I was listening to FM today, the topic of the debate was “do men feel insecure around an intelligent female?” Although I was not able to follow the complete show but it stirred inside me an array of thoughts. Yes, we have seen that in many places and since childhood women have been facing a lot of it. Comments like “you are a girl, leave it. You are not competent enough to do it!” Or “Why do you need to study so much? Better pay attention to household chores. You have to be a homemaker one day, not a collector (Read DC-District Collector or DM-District Magistrate or IAS officer).” What is the cause of benign nature towards females of our society? I recently watched a movie in which there was a dialog “these high heels would not ensure that you win the case.” In that movie the powerful woman is an astute lawyer and her male opponent is jibing on her being a female in a man’s world. This high heel not only points out the feminity of the person but also stereotypes the entire race of feminine gender. It is the irony of the society that a sharp corporate who manages her work perfectly, is respected by her colleagues at her office, is asked for advice and support by people around the world, but when she comes homes is taught how the house should be cleaned or how should the clothes be washed by a person who has never picked a mop or the detergent in his whole life. And what she does? She listens to all the riff-raff silently because any counter argument would ensue a fight, and all this is not worth it. Because, even if the paradigms have changed, we are still trapped in our roots.
If a woman starts to speak up and tries to take her own decisions or if stands against the atrocities of the society, she is mollified and silenced because we cannot tolerate intelligent females. As per them it creates an imbalance in our society. Our society wants the females to help build the basic necessities of their homes. They want them to work and have government jobs with steady incomes so that future of the kids is secure but it is still not ready to accept woman as the equal of their male counterparts. On one side, their son is working for the prosperity of the family as he is the breadwinner. But she, it is her responsibility to contribute towards the well-being of the family. They would offer a glass of water when their son comes home but she would rush to her kid or in the kitchen feeling guilty all the time for not being able to come home on time because everyone is waiting intently for the dinner. And if she is using her intelligence and contributing towards the house in monetary terms but not in decision making at her house. It is very much expected from her to contribute as much as possible (not as much as she can) towards the fund of the house, as they have invested a lot in her (they got her married to their one in a million son, isn’t that a debt big enough that if she tries to pay off in a lifetime would not suffice?). If she does not work herself, what are her parents for? She just have to be a good postman and deliver the messages and the niceties would follow. She would always wonder why does her new family have so many festivals and they would ensure to celebrate every one of them (where celebration would only mean receiving something from the girl’s house). Why don’t they never understand that if they have agreed to the addition of a new member in the family, it is their responsibility to provide for her like their own daughters (Maybe because their own daughter also faces same atrocities in her new house as well)! But in turn, it becomes completely her responsibility to prove her worth whether in monthly instalment (her salary) or upfront cash down (dowry) or perks (festival niceties from her parents). It is a never ending vicious circle and no one knows how to break it and finish it off.
So what do you get after being intelligent in this malicious (read male-licious) world? Hordes of stress? Lost individualism? Never ending frustration? And the end of it all, she would either succumb to the ego and insecurities of her family or she would walk away and loose on what she had invested so much and start afresh but never be able to get out from it. On side we celebrate Navaratra and Shakti puja, on the other we devout our Lakhsmi’s, Saraswati’s and Durga’s of their existence.
It all sounds very negative isn’t it? Well…it is. But what do we do about it. Not everyone is same, there are men who respect woman. There are some husbands out there who take care of kids and house while their wife away discussing company policies in meeting rooms. The only thing is, whatever happens, never lose yourself. Never let anything or anyone hamper your peace of mind. Be intelligent and be vigilant. Make the right choice. Even if everything is lost, nothing is lost. Turn your life around. Like the phoenix take a new birth from the ashes. You are the Shakti. You are the Mahamaya. Embrace your inner strength and show the world that you are beginning and you are the end.
Just before hitting the publish button, this article caught my eye.