Why is it a given that, post marriage, the woman has to give up her career and independence to look after the family? Things have certainly changed now but there are still a number of people out there who believe in this sucker punch of an idea. There is also no valid reason as to why the woman has to give up her premarital home and move into the home of her in-laws.
Even today, women are constantly under pressure to prove themselves worthy and thus spend a great amount of energy juggling work and home to meet this end.
What a wonderful world we live in. As the years passed by, things have improved so much for women. We are really lucky to have been born at this time where we have our basic rights. As a woman, sitting here sipping my cup of tea, alone at a café, writing this article on a laptop I have bought for myself with the money I have earned, I have this sense of empowerment and a feeling of strength. Today, most of us have opportunities which our past counterparts never dreamt of. Women today are doing it all, while carrying on with their roles of mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend, they are also doubling up as educators, managers, CEOs politicians, performers, artists and every career that every man has ever dreamt of taking. With all these giant leaps, we are taking forward however, there are still some road blocks that are being strategically placed to trip us on our way to the top.
India is a patriarchal society and no matter how much we try to deny it, it still remains a fact. There are still miles for us to go before we can actually be free from the bondages of stereotypes. Even in the most educated of families we still find the slight, sudden, slip into the past. Women still find themselves being short-changed when it comes to safety and all around inequality. We are all witnesses to the unimaginable brutalities woman go through. What am I talking about? Most, if not all women and young girls have experienced those snide comments, those sleazy looks, those unfair and uncomfortable remarks, and of course those moments of being overlooked for a certain promotion because ‘apparently’ the work hours are not flexible enough. Excuses like, you might get married soon, or what about motherhood have been reasons a number of highly competent women have been passed over for a certain position. Inequality is still rampant and today it is masked under layers of things like concern.
In the 21st century, we still hear things like ‘women need to be soft spoken and decently dressed.’ What is being decently dressed? Does decency equal layers of clothes in a climate that calls for shorts? There are actually people out there, even now, who believe that the reason women are raped and molested is because of the way we dress. The age of male entitlement hasn’t past as yet. There are men who still feel women need to be on a different level. Exploitation is still ridiculously high. The more we try to break free, the more there are elements trying to quieten the voice. The lack of safety for women is also being blamed on the women. It’s time we are allowed true freedom in the real sense and it is time for us to be given equal consideration.
There are many other ideals that we should question. Why is it a given that, post marriage, the woman has to give up her career and independence to look after the family? Things have certainly changed now but there are still a number of people out there who believe in this sucker punch of an idea. There is also no valid reason as to why the woman has to give up her premarital home and move into the home of her in-laws. Why can’t there be an equal amount of adjustment? like both building their lives together, independent of everyone else.
Another extremely important area that needs tackling is the glass ceiling. The glass ceiling effect is the term used for gender inequality at work. Here, the top of the ladder is visible to a woman, she also feels like it’s within reach, but as she rises up the ranks, she realises that there is an invisible block that is keeping her from going higher. What is that block? oh nothing, just the fact that she is the wrong sex. Even today, women are constantly under pressure to prove themselves worthy and thus spend a great amount of energy juggling work and home to meet this end.
Considering all the negative there is alas, light at the end of the tunnel. It is extremely satisfying to know that there are some wonderful men who see no need for gender roles. These wonderful individuals fight for the rights of women by being their support and encouragement. These are the kind of men who take pride in the success of the women in their lives and see them as whole, productive human beings rather than baby producing housekeepers. It is true that the maternal instinct is strong enough for women to decide on what is required for their children, but at least the choice of other options is a great idea.
Change is on the horizon, we can all feel it. With an increase in the number of men who have broken stereotypes and changed their perception, a free, equal world is definitely turning into a reality. We all know that for every bird to take flight, an initial push is necessary. As women, let’s not wait to be pushed, but rather, join hands and help each other up.