Disclaimer: The thoughts below are our own, and you may not agree with us. So, we can just agree to disagree.
#neversettle: We’ve come across this hashtag quite a bit lately. We think the whole idea of women empowerment (atleast in the west) started out when the pill came about (the turning point), and then the subsequent empanelment of women in American politics, and finally in the American workforce. This increased acceptance of capitalism/globalization has percolated to other less-fortunate countries, such as India over the past decade or two. Obviously, we’re still a few decades away before women will truly be equal to men, at least in the eyes of Uncle Sam. Having said this, #neversettle hash tags have been commercialized by so many different dating apps in the West. Part of the repercussion of women’s empowerment has been a significant delay in women choosing to get married and starting families. To clarify, we’re all in for this, and when we discuss the trend of increased divorce rates in the country, we think it’s a good trend. You see, 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago, women in this country (India), had few exit options from their marriage, primarily because of financial dependence on their husbands. However, with the increased acceptance of women in MNC’s, startups, and as entrepreneurs in India, women are finally making their own living, and have very little reason to get married for financial reasons alone.
More power to you: We think that this is a wonderful evolution. If men can choose a lifestyle that works for them, no matter how culturally or morally corrupt, there is no reason why women cannot choose the same lifestyle. After all, if you’re paying your own rent, and for the food on your table, and for the booze on the weekends, you have a right to pretty much live the same lifestyle as guys have. Society will tell you otherwise, but it’s a choice that you can make. 10 years ago, you wouldn’t have had this choice. Getting married should not be the ultimate goal. Choosing to be with the right person, is. If you think that women have a place in life that should be different from men (submissive and homely), then more power to you. Ultimately it’s all a choice that you have to make, based on who you are. Ending up with a guy who fundamentally thinks differently from you, is going to end up quite badly for both of you.
The 20’s: We think the 20’s is still the best time to get married. We don’t subscribe to the notion that one should find their footing professionally before getting married. If you are lucky enough to find the right partner, then you can live on love and air, and struggle together. By finding your partner early on, you have a whole life ahead of you to experience and to grow together. The other reason is that we carry relatively less baggage from our past relationships, and even our past marriages in our 20’s.
Beyond the 20’s: We find peculiar differences between the women and men in this country, and these differences become increasingly complex as women and men age in this country. These differences tend to hold women at a significant disadvantage especially when it comes to marriages. By the time the Indian guys hit their late 30’s, most women tend to have an extremely challenging time finding somebody that they can have that mental connection with. If you’re a woman reading this article, then you probably know what those reasons are.
Right off the bat, the number of eligible men (suitors) drops drastically (exponentially) for women in their mid-30’s and beyond. We’re not quite sure why this happens, but our gut feeling is that as women have become better educated (and more independent) over the past decade, they’re not able to find men who can match their wavelength (or rather their expectation that it is okay for women to be independent too). Two, men typically have a choice to marry somebody much younger. While we understand that men would like to date younger women, we cannot seem to fathom why they would choose to marry much younger women. After all, isn’t a marriage about mental chemistry than anything else? We cannot possibly believe that they would share that kind of rapport with somebody much younger. Three, money starts to play a big role too. For men who are making a lot of money, or substantially much more than their women counterparts, they feel that money buys them a whole lot of options. This is somewhat true in almost every part of the world. Four, if you subscribe to the idea that the whole point of a marriage is to pro-create, then men would choose to marry women who can still conceive.
Curiously, we find that women tend to look for companionship much more than men in this country. We’re not quite sure why this happens. Logically, as both men and women age, they would seek companionship as a reason to get married. We don’t quite see that happening in this country. We think it really circles back to the arguments made above. This a very complex country (yes, we keep saying that). Men (and women) from different generations have grown up very differently from people in the earlier generation. It really is a good thing. Just that a lot of us in our 30’s weren’t prepared for these changes. Perhaps a few decades down, things will even up a bit more, and expectations will align with the ground realities. As of right now, the expectations and the reality, are poles apart.
Until our next blog post, do keep a check on this space. Have a good week ahead!
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(with edits from Shifalika)