A Letter To Patriarchy

Posted by Priyadarshini Chitrangada in Society, Staff Picks
January 18, 2017

Dear Patriarchy,

This is to inform you that your application to find a functional place in my life is being officially rejected. I am very sorry to disappoint you. Actually, no. I am not sorry to disappoint you. I care about you, but not in a way where I will feed you, house you and nurture you. I care about you enough to educate your agents and ask them to let go of you.

Because frankly, I have had enough.

This letter is not inspired by an incident of sexual violence (read: CRIME) or a sneering whistle and a nasty comment thrown at me by one of your ardent followers. I am writing this letter to you because I don’t want there to be any form of miscommunication. I don’t want to see your ugly face anymore and I don’t want to see Misogyny with a smirk pasted across his face whenever a girl is forced by this Phallocentric society to give in.

Some people ask us, “why do we need Feminism?”

Those are the same people who think Feminism is about establishing Matriarchy and that it is only about women, solely because of the existence of ‘fem’ in the term.

I do not wish to replace your position in my life with Matriarchy. Let’s get that clear over here. My professors have taught me, with the help of rational facts and ideologies, that MATRIARCHY IS PATRIARCHY – the roles merely get reversed. I do not wish to live under any structure where one gender is oppressed by another gender at the cost of establishing supremacy over it through naturalised sexism.

I don’t want a man to NOT CRY because your rulebook does not allow him to and I do not want a woman to choose to lower her voice because it is supposed to be a ‘masculine’ trait. I do not want a graceful man to be shy of his beautiful personality and I do not want a woman to keep her hair long enough to fit into gender norms prescribed by you.

However, I will not let myself be bound by gender binaries in my speech. I will not speak for a man and a woman alone. I will also speak for a new category and a new label that you have been a brainchild of – the “other”.

The Other Voices

“Wish you could delve into the basic needs of humanity and enforce equality upon the three genders, without being biased towards one, suppressing the other and obliterating the third one. The phallus should not be the dividing factor, if it were, you wouldn’t have born out of a woman.” – says Soumyajit Ghosh Dastidar, who is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Videography from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.

Now you may question the reason behind other voices in this letter. I am doing this because I know you are a stubborn prick who thinks he is right and only because you have managed to grow strong roots which run deep into the core of our societal structure. I have simpler answers as well.

When I asked her for a message which she would want to be delivered to you, Anisha Mandal (actor) said “Expelliarmus!”

Okay, here’s assuming that you haven’t read the Harry Potter series or seen the movies, Moyurie Som (a young writer and blogger from Kolkata) says this to you – “F%$# off…” and adds, “Also, you need to leave. It’s time.”

Don’t you get it, Patriarchy? We are not accepting your ways anymore. We have a history of oppression, both subtle and direct, THANKS TO YOU and we wish to change the course of history by not keeping quiet anymore.

You have a habit of promoting the idea of a woman activist to be an essentially frustrated and perennially angry woman who usually ‘overreacts’. You’re not entirely wrong. Removing the gender bias, every activist voices their opinion only because they ARE tired, frustrated and perennially angry with you.

Let me repeat a few things which you’ve been hearing lately.

Victim shaming is YOUR FAULT. Yes, Patriarchy, it is because of YOU that a raped woman thinks that ending her life is a much better idea than facing the slander thrown at her by a society that runs blindly on your dictate.

Rape is not just about sexual violence – IT IS A POLITICAL CRIME. It is an act done to establish the fact that a man IS more powerful than the woman.

A short skirt and a cigarette is not a signboard which reads “I would happily have intercourse with any man”.

Sex for pleasure must not buy a woman the much gossiped tag of a “WHORE”.

A woman loving a woman and a man loving a man is not supposed to be your area of judgement – it is a personal choice. And as an authority on ourselves, we disagree with your disagreement regarding this issue.

I could go on and on only because you have presented me with incidents, events and facts throughout the course of history on gender-based oppression.

But my message to you is quite plain and simple, LEAVE. NOW. ENOUGH. NO MORE. Get your gnarled hands off my life. Let me breathe and walk the earth the way I wish to. When I run, don’t look at me with narrowed eyes and judge my body. Let me be.

Go. And shut the door behind yourself, please? I hate it when someone interrupts me while I am watching House of Cards.


Does my identity matter more than the content?

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