I live in a joint family. JOINT. The word suggests combined. Decisions in a joint family need to be an accumulative say. BUT we do not get to raise our opinions, or for that matter our voices either. WE are the females of the house. The other half of our community. The home-makers of joint family. I think you understood. The decisions are made by the head of our family- My Father or the super-head, his father, the eldest and most RESPECTABLE man of our family. Do not get confused. Respectable, not because he has earned it but because we fear him and his authority. Not because we adore him but because we should. Not because we want to but because we need to. It is about our survival after all. We have to live in his house. We have to follow his train of thoughts because having our own thoughts is against his wishes. Our thoughts defy his authority. Our thoughts are disrespectful. Our thoughts. Because it means we have a mind. A FREE MIND which we should cage, which we should trap because that is the right thing to do. Thoughts make us. Thoughts define our existence. But we do not even have the right to EXIST.
This is the condition of women in our society. This is us. The other half of the lot which has to wait for a male’s approval before everything we do. Thank god he made the breathing process automatic, otherwise who knows we might have even needed a consent form before letting out lungs inflate and deflate.
As a girl, a single thought shatters my dreams and that is why before marriage, my dad, and after marriage, my husband gets to decide what is good or bad for me. My parents feel I am big and mature enough to get married, to take responsibility for a new family, to be uprooted from one house and then placed in another, I may bear children and feed them but I am not and never will be big enough to do what makes me happy. I should not go out with friends, I should not travel alone, I should not join dance classes, I should not wear what I like etc, etc. It seems my life is just full of SHOULD NOT’s.
I am 25 years old, female and all I want to know is when this saying, “I think therefore I am”, will apply to me? When will I exist for myself? Will I ever even Exist.