A high-profile divorce always leaves ample fodder to create days of sassy media reports and slanderous write-ups on the personal lives of the couple involved. The recent break-up of a politician and his journalist wife, a supposedly “amicable” split, was no different. As the prying eyes of media continued to look for every possible cause that led to the separation, one among the recent articles that dissected the possible reasons of the divorce turned out downright ludicrous and absurd. It said that successful men find it intimidating to have equally successful partners. Apart from being miles away from sensibility, the article turned into a sheer example of naive reasoning and misinformation, and incongruous elucidation that carried little logic. The article went on explain the hardships that ambitious woman with soaring career has to endure to dumb herself down to attract a debonair and dashing man. Did the author deliberately forget inspirational women achievers like Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochhar, Marissa Mayer, and Sheryl Sandberg?
As the writer continued to assert that successful, suave, and sophisticated men are keen on dating ‘dumb blondes’, the recent matrimony of an acclaimed Hollywood actor and a renowned human rights lawyer evidently proves this generalization wrong. According to the author, the fear of battling against a potent male ego is the main reason for the spinsterhood of many smarter women. However, even amidst men’s continued dominance, there has been an unprecedented transformation in women’s status in our society. Despite having many evident examples that emphasise the fact that not all men are trapped in the past, the author steadfastly believes that downright illiberal and misogynistic concepts are still powerful to seal the fate of several achievers among women. While it’s true that we live amid several men who prefer quiet and submissive women, one cannot use this as a reason to generalize about the entire men folk around us. Nor can one label a high-profile divorce as an outcome of patriarchy and male domination. Yet some women writers and self-confessed feminists soon jump the gun and desperately spew out such imprudent and irresponsible comments, while having zero information about the facts. Irrespective of being a self-professed champion of women’s rights, the author too was no different from the majority of namesake feminists who degrade it as mere male-bashing.
Success of women has little role in deciding the lifespan of a relationship. But when it comes to women who are unreasonably opinionated, decisive, stand-offish, and aggressive, men might never think twice to run a mile away from them. However it cannot misconstrued as the sense of being overshadowed by a woman’s success. Nor does it imply that men shy away from accomplished women. When smugness and narcissism takes the monopoly, the beauty of a relationship soon withers into nothing.
Despite the fact that misogyny continues to persist, even among the educated and well-off classes, we are hardly close to that dire situation where men get overawed by financially and emotionally secure women. The irrational concept of fragile male ego is nothing but the preposterous perception of some misandrous self-proclaimed feminists. Strong and ambitious people intimidate only the weak and laid-back ones with low self-esteem, continually battling against existential crisis. It’s not the gender but the power of intelligence, willpower and personality that causes the intimidation. Women can remain absolutely unapologetic about their accomplishments because men who are secure in themselves will always treat women with dignity and respect.