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  • Trisha Bhattacharya

Empathy or Patriarchy?

Updated: Feb 10

Nah, this ain't about men who are referred to as "simps".

This is going to be a short piece but I want you to think and tell me your opinions. Really!

I am going to present to you an anecdote which has raised a handful of questions in my mind. I wanna know if you feel the same after hearing me out.


POV: You are in a shop and an elderly couple walks in, asks for a product whose price the man feels unreasonable and he is about to bargain with the shopkeeper in his own way but stops mid sentence making a strange remark: "Chalo chorro ladies hai yaha." ("Leave it, there are women around.")


I mean I am fine with bargaining and whatever he was about to utter next, but that damned sentence where he brought up the gender is when my eyebrows frowned and my mind took a bit of an offence. But did I over react? I wasn't sure. Did I think about it for the next few days? Oh yes. Something didn't sound/feel right. I wasn't sure how to hold this opinion in front of you guys but I knew I wanted to talk about this issue that seems to be petty if given no thought.


Thus, I asked a friend who helped me gain perspective, here you go- there are two possible explanations to the man's actions:

1. "Sometimes, men feel that they could offend women by the use of slang words (assuming he was about to swear which apparently seems to be the most possible thing he might have done). Thus, being empathetic. To note, most of the curses are women-centric."


2. "Men might feel obliged to maintain peace around family as it's their duty to set the way/order of the family (typical patriarchy much?), this could come either from being considerate or not seeing women as equal to them or bearing* to hear or knowing bad words since they are usually supposed to be soft spoken and because women simply don't do these stuffs/bad mouth anyone(because she is supposed to be nice to everyone apparently). *So now, is this a question of equating physical strength(men's build is usually stronger than women's) to mental strength?" UHH, No!

So where exactly is this stemming from?


Though the second opinion is somewhat gathered after discussing with mom. So which one is it? We will never know. But it can't be just one thing. There are men who are sensible and a feminist and the rest still carry forward the patriarchal model so I guess I will leave it open to interpretation as we don't know which men work how until we know them.


But, I just want to let everyone know that women curse, women are strong, they can bear a lot of things, they see, experience and go through a lot of things. Yes they are also usually a lot sensitive, they might not confront or speak up always, some might always stand up and protest. Depends a lot on the upbringing.


I will just hope a future where people don't generalize a gender by their mere assumptions and immediately specify particular aspects to it. Everyone can be different and is.


Now, after reading the whole thing, you might feel that this is all in my head or totally unnecessary to be written about, but I will tell you- when you closely look into something, there are always hidden reasons as to why it is what it is, so one never knows. So, it is okay :)



Do write to me about your opinions on the anecdote and the subsequent thoughts I gathered from myself and others...




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