Social media is flooded with #MeToo, the call sign of a movement to encourage survivors of sexual assault and abuse to speak up. The campaign was founded ten years ago, but has taken off now in the hope of shedding light on the magnitude of the issue. Yet the oppression of women has been happening since time began. Why is man so afraid?
“Man suffers from a great inferiority complex because he cannot give birth to children. It is one of the deepest unconscious inferiorities in man. He knows the woman is superior, because in life there can be nothing higher than giving birth to life.
“Man’s function, his participation in giving birth to life, is negligible. It is not more than a syringe injection. It can be done by a syringe – he can be absolutely relieved of taking part in reproduction. He must have felt it from the very beginning. And the only way to overcome this inferiority complex was to reduce the woman in every possible way to such an inferior position that man can forget his inferiority complex and start believing that he is superior.
“All the societies of the world, all the cultures, all the religions in different ways have been doing the same: reducing the woman to a secondary category of humanity not equal to man – so inferior that in China, for thousands of years, to kill your own wife was not even considered a crime. The husband was not punished, for the simple reason that the woman was understood to be only a possession like your furniture. If you want to kill your chair, it is not a crime. You can destroy all your furniture; it is your furniture. The law has nothing to do with it. The woman has been thought of as just part of the furniture. The husband is the owner.
“In India, the woman has been taught for centuries that she is a dassi, a slave, and the man, her husband, a swami, a master – an owner. She has not been allowed by any culture to be educated, to be financially independent, to move in the society as freely as man. Her house is the periphery; she should not get out of it. The house is almost an imprisonment. How can you suppose a woman can be a spiritual master? For centuries she has not even been allowed to show her face in half of the world. In India, the husband and wife cannot talk in the daytime in front of the elders of the family. They can only whisper in the darkness of the night. For hundreds of years many husbands have not been able to see their own wife’s face, because in the daytime they cannot meet. In a joint family there is always some elder there. Only in the darkness of night…. And then too, in a joint family where fifty or sixty people are living in one house like cattle, there is no possibility of communication, of discussing something philosophical, something religious.
“Almost all the religions have denied women the possibility of entering into paradise from the body of a woman. She can be virtuous. Her husband is her god. She should serve the husband with total commitment and devotion. This is the only religion as far as the woman is concerned. This will bring her into the body of a man in her next life, and then the doors open. Then she can strive for spiritual heights. Then she can become an enlightened master.
“There are religions which don’t allow women to read the religious scriptures. There are religions which don’t allow the women to enter their temples. The woman has been enslaved. She has been reduced into producing children, taking care of them her whole life. She has not to be respected as a human being. She is just a reproductive mechanism.
“Man has done everything wrong that can be done, everything inhuman that can be done. In Hinduism, if the husband died, the woman had to jump alive into his funeral pyre. This was thought to be something spiritual. This is pure murder – and a very crude and primitive murder. For thousands of years it was a great spiritual thing, but it is strange that the man never did such a great spiritual thing. No man in the whole of history has ever jumped into the funeral pyre of his dead wife. No brahmin followed the rule that he has made for women. If it is true, then is it not very strange why the man is not doing the same?”