Before I start to write anything, let me tell you that I am a feminist. I advocate for the equality of sexes. But I don’t think even if millions of people like me support for the cause, there isn’t going to be any significant change in the role women are going to play in the society. The figures from World Bank which shows the labour force participation rate of women in India exemplifies it. To oversimplify things, millennial women in India can be classified into 3 broad categories of which only set is productive.
1. The Conservative set:
They make up a huge chunk of the population. Their dreams are limited. Cultural backgrounds have forced them to draw boundaries to their goals. Their parents don’t focus on what their aspirations are. They are told to study well and restricted from activities like late night partying, fashion dressing and sometimes even speaking out their opinion raises eyebrows. Fingers are pointed towards them when they mingle too much with men. But if they start to believe that it is the way they are supposed to live they are making a catastrophic mistake. Before anything else, they need to dig into themselves and find out their lost ambition. They need to stop worrying about their mounting age, pressure from their parents to marry early, pressure to quit their jobs. They have an advantage, they have studied well, they have good grades. It is up for them how they are going to use it. Are they going to print their qualifications on their marriage cards or are they going to make an impact with it? They can live independently and make money. One thing which they need to do is to start living their lives instead of others.
“I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered” – Hillary Clinton
2. The Vacuous Set:
Unlike the first set, they have the luxury of being born into liberal families. They don’t have any limitations or ceilings on what they want to achieve. But the problem is they never think of achieving something. They are tamed too much to act wild. They are content with what they have and never think of multiplying it. They need a guy who earns on one hand and unconditionally loves them on the other. You might probably have imagined a few people while reading through these lines. But this isn’t their fault completely. They have a sense of insecurity. The similarity between them and the conservative set is that they pay too much attention to the people around them. All their time is invested in materialistic things like glamour, beauty, crappy movie gossips, mocking the first set of people(the conservative set) etc. They never invest in themselves which makes them vacuous and in specific cases it earns them tags like bimbos. One thing which they need to do is to start pivoting their time onto productive things and challenge men in all aspects of life.
“Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” – Hedy Lamarr
3. The Rational Set:
These women are great adapters. Irrespective of the type of families they are born into, they capitalise on their status quo. They are rational minded and set up at least short term goals. These are usually the type of women who contribute the fair share instead of adhering to the fallacies that men are supposed to pay every time or that only men are supposed to save money. They aim high to the ranks of starting their own business or growing up through the corporate ladder or becoming a professor or sometimes even dedicating their lives to research. They don’t blame that society is inherently gender biased and sit back. They sense the rise of feminism and make full use of it. They know how to persuade people. Just like a majority of men, they are hungry to make a mark and make their voice be heard. They don’t let stereotypes dent their progresses. But the problem is they are very few in number and sometimes even these set of people become complacent.
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman” – Margaret Tatcher
It all comes down to a simple choice for women in India today. Are they going to sit back and play they blame game or are they going to figure out a way around ? I am not telling that there aren’t any problems faced by women today. There is no moral encouragement. There are differences in wages paid, for example like the men and women cricket teams(although, I blame economics for that). They struggle to balance their lives between their conservative older generations and their liberal peers. But even all of these circumstances might make things a little difficult for them but never impossible. Things are changing for better. Look at how the United Nations is planning to elect their next leader or how Canadian PM Trudeau elected his cabinet. This expanding list also features female Indian entrepreneurs. To sum it up, if the mindset of women isn’t going to change, no government policy will ever help in bridging the gap between men and women in the labour force participation rate that I have mentioned in the intro.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.