M for May I? #AtoZChallenge
‘May I go get a glass of water?’
‘May I cook something for you?’
‘No’, mother said you can take rest and come out of the room when you are pure.
There was no way she could have known this before her marriage. Things seemed to be okay after the wedding and then the bomb was dropped. She was told she can’t step out of her room, carry on usual household chores or anything else. For all practical purposes, she was confined to her room for those days of the month.
Her husband tried to stand up for her but living in a huge joint family, his was the only voice that was crushed before it could even make a difference. Some drama and then the saga of how wives change sons. This is not a work of fiction. This is 2017 and normal for this household.
What choice has she got? The other women in the house have accepted the norms and are even propagating the same behavior to the new daughters-in-law of the house. She is educated and is yet to find a job for herself. While her husband is out, she is the one dealing everything on her own among strangers. Things that include rules like these.
We talk of gender equality, respect, pay parity and all those big things. What about the basic usual stuff? Why does menstruation have to be such a big deal? Why can’t some people separate out the religious or custom from a normal body function? Women can’t go about asking ‘May I’ in the 21st century?
I am participating in the A To Z Challenge for the third time this year and I am penning Stories from everyday life.