Is Our Generation Of Independent Women Collateral Damage For A Better Future?

Girls growing up in the '90s have been groomed to be independent, but their male peers lag behind, unable to support their partners. Is there a better future for the next gen?

A centuries-old patriarchal society is undergoing a rapid transformation as a new social system, led by powerful women, emerges. While this male-dominant society expects women to contribute to finances, household duties, and social responsibilities, it hypocritically denies women the opportunity to take the lead in running this society.

Over the past decade, women have evolved magnificently in all facets of life, shining brightly like diamonds (not expecting diamonds from their husbands), and their radiance now unsettles the traditionalists.

Working women blamed for all that goes awry

Frequently, working women are unfairly blamed for divorces, fractured relationships, troubled children, and broken families, often linked to their pursuit of independence. It’s as though this society has discovered a new tool to undermine women’s self-esteem and aspirations by attributing every social woe to their work priorities and dreams.

When we discuss equality, it inherently encompasses equal responsibility in managing the household, raising children, caring for in-laws, and nurturing a successful marriage. Therefore, why should the failure of a marriage or related responsibilities be solely attributed to women? If both partners are working and achieving financial independence, why should only the women’s autonomy be scrutinized, judged, and tarnished? Are we genuinely evolving into a women-empowered society, or have only our dialogues changed?

Women have made progress, but where are the others?

Women have undeniably made remarkable progress, achieving financial and emotional independence—a true blessing for womankind. However, society still lags behind. This is why it struggles to adapt to a new family structure where everyone must contribute to household chores.

Understandably, the parents and in-laws of women from the 90s represent the first generation facing this paradigm shift. They are somewhat unprepared and lack the know-how to navigate a scenario where the woman takes the lead. Psychologically, part of them resists change, while another part desires to embrace it but is unsure how or experiences shame and insecurity. Amidst this social-emotional turmoil of an emerging women-led world, problems arise for the women who are steering the course.

Many girls are pioneers in their families, earning five-figure salaries or pursuing careers in urban settings. Numerous daughters-in-law are trailblazers from their families, engaging in jobs or contributing to family businesses as decision-makers. However, the older generation is uncertain about interacting with these bold women—they are unsure how to take directions and grapple with a daughter-in-law who doesn’t conform to traditional cooking roles. Consequently, they inadvertently make things challenging for women.

Men are struggling to cope due to patriarchal conditioning

It’s crucial to acknowledge that husbands and partners from this generation are also struggling to keep up. Their upbringing and exposure to long-standing patriarchal norms make it difficult for them to embrace the new norm of a social structure where working women play a prominent role. They find it challenging to relinquish their dominance, manipulation, or demand for sacrifices. They are unwilling to set aside their egos and acknowledge women’s superiority.

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Their reluctance, inadequacies, and emotional fragility become apparent, yet these insecurities prevent them from making earnest efforts to improve themselves or even accepting the leadership of women in their lives. Instead, they adopt a peculiar defence mechanism, blaming working women for their collective shortcomings.

The independent working woman is the victim in all this

Certain achiever women manage to bridge this gap by patiently and persistently educating their spouses, in-laws, and family members. Unfortunately, many others endure further trauma and suffer blows to their self-esteem. Numerous women shoulder overwhelming responsibilities to avoid blame and maintain familial harmony, which invariably results in physical and emotional stress.

Ironically, working, independent women are held responsible for divorces, when in reality, it is the unprepared society that compels them to sacrifice their marriages, often leading to loneliness. In any societal transformation, those who usher in change often bear the brunt of the transition. This generation finds itself as collateral damage in the pursuit of a brighter future for the next generation of women. Their goal is to provide well-prepared in-laws for future daughters-in-law and more supportive, less insecure, and genuinely capable partners for ambitious women.

However, the lingering question remains: Will this transition yield the desired change? Will the sacrifices and efforts of this generation of women lead to a transformation? Can the egos and pride of this society gracefully acknowledge the superiority of women?

Image source: kzenon Free for Canva Pro

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