers tutor their sons to respect women and not treat her as a movable object? None, I believe.
Firstly, because it’s a mother’s job no matter if she has become a part of the hard core provincialism. Secondly men themselves, a prudish pie, flask in an impenitent deliquescence, rowing off a woman of her sanctified existence. The same story goes on decades after decades—simple and obvious—women entrapped in the solipsism of patriarchy headed by an untutored mind.
An Educated Woman – “I may not be able to cook today; I have my periods.”
An Untutored Mind of a Man (an awkward glance to extrapolate if a mystery has been unfolded) – “It’s natural. Isn’t it? You should be able to manage.
She glances in disbelief but garners the audacity to take the communication further – “Its paining and running around would be an arduous task.”
The mountain that does not move – the man- brusquely proposes – “Take a pain killer or maybe just rest. Once you feel better, you can overtake the kitchen.”
Nobility takes over the woman and finally a screech of brakes – “Let me see how I feel after sometime.”
All women have gone through this explanation to eternity. What is relatively not understood by men for centuries is that though periods are a normal phenomenon but the concomitant complaints are a nuisance—the pain, mood swings and body aches.
But, they were never given any reason to understand all this. They were neither taught about it in school or at home. They are in cognizance of their respective hormones propelling them to fall in love with a woman but forget that her hormones have a built up staccato rhythmic to her reproductive alliance.
It’s a duty, I suppose, women need to sustain—a patriarchal dictum ineluctably conjured. The mental turmoil working women go through during their periods is again the intransigence of men bosses whom they are liable to report. A fractured lie by women to hide the truth of a structured reproductive cycle unequivocally brings into light the men with an untutored mind-set. Their assessment of the entire period drama seems irrelevant because talking openly about it is a cultural shock. More than that, their education never entrusted them to deal with ‘periods.’
I am always reminded of the obnoxious black polythene wrapped around the sanitary napkins pack—the impertinence of the entire act shows a crusade of the intolerant minds to nip the women imperialism in the bud. I call it imperialism because it’s a power that enables reproduction not a privilege given to a man. Next, is an awkward silence between the shopkeeper and the woman.
Who after all started this puerile damp squib making women feel as if their loyalties to life are being caged and are answerable for any perfidy?
Rubbish, risqué and rough-hewn…a male panjandrum to conceal the strength of a woman in a packet for it is the same strength that is responsible for creation. It’s time to tutor the minds to change their invidious claims on the sanitary napkins crusade.
Periods is just one aspect of woman’s life looked down upon, not only in terms of cultural or religious punches but the entire interpretation of the same by the opposite sex. If men are tutored to understand the hormonal fluctuations during periods and the debilitating five days, it would be easier for women at home, work place and in the market.