De-constructing the market patriarchy

While doing some aimless surfing on internet, I stopped at a weblink which read "101 ideas to make your slave feel owned". As in, it shows the ways about how to make slaves feel good and part of the master's life. I read through it. Following are few ideas in the list that I would like to bring to your notice -

  1. Have them wear bells. The constant soft jingling of the bells is soothing and a certain reminder of their submission.
  2. A beautiful, special collar will make any slave joyous. Take the time to select the right one and have them wear it as often as possible.
  3. Choose their hairstyle and go with them to get it cut to your specifications.
  4. When around the kids or vanilla friends/family, make sure they has an alternative title for you besides Master…..such as “my Love” etc
  5. Choose their clothing each day.
  6. Get them branded.
  7. Negotiate until you are both comfortable with the terms and then sign a contract
  8. Instruct them that they may never get themselves something to eat or drink in your presence without first asking you if you want something
  9. Reward them by giving them delicious pleasure
  10. Pamper them
  11. Have them wear a toe ring
  12. Defend their honor to those who would disrespect your prized possession
  13. Remember their birthday
  14. Hand feed them chocolate
  15. Remember to caress away their tears
  16. Occasionally, fulfill their fantasy

These are just 16 of 101 ways. "Arn't these the common ways that the 20th-century-romance expects a man to do to his wife/woman/partner?" Is the question that shook me. The typical case of a 20th century romance is where a female is shown as an stock-still object in waiting. While the male is shown as a tradesman/Knight who overcomes all the obstacles and gets to his stock. And from then on, how a good tradesman looks after his stock maketh the story "Happy, here after". As long as this narrative survives in social cognition, the protectionist control of women by patriarchy will continue.

Before unraveling the roots of this narrative let's further look at social alignment factors around this narrative that keep it alive. Tradition - As part of tradition, women are expected to move ahead in their lives as dictated by their religion. From clothing to marriage to giving birth to children all are done on this platform i.e. tradition. Especially, the attire of women i.e. wearing different kinds of ornaments and how important it is for them to look traditional and reflect the wealth of the family. We can draw parallels between No. 1, No. 2, No. 11 and the traditions that are followed. Social alignment calms the sub-conscious pain that is caused by tradition. Fair skin - the market agenda requires women to comply with cosmetic products. Similar to tradition, woman are expected to have fair skin or atleast be in the pursuit of fair skin. Market conditions the mind of a female to become the ideal stock for the tradesman. Thus, taking away anyother pursuit eg. science, technology, politics from their radar. It's all about getting woman branded into a

Another subversive narrative is women are incessantly shown as dependent beings. Reality is far away from such a portrayal. Woman can earn indepndent of man and live interdependently with a man. But, the idea that a woman can earn her own living and live in companionship with man is an idea that can be pursued only until the beginning of motherhood is what the patriarchy believes. Patriarchy would want a woman to depend on man for choosing her interests, choosing her attire, choosing brands, pamper her and a man to defend the honor of woman i.e. his prized possession. Any act of woman in making an independent choice derails her social alignment.

"She wasn't looking for a Knight, she was looking for a sword"

We have to be careful on what kind of a women's day do we conduct. Cosmetic companies and conservative organizations as well celebrate woman's day. Such celebrations only strengthen a woman's social alignment on the lines of pursuing tradition and fair skin. We shouldn't forget that the idea of Int'l women's day came into being as a strategy to promote equal rights between men and woman. And it is the women's demonstration in Petrogard, Russia on March 8th, 1917 that marked the beginning of Russian revolution - such is the strength of women unity and struggle. And its in that Russia that Women got their Right-to-Vote for the first time in known history, in all of the world.

We may also see few tokenist measures to make women inclusive. These tokenist measures are as follows -

  1. Giving quotas in committees
  2. Ensuring representations
  3. Women participation to gender specific discussions
  4. Building arguments around having share in everything.

Such measures generally come from organiations and people who have peer-pressure to show woman are participative in their respctive work culture. Such measures would only lead to dead ends. They would only make woman particpative on paper. Having said that, such measures are still necessary but in combination of more radical measures.

We require more radical measures for a progress to happen in pursuit of material deconstruction of market patriarchy. This may include
1. Nurturing woman leadership
2. Support structures to families with employed couple
3. Generalizing paternity leave etc.

We might require something as radical as what is happening in Rojava - where armed forces of woman are resisting the ISIS on one hand and US forces on the other.

Siddhartha Malempati


Hyderabad, India