What about the lady who took this extreme step? In all the “good times”, her husband was by her side, fulfilling his responsibility towards her and his family, did every possible thing to keep her happy, but in the “not so good times”, she succumbed to the stressful situations and left him by ending her life instead of standing by him and being his support.
Although in my opinion, the decision of that lady was a feeble and irresponsible one, but I also feel that blaming her alone would be unfair. Somewhere, somehow, its the entire society that’s responsible. She ain’t the one alone, there are many more women out there in our society, who in the times of difficulty, unfortunately even the financial ones, chose to leave their husbands instead of being their support. This maybe their weakness, but an equally important point is that, our society, maybe unknowingly, at every step puts the financial responsibility on men alone.
A girl marrying a guy of higher economic status is no big deal but a guy marrying a girl of higher economic status attracts raised eyebrows, why? Wives changing locations for the careers for their husbands is a common sight, but husbands doing the same is a rare one. When a husband has to change a city for his career, the wife follows him, but when a husband has to do the same, in most cases, the wife, generally, either declines the opportunity or quits the job. why? Maternal leaves are common, why not paternal leaves? A women stays back home and runs the house with the money her husband earns and its ok, but if a husband stays at home and runs the house with his wife’s money, or at times, even when he works and his wife works as well, he is touted with statements like, “biwi ki kamaai khata hai.” why? If a housewife deserves respect for her contribution in making a house a home while her husband being the major financial contributor, why is same not the case with men having their wives as the major financial contributor? Why is he looked down at for being on a paternal leave or having a working wife or for shifting location for his wife’s career? Why a women being more successful than her man attracts raised eyebrows?
All the above mentioned questions have just one answer: our orthodox outlook. Even in this 21st century, we believe that its men who should be entirely responsible for the financial state of a household. We raise our girls with a similar notion and this is how we produce feeble women, who prefer succumbing to pressure rather than standing by their husbands in the times of distress. That is the precise reason why gender diversity is a current matter of concern for the MNC-HR arena.
Of course times have a changed and women now are a lot more independent but that is mostly the case only in metros and the tire 2 cites. The real India and the Indian women do exist far beyond. Although in these metro and tier two city areas, many women have entered the “provider” zone and are equally shouldering the financial needs of a house, the percentage of such women is still very less. In fact, in these developed regions, there also exists a large number of families that believe that the financial security of a family is primarily the responsibility of men, and this mentality is reflected in the upbringing of the next generation that they are nurturing. Let us take a small example, even today, when couples go on a date, including the one’s in the metros, in most cases the boy pays the bill. Times are changing and parents in such metropolitan cities are pretty much open and frank with there children now, so what is it that stop girls from taking the responsibility. Of course, there are genuine cases where girls really cannot afford or stay in an extremely strict and monitoring environment, but this situation persists even in cases where girls come from free environment and can afford a date. This tradition stays on with them in their later life as well and eventually, even they start believing that the financial needs of a relationship are solely and completely the responsibility of men. Even worse, men start relating it to their ego.
Its time that this notion changes. Of course, being a house wife is an act of immense responsibility and deserves deep respect, but we also need to make our women understand that times are not the same always. At times, things may go wrong with their husbands and at that point, they need to get up, take responsibility and be the strength and support of their men, rather than leaving their side.
We women, are much more blessed than men. We are the mother of this universe. Yes, men are much more stronger than us physically, but emotionally, biologically and mentally we are the ones who score more. For ages, we have been known for our multi-tasking abilities. Men mostly need to stop being practical to be emotional and vice-a-versa, but that is not the case with us. We can handle home, work, relationships, kitchen, office, children, husband, boss, parents…all simultaneously. This is our true potential, but having potential won’t suffice alone. We need to tap it to the maximum as well. Being the mother of the universe, we have our rights, but we have our duties as well. For years, women in India have been deprived of their rights and privileges. Today, we are much more aware and are demanding what we deserve, but we must also make sure that we stand by our responsibilities, for rights and duties are the two sides of the same coin. We have every right to demand gender equality, but then, it is also necessary that we put our 100% into everything that is a part of our life and do not hold men “completely and solely responsible” for anything. We are equally responsible….for we are EQUAL. So, when required, instead of stepping back, we should take the responsibility, equally and give our best to it.
P.S. :-This article no where aims at under-estimating the value of a housewife/house-maker. In fact, if ever made to make a choice between my family and my career, even I would happily choose my family over my career. The basic point here is that we need to have an upbringing with a belief that the responsibility of financial needs of a relationship/marriage are of both the partners and not just the men. This would also help in women being more independent and self-reliant. We would be house wives not because we believe that financial needs is solely the responsibility of men or because we aren’t capable of being the “provider”…. in fact our decision to be a house wife will just be out of the love and care that we have for our family and at the same time, we would be confident, experienced, responsible and strong enough that if at any point of time, things go wrong with our husbands, we ll be able to support them and be by their side like a rock, instead of leaving them alone in the times of crisis.
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