Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Losing Independence ?

Last sunday's "The Hindu"-> Open Page featured an article about Women Losing independence after marriage. It struck a nerve as I was discussing about something quite similar just a few days back.

The example the author had quoted was this. Her well educated and well employed colleague was engaged to a guy abroad and when she wanted to go out with some friends for a party, she called him for permission and he refused. The girl did not go.I bet the thought in most of your minds is "So what?"... right?Do you think if the guy had been in the girl's place, he would have even thought of getting her permission?

We were sitting at the canteen eating lunch and in the course of our discussion my friend casually commented, how his sister hated cooking but after marriage she has no say but to cook. Everybody noddded their head like it was something common (and sadly it is)

I know this lady who got a great job offer in India and her husband got one abroad. There was no question of her taking up her offer, instead she quit her job to follow her husband. Sounds Familiar???

A girl married off even before completing her studies and in the family way, Pronto!, despite her wishes. Why? "Its God's wish, what can we do?" (I had to bite my tongue to not say anything for that excuse)

After waiting the longest time, this friend of mine got a chance to go abroad. She was quite excited about it and she did leave too. Hardly four months later she was forced to come back ... her husband was not sent by his company and he was not ready to go on a dependent Visa.

In so many interviews with Kiran Bedi, they ask her how her family and husband have adjusted to her work and if they approve of it. Have you ever had the same questions asked of a male policeman?

I can go on quoting more examples...

Yes! I do know of a few cases (a very few instances) where the guy has adjusted to the girl's requirement. But in these cases the men are so feted for being so understanding (and don't mistake me, I am real glad to know and see such men do exist), while when the same is done by the girl it is taken for granted.

While there is a lot of talk about equality and modern thoughts, traditions and out dated values still bind us very tightly, stopping us from making much progress . :-(

Monday, May 26, 2008

Numbed to Violence?

Two weeks back in "We the people" in NDTV, the debate was "Have Indians become numbed and indifferent to Violence?"
The answer is a Big Fat YES. Everyday and I do mean every single day there is news of one or other death, maiming, massacre, suicide, murder and mayhem in the news.

A 14 year old girl and her 45 year domestic help are brutally murdered and the media, police and everyone involved are having a gala. Every bit of blood and gore is shown, multiple times a day... just in case someone misses it. The father of the child is suspected and all kinds of vulgar innuendoes are flying around.

Brother kills brother, parents kill children and vice versa, father abuses a 4 year old daughter and the court gives the guardianship of the child to the same father. Police brutality is a by word. Women cannot walk down a road and expect to reach their destination safely. Bomb blasts by terrorists and then bomb blasts for saving the people from terrorists... (like we had in Afghanistan). Irnoically enough in both the bomb blasts its only the innocent people who suffer. Hundreds dying due to drinking poisoned alcohol.

And the reaction from the masses varies from lurid, obscene interest to a total indifference.

And where humans stop killing, nature takes over.
78000 people were killed in Myanmar, thanks to Cyclone Nargis. 65000 people killed in China due to an earthquake. And this is just yesterday's news.

I guess the phrase "Familiarity breeds contempt" holds true here too.


Girls gossip, girls love cooking and cleaning. Girls cry.
Guys just grunt for communication and don't even know what gossipping is all about, a Macho guy does not cook and definitely not clean. Guys dont cry.
Well! Hello! The ice age is over and its the 21st century. Grow Up!!!Maybe in the Ice age, the men hunted while the women kept the house.But now men and women work at offices and the old ways are no more.
I am sure there are girls who like to gossip... Just as much as guys do. Dont u dare deny it! for I see it every day around me.

During a tea break, my colleagues of the male variety, were cribbing about how women are not "domestically trained" anymore (Sounds like maybe a puppy???) and dont show any interest in cooking and cleaning. I obviously could not stand this kind of a statement so I casually mentioned that I dont like to cook. You could have heard a pin drop. Then a colleague with a most baffled look on his face turned to me and said "But you are a girl!!!!". Well Gee!!! thanks... I did notice that. But where does it say I have to like cooking?

I will vouch that some of the best food I have eaten were made by men and as for keeping a neat place. Well! anyone who is interested in living in a house rather than a pig sty would be neat. Why should that be gender oriented?
Girls cry and guys dont. I totally agree and my full sympathy to you guys. Its a great way to vent emotions and its closed to you just cause it will not be macho... well boohooo...
I really do get pissed with women who use their tears to get their way though...

People! look around you! It is one thing to do something because we enjoy it, but is it not unfair that tradition, peer pressure or stereotyping forces a person to do what they dont like or prevent from doing what they like?