Oh hi there, judgmental aunties, entitled machas and overbearing parents. As the weekend beckons, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things Indian women don’t have to do to please society.
Indian women (actually, ALL women everywhere) don’t have to:
1Please you with their physical appearance
You may be conditioned by Tamil movies to think that beauty = fair skin, fully made up face and well coiffed hair. Beauty is way more diverse than what the Tamil cinema industry portrays! Women don’t need to look pretty, use makeup, have long hair, or do anything to their already perfect physical appearance to please you. If we want to do any of the above, you can rest assured that we are doing it for ourselves.
Contrary to the popular Indian myth, women do not expire the moment they turn 30. So no, women don’t need to put their lives on hold and look for a mappilai. We can pursue our careers and our passions until whatever age we choose to. Don’t worry, we will tell you if we plan to get married, yeah. You asking us if there’s any good news isn’t going to hasten it, and might just result in an unwelcome joke about your funeral.
3Have children for you
Yes, women are blessed with a womb and the ability to carry a foetus. That does not mean that we have to. The choice is there, and those who choose to embark on parenthood, kudos to you. To those who choose to remain childless or want to put it off for some time, you do not have to justify your choice to anyone but yourself, and perhaps your partner.
4Be submissive, modest and ‘addakam’
Ah, the favourite tool to tame an Indian girl, the A word. This is reiterated to us through scores of Tamil movies that depict women who start out as opinionated and confident, only to be tricked and cajoled and sometimes slapped by the hero to realize that she needs to be meek and modest, so that she becomes a whole woman.
Fortunately, we live in an era where information is literally available at our fingertips. This means that we know what women can achieve if we put our minds to it. Why the need to be submissive, then? Is the Indian society afraid that empowered women will trample all over men?
This writer has always found it hilarious how boys are allowed to have a hearty appetite whereas girls are just assumed to eat less, because well, they’re girls. Look up body positivity, and learn why more and more women are getting comfortable in their own skin.
Yes, there are Indian girls who are not attracted to men. Guys, if you cant deal with that, we recommend buying some superglue to fix your shattered ego.
7Take care of your parents – that’s your job bro
This writer was once asked, “I need someone to look after my parents, can you do that?” To which my reply was, “Oh, I’m sorry, i didn’t realize that this was an interview for a maid,” If they are YOUR parents, it’s your job to take care of them. Subcontracting that duty onto your partner does not make you a good son.
8Dress decently or cover up
For some strange reason, some men and elders have it ingrained in their mind that women are imbeciles who do not know how to dress. Hence they feel the need to constantly tell women to cover up. This precious piece of ‘advice’ has even come from local celebrities. Firstly, are men so insecure about themselves that they need the women around them to constantly cover up? Secondly, women are smart beings, and we know what to wear for an occasion. Really, save your breath and entitlement, because even if you tell us to cover up, we’re probably not going to.
Choice is an interesting term. However, it baffles us how some groups of people are given more choice than others. A woman can choose to do any of the above out of her own volition. But telling her that she needs to do it to please her parents/husband/society is downright disgusting. Would any of the above be said to man?
This of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more issues pertaining to women that society feels they can dictate, and sadly we women feel obliged to follow suit. Lets incinerate these vapid notions when it comes to women, and let’s ignite women empowerment by being kinder to the girls around us.