Ever heard of a woman called Radhakrishna, Radheshyam or Sitaram? The names sound feminine enough.
Why does one only hear of men carrying those names? Legend has it that they were a "vardaan" to Sita and Radha: that their names would always precede their men’s because their steadfast loyalty and love placed them above everyone, including Ram and Krishna.
Krishna dallied with dozens and married two; a married Radha defied home, family and society, steadfast in her love for her Lord.
In banwas, in Lanka, with the agnipariksha and ever after, Sita’s caliber was way above Ram’s raghukul niti against whom question marks still stand for those controversial later days and apparent lust for throne.
Despite that, no girls are ever named Sitaram, Radheshyam; only plain Sita, Radha or Krishna. Boys get the double appellation, even triple with Shivaramakrishna.
The issue here is the usurpation. Why are Men so mortally afraid -- of being outdone or exposed by their Women? To even snatch away god’s vardaan?
From the beginnings of Time, "Jab se Insaan ne dharti par hosh sambhala….", the female of the species was found to be the Life giver, the Nurturer. Religions started with female deities, all over ancient civilizations. Hence the personification of Earth, Nature and life giving Rivers etc. as female deities and evolution of the matrilineal communities.
At some juncture, perhaps a crisis while the woman was in childbirth, the Man used brute physical force to take over to meet the crisis. And the taste of power remained forever more, by sheer physical power and manipulation, physical, emotional and mental.
The Occident loves to believe in powerful Cavemen. What proof is there that the Cave Woman did not accompany the Cave Man on his hunting expeditions? Avataar did seem to show that. Or that Cave Man actually slung Cave Woman over his shoulder to cut short the wooing process? Except the frivolity of some Western writers: brute force always carries the day.
In the Orient, goddesses still hold sway over most of India in tandem with gods, long after Christianity chased female deities into oblivion.
In India, powerful Goddesses are the norm, with male and female devotees; although that is not replicated within families.
With Islam came the desi answer to the purdah system, with the ghunghat, which was alien to the carvings of Mohenjadaro and Khajuraho both; started in the part of India where the kings bought peace by marrying their bahens and betis to Mughals.
A recent step: aping the uniformity of organized religion in Islam and Christianity with dictats that everyone must do this or say that or sing it. Tie themselves up in knots on what women should wear, what they should not do etc. Why don’t all men, including pracharaks go back to old styled dhotis? While suspect ‘religious’ leaders reap souls and prime reap real estate.
Back to Radha and Sita: both fought their own battles and won adherents over centuries. And neither is shown in a ghunghat.