Topping the Class, getting ‘S’ es in (almost) all subjects and being an Outstanding Student ! After 21 (on an average 21-24) years of solid academic excellence, if there is a statement being made that those Women are just gonna end up in the kitchen, as a housewives, doing nothing but cooking food and looking after children, well it sure as hell does lead to ‘One Fiery Argument’ !
And it leads to accusations of being a ‘Hypocrite’ when a person like myself, after mentioning ‘Women Equality’ (Note clearly, it is Equality and respecting their ‘Equality’, not respecting the women themselves as something ‘more than equals’!) in almost every single forum available, making such a statement that doesn’t vary much from the stereotyping about them. So Why the Stereotype ?
Why the Stereotype ? Default answer that women revert to or rather ‘prefer’ is Male Chauvinism or MCP (Male Chauvinistic Perception). Well let me give ‘Women’ their artillery. There are Women in (almost) every single field once dominated by Man [Almost only included to account for the uncertainty always present when universalizing a statement]. We see well educated women, who are supervising men in their respective fields. More like leaders than being just players. So I don’t and won’t deny the (increasing) female proportion in workforce. But if people observe closely, be it Cinema or Information Technology, there has always been a gap that women take from their working period. That gap called the Marriage or more specifically, post marriage, called the ‘Maternity Leave’. And NO ! I am not AGAINST that. Cause then it would be the end of Human Civilization. It is the time at which they take this leave, that should be observed / discussed / thought about. If they were marrying at 29 and taking maternity leave at 30, well fine, after education and work at one of the peak productivity periods between 20 to 30, they have worked for the first 8-9 years. But is that the scenario in India at least ? Nope. Here, thanks to some existing ‘Social Pressure’ and ‘Tradition’ (which are basically EXCUSES), they marry a girl as soon as possible (ASAP) after her education and her landing in a job. So end result, marriage at 24. Baby at 25. Grounded at home for 2-3 more years. Housewife at 28 or 29 ! So who is the reason behind the ‘Homemaker’ Stereotype (Homemaker is the term given to Housewives nowadays!) ?
It is not us men (and here by men, I am referring to anyone in my generation and afterwards) who stereotype you. It is lets say ‘Fate’ that you end up in those position, and we just can’t help expressing our inability to match up to you in performance by stating your end position after all this ‘Academic ROCKING’. It is your parents (not just yours, but collectively) under all the pressures of the ‘CURRENT’ society, who nowadays think of daughters as ‘Inventory’. And that by the age of 24, the Inventory has to be put in Manufacturing. Seriously ? Why don’t you for once give them the freedom to choose what they want ? Live as they want ? Why should you bother if they don’t marry at all ? It would probably be a full stop in ‘Your’ family tree. Not to the human species ! And in fact similar pressure applies to men too. There is a proposed Expiry date for us too ! If given the freedom, all men would happily marry as late as possible. To put in plain words, all Men would want Sex ASAP. But not Marriage !
I have seen my fellow classmates of the opposite sex accept with resignation that their home situations would never allow them to pursue their dreams, irrespective of whatever amount of convincing they attempt back home. I really feel sorry for them and also angry at the society and their parents for spoiling their dreams. All that their parents see is waste of life as an unmarried woman. All that I can see in them is Waste of Potential ! As parents it is their duty only to make aware the fears of the outside world, not make them fear the world inside more ! Unfortunate it is that is not the case ! So what if they want to cross seas ? Give them the courage and the skills to survive elsewhere. That would be Good parenting. Anything else should only make the elder generation feel guilty !
One another thing I have noticed is that, all those examples of highly successful women, at least in the Indian context, Indra Nooyi, Latika Charan or Kiran Bedi, all have such stern faces and short cropped hair. Is it co-incidence or is it a display of a ‘Tomboy’ish attitude that enables them to hold their ground in their respective men dominated fields. This is just a personal observation, and cannot be generalized as a fact. But this could be given some thought.
So Women, please don’t mention MCP again. I have to go on and coin a term called FCP (Female Chauvinistic Perception) then ! And for FCP, we can make any opinion or point of yours proof. For every activity of yours, there is quite a lot we can talk/debate about. Most of us don’t do, in the name of ‘good manners’ or ‘being a Gentleman’. Truth is they don’t do it to screw up the possibility of talking to the opposite sex. A significant minority (inclusive of myself), do it, and meet the consequences, which is either unpopularity or notoriety. But that is for another article now !
I wish all this would change, along with you women. And in fact it would, slowly, with a generation of people believing in late marriages slowly coming up replacing the current generation which are tied by Social and Peer pressures and are still say locked to the Tradition. And again I am not against ‘ALL’ culture and tradition, since most of them have a lot of science behind them. It is those which some people falsely assume(d) and then propagate(d), those traditions that I am against.
So till then, either try breaking the stereotype (risking the possibility of being called ‘many things’) or please don’t complain and bring one another ‘Homemaker Argument’ !