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Why are women over 50 assumed to be over their best years and expected to devote themselves to God or grandchildren? Author Sudha Menon explodes the myth!
The Truth Bombs series by Women’s Web is all about women saying it as it is! In this very first episode, we have popular Author Sudha Menon talking of women over 50, and what life is like for Indian women with all the expectations piled on them! Sudha’s latest book, Feisty at Fifty is a humorous account of what happens to a woman after she crosses 50, and doesn’t shy away from addressing many ‘taboo’ subjects, be it menopause or the absence of desire.
In this video, she addresses some of these subjects in a fun and light-hearted way while addressing some misconceptions and myths about women in their 50s and above.
As a girl in my 20s, the conversation was not just fun for me, but actually educational! Being from the younger generation, it’s sad to know that women have carried the burden of expectations throughout decades – be it from their parents, their children, their friends, their husbands or even their general surroundings.
It also made me reflect on the bond between my mother and me. We’re close but there have been times where I have definitely contributed to making her life harder, even unknowingly. There have been times where I’ve taken her love or effort for granted.
The thing is, ever since you’re young, mothers are heroes and as you grow up, you can’t accept the fact that they’re humans too (much better humans but still human).
It becomes difficult for women to live for themselves when they’ve lived for others, almost all their lives, and have been conditioned to not say no and be pleasing to others all the time. I’m really glad that one of the things addressed in the conversation was how this societal expectation gets carried into a woman’s work life as well. A woman is expected to juggle and balance her work, familial and private life all in one go without any hiccups. If we expect time for ourselves, we are considered to be too selfish or inefficient.
Another issue Sudha Menon discusses in this video is how Menopause is never taken seriously, at least in our country. It gets clubbed with period jokes, which is disheartening because women experience so many emotions at this stage. Most people of my generation aren’t even aware of this stage in a woman’s life, let alone know what goes on in it. I feel that the more one talks of it, like in the interview, the more common it becomes. Another reason why I feel menopause isn’t taken seriously is because we’re not taught about it in detail in schools or colleges. Whatever knowledge I have of it is through my mother (who is a gynaecologist) and most of my peers, specially boys, have no clue of the process.
I also really liked how she describes women in her 50s: red-hot lava inside. It makes them sound so strong and so powerful!
All in all, the interview opened my eyes, reassured me that I will not turn into a monster once I hit my 50s and that maybe, dear society, it’s about time we let women fulfill the expectations they have of themselves.
Sudha Menon is the author of multiple best-selling non-fiction books, including Leading Ladies, Legacy, and Gifted. A former news journalist, she is currently a columnist, writing coach and speaker on diversity & inclusion and women’s leadership at corporate and educational campuses.
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A tall, curly haired and awkward girl who has a strong inside voice. Love dogs,
I think all assumptions in this post mentioned are correct but perfectly 50 age is also very turning point of women’s life.
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