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#Review: Smashing the Patriarchy by Sindhu Rajasekaran

Smashing the Patriarchy
Author: Sindhu Rajasekaran
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Rating: 4.5/5

In her book, Smashing the Patriarchy, Sindhu Rajasekaran assesses the physical, sexual, emotional, societal and political inequality between men and women and demands sound structural and cultural changes for the future survival of all men and women. Using just five big categories, the author oscillates between women at work and women at home. Since time immemorial, patriarchy has been perpetuated into our minds. Hence, it is definitely a herculean task to question a deep-rooted belief. After #MeToo when women started realizing their worth and started gaining enough courage to speak for themselves, a cloud of silver lining appeared. But once this movement stalled, the voices became voices in the wilderness once again. Occasionally offering lip service to the actions and reactions of several women across the globe, Sindhu traces the lives of those who have already suffered and those who refused to suffer at the hands of menfolk. 

In the chapter ‘On Beauty’, she brings out how the idea of female respectability keeps shifting in the Indian patriarchal society. Whether it is about adorning the traditions in form of clothes or keeping the attire totally formal, women are judged and so is their work. Questioning the plausibility of such remarks and assumptions, the author sharply challenges the liberal thinkers. ‘Ishq in the Times of Tinder’ explores the sexuality of women beyond male pleasure. Quoting Arnaz Irani, who decided to come out of her shell and share her polyamorous experiences with the world, and Sana Kazeem, who decided to stay single, for she didn’t believe in being the one who sacrificed her life choices just to have a companion in her old age, the author brings out the myriads of love most of which give the men the privilege to be angry and aggressive. 

In the third chapter that’s titled Women at Work, Sindhu tries to balance the acts of working women and stay-at-home mothers. The last two chapters, Demystifying the Feminine and Society, Sanskar and Choice respectively, reflect on the cross-cultural narratives by various women who reveal the real meaning of being feminine. It’s not easy (not for men either) to accept their body, sexuality and desires in the society that we live in. It’s like opening a can of worms and living in the fear of being judged for the rest of our life! Hence, more and more awareness is needed to give a voice to the oppressed!

Smashing the Patriarchy uses a strong tone to encourage women to take a sledgehammer to the institutions of yesterday that have kept women away from the power that was never meant for menfolk alone. The book covers a great deal of ground, is well-reasoned and well-researched. It draws out the importance of redefining personhood and justice. 

A refreshing read!

Best wishes to the author!

Buy this book from here: Amazon

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