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‘Why women can’t have it all’ – my take on it.

The post is triggered by a link shared by a blog reader. Thanks for sharing the post with me, friend. It was in response to my post ‘the working woman’.

Well, I would still beg to differ. No, I won’t say that what Anne Marie Slaughter said is wrong. I won’t say that a women doesn’t make any sacrifice to step higher in her career. I think I already mentioned that in my earlier post. But, I would like to ask the society, our human community, are we pointing to the right question?

You say the problem is ‘Women want a career as well as home. They can’t have it all. They are sacrificing family to satiate their ambition.’. I say the problem is ‘ The society still thinks a man’s issues are more important than a woman. The world doesn’t oppress a woman by domestic violence now. This (guilt-of-leaving-family-for-work) is the new way of woman oppression.’ I would like to explain how.

We live in a society where girls are educated and treated equal till the time they are married. Every man wants a wife whose educated well. They want her working so she can support them equally in leading their family. They know it provides a great support in times of distress. If one loses a job, as is common in private sector, the other’s job provides a great mental support. Everything is wonderful till both are working, enjoying the pleasures, the luxuries. Now, comes the time when you plan to extend the family. A child is born and she should be taken care of. It’s a big responsibility. 

Now, the society expects and wants the wife to be accomodating enough to leave her career. They want her to sit at home, be full of ‘mamta’ and give the child all her attention and take care of her demands. Then, when the child starts going to school again and there isn’t much to do at home, she should take up some part-time course or do some distance-learning program and get back to job. After all, how can they take care of their child’s education if they both aren’t working! Now, after a gap of 5 yrs, the woman isn’t as competent as she used to be. She has to work double hard on achieving the same position as she could have, or used to have in her pre-pregnancy days. But, she cannot give those extra hours. After all, she needs to be home on time and take care of her child when she returns from her school. What’s the end result? The woman is forced to do a job she is half-interested in. She knows she can excel at a lot more things if she’s given the opportunity. But, she cannot take those opportunities because she’s a mother. 
She has to suffer her whole life being the incompetent, uncared-for employee who just works for a pay packet, which she needs to support her family. She is not allowed to have a career, a job, a work she truly loves from her heart. Welcome to the new age, new style of women oppression.

Why is the man not Man enough to let go of his big-fat-male-ego and accept the demands of the family equally.
Let me offer an alternative situation. There are two men. Both work as a team. They are given a task of doing their regular full-day jobs and taking care of a small baby. What do you think they will do? They will divide the child’s duties equally amongst themselves and continue to do their routine jobs. If the child needs to be put in a day-care, or a maid needs to be kept for taking care of the child, they wouldn’t mind. It’s just about management. If one of them has a meeting in the evening, the other will step in and take care of the baby while the other is away taking the meeting. 

What is the problem if the two-male team is replaced with a man-woman team? Why is the situation considered any way different? Is it right to expect a woman to live an unfulfilled life just because she’s a woman? Why can’t the man of our society step up and be the real support system he promises to be at the time of marriage? Isn’t it just the ego which comes in your way? What will my Mom say if she sees me working in the kitchen? What will my sister say if she sees me changing my son’s soiled diapers!?

It’s this attitude which needs to change.
And, when the man at home will change, the man at work will change too. When the world will have enough women at the top, it will understand that the family and work are both the needs of the society and the society needs to upgrade its laws and functioning to support both. They need to create a workplace, a society which is open-minded and supportive of the human ways where people work and people reproduce off-springs in the same day.

Ah! Just after posting this post, I read an article by Chetan Bhagat who opines quite similarly to mine. Now, I know two men who agree to my ideology (CB and my husband). The world definitely has hope of survival. 🙂 Check this out.


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