“You are not beautiful” These harsh words have to be endured by almost every girl/woman at some or the time of her life – unfortunately it is the chauvinistic setup of the society we live in. However it is not just male chauvinism which is at play here but something which angers me much more, though this is in no way tolerance or acceptance of MCP behaviour by men.
A girl, more so in Indian context, is told by her mother, by her aunts and even elder sisters that “You are not beautiful” the reasoning offered is that one should not praise their own daughter’s beauty lest they become “wayward”. I will be damned if I knew what is mean by that! The second reason put forth is praise to be of any worth should come from the neighbors. It does not worry them that they are willing to praise someone else even if there isn’t a reason to do so.
Similarly they will not accept anything other than an extremely beautiful daughter-in-law!
Are these women not truly the Female Chauvinist Pigs? Hardly do they realize that they are scarring their own child for life. However many women who were victims of such abuse in their growing up years seem to forget it and unfortunately do the same to their daughters. It is a vicious cycle.
I never really gave much thought to this issue till I had to face the aftermaths of it from some women very close to me. Took me a lot of time for me to realize that because of this it was such that I had the burden of the well being of their self esteem! Such a task is doomed to fail because according to me the very premise on which it is based is wrong – no one absolutely no one other than your own self has the onus of your self esteem.
Hopefully, the third wave feminism will be able to address issues like these. I know there are enough detractors of the ‘Third Wave’ but I firmly believe in what I often repeat in other contexts as well
"Sustainable revolutions are always insidious"