As I happened to watch an interview with Sheryl Sandberg the other day, I heard her mention this advertisement of matrimony.com, where a husband is seen standing up for his spouse, unconditionally backing her decision to work after marriage. I was quick to search the ad on YouTube and here is what I saw:
Having seen numerous men who are dynamically opposite to the one in the ad, I found the entire concept of the commercial too idealistic and unreal; yet prefer to hope that such men also exist at some corners of this ruthlessly patriarchal world. As I have disclosed in several posts before, I am not used to seeing men who are vocal about the rights of their partners, but on the contrary have bumped in to several big-headed and hard-nosed morons who want their wives to be as submissive and obedient as a slave. So I would say that the ad was quite refreshing like a breath of fresh air, making me more enthusiastic to go on with my spousal search, on a well-known matrimony site. But here is this thought that I cannot help but ponder over.
Although the ad is supposedly showcasing the post-modern mind-set of a present day Indian spouse, I find it really hard to believe that our men have outgrown and mellowed themselves way ahead to this very ideal level, shedding their conventional mind-set totally, to broadmindedly accept a working woman who stays out of the house until the dinner time of the day. As I mentioned before, while I would be more than happier such men in today’s world, I can undoubtedly say that most of menfolk out there would find it quite uneasy to gulp down the fact that their spouses work until late in the night and conveniently skip their ‘customary’ spousal duties. This is because, having a culture that proclaims men to be the undisputed leaders of the society, women are often forced to fight against this macho mind-set, in order to gain a place for themselves, be it at home or in the society. While the world continues to proclaim that gone are the days when it undeniably latched and rode on the stereotypes of the husband being the breadwinner and the wives getting confined to homely chores, when it comes to women working as late as six or seven in the evening, she gets to see many frowned faces and nosey questions that rip her of her self-integrity.
As it has been rightly put in the ad, it’s high time that men start amassing the courage to stand by their and make the world aware that when it comes to commenting on someone’s life, there is a boundary line where the world has to stop. But the number of such forward-thinking men in today’s society would be much diminutive when compared to the obstinate majority who cannot stand the sight of watching a woman earning for her own and climbing up the professional ladder with ease. A financially successful woman is always portrayed as a threat to her husband and the family, the reason why the world around leaves no stones unturned to make a hullaballoo of her professional dreams, forcing her to give up on her ambitions, thereby turning the statement “The sky is the limit!” into “The home is the limit!” Such forced decisions can sometimes have adverse effects on their self-esteem, and even force them to plunge into deep depression, as they helplessly watch their career dreams going down the drain.
It’s not chance or compromise that binds two individuals in a blissful matrimony, but genuine understanding, respect, and care for each other. Having the mind-set to wholeheartedly understand and accept the likes and dislikes of partners will work wonders and make marriages work without any strain. To make this effectual, all that our men have to is to shed their flagellation of ego, chauvinism, and patriarchal mind-set. But have our men risen to elevate themselves from their traditional outlook? I really doubt if they have! Rather than forcing women to put their careers on the backburner, men should rise-up and take pains to support her on her professional expedition thus stopping educated and ambitious women from throwing her career dreams out of the window.
Being in a happy marriage is no more about the clichéd romantic thoughts, but goes deeper in to making a choice based on the level of understanding and commitment. It’s about embracing an individual as a whole, along with paying attention not to trample the likes and dislikes of each other. But this often becomes one-sided in many relations, mostly due to those self-centered men out there, the reason why I believe there is more to change in the outlook of men, in order to accept and understand a working woman, instead of forcing her to opt for an indefinite career break post marriage, thus squashing her aspirations mercilessly.
In an age where the ratio of failing relations, increasing divorces and growing number of domestic violences, there is much more to a happy marriage than the cliché that we’ve been carrying throughout the past decades. It should no more be the story of submissive wives and their narcissistic and bossy partners but more about empathizing each others’ passions and beliefs. I hope the ad would turn a reality for many women out there, who are in need of a strong, aspirational and compelling reason to enter into wedlock.