Women many moons ago, were considered an inferior workforce, mentally incapable of decision-making, unworldly wise and best suited to raise babies, play at housekeeping, cook and provide sex for their husbands.
And myths are made to be shattered. Santa Claus does not exist. The Tooth Fairy has left the building. And with education, empowerment and financial independence, women – surprise, surprise – are just like men, people who can excel and do anything exceptionally well. The only difference between men and women are genitals, some hormones and physical strength but the last part also begs to be questioned.
In the end we are all people. We are defined by laziness or hard work, intelligence or stupidity, ambition or a lack of it, drive or complacency, analytic skills or brain fog, mediocrity or greatness, a desire to excel or a desire to stagnate, to be the best or to be deadwood. And for this , sex does not come into play. The mind and the heart is what matters.
Social conditioning though has always complicated these very basic ways of looking at human ability and human achievements. A patriarchal conditioning for generations that stems from religious and cultural traditions had designated (and still very much does) that women are nurturers and men are providers. Though that is ‘nicely’ demarcated and puts a ‘safe’ structure in how the two sexes should behave, it defies free will and innovation and removes independence from a lot of women. Instead of encouraging women to become financially independent and contribute that vast amount of ability, greatness, education and work skills to build a nation together side by side with men, an archaic thinking grooms them just to be subservient to one sex and mentally prepare them from birth that that is all they are meant to do. Raise babies, support husbands and be content with that till death and taxes take them.
And so the nation loses some of its brightest and best, who subscribe to this and remain at home, always wondering how life can be on the other side. When a couple decide to get married and have babies, they should raise babies together. If a woman has a better paying job let her shine. No harm in the man picking up kids from schools, or staying at home to take care of them while she provides. If a man has more income, let him provide primarily – IF there is a need for one to stay at home at all. Or both can work together side by side and build a life together. Humans of both sexes can nurture, why just one?
Or leave a woman alone, and don’t force her to get married and abandon her career. Every young girl needs to be financially independent and have a career to call her own before she and her partner start a family. Too many of our girls give up a good career that gives them meaning, that defines them, because they cannot manage work, career, kids and the judgement of society all by themselves. And they look back at life in desolation many times wondering the ever painful ‘what ifs’.
If we even out the personal workload between the sexes, women will be a force to be reckoned with the corporate world. Women by nature are conscientious workers, giving more than is expected, working harder, understanding better, having more people & communication skills, are more eloquent and try harder to please the management. They have less ego, are more apt to swing into action and share a vision and mission in a gung ho spirit and are more loyal to the organisations. Years of instinctively being the one that keeps the family together comes full circle when they bring those same principles into an organisation. It does well to have more women in the workforce, and to that effect we should change the gender stereotyped roles we expect girls to be subjugated to.
Raise your daughters to be strong independent women. Raise your sons to understand that superiority is as superiority does. Here’s to a brave new world.
As the owner of the Mayasilk Group, Datuk Ajay Ubrani is no stranger in the retail fashion scene. Being at the helm of this fashion franchise for over 25 years, his expertise lies in the business of silks, fabrics and fineries. It makes one wonder – where his personal style and passion for his work meets.
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