Object of oppression

“This rolling pin is quite symbolic because as an eight-year old and this was my resistance to seeing women around me constantly have no choice but to make chapattis three times in a day. I just resolved that I would never make them. I kind of decided it was an ultimate instrument of oppression. And I wasn’t aware in that kind of way but it was my resistance to seeing women making chapattis all the time, and also the pressure to little girls and to your womanhood is tied into this idea where you have to learn to make these amazing chapattis otherwise you are not going to get a good husband, and you are not going to be married. So you’re identity is tied into making the most roundest, the thinnest, and the softest rotis . . .

I think my resistance to seeing my mum waking up every morning and make chapattis, for breakfast, chapattis for lunch, and there has to be some sort of flat bread for dinner.   So I was not going to do it and I was not aware of it in this way . . . Yes I think it was my resistance . . . I come from a working-class family, I had made it to England to study, and this object and my relationship with this object reminds me about being a woman. It reminds me about being a Gujarati woman, it also reminds me about who I ought to be, how ought to live. When my mother came to England ten years ago when she came for my PhD graduation, she brought the rolling pin with her, knowing my daughter she does not own a rolling pin”.

R, Indian, female, 42, b.India