The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: We come from a society that is patriarchal in nature, everything revolves around a man and there is a general subjugation of a woman in the sense that the laws, the rules, and regulations around whatever woman can do, not do; things like that. My question is that, is there a general fear of a woman in the man’s mind and society at large? Because we control things, we subjugate a thing to rules or regulations only when we feel a threat, maybe inferiority, if I may say. So, that is my question — “Is there a fear of a woman?”
Acharya Prashant (AP): So, you are already in the hold of something important. At one end you see that it’s a patriarchal society that we are coming from. On the other end, your question is — “Is the man afraid of women?”
Firstly, we are saying that the man is the controller and then we are asking that is the man afraid of the woman.
Questioner (Q): Not just the man, but maybe the society at large — man and woman — because even the women are equal participants in the patriarchal system. It is also the woman who holds the patriarchy; so, the society also.
AP: Yes, but then the society, by itself, hardly means anything. When we say society, we mean the members of the society. When we say a system dominated by men, we mean “men”.
First of all, a few things about the dualistic nature of the mind of existence probably needs to be seen. First, there is no control ever — in the sense, that there can’t be a controller and a controlled. There would always be a controlled one and another controlled one, out of which one would appear to be the controller. But no one is really the controller.
Similarly, there can never be an exploiter and an exploited. There would always be the exploited and the exploited. And out of the two exploited, obviously, one would appear to be the exploiter. And the one who appears like the exploiter, need not be a definite one. Among these two, the role of the exploiter would keep changing hands. So, sometimes the man would appear like the exploiter, and other times a woman would appear like the exploiter.
Whenever, the natural harmony of…