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The misogyny in every street of Nepal

The misogyny in every street of Nepal

When you find yourself in a microbus where discriminatory and gender-biased opinions become a source of amusement and laughter and activities to exchange misogynistic thoughts become normal and commonplace, even traveling from Kirtipur to Kathmandu becomes an interminable journey. When I once traveled in a microbus from Kirtipur to Kathmandu, I became a victim of this discussion. 

In the microbus, there were two elderly passengers, four to five young people who could have been between 20 and 24 years old, and five to six mid-aged uncles and aunties. The micro was entirely occupied. For the first few minutes after I entered the microbus, the driver and the mid-aged uncle and aunties were engaged in somewhat typical Nepali conversation about life and daily chores in life. However, shortly after those few minutes had passed, when we stopped at a particular bus station and a young girl asked to hold the vehicle for a few more seconds while she collected her bags (she was seen traveling alone and had several heavy bags with her), She didn’t seek assistance from anybody around, but the driver casually and unhesitatingly made a remark about how ‘Lazy’ women are. And he claimed, “Women should constantly be active and should appear smart because they are born as creatures who are destined to move into other people's homes when they reach a certain age”. Additionally, not just for women, Driver had a theory about men as well: “Men can be lazy as long as they live in their own house.”

After a little pause, the driver again presented his version of events by making a sexist remark to a passenger who also happened to be his neighbor. He questioned the passenger aunty saying, “Why are you traveling in a vehicle to merely travel for 2 kilometers? Have you not got legs? Are you not terrified of your husband? It must be so much joy for you to spend every penny your husband works so hard to earn. And in defense, the aunty, who was in her mid-to-late-thirties, said that she was traveling because she lacked helping hands and was carrying a full gas cylinder. Concerningly, she responded as if she had made some sort of mistake. She also noted that she still had to pick up her child from school, but even in that circumstance, she considered explaining it to a patriarchal man who lacked common sense. 

After she exits the car, an uncle in the rear speaks out without being asked and offers his viewpoint. He said that, in comparison to the past, when women were extremely engaged in supporting their husbands’ families and committed to their husbands’ lives and jobs, they are now sluggish spenders of their husbands’ hard-earned money. As was to be expected, the driver supported the prospective opinion, and the aunties in attendance likewise applauded it while joking about how funny the uncles were. Despite the fact that I and the other youngsters present tried our hardest to correct them about many aspects throughout the discussion, the people grew increasingly stiff and condescending. 

The majority of people in Nepal, including women as well as men, think that giving women shelter and food should be sufficient for them. They believe that women should be subservient to men and that they should fear men. To demonstrate their masculinity to society, men in Nepal always try to show that they are the ones who support women and that women should owe them their lives and freedom. But because women are constantly pressured by society to be inferior to men and because they are raised in such a brainwashing environment, they (women) never have the chance to think and act on their confidence or abilities. Lastly, women also start to develop misogynistic opinions. Do we want this, though? Why can’t we simply support someone, regardless of gender, to accomplish a certain objective that’s consistent with their capacities in life? Why shouldn’t each and every one of us be skilled and competent in what we do and the fields we are in? And in order for this to take place initially, there must be a significant shift in Nepali society’s nurturing system. This culture has to cease pressuring people into having children, getting married, and engaging in many other ancillary activities. 

There are many things in life, and now that we are living in the 21st century, the world has advanced significantly. Just a few weeks ago, a rocket from our neighboring nation traveled to the moon for research reasons, and many men and women collaborated to make that mission a success. But when we look at Nepal, we still can’t get over our prejudice and discriminatory thoughts, and the funny part is that we still want to transform Nepal into Switzerland.

Dikshya Adhikari 

Ist Year, BALLB

Kathmandu School of Law