women's rights

"Why should she work?"

This is a post which aims to touch on something which has always bothered me, as a person, as a man, probably as an Indian too, on many different levels. So let’s just say, it discusses a rather “social cause” still prevalent in society today, particularly in India. I’d like you all to take a look at this “Bharat Matrimony" Television commercial, that I noticed on television a few days ago. As with most of my posts, I feel the need to add a disclaimer here, before you view the TVC. So here goes:

 Disclaimer:

a. I do not in any way, shape or form endorse Bharat Matrimony or any other “Online Marriage / Match Making sites”. I am purely using this video to stress a point.

b. Since it’s a televised advert, it is very likely that you may have come across it previously. Even if you have, I’d kindly like you take a minute and view the video again. It might help understand the point that I’m trying to make. If you’ve already seen it, and thought it was absolute nonsense, it might be best to click on one of my other posts, and read through them :)

c. The advert itself is in Hindi, which I hope many (if not most of my readers) will understand. I did look for a transcript or a subtitled version for this, but I was unable to find so. So my apologies if you do not “get it”. Again, if this is the case, you do have the option of checking out the rest of my blog.

Ok, now let’s go to the advert: (The link should open in a new tab/window. Just close or minimise it to return here. I'll see you back in approximately a minute and a bit...:))

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjGlT5KhTTk

Right then, first things first. Yes, there are flaws in the advert; It is a tad cliched; and yes it promotes online match making (which may not necessary be a bad thing); and finally, yes, it makes it look like that women need to “take permission from their husband-to-be” to ensure that they can work (or continue to work) post marriage. Image courtesy Google Search The part that I’d like to focus on is the husband’s unwavering support for his wife, when “confronted” by his parents about the reason as to why his wife continued to work post marriage. The husband reasons it out quite unpretentiously - She loves it, so she does it.  As a man, who wholly supports his wife and pushes her to pursue whatever she loves, I get it. Alas sadly, not many “traditional Indian men and their families” seem to get this concept. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for women who are home-makers, but only if it is through their own accord. But surely not because “the society”  or their in-laws/husband demands it. Just like every man, every woman, needs to have the right to choose their path in life, without unnecessary comments, speculation or sarcasm. Yes, modern India claims that women have them, but do they really? If it is really true, why is it that the moment that they come home a bit late from the office, they are subjected to a vigorous interrogation? Why is it that women cannot climb the Indian corporate ladder without others (particularly men) speculating that she must be providing the right extra “services”? I could possibly go on with the list, but you get the gist. In the uncut version of this ad, when the father asks his son why he  “lets” (again, not the right attitude) his wife work, he confronts the father saying “In reality, even you get enough pension post your retirement to live comfortably. Yet you still go as a guest lecturer to various colleges. Why?”. Why indeed…..because he enjoys it. And that my friends, should be enough and more reason as to why women should be able to continue with whatever career choices they want, without the constant need to validate everything.

On the occasion of International Men's Day, which is today - Tuesday, 19th November 2013 -I'd like to dedicate this post to all the Women world over, on behalf of all of  the men who continue to believe in you and will support you all, no matter what.