Societal Analysis

Patriarchy & Women - July 2023

14 months back, I started by saying that ours is a Madiga, Mala, Muslim and Women's organisation. This is our organisational principle Sansthāgata sūtraṁ.

Some people ask, "Don't women make mistakes? Don't they do wrong?" Why does ADATS and the Coolie Sangha blindly support women maddatu istānu? Normally, I do not answer. Because these are motivated Prērēpita and mischievous koṇṭe questions.

Today, I want to tell you that bad behaviour has no gender. Women also rob, cheat, tell lies, dominate and show arrogance. When they are in authority, there is no difference in behaviour between individual men and individual women's behaviour. So too with individual Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims. Bad behaviour is a human trait.

Male Behaviour

When men dominate women, the whole of society will applaud cappaṭlu koṭṭāru. The whole of society expects men to dominate ādhipatyaṁ women. Surrounding society blindly supports men and male behaviour

  • Religion
  • Caste
  • Social construct Sāmājika nirmāṇaṁ
  • Culture Sanskr̥ti
  • Mythology Purāṇa-śāstraṁ
  • Acceptance Aṅgīkāraṁ
  • Congratulation Abhinandana
  • Admiration Abhimānaṁ
  • Even rules, laws and officials

Just like a pack of dogs Vīdhi kukkalu, everybody gets together to attack a woman. They pass laws that say that anyone can stop a woman from marrying someone of her choice, being friendly with someone outside her caste and religion, defend herself from her husband. Someone may ask, Am I calling Religion, Caste, Culture, Mythology, etc. a pack of dogs Vīdhi kukkalu?

My clear and resounding answer is, YES!

When a man does many things, they say it is his personal issue and no one must interfere. I refuse to accept this.

There is no control Niyantraṇa over men.

  • No one ever blames the man
  • Falsely finding fault with women is okay Parvālēdu; Alāgē
  • Beating a woman is okay Parvālēdu; Alāgē
  • Throwing her out and second marriage is okay Parvālēdu; Alāgē
  • Stopping them from going out is okay Parvālēdu; Alāgē
  • Not sending a girl to high school and college is okay Parvālēdu; Alāgē
  • Even burning a woman is okay. She must have done something wrong Parvālēdu; Alāgē
  • Teasing āṭapaṭṭin̄caḍaṁ and molesting vēdhin̄caḍaṁ a woman is okay Parvālēdu; Alāgē
  • Even rape atyācāraṁ is okay Parvālēdu; Alāgē

Mahila Meetings as a Societal Institution

But when a woman does something wrong, other women speak to her. They do not shout or scold. They just give advice. They advise her to mend her ways and surrender to patriarchy Pitr̥svāmyāniki loṅgipōtāru

This is the normal reaction in every single religion — Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhism; everywhere in the world — rich and poor countries alike. Women accepted oppression Aṇacivēta and a second-class status.

When we came here 45 years back, we observed exactly this. We saw that the ONLY support women have is the group of other women around her.

Other NGOs and government programmes thought this was enough Their so-called "women's programmes" were only to showcase what was already happening — other, equally helpless women, giving advice to a hapless victim.

We understood that highlighting this already existing local support was not enough. We refused to accept this tokenism and showcasing Pradarśin̄caḍaṁ of a non-solution.

We wondered why women did not rebel against injustice. Then, we understood that Patriarchy was in your brains; it was sitting inside Antargataṅgā; in your mindsets Manastatvālu.

We knew very well that the forces against individual women were very powerful — religion, caste, culture, mythology...

We knew there was a need for Socialist Feminism Sāmyavāda Strīvādaṁ as an ideology that would produce and equally powerful counterforce.

You needed to be powerful in your support of women Śaktivanta-maina tōḍu ivvāli. We understood that you had to institutionalise this support Sansthāgata maddatu.

With an innate understanding Sahajasid'dhamaina avagāhana of this same conclusion that we had to think through and work out, your VHWs built the Mahila Meetings.

I know that your VHWs have done a marvellous job providing first line health services. It was they, along with some of you younger Volunteers, who made sure that not a single person went to a hospital or COVID-19 care centre during the pandemic.

But my real admiration for your VHWs is how they intuitively understood that the support for women has to become Institutionalised. They converted women's meetings into the institution called Mahila Meetings!

Patriarchy Pitr̥svāmyaṁ

The societal sanction or permission for men to dominate women is called Patriarchy Pitr̥svāmyaṁ.

For Patriarchy to work, dominating over only women is not enough.

  1. Men need to show their domination Ādhipatyaṁ over Dalits, Adivasis, Minorities, and all weaker persons balahīna vyaktulu.
  2. ALL men must dominate Ādhipatyaṁ
    Even the poorest and lowest must dominate at least the women folk in his own house.

Only then can rich and powerful men socially oppress Sāmājikaṅgā aṇacivēyācu and economically exploit ārthikaṅgā dōpiḍī cēyagalaru.

25-30 years back, I said:
The very same status and respect Maryāda that a society gives to women, it also gives to Dalits, Adivasis, Minorities and all weaker persons.

This is why Patriarchy needs an all embracing Anni āliṅganaṁ and all compassing Annī cuṭṭumuṭṭāyi Justification Samarthana. It is not enough to say that women are weak and not clever. You all know that this is a laughing matter. In physical strength, stamina and intelligence, you out beat your matchstick men any day!

That is why Patriarchy need religion, caste and manu shruthi together to provide this justification.

Your Mahila Meetings are the only instruments that can challenge and destroy Nāśanaṁ Patriarchy.

Social institutions Sāmājika sansthalu like religion and caste give identity Gurtimpu.

The moment that Mahila Meetings became a social institution, the Coolie Sangha itself transformed into a powerful social institution Rūpāntaraṁ cendindi. The Coolie Sangha also started giving Identity to its Members.

For the past one year, we have been discussing the importance of every single person participating in the economy Ārthika vyavastha. We have understood that electoral politics is not important. It is only a tool Sādhanaṁ to establish a certain type of Rulers Pālakulu.

You can use your institutional strength Sansthāgata bhalaṁ to bring in the type of economy which will benefit you.

Patriarchy Pitr̥svāmyaṁ Macho Rulers Type of Economy

Feminism Sāmyavāda Strīvādaṁ Empathetic Rulers Another type of Economy