After innumerable discussions about objectification, I contemplated the foundation for objectification in my life. I turned back a few pages to check how I have been a victim of objectification and it resulted in conflicted emotions. The fundamental problem that plagues our Indian society is the highly biased social construct of Patriarchy. This misogynistic approach is so deeply rooted that breaking away from the clutches of Patriarchy has become a herculean task. “So when did you feel objectified first?” I asked myself. The answer startled me. It was obvious, yet very unsettling. Initially I tried to convince myself that I was wrong. I was disturbed at where my mind took me. I tried in vain, to come up with other possible explanations. But on accepting defeat, I chose to put all of my bottled up feelings on paper so that all of you can check if you have been or are being victims or perpetrators of objectification, unintentionally.
I am a middle class Indian girl in my early twenties and I do not get to live my life the way I want to as I’m being constantly objectified at my social and domestic sphere. A very basic definition of objectification would be: ‘to treat as an object’. I realized that there is a fine line between care and objectification and it is easy to slip into the other side. Often, the perpetrators themselves are not aware that they are engaging in objectification. The institution of “Marriage” that was constructed to keep Patriarchy in check has successfully managed to do so for thousands of years now, by maintaining the status quo. Can you believe that a person whom I haven’t even met seems to be obliquely controlling my life? That’s right. The great Indian arranged marriage is still prevalent and newspaper advertisements and matrimony websites will make you want to dig a hole, get inside and never come out. My prospective groom is most likely having fun clubbing, travelling and hanging out with friends without offending anybody while my parents expect me to rot inside my house preparing to be the perfect wife for an imaginary husband.
I come from a conservative south-Indian family; I am not allowed to hang out with my guy friends in my neighborhood because the fat aunty next-door might spot me along with my friends in a theater or amusement park and ten years down the line, she would tell my potential groom candidates (when they investigate about me) and spoil my reputation. And poor me, I would lose a potential match because unfortunately for me, he could choose to believe the fat aunty next-door and judge me because he might desire a “pure” wife just like he desires Halwa, made out of pure ghee. (Dei Varadha look da, stats say our friendship is sure to ruin my chance for a happy-married-life! Na vena unna chithapa nu koopdatuma machi?)
But I can go on treks with as many girls as I like because homosexuality is non-existent in her world!
I was horrified when I realized why my parents are extremely reluctant to let me drive. (Well, to be brutally honest I’m road hazard. But hey! I’m not as bad as Salman Khan.) Indeed, they love me and care about my well-being, but “would it be the same if I were a guy?” I asked myself. Nope. The root cause of this problem is “Kanyadhan”; The literal translation would be very disturbing but anyway, it would roughly translate to ‘donating a virgin’. A girl is expected to be “perfect” (without any impairments) in order to do justice to the transaction and so I can’t risk getting into an accident, people already ask me if I hit my head so I can’t afford to lose a limb or two, can I? Because broken things don’t sell.
Also, *“Club-ula Mappula Thiriyira Pombala, Yennadi Nadakkuthu Senthamizh Naattula? Ladies. Yellaarukkum Vanakkamunga. Ladies. Maanam Parakkuthunga.” So, yeah. I am advised not to go to night clubs. Nah! Not even to watch the world cup finals. This stranger seems to act on behalf of me and decide what I should or should not do and where I should or should not be. I don’t even want to waste my time talking about the rest of that sexist song; it’s a judgmental piece of crap. The point here is not that I want to drink, I don’t drink but don’t you think I should choose it rather than not have a choice? Why are you thrusting your beliefs onto me? Don’t I have a mind of my own? But all I’d like to say to this guy, who calls himself Hiphop Tamizha is, I don’t need to fit into your idea of who I should be, to call myself a Tamizh girl.
So according to the great Indian “culture”, I’m not a person with an autonomous body and mind, I’m just a physical entity owned by my dad who, when he wishes to, will transfer the rights to anybody qualified enough to possess it (me). Oh and for this very reason most girls are not allowed to date.
Well would you go to a store and buy a used comb or a used brush?
No way, duh.
You see what I mean?
*To all those girls who are high on booze and go to nightclubs, hello to all the ladies, your reputation is getting ruined, ladies.