Latasinha's Weblog

Social and political Values and Systems in India.

Is Feminist Movement Getting Derailed?

 “Our generation is becoming so busy trying to prove that women can do what men can do, that women are losing their uniqueness. Women were not created to do everything a man can do. Women are created to do everything, a man can not do.”

Ketan Shah from facebook

“I think, women are foolish to pretend, they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been.”     William Golding.

Introduction – Saying all the time that women are superior to men, gives an impression that somewhere something is getting wrong or derailed. In fact roles of men and women within a family and society are complimentary and not competitive.  No doubt, women have proved themselves better than men in judgement; their trustworthiness, reliability, fairness working and playing well with others relative freedom from distracting sexual impulses and lower levels of prejudice, bigotry and violence make them biologically superior. But by nature, a woman gets attracted towards a man in life and look forward for his support in life as a father, brother, husband and son.

Women superior to men – Dr. Konner, a professor in anthropology at Emory University, says in his book, “Women After All” that “Women are, in every way that matters, superior to men and moreover, that this superiority is finally becoming evident in our societies.” In making this argument, he ranges from evolutionary biology, through ethology, neurobiology, embryology, anthropology and history, with digressions into economics and politics.” …. “They live longer, have lower mortality at all ages, are more resistant to most categories of disease and are less likely to suffer from brain disorders that lead to disruptive and even destructive behavior. And of course most fundamentally they are capable of producing new life from their own bodies, a stressful, and costly burden in biological terms, to which men literally add only the tiniest biological contribution – and one that in the not-too-distant future could probably be done without.”  (The wall street journal, March 28-29, 2015) If so, then where is the problem?

Already broken glass ceilings – Modern woman has already broken all glass-ceilings, moved forward and joined ‘man’ in nation-building activities. She works shoulder-to-shoulder with man. She has proved her worth and is second to none in  any sphere of work, be it industry, politics, social works and social reforms, managers, civil services, armed forces etc. which are far away from her traditional role of a home-maker. Despite all that, has she been able to resist her attraction towards the opposite sex? Why does she want to live with him lifelong and marries him?

Women’s issues of earlier times – Earlier in twentieth century, main issues of women were of physical strain, constant psychological pressures to conform to socially induced images of femininity – to be a good wife, perfect mother, efficient home-maker. Their concerns revolved around issues like dowry, domestic violence, rape, equal opportunities and equal pay etc. Now many liberated females focus their attention on teaching males a lesson, prove their worth/superiority in those areas as well, which were earlier regarded as man’s domain and be ahead of them everywhere.

Keeping balance in femininity and ambitions – Modern way of thinking, technological advancements, info-tech revolution has changed the role of women. Along with it changed her perspective, ambitions and equations with others. Economic independence has made them stronger, more confident and more vocal. Now they are aware and well-informed about their needs, problems and solutions.

For a modern woman, both family and career are equally important in life. At every stage of life, she has to face many challenges.  To face them courageously, she has to maintain a balance between femininity and her ambitions. Balancing career with familial responsibilities is a tough job, but a very crucial one in woman’s life. She needs to set priorities rationally after analyzing what is more important ‘right now’. She has to make many compromises. Most of women compromise on the home front.

Immediately after independence, in 1950′s, free young India embodied a liberal and inclusive vision of India. People understood and interpreted liberally the problems of caste, gender, community, rural-urban areas, meaning of social-economic-legal justice and attempted to resolve the issues rationally.

1950′s and 60′s was the time, when society was in general conservative, attitude hardly rebellion against social norms, talks being all about sacrifice. 1970′s and 80′s was the period of transition, when though people were still family and society-oriented, rebellion attitude started. Those were the years of social and political turmoil. Women gradually achieved success in various fields. Gender bias started vanishing.

Women acquired more education, economic and social power on their own without craving for any concession unlike other so-called weaker sections of society like SCs, STs or OBCs. A new wave swept across the woman’s world – many young women joined the workforce becoming students, teachers, administrators or activists in different social movements. With it, gender relationships and norms have undergone a sea-change because of changed socio-economic atmosphere and a change in expectations. It has ironically increased conflicts.

In 1990′s, rebellion attitude became dominant. Family and society were considered major obstacles on the way to progress. In matter of employment, it is not so difficult for women to get jobs as it was earlier. Women were placed more or less on equal footing with men.

 Movement of ‘Women-lib’ – As movement of women’s lib along with the ideas like “I will do what I want”, “I do not care for anybody” is gaining momentum.

The workload on men is increasing – in taking care of infants and toddlers, cooking, cleaning and doing other household chores. A drastic transition is taking place in the roles of both males and females within family. Man now shoulders more household responsibilities than his counterpart. Also his say in family matters is diminishing. Usually voice of the lady of the house prevails, men finds himself helpless.

“Who wears the pants in the family”? – Now a days, women plays a major role within the family, assumed almost all the rights to take all major decisions and to dictate her own terms. She does whatever she wants to do and enjoys life in her own way. There is no denial to the fact that full freedom should be given to women to make her own decisions and to lead her life the way she wants. But it should be done in a  decent and civilized manner by exercising some amount of self-control and self-discipline, so that her actions does not adversely affect the feelings or living of other family-members.

Mindset of Modern women – For many modern young women nothing, but ‘self’ matters in life. They are interested more in power, or money or in furthering their career-prospects. For the sake of money, power or position, they are willing to make every possible compromise.

Modern women desire to set themselves free from all the bonds of kinship. Some of them prefer to go far away from their native place to enjoy more freedom or settle down in unknown places/in foreign lands, not easily accessible. There they do not have any social pressure, they can lead their life freely and get total control over activities of their spouses and children. They can enforce their own dictates/rules on every family member within their nucleus families .

Tense relation ship with in-laws – It is said that without communication, there is no relationship. Without respect there is no love. Without trust there is no relationship. Quite often due to lack of communication, love and trust, for modern educated women relationship with in-laws become tense or weak. It is easier for a modern woman to break her relationship with in-laws, especially from her husbands old parents by cuttings off direct communication with them.

“Men from Mars, women from Venus?” – Thinking, working style, personal qualifications and abilities and sense of responsibility differ from person to person. It does not necessarily depend on one’s ‘gender’. It is unfair to generalize attributes of men-women on gender ground. Still it is difficult to ignore gender gap, that nature has created in their physique, mindset, style of working and attitudes.

It is difficult for a woman, how-so-ever hard she tries to bring to an end those inherent dissimilarities bestowed by nature itself. Mostly men are by nature more rational/sensible, more focused, faster in taking decisions or actions, less reactive and considerate. They have more physical strength, energy and authority. It is difficult for a woman ignore the charm of his physical strength and his ability to provide her and her family security – as a husband, father or son. As far as women are concerned, they are more loving, more caring and more social and maintain harmonious relationship with people around them. They have understanding and capacity to think practically. They are more attractive. However, sometimes the confidence gap in females tend them to look up to their male counter-parts to boost up their morale.

Roles of men and women in family are complementary, not competitive – Healthy relationship between husband and wife makes the world more colourful, comfortable and give each other purpose of life. It gives them incentive to work hard, move forward and make everybody happy within their family.  But when they work on impulses and emotions, life becomes difficult for the whole family, as it is practically impossible for an impulsive mind to think rationally.


“Michelle Obama”, a classic example of the positive role

Michelle, (America’s first African-American First Lady) has been the more professionally successful of the two Obamas, studying in Harvard Law School, working as a lawyer, as an associate dean at the University of Chicago and eventually as a highly paid executive at the university hospital. As her husband’s career took off, she became a steading force behind her husband. Instead of becoming an intensely political first lady, she championed mostly non-political causes. When she makes the case of healthier school lunches, she sounds like a parent, not a politician. Mrs. Obama seems to have made a point of keeping family routine intact despite the pressures of life in the White House. She has instructed hetaff to avoid events after 5 p.m. so that she could have dinner with her daughters, just as she did with her own parents on South Euclid Avenue. (Quoted from The Wall Street Journal, 8.4.2015, P. A 11)

Conclusion – Within a family, no one should try to impose one’s superiority on the other. Both the couple should accept life as it comes, disciple their mind-sets to meet together the challenges in life. Both are the main pillars of the family life, are supposed to supplement each-others weaknesses and become a stronger unit to give required support to other dependent members of the family. Harmonious relationship between man and woman makes life interesting, enjoyable and worthwhile for themselves as well as for everybody else in the family and society.

Seeing the strengths and weaknesses of both the sexes, it can be said that roles of men and women within a family and society are complimentary and not competitive. A women should not try to ape, act or behave like a man. There is much more grace in femininity.




August 12, 2015 - Posted by | Women's issues |

1 Comment »

  1. superiority or male dominance in most societies is what is more important, Women were and no doubt are Super. 🙂

    Comment by Nudrat | August 22, 2015 | Reply

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