Universal Sisterhood – Breaking The ‘Woman is Woman’s Worst Enemy’ Myth

Women are genetically designed to be competitive, jealous and hate each other. We hear this myth a lot and several incidents maybe cited to prove it. But what we think is mere genes or psychology and therefore objective science do not actually exist in isolation. They are part of thousands of years of social conditioning. Being woman is a performance we are conditioned to perform, and how we behave is part of this performance.

The moment a baby is born with a vagina she’s told that she is a girl, and a girl has this one chance to make it in life, in youth grab a man and keep him, for old age, beget a son and keep him. A new born with penis are boys, and boys are told that the whole world is at their feet. Go out there and conquer, discover, explore, invent, build, destroy…the world is your canvas.

Women are told this house and its people is your world, you live or die here, and you have this single throne that you have to hold on to. Geography is small, position is just one, means of survival limited, competition becomes high. The subconscious therefore starts to build a defense and survival mechanism which is always trying to cancel out any other woman competing for the throne of the house.

It is for this reason that stories of brotherhood is common. Eternal saga of platonic friendship between two men, bothers in arms fighting the war giving up their lives for each other are all part of a large literary canon and have been themes for numerous movies, TV shows, songs, poetry and so on. But sisterhood or female bonding is rarely heard of. Women are portrayed as jealous friends or sisters eyeing for same men or mother-in-law and daughter-in-law trying to control the same man.

I am a photographer and I try to fill the gaps with my photographs. I love to create images and visuals of things I find missing from literature or popular culture. So here are some of my images to capture stories of eternal female bonding between friends, sisters, lovers and sisters in arms.

Universal sisterhood – all women irrespective of their class, caste, race, nationality are oppressed and their common enemy is patriarchy, they need solidarity to fight patriarchy – this was one of the earliest call of feminism. Here’s to universal sisterhood.

Village Women at Hidimba Temple
Manali, 2015
portraits-100
New Delhi, 2014

I deliberately do not share stories to support these photos. I think an image is a powerful tool of communication and I don’t want to restrict the potential meaning of that image by giving it a story. I want to keep the meaning open to interpretation and imagination. What you imagine is what can be, and who you are.

two girls in lansdowne tippin top-2
Tipping Top, Lansdowne, 2016
Khardungla-24
On the way to Nubra Valley, Ladakh, 2015
038
New Delhi, 2016
027
New Delhi, 2013

050

DSC_0619

universal sisterhood mumbai girls in rain-1

More photos will be added to this series. Keep checking back. If you like my work, please subscribe to blog or visit my Facebook page.

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Sanjukta says:

    Reblogged this on This Is My Truth and commented:

    In this series of photographs I celebrate the universal sisterhood, the love and bonding between women. Stories of brotherhood is common, we have films, books and poems on them, brothers in arms et all. But women are never seen to be united in solidarity. They are individuals pitted against each other. Eg. mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law trying to control the same man or two sisters or friends eyeing the same man. I am feminist documentary photographer and I try to fill the gender gap through my work. Here I created some images we don’t usually see in popular culture. Only few images are here but I would add to this series. Please take a look on my photography website.

    Like

  2. In this society where we so frequently hear these acidic words “Woman is woman’s worst enemy”, these true revelations come as such fresh happiness. This myth needs to be broken and any effort taken in this direction should be applauded whole-heartedly. Such beautiful pictures of sisterhood fill me with immense joy and satisfaction because throughout my journey I have been helped and mentored by strong women who always felt the need to empower a fellow woman. I try to follow their footsteps and help out as much as I can. Thank you for these lovely images! Cheers to sisterhood!

    Liked by 2 people

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