The (In)Complete Woman?

As human beings, we need not agree with each other on every topic. Differences of opinion arise and that is only natural. Most definitely, when I disagree with someone, I refrain from making comment, lest it turn into an argument, and I suck at arguments, irrespective of whether I am right or wrong. Because my should-have-been-used-in-that-argument statements come to my mind only three days after the argument!
Hence, when I saw a certain tweet, though I disagreed vehemently, I said nothing about it to the person. Cos what is uglier (and stupider) than a loud public argument? A loud public argument on social media! I do not remember the handle that tweeted it (it was retweeted by someone I used to follow) nor the exact words (and even if I did, I would not post it here without the permission of the said person), but it was along the following lines:

“I do not understand women who do not want to have babies. A woman’s purpose on earth is to have children and without that she is incomplete.”

Now before all of you reading this turn into sword-wielding warriors with your gaalis and your “Saale male chauvinist, teri toh #$^%&^&“, take a step back while I tell you – this was tweeted by a woman. I went something like this:

Pic: Newslaundry.com

But after I got over the initial trauma of reading that tweet and swallowing a lot of anger that came with it, I started wondering if all women thought this way and why is it that a woman is considered complete only if she has a child, whereas a man can get off the hook by simply wearing a Raymond suit.

I do not need to repeat this, but as a country, we are embarrassingly hush-hush about the “activity-that-must-not-be-named.” Despite that, whenever heavy jewellery-laden auntijis meet a newly wedded couple, their first question almost always is, “Did you do the activity-that-must-not-be-named and are you going to carry forward the human race shortly, in say, nine months?” What if the embarrassed couple replies, “We do not want children.” This happens:

www.thebluegrassspecial.com

Once their collective breaths are released, the relatives are quick to blame the woman. She must be career-oriented, she must be barren (what a lovely word!), she must be this-that, he must not love her! And the boy is advised, insensitively, to marry another “homely” girl.What if it was the man’s decision to not have kids? No one asks him and he does not need to bear the brunt of the asshole who refused to take the family name forward. It must be the woman.

Called colorful names by everyone she meets and the husband is portrayed as the victim influenced by this corporate bitch!

Then there are couples who love children and really want to have them. But for whatever reasons, they cannot. This is extremely sad, because as fate would have had it, these are the people who would have made great parents, simply because of their shared love of children. My heart goes out to these couples. But – in situations like this, the only explanation is – the woman is barren. The man in question is irreproachable, faultless, (invincible, even!) with an enviable army; but the woman is probably shooting down the army and winning the war.

Insulted by everyone she meets and the husband is told constantly what a disappointment of a woman he has married.

Are children only a woman’s concern? Must children compulsorily be a concern? Do women have no identity outside of slaving for their kids (without complaining, but getting a truckload in return)? Is a woman only worth the children she bears (though the children take the father’s surname)? Is a woman without children “incomplete” as the lady I mentioned at the beginning of this post pointed out? When a woman declares she does not want to have children, why is the only sound in the vicinity the chirping of a distant sparrow?

Isn’t an individual, whoever he/she is, the one with the liberty to decide what completes them – children, dogs, art, whatever! Why the stigma of “Have kids or remain an adhuri kahani for the rest of your miserable life?”

What I don’t understand is, dear lady whose Twitter handle I don’t remember nor care to, in the over-populated world we live in, that may collapse any time, is choosing to not have children really such a bad idea?

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16 thoughts on “The (In)Complete Woman?

  1. Kokila Gupta April 8, 2015 / 4:41 PM

    Right-O Sreesha ..I agree with you .. some things are personal choices .. If only certain people understand that .
    loved the light way of writing for such an irritatingly stupid (non-)issue !

    Like

  2. Sreesha Divakaran April 9, 2015 / 5:10 AM

    If an issue is written too seriously, no one takes it seriously. And if it is written sarcastically – it's lost on half the people! The paradox and irony of it all!
    Glad you liked the post, Kokila! Keep visiting!

    Like

  3. Archana Chaurasia Kapoor April 9, 2015 / 6:29 AM

    Very well articulated my dear Sreesha! This 'issue' is going to take centuries to get sorted in our country specially, when the world (read: family and relatives) will stop blaming the woman for the decision or indecision!! Till then, bring it on baby -we are strong to handle any crap that's gets dished at us!! Cheers 🙂

    Like

  4. Keirthana April 9, 2015 / 9:14 AM

    I don't even want to get started because if I do, then I won't stop. I have expressed so much on this topic but still it angers me to no end. Let's just say that nowadays I have just about patience and could gather enough energy to tell anyone who is of this opinion and is poking into my business to get the hell away from me.

    Like

  5. Sreesha Divakaran April 9, 2015 / 6:30 PM

    The strange thing is, it's not just our country with this mindset. There are so many other countries where the woman is considered “complete” or whatever only if she has or chooses to have children. Some things need to change – and fast!

    Like

  6. Sreesha Divakaran April 9, 2015 / 6:31 PM

    Oh, do start and don't stop! I would love to hear your thoughts.
    Yeah, the relatives just wanna know that right – about the pitter patter of little feet. Aww 😛

    Like

  7. Amrit Sinha April 10, 2015 / 7:30 AM

    Well, that's society unfortunately. The mindset has to be changed, and people need to know that personal choices are not meant to be personal. Well written.

    Like

  8. Tomichan Matheikal April 11, 2015 / 5:44 AM

    The world is changing and women today are free to make their choices, stray incidents against women notwithstanding. My personal view is that women are not meant to be child-bearers. They are individuals who should be allowed to make their choices: to bear or not to bear children. Even if the human race becomes extinct there really is no harm. In fact, that will be good.

    Like

  9. Vinay Nagaraju April 11, 2015 / 6:18 AM

    Agree with the line of thought here Sreesha, I don't understand the urge to impose someone's opinion on someone else's life. Like you said, it is a personal choice and if someone tries to judge on it, they can keep it to themselves, making it public is just another form of juvenile behavior.

    Like

  10. icecandy16blog April 11, 2015 / 6:47 AM

    “Because my should-have-been-used-in-that-argument statements come to my mind only three days after the argument!”….in many situations I am also like this 😃😏

    Really loved the way you have written about this topic…. I is quite a serious topic but all the way while reading, i was smiling and saying 'Exactly'.

    To have or not to have kids should be the mutual decision of the couple but in our country everyone is interested to know about the good news after marriage. All get togethers are meant for such gossips. I have seen people starting their family (planned or unplanned) just few months after marriage and it feels as if procreation is the only thing after marriage.

    Like

  11. Sreesha Divakaran April 13, 2015 / 7:10 AM

    Thanks, Amrit.

    Yes, that's society, and it's made up of people you and I know. They're so rooted in their belief systems…

    Like

  12. Sreesha Divakaran April 13, 2015 / 7:15 AM

    There are women who love children and there are women who tolerate them. Just like men. No one questions the men though, so why question women? How good would a mother be if she's simply tolerating her kids?

    Yeah, in fact, I think the race is really gonna be extinct because of the alarming rise in numbers and the consequent decrese in resources.

    Like

  13. Sreesha Divakaran April 13, 2015 / 7:18 AM

    Yes, the irony here is, most of the couples I know complain about relatives poking their noses into their business, but as soon as another couple gets married, even the couples start teasing the new couple about their plans!! Then how are they different from their relatives!!!

    I said the word “couple” a lot in that above sentence, but I hope you got what I meant! 😀

    Like

  14. inquisitivegeet February 1, 2016 / 11:39 PM

    I get paranoid over the fact that when the man is not ready or let’s just say wants to settle with his career, get promoted, be financially secured and choose to say no to a child, then why can’t a woman equally say that? I mean, is her career not worthy enough or is the right reserved only for the man? When a man says, I can’t afford to have a child, I have work commitments, is the same thing not applicable for woman? May be she’s new at her work, may be she needs to secure her position first, be safe about it and then plan her family later. And the nosy relatives and society, they do the remaining needful, by pestering the parents every single time..! As if they are the ones who are going to raise the baby! My concern is when will people understand that it is not their bloody business! they just have to give their blessings, whenever asked to. it is as simple as that!

    All the points you’ve mentioned Sreesha, resonates so well with what I see around.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva February 3, 2016 / 11:14 PM

      Yes, the double standards, that’s exactly the problem! You know, if a woman isn’t ready to take care of the kid, but she’s forced to have one (sometimes by the husband) the child is in terrible hands! What could be worse for that poor child, he/she didn’t say he wants to come into the world on its own, right?
      It’s no one’s business, but people have a long long long way to go! In fact, on another forum, this topic came up and a man said that women should be grateful that people are asking and not complain about it. I don’t know what to do about such a mindset!

      Like

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