Oppression of women...

August 14, 2006


I am AMAZED at the sheer number.

I always thought that it was my generation which had angst about being decanted into arranged marriages. But I have been talking to several women belonging to generations one or two older than mine…and I am amazed at how many of them feel, quietly but none the less strongly, that their talents were laid waste by marriage. Yes, they didn’t complain (they mention it now only because I talk about it and ask them), and made the most of the life they were taken into…but almost every woman I talk to shows me something treasured from the past; a piece of lovely writing, a prize won for music at school, some painting done and salted away…and they mourn the lost opportunities. They loved their husbands and families, but wished they had been able to pursue their interests. And when I realize how some matriarchs have managed large families and hordes of servants, I wonder at the tremendous management skills they possess, too.

How sad that the word “kalyANam” in Tamizh means, all that is good and beneficient..and it was a form of oppression for so many women…..

Talk to the “old” lady near your home, next to your flat, sitting next to you on the flight…. You will most likely find a person of varied talents, a keen brain that has had not much  chance to interact with the world and hold its own. At the very least, you will hear history come alive as she describes her life and customs and mores of her day…

Here’s hoping that one day someone will talk to ME like that! ( I don’t consider myself old  yet,and I hope I won’t at 70…. though someone just said she was going to use me as an example to “get her own granny into blogging”…sad compliment, she obviously considers me ANCIENT and is amazed that I have any brain activity!)