Monday, March 21, 2011

I am not a feminist, but...(Post1)

I am not a feminist, and to be honest, never gave it a thought before I started reading IHM's blog. My mother was a working woman and she never differentiated between me and my brother. If something was not right for my brother to do, it was wrong for me as well and vice versa. My grandmother was a strong lady as well , raising her 7 children alone when my grandfather was sick . So, in our house "You are a woman and not supposed to do so and so..." was unheard of.

Now, I realize, it is not true. Even in today's generation women do have restrictions. So, I thought of coming up with "I am not a feminist, but..." series in which I will post the stories where I felt things were biased.

Spoke to a lady for a work assignment and found her extremely good. When I asked her, why she was not working, her answer was that her husband was in different city and she wanted to keep the family together and could not find any work in his city. Now, I do not have anything against it , if she was happy with her choice. She was miserable thinking about the great career she had and the position she would have been if she had not quit her job for her family. When I spoke to her husband, I realized that he was not as competent as her at his work and he did not want his wife to work if she had to travel .

This story made me think about the bias society has towards men in terms of their career. We still think of a man as a bread winner and woman as a home maker. Though, the lady is as qualified (if not more) as the man of the house.

-Why does a woman have to quit her job/independence so that the family should be together. Isn't it the responsibility of both?

-Why do society ask a lady, how would her husband manage without her, when she travels for work? We have always seen the man traveling on work and leave behind the wife to take care of the family. But, he never has to answer that question.

- Why should the woman feel guilty about being ambitious, when it is seen as a great asset for a man?

- How can a woman not confront her husband about her career goals? Isn't it an important part of marriage?

This story is close to my heart because, I quit my job too when I moved to US . But, the difference was, I wanted to take a break from my career and see how the things would turn out. When I realized that being a home maker was not my forte, everyone supported my decision . Of course, it was not without concerns which would have been the same if Sudhir had traveled. Wonder how my life would have been if not for Sudhir,my parents and in laws support...


Raam Pyari said...

I quit my job when i had to come to the UK, and i did it just because ...well...because it was silly to expect my husband to make that change. He was earning more than i was, was well established and all that was def there...but ..well..things ARE diff for mena nd women, its best we face that...

Prathima said...

@RP, I agree things are different for men and women. But, I wonder why , considering, women are as educated/established as men these days.
I think I remember reading in one of your post(long back) that your husband was ready to move to India if your job hunt didn't go well in UK. I am talking about that kind of adjustments in marriage. It should not be always about women supporting men in their career while they quit theirs. (Unless they chose to do so,not forced)

Indian Home Maker said...

I think acknowledging it is unfair is the first step.

Sometimes people wonder what the point of writing about these issues is, one point is when we discuss we realise there are others who feel the same way and ours isn't a one odd isolated case. It's a society's mindset.

So it really is like Consciousness Raising.

Haresh said...

Why to give in to pressure when asking for what is our right? (Do I sound too naive?) :-)

Prathima said...

IHM, I agree. Because of your blog, I started questioning few things which I always ignored/did not notice.

Prathima said...

@Haresh- If it was so simple, there was no need for "asking" for the right. In a relationship, there needs to be common decisions than forcing our rights. This applies to both Men and women.