Friday, December 30, 2011

Thou shalt not shrink

Division of labour constitutes the warp and woof of creation and the gender difference on this score is no surprise. The Mother, however, was opposed to this distinction and used to encourage behavioural parity and occupational levelling. Even then, stereotypes continue to this day and segregation occurs in response to aptitude, merit, safety etc. This phenomenon in the world outside, expectedly, is much more prominent, and hence, software development employs a disproportionate number of women these days than the shop-floor. Even, The Mother's erstwhile impression about football is a reflection of the dichotomy between hard and soft options obtaining in almost all fields.

The way we have often argued that The Mother & Sri Aurobindo can't be restricted to their writings alone, their yoga too is not all about what transpires in the Ashram. Thus, a universal conception of yoga encompassing all of life, however, can't be said to be free from the virus of gender duality. Shrinking from jobs that are dirty or difficult is a commonly observed reflex in this context and dwelling upon beauty, for instance, might explain as a mere defence mechanism. Age and gender are crucial factors, therefore, in choosing to grapple with more adventurous and less advantageous aspects of life. Integral Yoga, if infected by involuntary amnesia or wonted omission, can hardly justify its own label. Confronting the cyclone Thane should be as important as making an ikebana vase, in this sense. [TNM55]

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