Of the Choices We Make, And Those Of Other Women Around Us

Posted: September 22, 2016

As women, it is important for us to stand by other women’s choices as it is to make our own choices. Being judgemental should be kept far away.

Robert Frost was not the only one who spent sleepless nights pondering over two roads ‘diverged in a yellow wood’. Most of us face the same predicament several times each day and wish we could ‘travel both’.

And when you happen to be a woman, the dilemma becomes a routine of sorts. From deciding a simple menu for the day to the clothes you must wear… you are always struggling to choose. Now whether to wear the burkini or the bikini, whether to breast feed or bottle feed, should you be a stay at home mom or put your child in day care and be off to work… women are forever entangled in this maze and even after they have their pick, they are struggling to prove the validity of their choice to all and sundry.

That is precisely what I ‘choose’ to talk about today. Needless to say women never have it easy and even the most successful business czarinas will vouch for it. Indra Nooyi’s famous anecdote when her mother told her not to forget who she really is ( a mother and wife) says it all. But that is really not what I look at here.

The focus here is on allowing yourself to decide for yourself. Yes, your mother, husband, mother-in-law or your children may drive you to a certain point in your life but let that final choice rest with you and you alone.

And why just yourself, allow those like you to take their own stand as well. Don’t be harsh on a friend who chooses to leave her toddler back home to pursue her dreams. Similarly, if a neighbour chooses her children over her career, she doesn’t become a lesser feminist than you are. Her biggest accomplishment, for all you know, may as well be her children.

There is yet another perplexing thing that comes to mind here. While the Rio fever was at its peak, there was news of a Mr World contest won by Rohit Khandelwal from India. Almost instantly there were parallels drawn between the woman power at Rio and a man making his mark at a beauty pageant. The comparisons were derogatory to all women associated with the modelling industry. If it’s criminal to look down upon someone for their physical attributes it’s equally dismal to mock at one who desires to look her best.

Yes, women definitely have a tougher time choosing life vis a vis men. Mostly they concede to the ideas flaunted by society. But to truly liberate themselves, they need to be more accepting of the choices they make in life. They need to be less judgemental of other women who think differently and most importantly they need to stop seeking approval from each other for their decisions. That is the only way they can pull each other up.

For then it wouldn’t matter what attire each one of us chooses to wear. What will matter will only be the conviction with which the choice is made.

Image source: shutterstock

A freelancer and teacher at heart, I believe in all bulldozer movements for a better

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  1. True Sonia-one’s conviction in one’s choices are important but they need to be sensible choices too. For eg. if one chose with all conviction to be a crook or voyeur or cheat- it wouldn’t be enough. Whether male or female we must introspect at the innate rightness or wrongness of certain choices over others and only then build our convictions around them. Yes, “rightness and wrongness”- is often very relative, gendered and biased. But that is where logic and reasoning and simple common sense too comes into the picture and must play an important role in helping us decide our choice and have conviction in it.

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