Sunday, March 29, 2015

Is it Selfishness in the garb of Feminism? #mychoice

At the onset, let me get this out of the way. I know we women have had it tough. We still do. Female infanticide is still being practiced. Men rape women for pure lust, revenge or simply because they can. Women are paid less for the same job. And expected to leave their flourishing careers to raise babies. Yes gender discrimination exists. In some countries and cultures more than others.

However I find today's 'modern' women are increasingly hiding under the veil of feminism.

If a women decides to quit her job to look after children, it's considered normal, noble even. Catch a man do that, and eye brows are raised and quick assumptions are reached "He probably lost his job. Poor guy has no choice. Why else would he swap diapers for dollars?"

A woman coming home at midnight after an office party is exercising her choice. A man doing so is being a prick for ignoring his family.

After a long stressful day a work when a woman has to wash the dishes post dinner, we pity her. But then what about the housewife's or stay at home mums who insist that their husbands have to participate, equally if I may add, to all the household and children chores, despite being the breadwinners who put in 12 hour days at work? 

When a man painstakingly cooks dinner for his wife (even if it's Maggi 2-minute noodles) it's considered romantic. But when a women does the same she is judged as being a doormat.

Ladies kitty parties and 'tai tai' high teas are an acceptable lifestyle. And a man needs to cajole his wife and buy her presents to get a boys night out pass. 

Where is the equality in any of this? Feminism is not about putting men down. It's about being equal. So same rules apply. What's wrong for the gander is wrong for the goose too. 

If we women want the privilege of having a choice to do as we please, we have to bear the responsibility of those choices. 

I opted for a three day work week when my son was born. I was passed over for promotion. Twice. This is NOT discrimination. It's fair. Fair on the man who got the promotion as he was working his ass off, while I organized play dates. Yes it was my choice, but it came at a price that I am to some extent still paying for. My choice. My price. 

Wearing shorts  and singlets is as much my right as wearing a sari. Strangely in world we live in today I will be ridiculed for the latter and applauded for the former. 

A mother plays the baby card and is exempted from working weekend, while men pick up the slack. 

Women who choose to not have a baby are judged more by other women than by men. A 'career women' is berated for her choice. As is a stay at home mum. By women. Us women judge. One way or the other.

Stop. Take a breath. Menfolk are not against you. You are fighting you own inner battle. You want to make your choices emphatically, but don't want the burden of the consequences. 

I find many women conflicted nowadays. Simply because we have way too many choices. Ask yourself "What do I want?". And then make a plan to make it happen. Accept the good and the bad of the choice. Stand up and take responsibility for that choice. And remember your choices affect the ones around you. Making choices unequivocally is not asserting your feminism. It's purely being selfish. 

I would like to clarify that women referred to here are the educated, high social economic class, urban women. Women who have a tons of choices. The biggest one is being true to who they are inside. So if you want to quit your job to pursue your passion, talk to your husband, plan your finances and do it! And if you want to put your child in day care to focus on your career, don't play martyr-mum. And if you are lucky to be footloose and fancy free and capable of paying your own bills, then go ahead and do whatever the hell you wish. Because when you decide to share your life with someone, they become a part of your choices. Trick is finding someone who will stand by your choices. As you will stand by his (or hers).

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