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When A Teenage Boy Told My Friend Why He Wouldn’t Marry A Working Woman

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“I would never marry a woman who is working or has a job.” This is what an Indian male (let’s call him Raj) said to my friend (I am naming her Priya). I was shocked when she told me about it and asked her more details of the argument.

So, Raj and Priya were arguing over the fact that girls can’t be sanskari (traditional) and dedicated housewifves along with a good employee or boss at her workplace. Raj took it a step further and said, “I will clarify with my wife that she never works or has a job.

It took me a few moments and a lot of swearing to get over this conversation. I questioned myself whether I live in the 21st century where feminism, gay rights and women empowerment make for almost every conversation. Here was this boy, shattering all my hopes on Indian men. If a teenage boy’s thought process correlates with that of our grand-parents, it would be impossible to imagine an India where both men and women are independent, let alone equal.

What followed in their conversation was the scariest part for me. Raj was defending his opinion on moral grounds. Now, Priya is a very ambitious and studious girl. She is of the opinion that women have the right to work and compete with men at all levels (which most people agree with these days) and she herself wants to work independently and earn money. Why shouldn’t she if it’s her passion?

Well, to this our Raj answered, “That’s why men earn, so that women can spend the money and my mom, who has been a dedicated house-wife for her whole life, should get some time to rest when her daughter-in-law comes and takes over her role.” I was reminded of a certain chauvinistic school-master from Rabindranath Tagore’s “The Lost Jewels”.

This argument from Raj reflected that for most men, women are mere child bearers and care-takers. They can’t imagine a woman being the President of the country or the CEO of a company. They might support feminism but would rather not have a feminist wife or family member! Hypocrisy is perhaps embedded in Indian genes.

Priya, being morally imbibed by the traditional expectations of women as well as developing the 21st century views, defended her opinion saying, “Well, why do you think that a woman cannot be both, a sincere house-wife as well as a good employee at her workplace?”  The debate ensued for a while but, there was no convincing the other. Both of them held stubbornly to their views. For one it was a question of her freedom and rights while for the other, it was a tradition meant to be followed.

Therefore, I ask you this question. Do you think it is impossible for a woman to be both a devoted house-wife along with a worthy employee?

You must be to comment.
  1. Vijayata Gupta

    So, I have a different question here.
    Why its always a responsibility of a women to take care of home. Nature has not put any restriction or did classification of jobs with respect to gender.
    In my opinion, man and woman are meant to complement and support to each other an all possible ways.
    This is something which still needs to understand by Indian men.

  2. Surya Mishra

    I can’t give the appropriate answer of ur question but i too hv a question for everyone that is it possible for a man to be both a devoted house-husband along with a worthy employee?

  3. Manoj Kanti Dutta

    I am a guy from Silchar, a small town in Assam. Here the majority of the girls are literate but unemployed. They would say the opposite if a guy wants to marry a working lady. They would criticise us by asking if we are unable to earn enough. These girls couldn’t achieve anything or rather aren’t interested in achieve anything in life. They just think of trapping an employed guy & marrying him and lead the rest of their life as housewives. I have even seen a girl who is the single child of her parents and are financially weak. But instead of getting a good job, she is looking for an employed guy to marry. The girl I am referring to here is the ex-gf of a very close friend of fine who has been accused by his ex-gf as well as another common female friend of ours for his desire to marry a working woman. Both the girls referred to here are bioscience graduate and arts postgraduate respectively.

  4. shilpi gupta

    I wud just want to ask him(Raj) what the definition is of a devoted house wife in his opinion. Isn’t it mean to be a devoted wife means leave ur identity as a human being…stitch your mouth throughout with the thread of stereotype male chauvinistic tradition?

  5. Seersha Chaudhuri

    I have the same question. Can MEN then play both the role of a husband and an efficient employee ?

    These people don’t actually know what feminism is then. Certainly not.
    Equality? Feminism? These concepts are alien to them. They just know the terms for the sake of the English language.

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