Is this Women Empowerment?
Lately, I have been reading a lot of blogs on the net regarding Women Empowerment, how a girl and boy are equal, what is expected from an ideal daughter-in-law in India, taboo around menstruation etc etc. Although I am happy that there are people talking about it, modern-day women are expressing their views, discussing their views openly and unabashedly;I am also scared by this trend. Before you judge me as regressive, allow me to explain myself. I am all for feminism !
Most of these articles talk about what a woman should not do. A modern day woman wrote that she refused to wake up before everyone else in the house, refused to not sit with her legs apart in her in-laws house. And there were other women appreciating her and commenting on her blog. I don’t have problem with women standing up for their issues. I have an issue with their way of tackling the situation or their way of expressing their concern. It sounds more like you are trying to rebel. I don’t understand the phrase ‘my in-laws house’. Is it not your house as well? Unless you think of it that way, I can understand you are going to have issue with everything.
Family is basic unit of society
No matter how successful she is in her career, the Indian mindset is such that the primary responsibility of the house will always come to the woman. And this was taught to me by my son when he was still unborn. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, a successful working woman but most importantly – I am a mother. And my son, ever since he was born, looks upto me for his care and security.
A mother’s love for her child is unconditional. If I do anything for my son, I don’t think of it as a burden on me. Instead, I get happiness in it. Similarly, when you take care of your husband, in-laws – it should come from within. Then it will not feel like a burden. Or it will not feel as if you are doing something against your own wishes. When I say I am scared with these articles, I am scared because these so-called independent women want to be so ‘independent’ that they are a threat to the social unit of a ‘family’. Their articles do not tackle the issue at the grass-root level.
What is empowerment
Women empowerment to me is not about choosing what to wear, or what hairstyle to have. Indian society grapples with more serious issues. Women will be truly empowered only when they are well-educated. This enables them to be financially independent. Only then they will be able to make educated choices about their own life like whom to marry, what career path to choose, which schools should their kids go to, important family financial decisions etc. And only then grave issues like child marriage, domestic violence and marital rape can be handled – and only then women will be truly empowered in this country.
Do you think by refusing to wake up before everyone else are you going to make them understand your concerns? It will only create friction in a relation which is already very fragile. By this independence, are you ever going to get peace in life or is your husband going to have a peaceful life with his mother and wife – the two most important women in his life not agreeing to each other on basic values ? It is this “Why me” attitude which is killing families today.
Many women would argue that no in-laws would ever understand. And that they are forced to do things they don’t want to do in the name of sanskaars. This is where the women need to make an informed choice about whom to marry. Parents need to trust their daughters choice. And in order for them to make good choices, they need to be empowered with good values along with good education and exposure so that they are able to distinguish between good and bad correctly. With the right wisdom and financial independence women will be able to make better choices for their life partner. I know most of the women in India were not even asked their opinion before getting married. But they can at least pledge that they will give this freedom to their own daughter.
Family run with love from all
And they can at least pledge to be more open and understanding to their daughter-in-law. With education, women will be better mother-in-laws and automatically will set good examples for their daughters-in-law. A family has to be run with love, with co-operation from all the members of the family. There is no need for a mother-in-law to be insecure about her daughter-in-law or for a daughter-in-law to turn a rebel against her mother-in-law. To me , they are not modern, they are regressive.
A modern mature woman analyzes everything, realizes hers as well as other’s concerns and then finds a way that’s best for everyone in the family or finds a suitable way to express her concerns without creating an imbalance in the family. And that according to me is true Women Empowerment
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