How to deal with patriarchy and gender roles in your family? Is fighting on such issues a wise option?

Do you want to deal with the gender-based issues in your family and wonder how to do it?

“Toxic men don’t listen to women”. I read this somewhere and started wondering if any toxic person would ever be listening to a non-toxic? And with this question, I even went on to think about the families in which both, toxic and nontoxic live together. Families are generally built in a way where people of different generations, different genders, and different social and educational backgrounds. And when all of them live together in the same room, getting a conflict in thought is not something that is weird or unnatural. Considering the majority of the families in urban setups, yet in the patriarchal society, there are chances that the early teens and young adults get developed with clearer ideas around gender-related issues, patriarchy, gender roles, feminism, and so on. And while they live in the same house, where perpetrators of such things live, they might end up taking steps against them. Many even enter into a fight because of course, they try to tell the toxic people that they are toxic, that too, on their faces.


Well. I truly get it for people who are agitated and starting their activism from their homes, but for those, who have brought up with certain ideas and upbringings, for those who have always learned that ‘men’ are superior to ‘women’, and seen generations who have followed it, for them, understanding such a new and progressive idea is difficult.


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How to deal with patriarchy and gender roles in your family


But then how to deal with them? Here is how you can do it, but remember, it is a process, and you need to have patience


1. Don’t get angry with them, they will only police your tone because right now, they are toxic


While talking to people who are toxic, the first thing that should be avoided is reacting with anger. While you must have been angry and emotional too, you need to hold yourself tight as all your arguments will be of no use if you will speak them in a tone. You will end up being tone policed and yes, your topics and arguments will become senseless.


2. Start with the basics, what gender means and why they should be equal

Well, some people don’t really know the basics of sex and gender. And then with gender roles, they simply accept what the society tells. Hence, for them to change what they have grown up with, they need guidance and new learnings. Tell them about the history of women, tell them about the stories of oppression, ask them if women really deserve it. Tell them about the women’s inequality, make them be in the shoes of a woman, and feel all that a woman is subjected to face. And, give them time to absorb this.


3. Make them relate to it

Once you educate them a bit, give them examples of toxicity from your own house, from your own locality. Give them some direction and perspective to think the other way around.

Remember – Subliminal discrimination can persist, after all, they can’t just forget all that they have learned over years, but their actions should be conscious of being gender-equal, feminist, tolerant. They should always embrace the process of unlearning – learning – relearning.


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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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