I see a lot of glory associated with working women. We tend to take great pride when we have a women member working in our family and almost always equate it with women empowerment. Considering the state of other factors that add up to a society with empowered women, I guess an urban woman – who is unsafe on streets, has little freedom to chose her life partner, and has to pay huge dowry in order to get married – is anything but empowered! Don’t get me wrong. I am speaking strictly about the working urban middle class.
Aristotle believed women were somewhere between boys and men in their development. I have almost always disagreed with most things he has to offer, but no matter how wrong he was, he certainly has a point here. Not from a biological or evolutionary perspective, but from a social standpoint. Most women’s lack of self-awareness and the degree of their self denial is often extraordinary. Some women also think they can be men, or rather tell themselves they’re better and more productive than men by pursuing their careers. In George Carlin’s terms – “When did pointless careerism become a women thing? Putting on a man-tailored suit with shoulder pads, imitating all the worst behavior of men and take job at a criminal corporation that’s poisoning the environment and robbing customers out of their money. Isn’t there something noble they could do to be helping this planet heal?” Well, women do have higher creativity, commitment, and they bring a different perspective to most human activities. Why they fail to bring out better ways of directing these skills to make the world a better place, is beyond comprehension.
There are two working women I frequently interact with. My wife, and my maid. My wife is a software professional, in a respectable company and is earning good money. While my maid cleans the floor and does our dishes. Frankly I don’t see either of them feel empowered. My maid will choose to do only her dishes any day, over going house to house cleaning junk. My wife will rather teach children, or sit at home and read books. It’s ‘inflation’, and not the pursuit of empowerment that drives them both to work. Well, I guess, it has been a man’s world for a long long time, and it will take longer for the world to become sane. Thomas Moore in his celebrated book Utopia, encourages everyone to value leisure over work, and apply themselves to learning in this leisure time. I see everyone getting busier by the day. Having-no-time is the latest virtue. Earlier it was men. Now both sexes are a part of this endless race. Meanwhile, equating working women with empowerment is one of those gigs (like fashion, beauty and shopping) that we men have pulled off quite successfully on our better halves 😉