The Breakthrough Voice 21st March, 2017

Dear Patriarchy, I Have Finally Decided to Say ‘No’ to You.

Dear patriarchy,

Dominance is easy. But, what about the one getting dominated?

After a long struggle, today, I have finally decided to express all the love I have for you through this letter. Through this letter, I will not remind myself of all the times you have overpowered me. Today, I will write about how I grew as a person despite everything that you threw at me.

A few days back, I woke up with the same bruises in my heart but there was something about that morning which made me realise that bruises exist, because I let them. Pain presides, because I let it. That morning it hit me that the power you have had, has been given to you by me.

I am in no sense undermining your ability, but then let’s face it, had I not let you tell me about how ‘revealing’my attire should be, you would have kept shut. Had I not let you tell me about what time is suitable for you to see me at home, you would have kept shut. It was my ignorance when I thought that assaults happen because I am weak. My character is not something that you can judge.

That morning when it started getting warm by the window sill, I moved back to the room, which taught me a deep lesson, things which make you feel uncomfortable, are not worth standing by. I understand that you derive great pleasure in imposing decisions on me, but I fail to understand why I have given into being subordinated by you.

Initially, I had this romantic notion about your protectiveness, but then your constant ‘shelter’ made me realize how frustrating it is to be told what to do, followed by  how, when and where. It was convenient to know everything beforehand, but convenience, I have understood, is a slow poison. Having been at the receiving end of your domination, I have finally decided that I do not need it. Today, my pen has enough ink to color the sheets blue with the ‘no’ which I have decided to tell you from now.

I won’t ever blame you for things which you have done under the badge of being a man, it is okay, even you are allowed to make mistakes. But when I use the word ‘mistake’, it means we have to correct it. Today I feel strong enough to break down the chains you have entangled me in.

I have put forward my demands in simple words, but let me tell you from now on, I am abandoning the use of the word ‘demand’ because rights aren’t demanded, they are entitled to us. I am breaking up with you, patriarchy.

When I look into a mirror, I might be reminded that ‘I am a woman to patriarchy’ but I know now that I am a woman to myself and no one else. To end on an honest note, you won’t be missed, but yes, you will definitely be remembered.

Not yours forever,

An independent woman.


Note: Valentine’s day 2017 saw Miranda House Women’s Development Cell strike, dance and rise with the One Billion Rising movement. Women from WDC, in the spirit of OBR, decided to write letters to patriarchy who had been their constant lover: it was time to breakup.

Breakthrough India joins hands with MH-WDC’s One Billion Rising campaign in University of Delhi and brings to you a glimpse of some of these letters, some of the stories that women from Miranda House have been writing to patriarchy. 

Beware, you might soon find them in your nearest bookstores as well!

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