Should Women Be 'Adjusting'?
Adjusting aka game plan change is feminine…so long
Year after year and data after data, it is revealed that the number of women in offices is still strikingly low as compared to the number of men. Each time a data is released to that effect, experts and activists butter the pans to cook some juicy, fried analysis which is mostly to show how women and families are victims of mentalities.
And I always say ‘really?’
A woman goes to the best college of her times and territory. Picks up a coveted job in Mumbai with a coveted pay packet. Three years later, finds a coveted groom. Gets married. Perfect! But halt!
The marriage has materialized on the premise that the woman will move to Paulo Alto where her husband lives and works. Well, goes without saying.
But her company does not have operations in Paulo Alto. So she resigns. No worries. Paulo Alto is a place of opportunities much better than Mumbai. Anybody who refuses to shift will be an outright fool.
Fine. But two years after shifting there, she was yet to pick up a job when she realized she was expecting. So her professional ventures are now delayed by another few years, obviously. Then she has another baby. So ten years after shifting to the land of better opportunities, she was yet to go to office.
In another scenario, a man who applied for a transfer to another city because his new wife was in that city, was derided by his male boss and his team for being lesser male in ‘following’ his wife! Usually, it’s easier for a woman to get transfer to the city where her new husband stays as compared to a man getting shifted to his wife’s city.
In yet another landscape, there is the housewife. But you’d say how can marriage affect a housewife’s game plan? Does a housewife even have a game plan, you may ridicule.
A neighbour, who finds mention in my book too, used to go for Himalayan treks at least thrice every year. She met her husband on one of these treks. When I met her, she had a 4-year-old daughter and had not gone for a single trek for five years now. She stopped once she got pregnant. But her husband remains as much a trekker as he was before the marriage, before the baby.
Another husband, who was told (only jokingly) that his wife, like him, will be joining her friends for a trip to Leh-Laddakh later this year, retorted in a state of shock, ‘Who will look after the kids meanwhile?’ Just FYI, he’s a lawyer and practices from home.
These are just a few examples of a larger situation. But does it really matter? With these arrangements existent forever, the world is moving just fine. Why bother disturbing? Well, the world ‘has been running just fine’ even with half the humanity hurling bombs at and gunning down the other half. But if the bombing and the gunning stops, we will see the sunlight maybe.
So what do we do to bring about the change? Just two very simple personality tweaks will do the trick.
One, women ought to be more willing. In the Paulo Alto case study I discussed above, the honcho husband doesn’t like the situation much. He had always wanted his wife to go to work. A degree from a prestigious institution can’t just be used as a star on your matrimonial CV, he’d say!
So who do you blame? The mentality? Never! It’s the woman this time, a well-educated independent woman who could explore the job market in Paulo Alto before getting married. Her groom-to-be would help her in this. If it looks bleak there, she could have continued working in Mumbai and work out her marital plan accordingly. Her prospective husband would understand. If he doesn’t, he could move on.
But the woman did none of this. This must be the side effect of a certain mentality which raises women as dependents. But with so much awareness in the air, women are bound to know better.
When I see an expensive car, it never occurs to me ‘how I wish I’d get to marry that dude who owns that car.’ Rather, what strikes me instantly is: I want to buy that car. What can I do to make my venture earn more money?
It’s about thinking yourselves as individuals rather than men’s subordinates.
Secondly, men will do well by putting aside their bloated egos during situations involving their women. In moving to the same city as your wife or adopting her lifestyle and looking after children when she’s away, you will only be adjusting to a situation. That won’t make you any less masculine! Understood that adjusting in a married life is feminine considering the trend so far, but who gave ‘adjusting’ a gender?
If your colleagues or friends ever suggest that by adjusting you are only as good as your wife’s doorkeeper, give them a straight face and carry on. Then, one fine day, man adjusting to his woman’s lifestyle will look like normal to them. The change would have happened…the change you led.