Monday, May 4, 2009

Being Eve..

Often I wonder, If the things we tell our daughters are the things we would really like them to take to heart and follow. Or are we just carrying on without thinking, a timeless tradition of rules. As a daughter, and a kid, It was grilled into me that I am in no way less than any of the boys I study with, or play with. Being the only child, I had no competition at home. But mom was dexterous in finding enough competition for me outside. Studies being of paramount importance to the generation I belonged, I had to ensure that I was amongst the cream of the class. Her reason being, "So what if she's a girl? What difference is there between a girl and a boy in today's world? Girls can beat boys in any stream they choose to. They have the capacity to shine as much as the boys do." It was all good, this feminism and strife for success. But just a few years down the line, her lines changed. Now it said things like, "Career and all is fine, but you are a woman, a homemaker. Your foremost priority is to nurture your family and bring up good kids. You have to be the wind beneath your husband's wings, push him to reach heights. After all this if you have the time left in your hands you can do something work wise." Now this got me utterly confused. Here was my mother, who made me score the highest in each subject to outshine the boys of my class, only to tell me later that I got to be the wind beneath their blasted wings?? What about my wings? The ones I had carved based on her faith in my capacity?

This is not only me, but the feelings of a lot of women who are my contemporaries. We were brought up on the myth of feminism and the moment we were set to fly, our wings were clamped to the role of a model homemaker. Believe me, I have nothing against being a homemaker. Its the most gruelling and the most thankless job, if ever there was one. Also the most soul satisfying hugs come from here. But the training for this job is not what we got. The mindset was not made, We were not taught how to adapt to a new family, a new household, we were told to compete with boys and win. Careerist role models were pointed out to us. Indira Gandhi and kiran bedi were pointed out to us. Why didn't my mother let me take a closer look at her lifestyle?

I am a mother now and and maybe on the threshold of repeating the same mistakes. I see the world changing around me, from the time I was a kid. Now probably marriage is beyond the realm of parental influence. to marry or not, when to do so, if at all , and with whom, is a decision that I am sure would not include me. Life is becoming tougher and the family is taking the brunt. But I hope that I stay away from giving my daughter confused theories about feminism. I am a staunch believer in the roles of man and woman. They were made different for a reason and they remain their best when they perform the roles they were intended to. Does that mean A girl should not pursue a rewarding career? Or does it mean that a man can never be a homemaker? It doesn't mean either. It just means that each individual should be equipped to do whatever it takes to overcome hurdles and live life to the best of their ability. It just means that you should be in a role that's most suitable to your core as a human being. To lead a life that gives peace and contentment at the end of the day. I hope I educate my daughter for the bliss of knowledge and not for a thriving career that she might have to unwillingly sacrifice at the altar of marriage.