When it comes to sacrificing their own happiness to ‘save relationships’, the times perhaps will never change for women
No matter how progressive we claim to become, there are certain elements of patriarchy embedded in our souls which fail to leave us. No matter how liberal we become, we continue – knowingly or unknowingly – to impose restrictions we feel entitled to do so. No matter how broad minded we say we are, we continue being enslaved by what society has fed us for centuries.We aren’t what we claim to be.
In our society, getting married is always bittersweet. Behind all the celebrations there is chaos. Behind every festivity, there is anxiety. And it’s always for the woman. The minute a relationship is formed, no matter what the dynamics of the relationship are, the woman is expected to sacrifice and compromise. It isn’t something one does out of choice or out of love. Not at all. It’s something one has to do out of obligation to ‘save’ a relationship from falling apart. And it’s sad.
While it’s very important to compromise in order to avoid unnecessary conflict, it’s even more important to understand the fact that it has to be both ways. Sadly, we as a society simply do not instill this sense of responsibility in our men and the entire burden ends up falling on the woman.
We claim that times have changed, that we’re moving forward and breaking old stereotypes but at the end of the day certain things remain engraved in stone and all we can do is turn a blind eye to them. It is always the woman who has to change, always the woman who has to learn to adapt. It is always the woman who has to put behind her own happiness.
As if that’s not enough, we then expect the woman to be happy. No sign of being mournful must show on her face. No word she utters must reveal the slightest hint of what she feels. If she does, she’ll be criticized by everyone for being ungrateful. So we socialize with huge smiles plastered on our faces, working very hard to show everyone that nothing is wrong when nothing is right.
Change is never easy, but it isn’t always beautiful either. References to a butterfly emerging from a cocoon only make sense in fairytales. In the process of change, more often than not, women end up losing themselves. Every now and then, they run into other women, most often younger ones, within whom they see reflections of themselves. And that’s why women in our society can often be heard telling younger women to be themselves – something they couldn’t do.