The male dominated world was against women’s education

Kalighat Painting, “Woman Striking Man With Broom,” Calcutta, India, 1875

Kalighat Painting, Role changed. Man is nursing his wife. Calcutta, India. 1875

These are famous Kalighat paintings.

Once upon a time women did not have the right to get an education. Male-dominated world prevented women from becoming educated.

Women in Bengal got the right to education in the nineteenth century. Most men were scared, stressed and unhappy. Newspapers and magazines started publishing satirical cartoons against women’s education. Almost everybody feared that after getting an education women would not accept men as their masters. Social norms will be ridiculously upside down. Instead of a husband beating his wife, a wife will start beating her husband. Wives will go to schools, colleges, and offices, husbands will stay at home and take care of their wives. The social roles of men and women will be reversed forever.



  1. Taru Dutt says

    “Enlightened” Bengal, where, in spite of all, women are STILL looked upon as inferior. Cue the posse of Bengalis galloping up, panting loudly, with explanations, justifications, comparisons (“It’s worse in Rajasthan and Punjab and Haryana” – so what? Who the hell cares? We’re talking about BENGAL here) and plain ol’ lies.

    Sorry, can’t join the apologists – of any stripe. Telling the ugly truth is my business as, Taslimadi, it’s yours.

    Bengal still treats women as inferior. As less than. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    Bengalis, don’t run from the truth like cowards. Face it with courage.

  2. lorn says

    The same misunderstanding was common among antebellum southerners in reference to freeing the slaves. A common retort was that no white man wants to be slave to a black man. It was as if their mind’s conception of society as having free men and slaves was the only way it could work. And if the black people were free then, for the system to work, whites would have to be the slaves. The idea that both black and white might be free and the society continue to function wasn’t contemplated. It was, for people brought up in a slave holding culture, a completely novel idea. Both risky and disorienting.

  3. says

    It’s just too hard to imagine, isn’t it – nobody beats anybody. There is no hitting with brooms.

    As for nursing – that’s as needed, one hopes. How ugly and mean that anyone saw it as some kind of tragic reversal for a man to nurse a woman.

  4. GordonWillis says

    As for nursing – that’s as needed, one hopes. How ugly and mean that anyone saw it as some kind of tragic reversal for a man to nurse a woman.

    Oddly enough it was only quite recently that I discovered that for a man to nurse a woman was a “role-reversal” (therefore not typical –> unusual –> odd –> strange –> inappropriate (euphemism for “wrong, bad, wicked”…). Some comment on a photograph, on the internet, I can’t remember where. A man was being comforted by a woman, which, apparently, was the wrong way round. Yet, it’s women who do the “nursing”, so when you work it out…Well, it was a shock. Many men spend a lot of time nursing, sick or disabled wives or children, friends in trouble; how are they supposed to think of themselves? And as to their being nursed…

    Since then I have discovered a whole world of insanity, called Islam, Christianity, Judaism, even Hinduism, but also Nazism, Fascism, Castro’s communism (Women, thanks for fighting, now go back to your homes). It’s frightening. What’s wrong with “as needed”? Apparently, everything. I did not realise until recently the full meaning of the concept that everyone has their place. From a practical point of view it’s stupid, and from any humane point of view it’s sick.

  5. Taru Dutt says

    I wonder, Taslimadi, if you know about the Tarakeshwar affair, a nine days wonder in Bengal at the time when it happened and the subject of many artistic representations. Now, over a century later, it seems a clear case of rape, sexual molestation, and murder – with no prizes for guessing who paid the heaviest and most horrible price. Just a look at the paintings representing the incidents are enough to turn one’s stomach. They’re right there on Wiki. Even worse is the fact, which will be denied by many Indians, that in today’s India sexual control over the woman continues apace.

    • StevoR says

      Thankyou Taru Dutt for that link as its something new I’ve learnt today -although something rather horrible and appalling.

      The attitude noted in wikipedia and held by some that “a woman cannot be raped without her consent” (!!?!) there. Facepalm. What the .. ?!

  6. says

    but even in 21st century well-educated women serve men as their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons and so on. in India women who are doctors and engineers are burned alive by their husbands, and their husbands’ families. this is shameful. now Indian politicians consider India as one of the powerful countries but women are always living the life of 18th/19th century era. their claim of developed and powerful country seem ridiculous and funny when they are suppressing women in their houses, public and private places. but not only by men but women are suppressed by women who are the followers of patriarchy.


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