We are a part of Indian society and are familiar with the phrase “things don’t get digested in a woman’s stomach”. Indeed true. Because s(he) is being served food by a patriarchal structure. He can talk of his official work at home , but s(he) can’t talk of (he)r official work at (he)r official place (home! Though it’s unofficial) .
The patriarchal structure is very clever in the sense that a woman keeps (he)r alignment towards the norms of patriarchy and faces subordination. So, what is about (he)r or in a patriarchal structure that always binds women like a centripetal force? No matter what the force of resistance to get out of it, they can’t.
India is full of cultural diversity, but in common, goddesses are everywhere. Does that sanction the importance of women? Women have been given an important role in the patriarchal structure. S(he) has to perform every ritual during festivals. Our culture has so imbibed her importance that even festivals are incomplete without (he)r.
But what a paradox, s(he) is being denied entry to temples, forget about a position equal to a priest. S(he) has always been a subordinated being. There is a circle of highs and lows. During festivals (he)r importance is high. S(he) has to perform rituals for the sake of her husband (karvachauth), brother (rakshabandhan), child (baby shower), fasts on Mondays for the husband to be, etc.
And during normal days (lows)? S(he) again conforms to the gender roles are assigned to (he)r right from birth — caring, household work, etc. Even on normal days she feels subdued, society has upcoming events that can keep (he)r calm and prepared for the next.
In this circle of highs and lows s(he) is not left with enough power to counter that centripetal force. That is to say women are mere members of this patriarchal structure than the owners of this production, i.e man. To enforce patriarchy, why doesn’t a man take the task of role performances? Maybe because they’re kept away from the taste of food that has salt in it so that only woman can keep saying “maine aapka namak khaya hai”.
Note: S(he) resembles that “she” is not complete without “he”.