The Difference Between Sexism and The Patriarchy

Sexism is pervasive in all cultures, and it disproportionately affects women more than men.  Sexism can range from trite comments to fully fledged misogynistic diatribes that hinder women’s progress in society as they perpetrate an outrageous idea of what it means to be a woman.  Likewise, several advertisement campaigns and magazine articles diffuse inherently sexist ideas about women, that also contribute in crafting an apocryphal image of femininity and womanhood.  Whilst all that is alarming and doesn’t seem like it’s gonna ebb out in the near future, it still isn’t anywhere near close to the evil of The Patriarchy.

Whilst it’s mostly men who are responsible for disseminating sexist comments and ideas, The Patriarchy consists of both men and women who see it as an ideology, more than anything.  It becomes a way of life as both men and women are expected to abide by its rules and tenets.  The Patriarchy reminds me of Airstrip One in Orwell’s magnum opus 1984.  It has eyes everywhere and one perceived misjudgment can land you in big trouble, except that instead of political persecution, you’re subjected to social alienation.  The Patriarchy demands that you forego all pretensions of happiness and freedom, and adopt a lifestyle that aligns with its values.  In so doing, a woman loses her identity and is defined by her gender only.  The Patriarchy doesn’t see women as individuals, but as an appendage to men.  Women should always be in thrall to the men in their lives, otherwise, they’re defective in the eyes of the Patriarchy.

The Patriarchy seeks to stifle female pleasure, more than anything.  It forces women to second guess their very identity and imposes a uniform idea of what a woman should be like.  Women who don’t conform become pariahs, renegades for whom there’s no salvation.  You see, you’re not allowed to have an inner voice when you live in the Patriarchy.  You’re not allowed to be different, to be petulant and impetuous-only men are allowed the freedom to express themselves and to be whoever they want to be.

The Patriarchy insists on persecuting women for moral crimes that men are allowed to commit.  Women are encumbered by the odious demands of chastity and sexual purity.  Should they buck this extravagant demand, they will be chastised for daring to opine.  Women aren’t allowed to have opinions, because you know, they bleed every month so their opinions are automatically rendered invalid.  But then it gets a little bit drearier.

Imagine that you’re a woman living under those conditions and you do your best to respect every single tacit demand.  You are the model daughter, the model wife and the model mother.  You devote your life to the domestic bliss of your family and you never aspire to anything beyond that.  Being a sexually liberated individual is something you might confine to your nightly fantasies and having your own take on things, might attract some undeserved attention.  The Patriarchy vandalizes your free spirit and restricts your interaction with the world around you but hey, at least you’re safe.  For now.

But the thing is, The Patriarchy is very much the product of specific cultures and religions.  They’re all interrelated and enmeshed in the same toxic, backward thought processes. They’re anti-intellectual and anti human-rights.  Autocratic systems that demand you surrender your free spirit lest you become socially isolated, do not care for your humanity, nor do they allow for one’s intellectual growth.  A society that routinely blames women for men’s actions, is inimical to women’s sense of self.  Women are dehumanized and judged not on the content of their character, but on how compliant they are with the Patriarchy’s rules.

It’s a state of chaos and inertia, a space where nothing good can grow because women are the very lifeblood of society.  Those who’ve been indoctrinated will inculcate the same toxic ideas in their children and their children will do the same, until the very idea that one day men and women can co-exist on equal grounds, will become obsolete.  And this is not a fer-fetched depiction of reality, ask any of those women who live in culturally archaic societies and they will vouch for that.  There’s no glimmer of hope, no help from the outside, The Patriarchy is guarded by impenetrable walls.

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Tea Drinkers and Weed Smokers

We were walking in single file, our arms held aloft to ward off the boughs that impeded access to the forest.  The saplings seemed to have grown since the last time we’d been there, and although it was irksome to trudge through them, we did it nonetheless.  There was nowhere else we could go, this island being replete with onlookers and sidelong glances throwers, all of whom just want a piece of you.  It beggars belief that life on an island can seem so persecuted at times.  Sometimes, it seems like a cruel joke.

It is a cruel joke.  Imagine being born on an island and not ever being able to enjoy the full extent of that very experience.  The lavish greenery.  The turquoise ocean.  The nonchalance that the island life should provide.  On the contrary, lawmakers and politicians here do their best to stifle your free-spirit and the corrosive patriarchal culture even more so.  What a travesty.  I wish it was like Blue Lagoon.  You know, just walking around half naked, with my disheveled hair covering my tits.  And a member of the male species to keep me company.  Swimming in a creek in the morning, eating pineapples and drinking coconut juice.  Our afternoon naps, us entwined in a hammock. And our evenings, traipsing along the beach.  But instead, the island life that I’ve been bestowed with, is just a dreary reminder of the epoch that we live in.  Unfettered capitalism and mindless consumerism.

It’s not a utopia to wish for simpler things.  It’s a reminder of our self-imposed plight.  To have such a beautiful backdrop pocked by retarded shit that some constipated fools in full sartorial display came up with, is just bathetic.  I mean, at least, let me smoke some weed on the fucking beach.  But these fucking mannequins cannot be bothered to let the islanders appreciate the fucking island life.  I blame the archaic culture they’re enmeshed in.  And their blatant apathy to others’ viewpoints.  That’s how you know, you live in a low IQ society.  A bunch of pre-programmed assholes, whose self-worth stems from their inability to empathize with their fellow human beings, make up the crux of this country.

I wonder how different things would be if the culture wasn’t that jarring.  If everyone was on the same page.  But that is the utopia.  At least years of colonialism could have overridden the toxic Eastern cultures that propagate even more toxic ideas like patriarchy, kowtowing to authority like half-starved dogs, blind adherence to authority and so on.  But the colonialists couldn’t be bothered to remedy that situation I suppose, or rather, leaving a country to hostile sects of hardcore religious people would slow down progress, thus casting a positive light on outsiders ruling us.  It’s just sad that such a beautiful country is tainted by a bunch of retarded megalomaniacs.

But I’m still grateful for the simple things.  Floating in the ocean while staring at the dark sky, contemplating the vastness and thinking about the futility of it all.  I’m grateful for that.  Gazing at the greenery aboard a decrepit bus.  I’m grateful for that too.  Do you know what else I’m grateful for?

Having someone like you read my bullshit.

A Guide To Dating In Mauritius For Women

We don’t talk about it very often because our culture didn’t evolve to include open dialogue between the sexes and honest discourse on relationships, as a whole.  When was the last time you heard someone holding forth on the aspects of healthy relationships and a healthy sex life?  Sure, we have extensive reading material about those things in our rags but they are glib and superficial.  They’re presented as shock pieces to titillate our curiosity and nothing else.  But in the media and everywhere else, our prudish attitude toward sex prevents us from engaging in insightful and thoughtful conversations that would help us mitigate certain bad consequences that emerge from bad relationships.  And those consequences impact women on a larger scale.

As part of the New Year celebrations, a radio show focused on things that marked us in the past year.  Among the topics that were being expounded, crimes of passion raised the alarm; we have a very unhealthy idea of relationships.  The new year began with another crime of passion making headlines; a jilted husband had shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself.  Another child will be growing up without a family, due to our collective apathy on what is destroying our society from within.  Here are some useful guidelines for dating here, in Mauritius.

1. The misogynistic ones wear their misogyny as a badge of honor-learn to identify the signs

These guys are loud and very passionate about their disdain for women.  When people tell you who they are, believe them.  Those guys always jump at the opportunity to deride women or lecture women on how they ought to behave.  So it goes without saying, they’re quite fond of the traditional gender roles, where they will have the upper-hand, almost all the time.

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Why can’t every man be Don Draper?

Needless to say, your relationship will revolve around his needs, his views and his sexual appetite.  He’s the king and you’re merely the dinner.  Unfortunately, men of the aforementioned creed, make up a huge chunk of the population so you need to learn how to spot them and how to casually avoid them.

 2. Avoid male prudes like the plague

As a 21st century woman, it is quite offensive to imply that women shouldn’t enjoy sex.  It’s biology, it’s science, it’s the core of human existence.  But Mauritius is still quite a dogmatic society where people expect you to abide by the tenets of their religion, as if you’re not allowed to have your own version of tenets to abide by.  As a result, sex is viewed under a very repressive light, that you’re supposed to indulge in it when you’re married and that’s it.  There’s no sexual education for kids in college and teen pregnancy is quite a big problem here, due to this inane misconception about something so natural.

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Tada.

There are many guys here who’ve been raised to think that only they ought to enjoy sex.  It’s very common in oppressive cultures to have men who walk around believing they’re Rocco Siffredi and looking down on women who want a piece of the cake.  Those men are not going to be fun to be with, especially if you’re the kind of woman who’s self confident enough and has a healthy self-esteem.

3. Observe their social circle

Men who cannot be friends with women are almost always sexualizing the opposite gender.  Of course, attraction is normal but a person who cannot overcome physical attraction and maintain platonic relationships with people, is the definition of a red flag.  In Mauritius, many activities are limited to men, and they take great pride in partaking in those activities with their male friends.

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This female computer engineer has no female friends, which is OKAY.

Often, in patriarchal societies like ours, women who mingle with men are harshly excoriated so watch out if your guy has no female friends.  It means that he probably sees women as a dating accessory only.

4. When he overtly criticizes women’s rights movement, he’s telling you he doesn’t think much of women

When someone feels the need to tell you that views on gender shouldn’t evolve and specifically targets your gender as being inferior and not eligible for equal treatment, you have to understand that you will never be equal in their eyes.  There is no worse outcome in a relationship, which ought to be fun and spontaneous.  People who are opposed to your own progress and to the progress of women’s rights in general, are not going to vouch for your well-being.

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Thankfully, he’s not into women.  If he were, he wouldn’t be getting any.

 

It is 2018, the times have changed.  The #MeToo movement has finally sounded the death knell on abuse in many countries, female leaders are more vocal than ever and society is finally making amends for the inequalities of the past in developed countries.  It is time to eradicate these anachronistic attitudes toward women and relationships in Mauritius and level the playing field.