Position of Women in Today's Society
By Sohinee Das
Since times immemorial women have been oppressed by the patriarchal machinery. This steady decline in the status of women can be traced back to the post-Rigvedic period. IT is interesting to note that women were ascribed a relatively superior position in times earlier than that, they being allowed to pursue education to an extent and having a say in important decisions like the choice of a husband. this can perhaps be traced back to the system of 'swayamvara', an ancient Indian custom in which a woman was granted the privilege of choosing her groom from amongst many suitors.
With the passage of time however, certain changes came to be wrought upon society. Women came to be ascribed a much inferior status,reduced ti the position of the domestic servant and the machinery for procuring offspring. With the home gradually being demarcated as the domain of her activity, her trespassing of that boundary came to be looked upon as a serious offence. She gradually came to lose her right to education or even to harbour opinions on any serious issues. the oppression of patriarchy gradually led her to lose her identity a be reduced to a puppet who would dance to the tunes of her patriarchal lords.
In today's day however, there seems to be some improvement in this condition. One should note that this change is only apparent, and perhaps even more insidious than the relatively simpler trajectory on which patriarchy operated in earlier times. While today's woman is being allowed to acquire education and also permitted to venture out of doors in search of work, she is also expected to fulfill the roles of a subservient wife and the self-abnegating mother. There seems to have infiltrated in modern times, a doubly coercive system that makes its claims both on the woman`s income as well as on her selfhood.
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