Categorized | Taboo

Changing Roles of Men & Women – Time to make adjustments!

Posted on 26 May 2010 by .

Traditionally women needed men for safety and security. Back in our days, if you were an unmarried woman, you were a fair game for every horny man. It made your life living hell – many women did commit suicide instead of living that life. Thank God those days are long gone.

Then women needed men for sex and sperm. If you were 35 year old single it was hard for you to get your booty call in Desi society. And being pregnant outside marriage was to tarnish the reputation of your family for seven generations. Now sex part is no more a requirement. Desi women are creative enough and able to meet their physical need without being punished for it. Slowly she is also learning that you really do not need a husband to become a mother. By the way we have not talked about the fact that a woman is likely to miss being a mother more than being a wife. However, it is still not a commonplace in our society to be a single mom with no father’s name attached to the child. This can change. :(

So men have lost this traditional role as a husband – provider of safety – security – sex and sperm. Along with it, today’s independent women can be self sufficient – manage her money – make major purchases- travel to far places etc. All these roles not too long ago were delegated to the man in the family by and large. Men must feel like a ‘Maytag repairmen!’ This is not as bad as it sounds. However this paradigm shift has happened too fast. Desi men did not have time to get adjusted to the changing environment. Men have an inherent need to be wanted that is what gives him the elusive control over female.

So-called respect or power for the man in the house came from some of those roles man had been playing. So when he lost the essential job description he lost the ‘bonus’ or sometimes he lost the job!!! It is great that the Desi woman still has that desire for nuclear family (which many western women do not have to the same degree) that they are making serious effort to engage in this painful process of search for the spouse.

It is not really bad news for the man. He may have lost a huge part of his job description but there is still a vital need only he can provide – be a loving, caring and understanding companion. Not withstanding all this newly found assets, most women still long for that ‘man’ in their life. So while you are hot if you make a lot of money or have an illustrious career but at home your value as a husband is more of a function of your ability to be the best companion she can hope for. Successful husband is one who may not make the most money, may not wield the most power but whose wife can look at the crowd of Desi women and honestly say, ‘I am so lucky to have a loving caring understanding man!’

Empowered or strong women are plenty around you. She may not be educated, may not be making a lot of money or heading a corporation but she is powerful by her sheer presence. She does not demand but commands love and respect by just being her. Over the years, she has loved, sacrificed enough, that without really striving for it, she automatically became the one who was the pillar of strength in the family. You might find this woman in your mom, aunties, grand ma etc. She is not loud or bossy; her power comes from her emotional strength. Now, if she happens to be educated or very successful it is an icing on the cake. If you wish to emulate her do not look at her material success but her wisdom – perseverance and ability to love. We love this woman so much that subconsciously for marriage the man is looking for that empowered woman. Unfortunately these empowered women are becoming extinct species.

Highly successful gorgeous Ivy Leaguer Desi women find themselves at an impasse in spousal search. First, their success comes at the cost of lack of free time (time is an essential commodity in a relationship). Second, the success does make them difficult to deal with it. Assertiveness in professional life may not translate in to a desirable attribute in marriage. Third, their expectations are high which is understandable given their achievements. Fourth many men even though they themselves maybe successful are not necessarily looking for empowered woman. So many of these women see their success in professional life as a handicap in personal life.

Empowered woman should not be confused with high achiever or hot woman. Here in many cases her success is her failure. Over the years she is used to have ‘my way or high way’. She is our Indian American Princess. Her expectations are high, sometimes unrealistic. When her expectations are not met she is not likely to let go. Her major currency is her accomplishment not the love and sacrifice. “I am bringing so much to the table, so why should I settle for any less? ” Ironically her attitude does make her settle for less but she cannot see it at this time. Life is a marathon and not a sprint. So what may seem like wining strategy in the first inning of a nine-inning game may not be so at the end. Many of these women are perfect 10. They cannot understand as to why their success is their handicap. It is not the success that is her handicap but the attitude that comes with it!

So there is a lot of work that needs to be done on both ends. New man has to learn to respect woman, be happy that new woman is so self-sufficient. Stop looking for empowered women of the past who excelled both outside and inside the house (she even played a docile role in public). That model has been discontinued. Rejoice the fact that by and large our Desi women are still looking for a monogamous relationship in the framework of marriage. She still wants a father for her child.

As complicated and draining marriage may sound I still believe in most cases it beats alternative. So be creative. Think out of the box. Figure out what exactly are you looking for in a spouse – a partnership for 50 years with new challenges coming your way constantly. Look at the total package. How well he/she  performs in different circumstances. Decrease the relative value of curb appeal. Eliminate the relative value of the game he/she played. After few years it won’t matter who called whom. What would matter is did you find the best possible mom or dad for your future children.

I am well aware of how many of you thought that most marriages in your parents’ generation were either dysfunctional or outright worthy of divorce. Trust me, in spite of all our imperfections we provided a stable home where you had the same dad and same mom. The phenomenal success your generation has a lot to do with two parents remaining plugged in your welfare during the thick and thin of life. The power of a nuclear family in shaping our next generation is infinite. Let us not make our women and men discover a convenient truth – ‘no ring no regrets’ or ‘road to motherhood does not have to go by wifehood.’ If it were to happen, the price your grand children will pay would be catastrophic

Author: Uncle Vijay

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