The common Indian households till date hold the ancient beliefs of how women must conduct themselves in society. Even though we have survived through the times that restricted females to mere household activities like cooking, taking care of babies, sewing and serving the males of the house; keeping them miles away from education and financial independence, women are still expected to do certain things and behave in a certain manner. This too needs to change! It is we who have to bring about this change.
Here are some of the things that are expected out of women, but is totally okay if they don’t fulfil those expectations:
Get Married Before 25
It’s high time parents and people, in general, realise that marriage is not the ultimate point in a woman’s life. Women can get married whenever they feel they are ready for it. Our society is of the opinion that the age between 22-25 is the perfect time for a woman to get married and marriage after 25 makes it difficult for a single woman to find a partner for herself because apparently no man wants to marry an older girl. Seriously? How?
Girls! It is totally okay if you are 25 or more and still single. Don’t let others bother you with this.
Know How To Cook
“Ladki hoke tumhe khana banana nahi aata?” is one question grown-ups love to ask. Definitely you must know the basics of cooking, but the skill of cooking should not just be viewed typically as a female skill. Both men and women must know the basics. Why are men never asked this question? Especially now when both men and women have become the bread earners of their homes. In such a case, shouldn’t both of them and not just the women, be the bread makers?
You must know how to cook so that you can feed yourself instead of ordering food, and not so that you can pass the criteria of becoming the ideal ‘bahu’. If you are expected to know how to cook just so that you can feed the stomachs of your husband and in-laws, don’t be bound to fulfil this expectation.
So many women have a habit of saying sorry even during times when they are not at fault. More than half of the women I know apologise unreasonably thinking that that is what is the right thing women must do to solve problems. Most sentences women speak to begin with a sorry. “I am sorry but can I suggest you something”, “I am sorry to bother you, but can you please tell me how to log in to this computer”, “I am sorry, I won’t complain, please don’t leave me”.
If it is your fault, go ahead and say sorry. There is no harm in it, but don’t be/say sorry when it’s not your fault just to prevent issues. The more you do this, the more granted you will be taken for.
Be Quiet And Submissive
As a child, I have always seen my father having the final say in everything. When a decision was made, me and my mother had to comply with it whether we liked it or not. I am sure you too had the same family scenario in your house as well.
“Eat your food quitely”, “How dare you talk to your father like that?”, “Don’t take that tone with me”, “No one has asked for your opinion. Don’t interfere” are some of the most common things we were told and still continue to receive from elders who think that women must be meek and just obey the orders given by ‘elders’. Those who speak loudly, openly and bravely are viewed as ‘bold’ women.
Putting forth your thoughts, and communicating your opinions properly doesn’t make you ‘bold’, it is indicative of you having a strong sense of self. Many fail to understand it.
The society is always going to expect you to behave in a specific way, but it is important to do what you feel is right for you. You being a woman shouldn’t come in the way of how you lead your life, especially because of the ‘standards’ set by society for women.