Today Morning, because of a conversation, I realized that in a Patriarchal society human beings are not seen as adults who can make decisions, and those who do make decisions for themselves, especially if they make decisions that are not in line with the socialist expectations, they are not really respected. And you would find most people taking against them behind their backs! Even the most private thing such as managing personal and family finances are greatly influenced by the society’s expectations. This affects everyone. Lets see how subtle social sexism and patriarchy affects the financial planning of every human being living in this kind of a society.
Now we all know the subtle sexism that prevails between the young boys and girls. You know, boys= blue, adventure, cars and girls = pink , dolls and princess. (Read more about this here), but, this even affects the lives of adults.
The mere essence of Patriarchy is the dependence of human beings on each other. Many people seem to think that patriarchy means Man>female. But, that is not true. As if it were, the lives of men would be simple, which is not really the case.
I recently observed that patriarchy and sexism affects family finances as well.
First and foremost, the elderly who are retired are not really encouraged to save up for the future, or be active in any way. Unless they are not sitting around doing nothing the elder son would be called a vile and an unworthy son who ‘lets his old parents work’. While the younger son would also be frowned upon, but he would not face the criticism to the level that the elder son would face. All he would hear is “If the elder is so lazy, at least you could take care of them.”. The daughters would not be questioned at all, especially if they are married.
A few points that I would like to raise is:
– Here the elderly’s choices are not taken into consideration at all. Just because someone has crossed the threshold of seventy, does not mean that they give up on life! What is they want to work? What if they want their independence? What if they want to keep earning and are mentally and physically able to do so? And if they do take this decision, why is only the eldest son blamed for it? Why is only the eldest son responsible for the well being of his parents?
– Secondly, If the daughter (married or unmarried) helps her parents financially, that is not acceptable at all. Why? Simply because a female is a property that belongs to the in laws. If she is earning, her money ‘belongs’ to her present or future in laws. And if the parents accept the financial help, they are expected to return the amount as if it were a loan. Why cannot a female who has earned her own money, decide for herself where she wants to spend it? And why do parents in the year 2015, feel hesitant to take financial help from a daughter, but gladly accept that when offered by a son? Why the distinction?
– Thirdly, is not it unfair on the eldest son, who has to be the only one held responsible for his parents? What if he is not doing good financially? What if he has his own dreams and aspirations?
– Lastly, how would the world be, if everyone got to decide how they wished to live their lives? How much they wanted to spend on each other? If people concentrated on earning and saving at least that much to support themselves all their lives? If females were not properties who are owned by others, and males were not money milking cows? If families decided their own financing, and the society just grew up and not thrust its smelly nose in every person’s life?
Is all this too much to ask?