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Women of our World

As the world celebrates International Women’s day, I went about the weekend spending time with some women I cherish in my life. That was a pure coincidence, though, as it was more of a regular routine of my life than a special, one off thing done just to commemorate the day. Articles on Medium, Instagram posts, stories, Facebook updates, LinkedIn posts not withstanding, I feel compelled to write this post as it seems that my stand and take is something that I haven’t read over the weekend, though it might simply be due to the fact that I haven’t read enough. That said, there is this innate desire to voice out how differently I feel about equality, and feminism, and this whole so called perception a woman is looked at in life. Like I said earlier, it might just be a selection bias in what I’ve read that makes me feel compelled to write this, to voice an opinion that I unfortunately haven’t come across to read, an opinion that is my own. If I had come across a post that made me feel like I belonged, this piece would’ve gone unwritten. But like most cases in life, it is only when you realise that there’s a whole lot of strong support and hoopla about a certain angle to things, while your opinion is quite different on a subject that you feel the need to voice out. And hence this piece.
 
While it is absolutely brilliant that women today are walking an equal stride with men by being in the same positions as them at the workplace and not cooking and expecting their partners to help them equally both in the kitchen and in raising a kid and everything else – don’t get me wrong – I know more than a couple of smart, intelligent, amazing women who have quit their jobs to take care of their newborns by CHOICE. I have known some really smart women quit their jobs to support their men in various endeavours of life – be it a project breakthrough or work relocation which needed them to have to move, just to be together. And I have known women who have been really patient with their better halves or the ones they’re going out with, who have helped them become better human beings, who haven’t given up when things got rough and ugly – and to the face of the world, maybe unfair. 

Majority of the time, it is received by the world at large with a sad sigh, or a comment about how things never change, and that women are the ones who have to make all the sacrifices. But it makes me wonder – if a woman chooses to quit her job, if she chooses to not take a promotion, if she chooses to support her spouse or family by taking a backseat in career, if it is entirely her choice, who are we to judge? If that is what makes a woman happy, truly happy, then shouldn’t our nose end where these women’s businesses begin? Who are we the society to stereotype them to be exactly like the women of the past, subjugated to a tyranny of a marriage or a conservative family or a society that refuses to break the shackles around women, if that is indeed their smart, intelligent, informed CHOICE?
 
And as I have seen from the up, close and personal, women are subjected to questioning if they have really thought it through, if they don’t feel inferior or pushed back in any sense, if they don’t feel their education has been wasted. How is it considered a waste of all that education and planning ability is put to good use right on the midst of a home that desperately needs some superstar to keep the air crackling? Just in case you’ve never seen this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, it might just make sense. 😀
 

While it might be that some men need kid gloves to be dealt with, who said they’re the only ones? I’m sure there’s an equal number of women need to be dealt with patiently, who need a pillar of support to lean on to learn to love and trust. While some of us might enjoy wanting to have an equal foothold in a career, some women might enjoy staying at home and putting their artistic skills to use. Some women might want to ONLY bring up their child and absolutely do nothing else in life – and as long as the family to which she belongs to is okay with it, what’s our problem? Hell, if a woman does not want to work without a kid even, and just be at home and take care of her husband, if that is precisely what she wants to do, and if they can afford to do so, then who are we to demand equality for them? Nobody, whatsoever. 

In life, we win some, we lose some. And so is true for every choice even women make. So maybe the choice of quitting a job might turn out to be a not so great decision for some women. It may turn out that waiting for someone they love too long wasn’t the right thing to do. It may turn out that staying at home with children left them with more angst than joy, years later. But this is the same on the other side of the spectrum as well. It might happen that a job that someone chose to continue can add way too much stress. It can be that in the name of equality, a child at home got neglected in his or her growing years. It can be that not waiting for that one person who meant the world becomes the biggest regret of somebody’s life. There’s no decision that is right, at the end of the day. 

And as a woman of today’s world, if a woman makes a choice or a decision that isn’t pro-feminist, and if her decision goes wrong, that just still means we win some, we lose some. In a truly equal world, there should be no questions about the choices people make (well meaning ones, even), whether it is a man or woman. And in a world where a strong headed woman is celebrated, a big hearted one shouldn’t be considered any lesser.

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