Gaining independence but losing ground

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I have always loved and read this blog. And no, this is not a feminist blog. It is a blog with strong opinions. But if being honest and having strong opinions means a feminist, you need to read up on what feminism today has evolved to. I read the earlier post  and a girl’s email to it some days ago and it got me thinking.

It is true. We are slowly gaining a lot more ground in terms of economic independence and the capability of making decisions.  I look around and see most of my colleagues and friends who are single which is fantastic as they are taking their time and exploring various nuances to find the right person. When one says right person, I assume, that person means right in nature and thought. Someone who would not want to change you. Someone who would respect your space, especially in a economic context and so on. The manifestations of these (what should be normal but are quite rare) thoughts are things like respecting your parents, not patronizing you, considering your input while making a decision, not forcing  to do anything you wouldn’t want to do. This should also hold true for women I assume.

But what I see instead is that women want all these fabulous traits in men but can rarely spot them. Not because they do not exist but because women might not like how the wrapping looks. Women still want rakishly good looking men who were bad boys till they met these specific men, then, the women would change them and make those men what they want. That is worse because, at least, earlier women were clear on what they wanted and went after what they wanted. They spend their lives changing men (muttering about wars and battles) and that was life for them.

For a single woman, in a society not ready to handle single women after a certain age, this fake  feminism and liberalization can be cloying. Because, then every year someone who knows someone is getting married at (Oh my god! lucky her) 34, the predominant sigh of relief is “Thank god, HER search is over”. Because there are liberated women, as a friend calls them, in control of their shakti, but reduced to all manner of pandering for finding that divorced man, because she herself is now divorced!

Because brides, now, in the midst of their mehendi, turn around and announce that feminism is bullshit, forcing other potentially strong and speaking-their-minds women cowering into a corner. Women who run businesses but struggle to lose weight and achieve the shape they think they should be and wonder why are they unmarriagable. Women are labelled divorced (likening it to something bad) because ‘she feels so strongly about men’.

Have you ever encountered these women?

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10 responses »

  1. I am not sure older, more matured women feel the way this young woman does. This young woman is not yet twenty and still learning and trying to understand what she wants. But it’s good to see she is thinking about what she can expect and questioning her expectations and seeking answers, I think she will change many times yet, she is on the right track.

    • I feel even the fact that she is thinking about it instead of just doing what everybody else is doing is a big plus in her favor. I don’t think women or even men are losing ground, I think we are all eventually going to benefit from these changing times. Men will feel freer and less lonely because they will have partners who walk with them, supporting them as equals. Women will feel less lonely, they too will have partners who will be friends and team-mates, who will be able to laugh with them and play with them, without fearing a loss of their superior position as ‘heads of family’ or guardians of their wife’s/partners’ honor.

  2. I agree with IHM.

    From a male point of view, I have to say that I find the end of patriarchy all to the good.

    Thanks to the insane amounts of prejudices and preconceived notions floating around here, trying to find your own partner in India can be one hell of a roller coaster ride if you’re NOT looking for the “I-just-want-to-marry-a-rich-guy-and-settle-down” types. One problem with the dating scene in India is that everyone (including your date) just assumes you would like it if your girlfriend follows 1950s era gender roles. Counter intuitively, I’ve found that this is especially true of YOUNGER people.

    The sheer size of the population ensures that there are a lot of smart, independent women out there, the sort of women someone like me would just “click” with, but like you said,

    a) You can’t always find them; and

    b) They don’t always like YOU.

    I consider the “wanting a bad boy” thing to be a bit of personal red flag. I am no good at playacting such a role, and even if I was, the fact that a woman even wants something like that would point to a degree of emotional immaturity I’m no longer comfortable with.

    Between the pati-parmeshwar traditionalists and the clueless feminists (who are feminists because it’s kewl to be one), you do end up asking, “Where the hell are the REAL people?”.

    I was incredibly lucky to have found my current SO. Women like her, who are confident in themselves, who are comfortable with their own abilities, who are mature enough to see through the fakes and stay away from them… women like that are very rare in my age group. I’ve never met anyone like her in real life in this country, at least. The woman who wrote the letter reminded me of her somewhat.

    Just adding another perspective to the mix.

  3. Cynically Engineered: Nice to know there are men out there are don’t need and can spot fake women. For every one of you, there are another 10-15 not like you. But all is getting better. We wish equality. Like every good thing, I guess, it takes time coming. And yes you are right, lots of fake feminists around too.

  4. From a personal standpoint Janaki, the issue of equality comes up more in this our specific age group in a true sense (i feel so biased when i write this). I see the younger generation, skew the nature of feminism is almost a crass or rash way – it brings an unwanted realm of arrogance to the nature of humanity. Sometimes, I find myself explaining fake feminist that making a good meal for your better half – is exactly because of the stand the person has in your life or vice versa. It really has nothing to do beyond what it is.

    The youth is so bogged down by the next iphone / or the next diet fad, that I become nervous what it stands for sometimes. Its the age of drinking diet coke and talking about supporting green.

    Im glad u stay very true to your thoughts and are not bogged down by fake righteousness

  5. As someone hunting for a bride I come across all types of females

    You are one the few to admit that women look too much into wrapping invariably falling for the bad guys and then crying their hearts over. It takes a lot of sensisbility to find the right partner, its not the same as chosing an ice cream flavor

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