Nita is an unmarried girl of 26. Like most of the Indian parents, her parents too have been looking for a suitable husband for their daughter. They did find many guys who would be ready to marry Nita until they knew what her monthly income was.
Are you confused? You are wondering how income is related to marriage? Then you must surely read on.
Nita earned more than what an average guy in a middle class family did. Being educated in the top B-school she could not earn less. But in our society women are expected to earn less than what their husbands do. A guy just cannot think of getting a wife who would earn more than he does.
Perhaps, because the society believes that more educated the girl the less adjusting she would be. They say that she would be rude and would not be a good daughter-in-law.
Moreover it baffles me when people say that the reason the divorce rates have gone up is because girls are more educated than they need to be. They say that educated girls and perhaps those who earn more than their husbands will not obey her in-laws.
There are so many perceptions that have made it difficult for working girls to search for a suitable husband. It makes them wonder if her marriage would come at the cost of her career, will she have to throw away all her hard work. If a guy earns well he is more demanded. But if a girl earns the same it becomes a taboo.
Why are girls judged by the amount of money she earns?
However what I believe is that these are sugarcoated arguments to hide the reality, the reality which the society will never accept. Since centuries men have tried to dominate women and the greatest threat they face today is an educated girl, a girl who is aware of her rights, a girl who knows what she can do. Men think that they will no longer be able to control their wives and make her do what they want.
If a girl knows her potential why will she ever live under the thumb of any man and why should she?
Education has helped girls to seek better for themselves.
Perhaps then it may be right what people say, the number of divorce rates have actually gone up because more girls are being educated. Well but it is just the half truth. To blame it all on education is so unfair. Let us look at the complete picture.
Earlier girls were subjected to the whims and wits of their husbands. They had to survive with whatever their husbands provided. They had no place to go even if they were beaten day after day. But today women have a choice they are independent and can move out of such abusive relationships. What is the result? Of course they demand a divorce if they cannot tolerate it any longer.
Today the real problem however is that the girls have moved on. They have created better situations for themselves but the society won’t let her do that. They still want to live in the past where they could impose the norms of a patriarchal society over her.
They say that girls today are over educated, whereas the truth is that the society is less educated. This society has failed to change their perception, of a girl, with time. Today girls are among the best of every field. Still there are girls who end up married and leaving those excellent jobs due to family pressure. The idea is clear to empower women what is important is, not only proper education of girls but the society’s acceptance.
The time has come when people must start teaching their sons to respect women and consider them as equals. Until both the genders work together to achieve this motive women empowerment will just be a struggle, an endless battle.
Until husbands do not start accepting that their wives are equally well deserved and parents start treating their daughters like their sons, and sons start respecting their mothers as they respect their fathers, this would be a one-sided struggle, a struggle where women are trying hard to prove themselves and to let the world know that they are no less than a man, but the society still chooses to ignore it and move forward with the preconceived ideas.
The reason for such a behavior may be that the world prefers to hold on to the inertia of things, they abhor change. Change of any kind, even if the change is for a better future and a better society. They just like to be the people inside Plato’s cave and abolish any idea that may differ from the ones they already have in mind.
Until the people are ready to change their sons, their daughters will never get justice. The daughters will keep struggling for their rights, the wives will keep screaming for help. In the end their cries can only be heard if the society is willing to listen.