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Shubhangini Shaktawat
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Why are Indian women expected to be ‘homely’?
In India, a considerably large part of the population lies below the poverty line. Due to minimal exposure, advancement and development, people are still into old-school thoughts- the thoughts that gave criteria for a woman to be judged on whether she is ‘ideal’ or not. It is merely a very sexist idea and nothing else. Otherwise it could have been ‘homely men’ rather than ‘homely women.’ Now, what this term ‘ideal’ here is referring to, is still somewhat undecipherable. Although, heard and said, Indian people belonging to the typically backward mindset say that Indian women should be ‘homely,’ meaning devoted to the household, focused on family planning, because, while getting married, every boy’s family looks for the same qualities in a girl. We can say that girls or women are somehow objectified by the Indian society.
Why should women spoil their own independent lives and become a source of somebody’s house help or family? Why should women spend all their lives into becoming something they’re actually not, in order to impress someone else’s family? Why is marriage considered to be a woman’s only supposed aim or goal in life? This is the soul reason behind why Indian women are expected to be ‘homely.’ On one hand women spend their entire lives in proving to the world, how they can be independent and do wonders so that others do not have to go through the same kind of unnamed torture. On the other hand, household mothers and mother in laws are making all these efforts null and void.
In other words, being ‘homely’ means remaining quiet about all the ill ways in which the society treats one and never speaking up against any such thing. It means one should just give up our life and never live on our own terms, rather just live according the rules and laws the ‘society’ has laid down for one. In my opinion, every woman has the right to do what she wants, live how she wants, and just be whoever she wants to be- a homemaker, an army officer, a doctor, or merely a woman. The laws in the constitution provide for the same. Nowhere is it written, that one must always live according to the stereotypes that are in the society. And what’s even better, is that women of this generation are ready to break all barriers and stereotypes and live up to their own expectations.
A woman myself,
Shubhangini Shaktawat