Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Are Men a luxury Women cannot afford?


( A part of one assignment. Posted online for another :-p)
Perhaps this question needs a tweak – are “good men” luxury women can no longer afford? Facebook posts and Pinterest images have always said that good men are a myth, whereas the Indian society strongly believes that women refuse to get married if they‘re highly educated, as “their noses are in the air”. 

Thoughts of women everywhere, I guess :-p
(Courtesy: Google Images)

Let’s begin with an example. An acquaintance of mine got married a couple years ago. His wife, at the time of the marriage, was working at one of Kolkata’s top firms. Since his job was based in Bangalore, she left her project halfway to join another one there. The project there didn’t turn out to meet her expectations, and even her bosses recommended a transfer to the Kolkata Head Office. Sensing that her career was taking a turn for the worse, her husband decided to shift to Kolkata. In four years of their marriage, she left her job, had a kid and finished her doctorate. She now heads a major company in Canada. All wasn’t hunky-dory though. There were times when her husband’s career wasn’t clicking and there were times he was a stay-at-home dad, which is not looked upon very favourably in India, unless somebody like Chetan Bhagat does it, which is when people think its okay. Celebrity culture. Till date she credits not only her parents, but also her husband and in-laws for being supportive. So “good men” do exist.

An Equal Match?
( Courtesy: Google Images)

On the other hand , 27 year old, Aparna, has a globetrotting job, and is currently shuttling between London and Glasgow. As soon as she started this job in Delhi, her parents checked out prospective grooms on BharatMatrimony.com and Shaadi.com, clearly wanting to get her married before her 25th birthday. Before that could materialize, she got transferred to France for a three week project, which got extended to ten months.
 Wrapped up with work, she barely had time to talk home, let alone meet up with guys and speak with them. Her parents have temporarily abandoned their endeavour. She often says that she has gotten used to somebody doing her laundry and cooking for her, and doubts she could get used to a lifestyle where she would have to not only do, but also balance laundry, cooking and cleaning with meetings, deadlines and horrible bosses. Most importantly, she doubts she would get somebody that understanding!

One of the earliest independent women - Elizabeth Bennet
(Courtesy: Google Images)

It’s a very baffling world for the Indian woman. On the one side, we have parents pestering us to get married by 24. On the other side, some of us have demanding jobs , a direct result of our education, and hence have no time for men, even though we might need someone to talk to.  As generations have passed, our checklist for “the ideal man” has gone beyond the clichéd” tall, dark, handsome, rich, well qualified, nice family”. Words such as “sense of humour, open minded, independent and understanding” have taken precedence. We have realised that factors like “IIT alumnus” need not necessarily certify a man’s thinking. We would gladly love to meet a nice, normal, guy who doesn’t demand dowry rather than a rich one who does. Independence and respect is dear to every individual, and every woman would like a man who respects her, instead of expecting respect all the time.

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