#Personal Stories

Dear Society, A Man’s Absence Doesn’t Give You The Right To Mistreat Women

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My mother suddenly became a single parent a few years ago. Although we have managed to live our lives with dignity, there is always the nagging absence of my father that remains hard to ignore. It becomes evident with the fact that we can’t do what we used to do. Besides that, the society also plays its part to constantly remind us that as a family, we lack a male support.

There have been many occasions when my mother was forced to take the support of our male relatives to get things done. Why? Because she felt that people would take her ‘more seriously’ if she has a man’s backing. As a woman, she fears that she might be cheated or be subjected to what is known as mansplaining. Why must she feel that a man’s mere presence would make her feel safe? Isn’t she a human being who deserves to be taken seriously? Why does society feel that it can mistreat women who have no male support? 

age barrier women, single parent

Life as a Single Parent. Picture Credit: Unsplash

It isn’t surprising to note how women with no male support are prone to the society’s nasty workings. Our history is splattered with patriarchal practices that were diligently followed in the name of ‘tradition.’ How else did traditions like sati exist? As soon as a woman became a widow, it was as if society itself decided that she had no right to live. She was a man’s wife and so had no identity of her own? A single parent is never looked upon as an independent woman who could live her life. Instead, she was made to embrace the burning flames of her husband’s funeral pyre.

Why are widows still expected to give up on wearing good clothes, eat good food and above all, give up on having a good life? Isn’t this a form of mistreatment? Why must she live a life of austerity and mourning just because her husband is no more? Why is widow’s remarriage still looked down upon? Do we mistreat men who lack women in their lives? Are men stopped from marrying once more if their wives die?  The regressive mindset surrounding most single women still dominates the society. A widow is thoroughly interrogated about her personal life.

Single Women India

Society also has a problem with women who live on their own, away from their families. People have the tendency to take advantage of her at her expense. If a woman travels alone without her husband, brother or son, there are chances that someone might misbehave with her.

Why must we force a woman to enlist the support of her male friends or relatives? Why can’t society see her as someone who deserves respect whether she has a man with her or not? Why is woman forced to prove her might in terms of the men supporting her? Isn’t she mighty enough? A woman doesn’t need man-shields to support herself.

Single Parent: There have been times when I discussed about going out of station with my mom, but she refused. She said that since we didn’t have a man in the house, someone might do something to us.

It’s unfortunate that society makes us think in this manner. Shouldn’t a woman be treated well whether she has a man with her or otherwise? I wish we didn’t shortchange our lives and opportunities having to worry about this.

There are many women out there who tend to hold themselves back just because they don’t have men around them. It isn’t s foolhardy for the society make women insecure in this manner.