Trust is an important pillar supporting the edifice of relationships. No relationship can flourish if there is no trust in it. But is it true that trust too is a gendered concept? That a particular gender gain favours from trust in a relationship while the other is oppressed by it? Unfortunately yes.
In our society, trust is used against women to restrict their freedom. When it comes to women, trust is a very thin thread that can easily be broken. But in the case of men, trust becomes for granted- as in they are trusted even when they go wrong.
You must have noticed how parents are more dubious about their trust in daughters than in sons. Keeping a check on their location, spying over their friends, slut-shaming them for their clothes and not approving their decisions are all a result of the fact that parents find it difficult to trust their daughters.
They assume that daughters can easily be manipulated or are more likely to harm the family’s reputation. On the other hand, a male child is not burdened with the sand clock of trust. He has the benefit of committing mistakes and still being accepted for who he is.
Even in marriages, these unequal dynamics are frequent. Wives are always expected to blindly trust their husbands while husbands are free to doubt the character of their wives every time they go against them.
The major problem is that women are made to embody the izzat of the family. And the concept of izzat is too fragile. Patriarchy is always more concerned about preserving the family honour than a woman’s honour and choices. It defines what is right for women without giving them the right to choose. So families tend to pull the reign of women each time they try to gallop.
But dear society, why must any relationship be dependent on clamping down a woman’s freedom? Why should women be treated as someone who tend to falter every time? Why doesn’t society trust a woman’s discretion? If women are not trusted, will they ever be given important responsibilities?
So rather than examining and doubting every step of a woman, it is time for families to start believing in her. Parents must teach their daughters to make the right decisions while giving them the freedom to commit mistakes and learn from them.
Husbands must trust their wives’ emotions rather than looking at them as a gender that can easily be manipulated. And we also need to stop forgiving men every time they falter. This will only encourage male dominance in our society. Both men and women are responsible humans and both have the right to commit mistakes they can learn from.
Views expressed are the author’s own.