“I think fitting in is highly overrated. I’d rather just fit out… Fitting out means being who you are, even when people insist that you have to change. Fitting out means taking up space, not apologizing for yourself, and not agreeing with those who seek to label you with stereotypes.” ― Golda Poretsky
Just a few days back, I received this message on a popular messaging service – a forward, for Women’s Day/Week.
This is what it said:-
“A lot of men think they are doing women a favor by asking her hand in marriage, but let’s think about this:
She changes her name,
Changes her home,
Leaves her family,
Moves in with you,
Builds a home with you,
Gets pregnant for you,
Pregnancy changes her body,
She gets fat,
Almost gives up in the labor room due to the unbearable pains of child birth,
Even the kids she delivers bear your name.
Till the day she dies, everything she does (cooking, cleaning, advising you, ensuring you can be relaxed, maintaining all family relations, everything that benefit you ;Sometimes at the cost of her own health, hobbies & beauty.
So who is really doing whom a favor?
Dear men, appreciate the women in your lives always, coz it is not easy being a woman.
Being a woman is priceless
Happy Women’s week
Rock the world ladies.”
This is what I would like to say to the one who composed this & to the ones who believe this to be true.
This forward sends a wrong message to all & this is why I think it does.
First of all, no one is doing any favors to anyone by getting married. People get married because they want someone they can share the rest of their life with & both would support each other by helping each other become the best versions of themselves. Reasons like “My father asked me to” or “Finally, I can get laid” or “This way I get freedom” etc are superficial & generally marriages based on such reasoning don’t last long & often leads to disastrous results like messy divorces, abuse & depression.
When she gets married and “leaves” her home, she leaves it so that she & her husband can move into a place of their own & build a home. Yes, I agree there are many cases where the husband still lives with his parents but again, these are choices that need to be made by both the wife & husband beforehand.
When she gets married, changing her surname (& in some cases, the name) isn’t necessary. If she doesn’t wish to change her identity, she cannot be forced to do it. (Here is an article written by Khushi regarding this: Link)
When a lady gets pregnant, I doubt she does it for the husband. She doesn’t become pregnant but “they” do & they do because they both want to be parents & raise a child & become a family. While we are at this, there are many drugs & procedures available to ensure that you don’t give up on the table while giving birth to your baby. Again, you are not doing a favor to anyone by doing this. You can always choose not to have a baby or opt for adoption.
The statement in the forward implies that people have children to satisfy the society.
Apart from that, the other things mentioned; cooking, cleaning etc are household chores that both should share. For example: If the wife has made dinner then her husband can lend a hand by cleaning the dishes. Neither is it a sin if the man does work in the house nor does he become any less of a man. (Here are two articles written by Bharat & R’s Mom on Gender Stereotypes: Link & Link).
If she does these chores to satisfy her husband & the society then she is doing everything for all the wrong reasons. Ultimately activities that aren’t self-satisfactory tend to backfire.
A woman (actually any human being for that matter) should be able to choose to do what makes her happy. If she wants to be a homemaker, someone who works from home or someone who is more career-oriented then she can do it of her own free-will.
She isn’t doing anyone a favor by choosing to be someone who puts others needs before her own & destroying her self-worth & self-esteem.
If you say being a woman is difficult – it maybe so but being a man isn’t easy either. He has responsibilities of his own that have been forced upon him ever since he was a child. Men, at least the ones I have come across, aren’t always emotionally resilient either. They face daily problems of their own & can’t cry or vent it out because of this society that has taught him not to cry because “He is a MAN”. (An article regarding this)
I would say in this day & age, regardless of what gender you are, life can be difficult. It always has its ups & downs. It’s all on how you tackle the difficult situations that arise & the choices you make that would define how difficult or easy your life would be.
The reason I am writing this today is because small messages/forwards like this enable & justify all the wrong that is happening in our country today. Women have to go through so much trouble & sacrifice all their dreams, wishes & things they like to do or wear just because they got married into families who raise men to believe they are entitled to all of this & that they don’t have to sacrifice anything for the woman they are married to just because of the sexual organs they are bestowed with.
I don’t want our future kids believing that women are only meant to do the things mentioned above & they definitely shouldn’t do it if the others expect her to. They & their respective life partners must equally adjust & live like a team.
Being a woman maybe wonderful but it doesn’t mean that men aren’t. There are so many men in whom I have seen a beautiful personality that justly proves that men are wonderful too & in some cases better than many women I have met. (I generally tend to judge based on the way they treat fellow human beings).
This message actually subtly insults both genders.
You can’t categorize just one of the genders to be priceless. There would be no man without a woman & no woman without a man. Every human life is priceless…
Disclaimer: The above post isn’t applicable to people who are forced into marriages by emotional blackmail or otherwise. It isn’t applicable to those who undergo abuse – emotional or physical at the hands of their spouse or in-laws. This is isn’t applicable to Male or Female Chauvinists. There may be certain points that aren’t applicable to those undergoing issues such as depression or anxiety disorders.