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Friday, March 26, 2010

Catch 22



Has anything changed? Women have been oppressed and I think, will be forever. To breakout from a mould that took centuries to form, is no easy task. The change is an urban phenomenon, restricted to a small percentage of the educated. Women helping other women, creating awareness of their rights, spreading education...these are few things we women can do in our sphere of influence.
Chivalry is just a gallant gesture
Ways to keep her heart ever open! 
A social gesture saved for outdoors
Fools no one, not even the woman.
A useless help with a mundane job.
A simple help with a closed door

Damned if you accept 
Damned if you don’t! 

Let that door be the useful one
The one that opens the machine
That washes laundry-his and hers.
Sit her at the table gracious
Let that platter placed before her
Often have food cooked by him.

Indoors the bind is well in place
Moulded spaces fenced and definite
Set patterns ingrained from birth.
Look from above at a woman’s life
An invisible cage reveals itself
With bars designed to keep her within.

Damned if you accept 
Damned if you don’t! 

Show that skin in skimpy clothes
A wash-proof label stick so hard 
A different label sticks as hard
Faster she moves deeper she goes 
Into a Zugzwang trapped for good.

A chosen shackle willingly borne
Internalized as a way of life, 
In times when the race was not
As fierce and furious as is now.
Maybe this is self-oppression
With no one to blame but the times? 

Damned if you accept 
Damned if you don’t! 

© Nalini Hebbar/openmind/2009 - all rights reserved
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18 COMMENTS:

bollywoodstylediaries said...

"Set patterns ingrained from birth."

How true!!! You have beautifully verbalized all my feelings/thoughts on this subject!!

sonali
http://bollywoodstylediaries.blogspot.com

Chandrika Shubham said...

Nice pic! :) Feeling are very well expressed. :) Nice one! :)

criticalsatirical said...

very true! Its always taken for granted that women will do all the hard work at home (even iam like that)and a man who simply complements and does nothing else is seen as a very gentle and great human being.

Honestly if iam left to work at home iam sure it will become the most filthiest of homes in no time.

Magali said...

Beautiful poem & so true! I dugg it.

anjugandhi said...

very touching and and true to heart expressions
coincidentally today my daughter and i are writing a speech on status of woman .
thanx for such nice expressions

Rajlakshmi said...

a superb post Nalini... i am speechless by the power and beauty of your words... this will be my all time favs.

Lazy Pineapple said...

very well articulated. I loved the way you have written about Chivalry :)

Lalit S Chowdhary said...

The link to skinway was interesting, not sure if it was meant to drive traffic away? Anyways as for the poetry goes it is well written.

Nalini Hebbar said...

Thank you all for the comments and the appreciation.

thoughtfulrandomness said...

beautiful as always, yet very strong in conveying the social message..
what i like about your poetry is tht it makes me think.. it always does.. one of the most important lessons i've learnt is to think.. and thats why i keep coming back.. so thank you!

SHRI RAM AYYANGAR said...

Even if the change is an urban phenomenon I find many highly qualified people in urban places still treat woman as house keeper only!

Journomuse said...

Loved the poem and the thought...and envy your ability to write poetry..i struggle to put thoughts in a structure...

Farila said...

You poetry is amazing when you write about plight of women....

PRAVIN NAIR said...

wow nalini..u put things beautifully across..commendable :)

don't want to spam :) but have moved all my poetry posts to another blog

www.assorted-platter.blogspot.com

Pls do visit n gimme your valuable opinion..thanks!

vamsi said...

As far as the poetry goes it is fabulous..

Well, I personally feel this suppression of woman is something less seen in cities..The woman in the cities are smarter..They are very much independent..They seldom need the help of the man..Woman in cities are not like what they were before..They are much bolder..So bold that few are even indulging into pre-marital and extra marital affairs(which is against our culture)..

Husbands and wives are doing things together..Urban woman donot wash clothes and cook as you said..They are going to jobs and earn equally..Many married woman prefer to have a seperate family so they insist their husbands to split from their parents..There are so powerful laws in support of woman..There are reservations..There is everything to support them..Things have changed a lot maam..

I just tried to mention the other side of the coin..I am neither a male supporter nor a female supporter..I am the supporter of good..I bow my head and respect those woman only who deserve to be respected..

Oops I was so absorbed into the theme that I forgot about the excellence of writing..:) Nice write up maam..:)

Nalini Hebbar said...

well! The urban woman however educated, will never have the freedom that her gender deserves.
We are fighting the stereotype and will be accused to be a 'bad wife, mother, daughter, DIL' if one step is taken away from the traditional role edicts.
The best weapon society has is to accuse her in relation to her sexuality...'loose' 'barren' ...these terms help to keep her with in the boundaries set for her.

Unless MAN changes she will end up doing both the outside and house work with a lot of hardship.
MAN is changing slower than WOMAN and this is because he had to 'step down' while she is 'climbing up' ...and I think stepping down is very very difficult!!!
So MAN has a bigger problem on his hands!

Sourcebound said...

ha and it always start with the purchase of car toy for the boy and a doll for the girl. well written

Rajendra Raikwar said...

i will surely visit again