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Say it loud and clear, ladies, that what you need from your spouse is a partnership in making family decisions, and support in your personal decisions - not "permission".
Say it loud and clear, ladies, that what you need from your spouse is a partnership in making family decisions, and support in your personal decisions – not “permission”.
While interacting with people, one thing that I often come across is, most men think they are good husbands if they have ‘given permission’ to their wives for everything they have asked for. Similarly, most women think their husbands are good if the husbands have always permitted them to do what they wanted to do.
I have often asked these men if their wives have also given them permission whenever they wanted to do something, and I get a look of bewildered astonishment. I have asked women if they too give permission to their husbands whenever they ask for it, and they look shocked, and one of them even said this is not how things happen in life.
The difference between permission and support is massive. It’s interesting to see how these two are used in accordance to the gender. A woman agreeing with her husband’s decisions is “supporting” him while a man agreeing with his wife’s decisions is “permitting” her.
Things in our society are skewed. Especially in context to gender roles and freedom.
Questions about our own identity, existence, and about the most basic rights need to be asked. By ourselves to ourselves. No one can give women ‘permission’ to live their lives their way. Women just have to realise that and BANG! Men would be ‘supporting’ instead of ‘permitting’.
We talk about equality, we talk about not limiting a woman’s identity to the gender roles assigned to her by the society but all that talk, and all these ideas go in vain if we dont know how to assert ourselves. And that includes saying words like “No” and “This is not what I want” loud and clear.
Gender inequality is enmeshed in our social fabric. A husband cooking for the wife is a good husband but a wife cooking for her husband is well, a wife! A father cleaning up the poop of the child is a good father while a mother doing the same is just a mother! A daughter in law covering her head as a mark of respect is being a daughter in law and a man wishing his in laws is all the respect they need!
When gender roles and gender bias happen, they give complete comfort to one side while giving the burden of responsibilities and respect and duties to the other. This means, one side is so comfortable that they would probably not inherently realise that something is skewed in this balance. Thus, expecting the other gender to support is again confirming to the stereotype of looking for approval and permissions. The only way to do it is, doing things not because someone agrees with it or someone supports it or someone is okay with it, but because this is how we look at ourselves and this is how things are going to be!
Image source: a still from the movie Toilet- Ek Prem Katha
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In the last few days I was having a conversation with my younger sister about relationships, and she said something which hit me hard.
I have seen a lot of people feel uncomfortable sharing their age, but I have no such hesitations. I am 32 years old and my younger cousins tell me that I belong to the ‘old generation’. If you are born in the year 1990, you are still considered among them, but if a year less – 1989, you are from the old school.
Being an elder sister, my cousins come to me seeking advice about studies, career and relationships, but when I try to help in the way I understand, the only reply I get is, “Didi, leave it, you’ll not understand it. Aapki generation aur hamari generation mein bahut fark hai. (There’s a lot of difference between your and my generation).”
In the last few days I was having a conversation with my younger sister about relationships, and she said something which hit me hard. Though she is from the new generation and I am from the so-called old generation, we share a lot of mutual thoughts and interests. We spoke about love, how the generation born after the year 2000 perceives love.
You ask any SATC fan. We all wanted a friendship like the one that the 4 girls shared. A friendship that was a rock. A friendship that seemed to withstand the tests of time and in general, life.
I confess that SATC (Sex and the City) has a special place in my heart. I must have watched the 6 seasons and every single episode at that, countless times. Seriously, there was nothing like sitting back with a glass of wine, a bar of dark chocolate and an episode of SATC, after a hard day at work. It renewed me. Made me laugh.
So much so, that I even ended up going for the special SATC bus tour when I visited New York in 2019.
Now some may call the show frivolous but for me, it was pure, honest entertainment. I was in love with the fashion, the ‘fabulousness’, the fun! And it had its moments as well. Moments that were truly thought-provoking, moments that made its viewers take a good, candid look at their own relationships, particularly their female friendships.