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A single woman’s life is scrutinized and judged. Societal attitudes towards single women needs change and women must choose not be affected judgemental people.
I have been searching for an apartment where I plan to move in with my parents. Having lived independently for the past 4.5 years, this has been a big change.
I called up a prospective landlord and had a grilling interview session, gratifying his curiosity as he was ticking off his eligibility checklist.
What do you do?
Manager at a reputed company. Tick
Who all will be living in the house? We want only families.
My parents and I. Tick
Are you married?
You are not married, still?
Still? This stranger did not even know my age. Not that knowing that I am into my late 20s would have changed his reaction.
The same landlord would have been unwilling to rent the house to me, had I been living alone or with friends as single women are a threat to society’s morality. When I was staying alone, my life was always under scrutiny and my lifestyle was invariably frowned upon by neighbours.
Single female friends my age and older living with parents receive the following remarks from men:
Oh, you are living with your parents, how boring!
No independence, that’s sad!
You need your freedom at this age!
The same men, when married prefer living with parents, or having parents move in with them. The concept of independence conveniently gets replaced by virtues of respect for elders, Indian culture and family values.
The female friends I am talking about (including me) may have been married before and have bravely made some difficult decisions to live a life of dignity. Others have refused to succumb to societal pressures and would tie the knot only when they feel truly happy about it. All are financially independent. But every now and then society loves to demean us, and at times the confidence and courage we have mustered is successfully shaken.
We tend to respect married women, and women with children for being caregivers and nurturing a family. Whereas single women are always made to feel less – less adaptable, less compromising, less love worthy.
It is not about being married or single but about respecting an individual’s personal choice.
We cannot stop people from talking. There is only so much we can control. But we can choose not to be affected by random, judgmental people. This one is for all the single women out there – you are doing great! Please don’t let anybody make you feel inadequate.
Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with. —Michelle Obama
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