Sunday, June 27, 2010

It is all your fault, ladies

The issues change.

In high school, friends complained about getting low marks, or getting bullied.

In college, it was mostly about getting treated unfairly by members of opposite sex.

And then we grew up. The pet gripes changed. Two body problem is certainly ruining the world, no doubts about it whatsoever. Also insensitive husbands, unsympathetic mother-in-laws and male dominated society are to blame. While each situation is unique and a generic oversimplification is unfair, I say this to my oppressed sistren, mostly you are at fault. You waited, and just let it happen to you.

It is always about who has the position of power. In Indian context, an arranged marriage and subsequent loss of financial independence effectively hands the power over to the husband. Once he is allowed to be the provider, he has the control, and quite rightfully so. Complaining of subjugation at that stage is pointless. A disproportionately large number of Indian women think their career is expendable when they enter in a matrimonial relationship. Now of course everyone would not have a very successful, or even a happy career, and that is often the excuse. That is however, beside the point - financial independence can do wonders is times of crisis. And generally for the morale.

The problem is deeper than that, of course. Many (not all, thankfully) Indian men marry because they want someone "at home", as clearly evident by the matrimonial advertisements in newspapers. In that case, obviously a woman having a job would not fit the bill. Now before one starts blaming men as the chauvinistic pigs, look at the mirror. Why these men are getting a steady supply of females willing to act as maid servants? I am no economist, but evidently the law of supply and demand holds. As long as a man can get someone to cook his dinner, wash his dishes, and generally clean after him everyday, with some free sex thrown in, why would he not take it? Why would anybody not take it? He is not to blame. If the supply was cutoff, marrying actually meant marrying a real person for these guys, sooner or later they will get used to it. Like in many other cultures - men do not get to completely dominate domestic dynamics, because women can easily walk out of the door, carrying only emotional baggage, but not worried about food, shelter, and what the neighbors would say.

But we Indians, do it strangely, We want the best of both worlds. We want to be traditional yet liberal. We force them into marriage which require them to quit their study or job. We expect them to sacrifice for the sake of family. And then, inexplicably, we want them to be happy too. They try. When after trying hard, things do not work out, it is too late for them to take a stand. No sympathies, mate - you brought it upon yourself. If you are taking s***, because you are allowing him to get away with it.


sanghamitra said...

I think it is the chicken and the egg problem.

As long as the society breeds women to be caretakers - men will get what they want?
So who fault is it? Is it her fault that she did everything expected of her? Or is it the fault of her environment that taught her to be the she is? Probably both.

Most human beings (men & women) follow rules, do what they are told, a small percentage of people actually break boundaries. You cannot expect the majority of women to not care about what neighbors think, what parent think, what in laws think. You have to change how they think...

and its not going to happen overnight... will it ever happen? not in my lifetime...

as far financial freedom is concerned... most of my peers have a job... a lot of them do not have kids... and a many of them are unhappy...
they cannot get out... that does'nt bring happiness either...

dipthought said...

That was my whole contention, the mindset has to change. It is impossible to force change from top down, as long as women are mostly conformist.