NEW DELHI: Having given attention to how patriarchy plays a role in my life, I have come to the conclusion that what were once the originally oppressive forces are no longer the oppressive forces. The progress that has been made in the more recent past is to create awareness and acceptance of how a woman is silenced by what she fought so much for.

The right to work in organized settings means more than ever that she is actually working for the Man of sorts, which in itself is a form of patriarchy. The right to be heard which is often overturned because ultimately realizing that sometimes, it is best to remain silent for there is no major injustice being done but instead, a clash of the personalities, which may be given a chance to manifest if one doesn’t remain silent.

The latter is often the case in the workplace when I as a woman, naturally take on the role of a peace-maker or in other instances, agree without asking too many questions because it shows maturity and tact in the face of superiors or authority, in general.

While the issue of having companionship and marriage is often one that invites debate from those who identify themselves as feminists, it is these very institutions of marriage and family that actually instill a sense of discipline in the lives of women. If women choose not to enter these institutions for whatever reasons, then society in general is often entrusted with being the custodian or guardian of the individual who is now hovering between the fine line of tradition and non-conformity. It is these very women who are thus then accepted to have careers so as to enable them to create an identity of a working professional if an identity involving motherhood and home-maker is not for them to partake in.

It is the reaction to such women who carve out an identity for themselves in non-conventional ways that conveys what society thinks of feminism and what feminism should be like. For if society thinks that women must get married by all means, then society in turn sees women as only being home-makers and mothers with no third. Similarly, if society thinks that women are absolutely right in carving out a career for themselves with no outlet to showcase their feminine tendencies, then society in general has taken the idea of feminism too far.

The rationale behind maintaining a feminst movement is not as strong as it once before and the movement in general now sees itself on the cusp of evolution. All of us, regardless of the gender that we identify ourselves with, have access to a more open and progressive world, in terms of technological advanced as well as in terms of cultural norms. What remains to be seen is the extent to which this progress is inclusive of people from all backgrounds, including in terms of sexual identity, income levels and otherwise.

As the paradigm shift continues to occur, there is a possibility that aspects of a person’s identity will not have a chance to be developed and it then boils down to the individual level to develop aspects of themselves that they feel they need to in order to achieve self-actualization. For example, an unmarried career professional has a duty that if circumstances permit, she develops other aspects of her identity and start reveling in the broader aspects of her feminine identity, including the one related to the broader definition of womanhood, such as that of motherhood.