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The idea that a graduate woman make a better wife is largely at play here. The general assumption is that when both the partners are working outside the house, their “family unit” is neglected.
It was my final year in college. One fine late evening, while I was checking out of the library, I received a call from my best friend. She sounded pretty excited on the other end. Why? Because she just discovered that one of our batch mates, another graduate woman — got married.
This was the third, “They got married!” news I was receiving that month. Mind you, both of them were love marriages.
As and when time progressed, more news of friends’ friends getting married started coming in, and it amused me every time. To think of marriage at this age, is it an independent personal choice? Or forces of the society, at large, were at work here?
This brings us back to the question of importance — who wins: Education or Marriage?
Though the internet would love to tell you otherwise, a silent custom among young women choosing to get married after their graduation is re-surfacing.
In a very statistics-oriented report, it was reported that nearly 12.4 million girls are enrolled in undergraduate courses. However, the number dwindles down to 1.9 million for post-graduation courses. This social practice is brought about by multiple forces of the society that we live in.
Educated wives are preferred over financially independent wives.
The idea of a working wife still raises eyebrows, yet most households “prefer” brides that hold a graduate degree. A few decades back, for a girl, a class 12th certificate was a big deal; today it is just a graduate degree. Can we really say, “We have come a long way”?
The idea that educated women make better wives is largely at play here. The general assumption is that when both the partners are working outside the house, their “family unit” is neglected.
“You cannot have it all”; hence, it is better if the female focuses on managing andarmahal – the inner courtyard. Citing smart household management as the reason, education is merely a bonus that adds an extra layer of gloat to their brandishing of their newly acquired trophy wife.
As if our great-grandmothers and their mothers were not smart home-makers!
Young women of our generation are buying into the idea. Putting aside the gender-gap payment debate, they are rejecting the corporate hustle, little realizing that home-making involves a greater (unpaid) responsibility.
That being said, I don’t mean that working women have an excuse to escape the basic household chores. While taking on housewife responsibilities, the harm accompanies the outlook that the chores are their “duties”. It is automatically assumed that they are beyond recognition.
My grandmom’s sister was accepted into an airline company as a cabin crew member, while my grandmom got into NDA. However, my great-grandparents did not allow them to venture into those respective fields, primarily because they were not so common at those times.
In the present era, so many avenues have opened up for women. They are being provided so many opportunities; yet there is a regression in female employment. Workplace conditions have improved, yet amusingly, the population to avail such benefits have decreased.
Patriarchy, are you winning again?
Just the other day, while speaking to my sister, I found her worried about her friend. Who was never really into building a professional career, or “ambitious” as we know it by.
Recently this friend, who too is a graduate woman, got married into an upper-class business family. And now few months after the wedding, she is in a very unhappy situation which is also affecting her marital life.
Neither did she want to work, now on the other side, nor is she happy building a family of her own.
What escapes them is the fact that housework is also unpaid labour. A never-ending, thankless one even. And when you are the only one managing the entire household, the expectation to do so for the rest of your life remains.
The others’ responsibilities also become yours. It might be all glitter and flowery up to a certain point. But, what comes next? No one is irreplaceable. No one can grow to be irreplaceable.
It is globally accepted that educated mothers bring up a better next generation. It is put across as a necessity. They can understand their children better, their needs, and encourage them in the right direction. Moreover, it is crucial for a healthy environment of the house.
Most often it backfires. Educated housewives, who have been restricted to housework, often bring up their daughters with the same idea. If not the mothers, then most definitely the household that they grow up in shapes them.
At this point, I am reminded of the experience that the author shared in an article, where almost all her young female students of around 18-19 years of age saw marriage and family as their most important future goal.
Educated girls enrolled in a class that teaches employability skills are certain that marriage and kids are the end words. I am not sure what to feel about it.
Not everyone is the same. They can be, and have the right to be, more marital or family-oriented. The desire to have a fairytale wedding, have a family of their own, to fulfil the promise of love can be extremely strong driving factors to settle down early in life.
Settling down early also means turning old together.
But there are a lot of repercussions that go unnoticed when an educated woman decides not to pursue a career. Years of overlooked overworking, and hustle takes a toll on the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the housewife.
Lacking financial independence makes them dependent on the husband to provide for their needs, and at some point it starts affecting their self-esteem. More so since home-makers’ efforts, or existence, are hardly recognized at any point.
In the same fashion, young women growing up tend to overlook the pain or desolation of their home-maker moms. Their mothers were denied the option to earn a livelihood despite their qualifications!
Many young women, having been brought up in a comfortable environment, their perception of home-making is shrouded by rose-coloured glasses that shatter when they face reality.
They imagine the same comfort in the house of their in-laws, unaware of the expectations that accompany the holy alliance of matrimony.
An honest conversation with one of my seniors that started with weddings led to an insightful discussion as to how our generation grew up in a lacuna of the right kind of inspiring content.
You tune into any daily soap that are televised these days, and all you find is under the garb of pseudo-feminism, the hyper-glorification of female capabilities.
“Women can do it all.”
No, we really can’t, and we don’t have to.
A young graduate woman, who is freshly out of college, still has a very impressionable mind. And it is these “have it all” rosy pictures that lead them into believing that even they can.
Do I really need to mention the very evident role of social media here? And of course, the wedding industry?
We’ll deal with it some other time, maybe.
Image Source: Still from Hum Do Hamare Do, edited on Canva Pro
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The author is a Gen-Z kid who resorts to writing to vent out about the problematic ways of the world. Having majored in Theatre, English, and Psychology, I take a guilty pleasure in complex read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
A new Gallup poll reveals that up to 40% of Indian women are angry compared to 27% of men. This is a change from 29% angry women and 28% angry men 10 years ago, in 2012.
Indian women are praised as ‘susheel’, virtuous and to be emulated when they are obedient, ready to serve others and when they put the wishes of others before their own. However, Indian women no longer seem content to be in the constrictive mould that the patriarchy has fashioned for them. A Gallup poll looked at the issue of women’s anger, their worry, stress, sadness and found that women consistently feel these emotions more than men, particularly in India.
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