Right. Now I’m pretty hard on my sex because I know women can do so much better. Having said that, I now come to all the sari-chappal-jhola clad desi women. Indian women have been portrayed and portray themselves as puritanical, holy, pious women. Basically, the ‘Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram’ hangover looms over Indian society when it comes to the ‘Bhartiya Naari’.
Ask any random male on the street about Indian women and he’ll praise the housewife, the mother, the homemaker, the Amma, whatever. A brief pause will follow and he’ll praise his female teachers, female colleagues and maybe say two good things about Indira Nooyi. Anyway, Indian males are losers so, such condescending comments hardly raise eyebrows.
But, here’s the flip side. Ask Indian women about Indian women and broadly three categories emerge:-
1. Stupid Women in Gagra-Cholis : Regressive women who think women should ‘settle down’ by the time they’re 21. As per them, a ‘B.A.’ is sufficient to run a house, raise snotty children and make theplas for the Saas.
2. Stupid Women in Western Wear : These pseudo-modern ladies think they’re cultured and with the times. They encourage partying, mani-pedi get-togethers, cute teddies and micro-minis. Ask them if they’re cool with sending their daughters abroad for studies, allow cross-cultural marriages, pre-marital and watch them recoil in horror.
3. The Logically Thinking Indian Woman : Contrary to popular belief, only working women aren’t gracing this demographic. Some homemakers, small town ‘High School pass’ women also fall in this category. Those rare gems who’re mature, wise and brave enough to understand that society rules are merely guidelines and not do-or-die scenarios. They understand that individuals need to grow and do what makes them happy. They don’t believe in ‘fitting in’ just because everyone else is. They’re not control freaks. They’re liberated, not because they roam around in itsy-bitsy bikinis (some probably don’t even know what bikinis are. Also, those in bikinis need not be liberated) but, because these women have understood that happiness and growth are more important than societal acceptance.
The reason why most desi babes (and dudes) are so frustrated today is because (1.) and (2.) are ruling the roost due to sheer majority. And, this has to change. Here are a few reasons why :-
a. Idiotic women who discourage girls and boys from interacting, want women to be docile and comely so that they can find good husbands are not only molding young girls into worthless maids but, also reducing any scope for them to nurture their individuality and talents. In a world where the gender divide is now beginning to bridge and globalization has become a visceral reality, raising girls like domesticated animals – for the sole purpose of lactation while rearing progeny may not be that good an idea. On top of it, expecting women to not want to do anything else is downright foolish.
b. When our grandmothers were fresh-faced unplucked flowers, being a child-bride was acceptable. It was what the society and a male-dominated society at that wanted, anyway. Today, the same is a crime. Similarly, while it was expected and perfectly acceptable for womenfolk to cook, clean and raise children at one time, it’s not the same anymore! Today, a woman has the option to pursue her aspirations and make her own way in life. The problem is that since a lot of people tend to think that these are male bastions and women had better stay away, differences arise.
c. Suppression of boy-girl interaction has become a cause of major concern as pent-up frustration is turning men into lecherous bystanders, rapists and serial sex-offenders. Women, on the other hand, have started to realize their sexual urges and are embarrassed by them because they are conditioned from a very young age to embrace purity, virginity and other crappy notions. However, there is an impasse and girls are indulging in tasteless dressing, illicit affairs, et al. in fact, some of the women I’ve met are needy in unconscious ways and literally send vibes of sexual frustration and it shows in their body language!
Women in India need a reality check and look at issues in holistic terms. Not everything in life is determined by security and progeny. Women and men need to understand that though the past seems hunky-dory, it wasn’t. Social construct changes when things are modified. Things are modified to become better. So, if something that was done in the past has now started to jar one’s sense and sensibilities, it doesn’t fit in today’s rapidly changing world, it too must contour itself. Give everyone a fair chance. It’s time. Women have waited long enough.