It’s not funny the kind of shit the media has started publishing these days to gain wider readership/ viewership- it’s very funny and very obnoxious at the same time! Whatever happened to acknowledging and realizing the burdensome responsibility of responsible reporting and publishing?
I read an article (you can find it here: http://www.ibnlive.in.com/news/13-misconceptions-indian-men-have-about-their-future-brides/445968-79.html) which ended up making me fume with the sort of meaningless ideas that it posted and advertised in the name of it’s famous news channel. Shallow ideas, most of them. It spoke about the so called ‘misconceptions’ that Indian men harbour about their future brides. About how these qualities should not be expected out of a ‘modern woman’ of the 21st century. The generalizations made in the article were stupid. Nothing more, nothing less. Just plain stupid. They seemed more like rantings of a rebellious, ‘cool’ teenager than of a sensible woman who knew what she was talking about. The following, are things, that a woman shouldn’t be, qualities/ values/ personal beliefs/ morals she shouldn’t have, if she wants to be called modern, according to the author. Women possessing these qualities are modern, the rest, have all been picked up straight from the 10th century and have ‘tapkoed’ into the 21st.
- She shouldn’t be following her religion, particularly, Hinduism (a ‘gavaar’ religion that talks about rubbish like tolerance, environment-friendliness, non-violence, etc) – She sincerely believes that there is some superior power of goodness that runs the Universe and makes sure things turn out fine in the end? She’s given a name to that superior power in order to connect better with this ubiquitous force? Does she call that force Jesus? Oh, then she must be really cool! She calls that force Hanuman? That monkey god? Such a gavaar! She follows a religion that attempts to blend in with nature and makes Gods out of animals? Such a gavaar! Really. Such gavaars shouldn’t be allowed to debauch the society with their gavaar-ness. Very true.
- She shouldn’t be a virgin- She’s a virgin? She hasn’t slept around with the guys she’s dated? SO uncool. Tch. So inconceivably uncool. She thinks she’s going to ‘save herself’ for the guy she ends up marrying? Unforgivable! And so sappy! Tch tch. Very disappointing indeed. And a guy would like to marry a VIRGIN?! Why on earth would he want that? He should want a girl whose list of guys-slept-with runs long. Really long. Or he should atleast want a girl who has had so many relationships she can’t count them on her fingers. That’s an emotionally sorted out girl who knows her mind and heart! That, is who he should want! Yes. I agree. That’s the kind of guy a girl would look to marry, too- a guy who’s slept with so many girls/ had so many relationships that he couldn’t count them on his 10 fingers. Yes. That would be her Prince Charming! Agreed.
- She should hate babies and kids– She hates children in general, and never, ever wants kids of her own. That joy that so many women keep talking about? The joy of holding one’s own baby in their arms for the first time and feel for another human being boundless love? She wants that? She’s not a woman. She can’t be a woman- forget being a modern woman. She should see kids as they truly are- shrieking, demanding, bawling, leaking bundles of responsibility. Not as laughing, smiling, innocent bundles of joy that spread love and warmth. The ‘modern’ Indian woman realizes the importance of having her own career and doing her own thing- she doesn’t have time for irrelevant things like having her own family. Her mother, and all these big shot actresses who take a break from their highly successful careers for having and raising kids? They’re dumb asses. And her own Mom was foolish too. And that famous Hollywood actress who has 7 kids and balances her career with her family life so beautifully? She’s the dumbest of the lot. She doesn’t know the m of modernity. The only people who beat these women at dumbness are men who want these uncool, backward women.
- She shouldn’t know how to cook– Remember that bullshit about the way to a man’s heart being through his tummy? If she’s truly modern, she won’t give a f*** about either his heart or his tummy. Letting the man you love die hungry- that’s the real shit dude. That’s modern.That shit some chap said about cooking, remember? Something like “..there is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves..”? It’s just that. It’s shit. A beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for herself and her husband after work is a nincompoop. Modern? Hell, no!
- She shouldn’t prioritize her husband’s needs over anyone else’s– A woman wanting a man who would prioritize her needs over anyone else’s? She’s modern and reasonable. A man wanting the same? He’s a male chauvinist pig, yes. How dare he want the woman he loved/ married to give him more importance than she gave to her boss/ colleague/ a random male friend? If that was the kind of love he wanted, he should have got home some gao ki gori. Preferably time travelled and picked her up from the 10th century, you know?
- She shouldn’t give equal/ more importance to her family than her career- A woman who stands as the pillar that holds her family together in good times and bad? She’s not modern, she’s stupid. Right. The only thing which matters to the quintessential modern woman is her career and her career and her career. Nothing else matters. A woman who chooses to balance her family and career, instead of giving double the time to her career to make more money, is not ambitious. Women like Chanda Kochar, or Indra Nooyi, and others like them, who head some of the largest corporations in the world, and still have a family, are not modern. They belong to the 10th century.
- She shouldn’t treat her in-laws like her parents and should hate family functions- Unless and until she adopts the onerous responsibility of playing the infamous vamp of the family, she’s not ‘cool’ or modern. Yes. She has to be the very embodiment of the notorious vamp ‘Komolika’ to be considered modern. No man/ woman wants a spouse who’d maintain peace and harmony in the family- we all want someone to come along and break apart our families. Yes. That’s The Dream. That’s the dream of the modern man/ woman.
It’s almost as if these are attached as conditions expected out of a woman who wants to be called ‘modern’- not so much modern, as ‘cool’. It’s very funny that women too, consciously or unconsciously, start adopting this definition of ‘the modern woman’, without ever realizing that the actual Modern Indian Woman wouldn’t care about being ‘cool’ and ‘hep’- she’s the one who leads a regular life, with regular demands and wears her culture and everything it endorses, proudly on her sleeves, and she also readily adapts to the other cultures to the extent that they are not inconsistent, condescending or utterly at odds with her own culture. She recognizes her culture as something that provides her with her very own unique, beautiful individuality. She doesn’t feel the need to recklessly and stupidly imitate and adopt the western culture/ her ‘cool’ friends, without applying her mind to whether the consequences of the ‘coolness’ are good/bad for her. She’s not taken by the popularism. She doesn’t accept the sloppy second habits of the western civilizations that don’t make sense to her. She doesn’t accept the practices of her own culture either if they don’t make sense to her. Thing is, they need to make sense– not just meet the criteria of ‘coolness’. And one more thing, she might be wearing ANY kind of clothes- her clothes have nothing to do with her modernity. She could be wearing micro-minis and still not be truly modern and she might be wearing a salwar kameez and still be very modern.
Modernism is defined by how smartly she makes the choices she makes, not by the clothes she wears or number of guys she sleeps with. The modern Indian woman, is comfortable in her own skin and knows her mind. She’s not a mindless rebel but she isn’t about to be suppressed by forces that seek to oppress/ quieten her inner, independent voice. She, is the Modern Indian Woman.
Understand that feminism doesn’t endorse matriarchy. It endorses removal of patriarchy and egalitarianism. There’s a slight but significant difference between the two which people often fail to recognize. Similarly, modernization is not westernization. One can refrain from westernizing and still retain their modernity. It’s high time people shed this mask of ignorance and stopped spreading childish shit in the name of ‘modernism’ or ‘feminism’.
Also, there are certain things which are very gender neutral, and which should be allowed to remain that way- it has nothing to do with whether one is a man or a woman, they would always want themselves to be their spouse’s top priority, their spouse to love their parents like his/her own, etc. Almost half the things which have been mentioned in that list of expectations that an ‘Indian man’ has out of his future bride, have nothing to do with firstly, Indians, and secondly, men- they are regular, absolutely normal expectations that anyone would have of their future spouse- I too am a woman, and I would expect a lot of those things from my future spouse. Besides, who are we to comment on anyone’s expectations out of their spouse? It is purely an individual choice and discretion. Let’s not ruin the subjectivity that individual choices come with by making such nonsensical generalizations.
Feminism doesn’t imply rebelling for the sake of rebellion and a Modern Indian Woman, would understand and appreciate that more than anything else.