By Srishti Singh:
Have you ever had a conversation with a 40 or 50 year old woman which ended with statements like-
“Beta, don’t stop working after marriage” or
“One of the things I regret the most is depending too much on your Uncle, financially and otherwise”
If yes, then you might realize how important it is not to fall for ‘backups’; in simpler words, not being dependent on your father, husband or son for all important decisions. The concept of Disney princesses being bad role models for a young girl, is being debated worldwide, and not without a reason. Having been raised on a diet of feisty princesses, I know how hard it is to resist the temptation of a backup.
Being a girl, the topic of marriage is hard to avoid. In fact, most of us are somewhat obsessed with our weddings. Girls start planning their dream wedding well in advance. And mostly, we’re pretty vocal about it. However, do things like how you’re going to feed your family after marriage bother you? Do you worry about how you’ll be paying for rent, loans and insurance? Do you have a plan as to how to go about doing all these?
If yes, then good for you; these are responsibilities we can’t really avoid. However, if the answer to the above questions is no, then you most probably have fallen victim to the trap of backups. As women, we usually skip a part of reality because it’s taken care of by someone else. Before marriage, our dads take most decisions for us and after marriage it’s our husbands. We don’t have to worry about the ugly side of adult life, because someone else does that for us.
Why? Is it because we’re lazy? Or is it because we’ve gotten used to being taken care of? If that’s the reality, then isn’t it justified when our parents suggest or rather, force us to marry early? After all, we don’t want to shoulder some major adult responsibilities and our dads aren’t getting younger with each passing year. We’re seeing a shift in women’s education. More and more women are applying for STEM subjects instead of Humanities. It’s good for workplace diversity as well as women’s welfare.
However, if we’re still dependent on our backups, then can it really be seen as a change? The point of education is making us strong, empowered and independent adults. But if we still see ourselves as contributors, rather than breadwinners, then is the purpose really met? In that case, isn’t our education nothing but ‘ornamental’?