Sunday, November 9, 2008

Women's revolution

I was sitting in a stretch limo, sipping sparkly Champagne and having a conversation with a young lawyer who I had just met. She was a strong, independent, smart and powerful woman who lived alone and worked as an attorney in Los Angeles. During our conversation I told her about my job and she told me about hers, the ups and downs and our likes and dislikes. I told her about how I am excited and happy each and every morning when I get out of bed to get ready to go to work. She looked at me with envy as she said that she wished that she liked her job as much as I did. As she explained why she disliked her job and that this is not what she would like to do for the rest of her life, I became more and more curious. So finally I asked her a simple question of what is it that she would like to do and what her plans for the future are. The answer that she gave me fascinated and surprised me, but most of all it made me really think about and analyze something that had been on the back of my mind for quite some time. She said: "I am hoping to eventually meet some one (a man), get married, have children and raise a family". When I asked her about her career she said: "Maybe I will work part-time".
Not too long ago women's roles in the society was to get married, bear children and to have a family. They were responsible for making and keeping a comfortable and tidy home for their husband and children and to raise a happy family. A woman's job was to cook, clean, wash, tidy the house and to discipline her children. A woman's job was to be supportive of her husband and children, providing them with wise advise and love. A woman's job was to give to the society by teaching her children about values of life and getting them ready for the world. On top of all of that the women always looked pretty for their man and the rest of the society, making the world a beautiful place. In those times no one was confused about their roles as the man went out to work in order to fulfill his role as the bread winner and the woman stayed home to take care of the children and their home. So naturally the man who brought home the money had the decision making power and the woman of course obeyed her husband. It made sense, people were happy as they knew their destiny and their positions. They were content with the life that they led and the life that was what was expected from them. They lived a life identical to their parents and to their grand parents, with out surprises, with out dilemma and with out confusion.
Then one day women woke up and decided that they wanted more, they were not happy with their lives any longer and wanted a change, they wanted a revolution. They were tired of staying home and dealing with the brat's spits, poop and screeching cries, the ironing and folding of their husband's shirts and draws. They were tired of slaving over a hot stove every day and night, having vacuuming and dusting as part of their day to day routine and not being included in the exciting and fast moving world outside. They were tired of being treated differently than the men whom they lived with, so these women started fighting for choices, freedom, independence, power and equality. They figured that possibly one day they could get excited for much more than a brand new washer and dryer set or a shiny blender. So they fought hard, they struggled and even had some casualties, but they did not stop. Strong women every where pushed for independence and equal treatment using willpower instead of tears and brains instead of seduction. It took many years and a lot of burnt bras, but eventually women accomplished what they were fighting for and achieved a level that they were trying to reach.
Even though there were many setbacks and disappointments, even though inequalities and lack of fairness continue to exist, our society came a long way and adopted change. Today independent women get higher education, have high powered jobs and live alone in homes that they own. Women are no longer expected to be housewives with the duty to take care of their children and to serve their husbands. Those women who started this revolution would be proud and overjoyed if they could see us now.
After gaining this equality and power women are now working alongside men in offices and corporations carrying similar responsibilities and putting in as many hours as their male counterparts. So we wonder about who is at home taking care of the children and the house? Who is cleaning the home with love, cooking food with old family recipes, packing the children's lunches? Well, these same women are trying to do these things along side working and having careers, but it does not seem to work out as well as they imagined that it would. But with out going into how the family life and family values of our society has been hurt through this revolution, lets look at the women themselves.
Day after day more and more women are complaining about their jobs, their busy schedules and the juggling of family life and work life. They are not able to handle what they asked for and are regretting the revolution! This is not saying that women cannot handle the work force, the demands and the jobs that they are performing out there, in fact they are doing an amazing job and performing in quite an admirable manner. What this is saying is that the women continue to still desire what feels natural to them, a husband, children and a nice home for their family, however, with their new found power and equality they are not able to achieve that desire as fully as they would like. So the women are confused, they want the independence and the careers as well as the family and the old way of living. They want to be included in the working world, yet they continue to have a deep desire to do what they were originally put on this earth to do.
We have to really think about this and then we will understand that nature has a reason for every thing, so there was a reason for women to stay home, raise children and to take care of their family while men went out to work. There was something about that system which worked for thousands and thousands of years through out all of the different cultures, communities and societies of the world. Then women decided to have a revolution, burn perfectly fine bras in order to make life harder for every one, men, children and themselves. Please do not get me wrong, I am all about progress, advancement, change, growth and bettering ourselves, believe me I am just as confused myself. That is why I am questioning this evolution that has taken place with our race. Is it right? Did all of those women in the 50's, 60's and 70's go through the revolution and endured all of that hardship to get us where we are now just so that in the future women would go to universities and obtain a fine degree such as law and medicine, land a 6 figure income job and buy a home and at the end all they would want is to quit their job, get married, stay home and have children? Now tell me that that is not crazy!


Shayda said...

At this point in my life, i think i can honestly say I resent the feminists of the past.
I would much rather be sitting in my humble home knitting a bonnet for little Olivia and waiting for Johnny dear to come home, rather than solving absolute value inequalities and going to bed early to go learn about right-wing propaganda in national news programs tomorrow morning.

Anahita said...

I am not sure if women were originally put on this earth to cook, clean, wash and tidy the house. I mean I don’t think this is necessarily in their nature. If I remember my history right there have been eras during the 2.5 million-year history of human on the planet when the role of women and men were the exact opposite of what we presume today. There have been eras where women were the decision makers and men were the followers. Women were in charge of hunting, providing the household with food and men stayed with children to take care of them. So I don’t think it’s the women’s nature, rather it’s what the society has been dictating to women.

Now if a successful lawyer envies a housewife’s life style, that’s her personal choice. Maybe because as you mentioned only up until a few decades ago that’s the only thing women did. Maybe because her role models are her mother and grandmother. It hasn’t been a century yet since women gained the right to vote in this country. Give our lawyer a few hundred years, maybe she changes her opinion!

We say in Math you only need one counter example to reject a hypothesis. I for one thing resent cooking, cleaning, washing and tidying the house! I praise the engineers who built the crock pots and rice cookers. And if one counter example doesn’t cut it for you, I know another person who’ll be devastated if Wholesome Choice goes out of business! :)