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Misogyny at home in South Asia

Am I home? 
Yet I find myself disjointed. 
What is a place that rips off my … 
The horror that open air cannot be accessed without permission 
Permission denied 
The demons outside my four walls that jeer, leer  
And boil my core 
If home is where I burn, then where do I breathe? 

Amidst a whirlpool of emotions, juxtaposed desires and an array of questions, I decided to take a year off from college to regroup, travel and acquire some professional experience. But that meant going home to Bangladesh first. And I had my problems with that.

Dhaka is my home, yet a vivid imagination had lent me a different imagination of how a home is meant to be. Being in a Mount Holyoke for three years had essentially let out all the free birds Dhaka had caged inside for years before. I began to feel claustrophobic, and I knew exactly why. It was because misogyny was shamelessly imprinted in the culture–my culture. As South Asian culture is quite family-centric, I began to look at people I loved as caricatures depicting women-are-weak.

So many South Asian families experience misogyny blending into the standard household management technique–patriarchy.  Allow me to illustrate–as a girl I am not supposed to stay out till late, stay out for too many hours, opine too “aggressively.” As a girl, my desire of imagining middle-class women’s emancipation is laugh-worthy. I don’t mean to vent my anger against this sort of misogyny. Rather capture ...

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