The resurgence of a practice that was common in the 1800s and early 1900s has revealed a surprising peek into past gender dynamics, leaving many shocked by its implications.

On December 31, the last day of the year, it was usual for wives to publicly kneel before their husbands and apologise for any perceived wrongdoings during the previous year.

This custom, which is today commonly seen as outdated and harsh, illuminates the power structures that were common in those historical houses.

Constrained by traditional gender norms, women were supposed to present themselves in humility before their husbands, taking on symbolic accountability for any flaws or errors.


while the rite is perhaps offensive to modern sensibilities, it highlights the systemic oppression and injustice that women endured at the time. It draws attention to the institutionalised patriarchy and bigotry that confined women to subservient roles in the home.

Both sociologists and historians have expressed shock that these traditions have persisted into the modern period. Gender historian Dr. Emily Rodriguez said,

“This custom serves as a clear reminder of the systematic oppression that women endured in the not-too-distant past. It is a reflection of the deeply held conviction that men are superior and that women should submit to patriarchal authority.”

The discovery of this custom has spurred much discussion and introspection about the advancements made in the field of gender equality as well as the ongoing requirement of maintaining watchfulness against retrograde views.

Even if there have been great advancements in the deconstruction of patriarchal systems, the persistence of historical injustices serves as a sombre reminder of the continuous fight for gender parity.

It is crucial to face and question ingrained practices that support inequality as societies struggle with the effects of the past.

The startling discovery of this long-standing custom serves as a moving wake-up call, imploring us to work towards a future freed from the constraints of antiquated gender norms and marked by greater justice and equality.

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