Habits Women Must Begin To Unlearn From This Women’s Day

Disclaimer: The habits mentioned below will take time to unlearn given the years of misogyny and patriarchy which still persist in society. However, mindful unlearning can surely bring about a change.

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My mom often tells me, “a woman of the house must always be understanding and compromise a bit to keep the family together.” This and a lot many such pieces of advice drenched in patriarchy have been coming my way since childhood. Proper schooling, an educated and woke circle of well-minded peers, and modern and vocal media helped me understand the wrongs women have been subjected to since the very beginning. 

Although various entities have tried to create awareness and urged all to change mindsets and beliefs, it has gone to deaf ears. Misogyny and patriarchy have been so well-tailored in our culture and day to day lives, that they have become a way of life. We make the institution of patriarchy strong day by day when we choose to keep practising the same habits each day. Simple habits like letting the ‘man of the house’ have a final say, bearing all the toxic behaviour just to keep the peace of the home, feeling guilty or not letting the males do domestic chores because its a ‘woman’s duty’, etc all lead to feeding fuel to the institution. 

These habits, though small, make a huge difference in portraying women in a certain way. Changing day to day habits that have patriarchy finely woven in them is thus a must. Here are some basic habits most of us have that should be unlearned. 

Silencing your voice 

This is something women have been doing out of either fear or respect towards their parents, in-laws and husband. Women hardly get to put forth their opinion at home as well as outside it. A woman is often tagged as ‘bold’ and ‘mannerless’ if she chooses to raise her opinion or have her own voice. We need more women to raise their voices on anything they see happening which is wrong, no matter how minuscule it might be. Its when women start doing this in their day to day lives will the perception of women being quiet and meek change. That’s when our definition of ‘good girl’ will begin to evolve. 

Doing domestic chores without any help 

Most women, especially those present in their 40s and above feel guilty when their partners offer a helping hand in domestic chores. Women end up doing it all alone. Working, earning, taking care of the husband, children, inlaws and doing the domestic chores all alone. Why? It is because we have been made to believe that domestic chores are a women’s responsibility. This is why, for many men, women as well as children, the sight of a male doing domestic chores looks very absurd. Yes, the man of the family holding a broom in his hand is just as normal as the woman of the family holding it.

Letting go of everything

Every 4 out of 5 women choose to stay quiet just to avoid arguments and quarrels at home with their family members. This habit is then carried into their professional world as well where they choose to not ask for what they want and deserve only to avoid any kind of difficult conversations. Rather than choosing to vent and speak about the things that hurt or disappoint them, women choose to let go of everything for the ‘good of all.’ All you women, you can feel bad about things too, get angry too and it is totally okay and fair to express it to those concerned. 

Letting your partner have all the control over your earnings 

This is the worst of all! Yes, our women work and earn. We call ourselves a ‘progressive society’. Then why do most of us hand our salary to our partner or parents? Why are we dependent on our partners/parents for our financial investments and account management. Aren’t we educated and smart enough to do that for ourselves? Why do working women need to ask for their partner’s permission to buy things for themselves from their own hard-earned money? This needs to be discontinued. 

Just as men are misogynistic and keep the patriarchy alive, so do women. No one gender can be blamed for this. Every gender, through their behaviour, is equally responsible for it. This can be seen in the many days to day habits. Once we actively start to unlearn these basic habits, we will begin to see a good change at the micro-level. This women’s day, let’s take it upon ourselves to initiate a change, because my lovely women, we have a lot of unlearning to do. 

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