The call rang and Avni picked up the call, “I am not in a good shape she said” don’t call me now Sonal…”
We go through the ocean of emotions every day in different ways.
Life has always been, I will not say difficult, but different from men for sure I realise it now, where we have been brought up to please everyone and to just stick to our own thing so that we are protected. We have to be in the shell that our parents have created. Men are conditioned to earn money and fulfil the needs of everyone so obviously they are being portrayed as the head of the family; not because they are more rational or sensible but because they are providing for the family and also because they are physically stronger biologically. Just to remind that even men are getting harassed nowadays, so what’s the solution?
I am not a fool to think that I can change the years of patriarchy, the notion that narrates that women have to BEHAVE in a certain way, where women hardly get any respect for being outgoing and for breaking the stereotypes. Being an officer’s wife myself I want to clarify that this misogyny not only rolls in our civilian society, but everywhere according to my experience. Organisations I trusted and used to get flattered by their charm and chivalry, I realised are masked up covering a different reality. This was true at least in my case.
I feel there should be an added personality development classes for men in these organisations as well that must focus on anger management and family building, letting them appreciate the importance of respecting their woman. This kind of personal life training is extremely important in any field considering today’s pressure and frustration in men as they are burdened with responsibilities. That certainly does not justify domestic violence of any kind though, but to decrease it, it is pertinent to make sure that our women do not suffer in any way. One of the solutions is that these organisations offer jobs to women according to their educational qualifications, especially in the cases where the man’s job or workplace is constantly relocated.
As women are getting empowered, they are realising the importance of self-worth which can only be achieved by education. But sadly, the most cherished moments sometimes become a pressure, for example, childbirth or being a full-time mother for a while or maybe for a few years. They are expected to give up their way of life, their careers and sometimes they have no other choice. In these cases, these women need more love and understanding from their spouses which is rare because the end of the day a person is only important if they are “contributing” financially because unfortunately, a homemaker is no job. It is considered a showpiece that men get, put ‘it’ in a corner and forget about it. Running a home is no job, feeding a baby is no job, and cooking is everyday’s leisure. Home becomes the most tiring place to be when one is taking care of it. Who cares, after all showpieces need no appreciation or validation. Generally, a partner taking care of things back home becomes invisible with time.
When it comes to a career there are very few second chances in life that women get, the gap in the work profile is treated like a black spot in most workplaces. For women it’s the end of the road, is it? Then what about the efforts she has been putting into her education and career? In reality, life gives you second chance but not employers why?
I think women all over the world contribute a major part of their life towards building a family, a home, and bringing up the kids then why it is so difficult to understand that the “gap” doesn’t mean less effective or less productive it just means that she had been doing something that men cannot do that’s it and that’s the biggest fact.
I agree that workplaces very generously give them maternity leave but the matter of fact is her baby doesn’t know the time limit of maternity leave, it’s not just about giving birth it’s about going through the process, it’s about breastfeeding the baby, it’s about the post-pregnancy depression that comes free along the childbirth these things take their own time. Meanwhile, a little hope that she can rejoin and use her skills again to achieve what she had to leave in between is a big ray of sunlight. Women are constantly suffering by giving up their dreams and it’s not just the careers it can be friends, going out, a hobby maybe, their lifestyle in general.
I am not saying that I am a feminist in a wrong way or I am trying to portray men in a dark light. The whole idea of expressing myself is to make people understand the importance of a happy woman in their lives. I feel that if a woman is happy and motivated constantly, the family is on the right path and also the children, and to be happy and empowered, financial independence is an important part of this whole narrative, because unfortunately even in our generation financial independence is followed by respect and ethical boundaries any women would want for herself.
In a world where women have to follow every norm made for everyone suffers more than any man. As per stats published in 2016 our country stands 25th in the list of 102 countries in terms of domestic violence and mental harassment by their spouses(men). In 2018 it was observed that one in every seven women experienced different kinds of abuse by their partners and which increased with the covid pandemic. Who says that educated men don’t hit their women, yes they do!
Why can’t women who are suffering just leave and live their respective lives peacefully?
OPPORTUNITY is the word for all the problems for both educated and uneducated women but sadly even some educated ones are living their lives in a coffin for different reasons, the reasons best known to them, a lot of them who say because of their children. I disagree to that because “you cannot nurture a child being in a coffin yourself” yes when it comes to no job opportunities after years of leaving the job I can relate to it, and companies must create norms and should reserve few jobs for women candidates so that a woman can become self-dependent come what may!
It’s the fear of losing that comes to the mind each time a woman tries to stand up for herself, this fear is the “self doubt” that is somewhere created and encouraged by our society, relatives and sometimes parents in most cases by their partners.
I would say it takes just one tiny moment of courage to break 100 years of misogyny, what else it will take to show up to the world who raise narcissists and chauvinists in the name of strong men in a supposedly progressive society who claim to protect their wives and keep their respect intact when they are themselves scratching their own woman’s identity and self-respect and meanwhile making babies with them.
Our women don’t deserve this I am a woman of this generation and as a proud Indian, I think the most important democratic right is the freedom of speech and expression because I am not scared to stand up for our women stifled in the name of marriage, relationship and burdened in terms of sustaining the respect of all the family members on account of sacrificing their respect. Our women are better than this, we don’t deserve this, I don’t deserve this, we do not need support or sympathy. All we need is more chances and more opportunities to prove ourselves on the career front even after a break so that we can stand tall again and live our lives on our terms respectfully without any exploitation. This is the way I have been raised and this is the way I will raise my daughter and whosoever wants me to stand up for them.
About the Author
I am Sonal I am 33 I live in Delhi I have completed my master’s in Bangalore, I have been teaching in different universities as a lecturer, I have authored a book and writing is not just my passion, I believe in meaningful writing which is completely raw and relatable.
Love and light.