Speaking of Career Women

Have you ever heard this kind of a remark?

Well, he’s a career man.

I haven’t. Not once in my twenty-one years of existence. There’s no such thing as a “career man”. Because men are just men.

How many times have you heard equivalents of this one, then?

Oh, her? Well she’s always been a bit of a career woman, you know.

It’s pretty common.

Apparently, there is such a thing as a “career woman”.  And she scares the bajeezus out of traditionalists.

It’s not hard to imagine why that might be. A career woman is strong. She has money. She’s independent. She’s ambitious. She’s smart.  She’s not a blond Barbie doll. She’s got interests far beyond a husband, kids and a clean kitchen. In short, she’s all the things that your average chauvinist DOESN’T want a woman to be.

Ergo, the prejudice.

The Bullshit.

The Generalizations.

The put-downs.

I’ve heard them all.

“Never marry a career woman”.

“She’ll quit when she gets married”

“She’ll quit when she has a second child”

“Career women are great in bed but they make terrible wives”. 

“Forget about kids if you marry a career woman”

“Women just aren’t meant to be career-oriented”

“Career woman are just deceiving themselves”

 

The whole rigmarole of unsolicited “advice” from playacting macho idiots who never learned to make  their own tea. The whole truckloads of sneering, contemptuous, condescending comments, which I’m supposed to support, by virtue of being male.

The juggernaut of prejudice grants no quarter. It takes over the imaginations of millions of people, esconces them in it’s own cozy comfort, and  builds a beautifully simple world-view which needs no effort to understand at all.

 

I am sick of it.

And I proclaim my irritation here.

Want to know what kind of woman I really like?

It’s NOT that cute brunette with an IQ lower than my microwave.

 

It’s that woman who doesn’t fit in.

It’s the woman who doesn’t feel the need to dress up like a helpless doll every day, just to impress a biased, blinkered society.

It’s the woman who has confidence enough to flip the finger at the same society.

It’s the woman who can be a REAL partner, not a doormat.

It’s the woman who’s got that intense, burning, searing FIRE in her belly.

It’s the woman who’s got that NEED to do well.

It’s the woman who can understand MY own fire.

NOT support it. Understand it. Feel it. Live it.

The woman who can completely chill out when it’s time to.

The woman who DEMANDS her due.

 

The chauvinists can have their Barbies.

All I need is a sparkling mixture of strenuous work and strenuous fun, and the sharp,bespectacled girl who can do full justice to that heady cocktail with me.

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20 thoughts on “Speaking of Career Women

  1. Great post! I have barely encountered this, but I know for a fact, that many parts of our society, no matter how educated, wealthy or modern they are, they still indulge in chauvinism. You’re absolutely right. There is no such thing as career woman. What we need, and have, are girls who balance the mixture of work and fun “who can do full justice to that heady cocktail”! All we need is the stereotypes to wake up and stop categorising women like files in an office.

    • Yep.

      Everyone is different. Men may be the more career-oriented sex in general, but stuff like that is pretty much irrelevant when it comes to dealing with people on a day-to-day basis. You cannot apply statistical results to individual men and women. Every person has to be taken as a separate case, not as a member of a group with predefined characteristics and preferences.

  2. I definitely agree that terms like ‘career woman’ and ‘lady doctor’ and other similar terms are outdated. They’re irrelevant today, but weren’t say 20 years ago.

    I have to say though, calling a woman a ‘barbie doll’ is also not fair. Just because someone tends to dress a certain way or present themselves in a certain way does not mean, necessarily, that they have an IQ lower than a microwave. It feeds to the general preconceived notion that women who look a certain way must be stupid with personalities that resemble inanimate objects.

    • It’s not about dressing a certain way, kay. I have no truck with how other people dress.

      It’s about BEHAVING a certain way. And I don’t mean acting overly sexual or anything. It’s acting DUMB that irritates me, like some sort of caricature of June Cleaver, with exaggerated mannerisms and excessive giggling and an express inability to do anything without the help of a male. Apparently, that’s a lot of peoples’ idea of attractive, but it definitely gives you the impression that the microwave is smarter.

  3. Well, I wouldn’t mind a cute brunette no matter how low her IQ 🙂 – but obviously not as a companion or a potential partner.

    I always enjoy the outrage/judgement that people shower on those who buck the social trend. It’s as if their entire value system is challenged by the actions fo someone else! Just imagine how fragile their world must be and how afraid they must feel when they’re not in control of their own happiness…

      • Major inferiority complex. Thats what it is. I say that because I have known people who would fit into the bracket of most traditional and conservative people. But they have been a blast to hang out with because they have an open mind and don’t try and put anyone down. They are genuinely concerned about your well being and though they may not agree with you, they respect you. So it can’t be tradition.

      • Hmm – how about jealousy? A thinking that goes somewhat like “I’m sacrificing (or getting security from not having to take any risks) so much in my life by following tradition. How dare these other people do otherwise? What do they think – that I’m a fool sitting here and following tradition? Burn them!”

        • That actually sounds plausible, at least for the more fanatical types. The kind of obsession some people have with resisting change is simply too strong to explain through things like “upbringing” and “environment”. That kind of obsession requires a very direct, very personal connection with the cause.

  4. If only I could copy paste this post and show it to a couple of people I know! The ones who thought I would not find a husband because I was going to study all by myself in the U S of A. The aunt who thought – again – that I will not find a husband because I bought a 2 door sports car instead of a family friendly 4 door ( with my own money mind u) because I would be perceived as too demanding. I wish I could show them this post. Instead I will just flaunt my husband and beautiful child in their face :p

    • Clueless,

      Kudos for having the courage to stand up to the aunts and other assorted busybodies. I imagine it feels pretty darn good to have your stance vindicated so completely. Success speaks for itself.

      I actually laughed out loud at your aunt’s viewpoint that you’d have problems getting married if you purchased a two-door sports car! That has to be one of the more wtf things I’ve ever heard in my life.
      Maybe a Volvo Station Wagon would have made you seem safer to get married to, no? 😀

  5. It’s such a shame that men still think in such old fashioned ways. If they only left these mothballed ideas, they would have so much better lives – better marriages, more supportive partners. They really don’t know what joys they are missing by viewing themselves and their wives/girlfriends/sisters/friends through a gender window.

  6. now that you mention it, the parlance “career men” dosent exist!! add to that the idea that “career woman” aint good homemakers so to say is exemplified by the prevailing shows on TV. and despite the prevalence of so-called modernity, when i actually voice out my opinions and thoughts or future plans, which dosent include the happy marriage scenario, my parents brows crease in worry. yes they are trying their best to give me the best education possible, but i also wish that they would have confidence in me that i CAN take care of myself. you know what the worst part is? they say oh you women gossip etc etc, well HELLO MEN, its because you have kept women in the confines of their households, that for lack of nothing else to do they HAVE to gossip!
    marriage in itself is a institution which was created to ensure that power remains with the men. Hence, career women threaten their bastion. marriage is more political than anything else. wife is just one of the many servants, just that their position is higher. i feel its over the years that this idea of companionship, trust, compatibility btw the partners have emerged since marriage is such an entrenched part of every society.
    btw did you know in kamasutra theres texts of how one should pleausre their women, keep them happy and what they like. it would do good for everybody to perhaps pick a leaf from there.

    • Agreed.

      I’ve always known that the Kamasutra is bound to be one hell of an interesting read. I wish I could read the original.
      One would’ve thought that a society which came up with a comprehensive guide on sex several centuries before the invention of the printing press, would be rather less prudish than most. It’s ironical that we’ve got to be one of the most conservative cultures in the world these days. Even mentioning the word “sex” is a taboo. What a change.

  7. um..speaking of taboo, ever visited the konark temple?? went there with parents. parents for the religious goal whereas um me….haha..;) jokes apart, the sculptures are so in your face and blatant, the people who come to visit there expecting “temple” like characteristics, are taken aback. you should see their expressions!! god, their expressions are to die for!! just go there for the kicks of it. next pit stop- khajaraho..:D

  8. @clueless and @ce
    I can relate to this gender stereotyping problem
    Cut to 1976.
    I was aiming to get myself a two wheeler.
    My wife preferred a scooter, so she too could ride it.
    When I wanted to discuss the Vespa and the Lambretta (the only two options then), my male friends and colleagues guffawed right in my face and even refused to discuss “Naari” vehicles.
    My own immediate boss who was an avid motorcycle fan, began brainwashing me.
    When I told him I preferred a scooter as it was lighter, he demolished my argument in public with the retort “Are you planning to carry it or ride it? Vespa was designed for the ladies of Italy. Be a man, man!”

    Okay, I gave in sheepishly, and motorcycles (Yezdi and later Bullet) were my family conveyances till my children grew up and I got myself a car. My wife was deprived of any opportunity to learn to ride a two wheeler.

    Four years ago , I faced the same problem. Nearing retirement, and having limited mobility needs, for just myself and my wife, (The children were now adults living their own lives, away from us), I disposed of my petrol driven car and bought a Reva electric car which I have been driving for the past four years. My silver haired friends ridiculed my choice, calling it a vehicle for ladies.
    This time I am glad to say that with age had come maturity. I stuck to my decsion.

    In the late seventies, I bought a fancy geared bicycle and faced ridicule. Why? I wanted my wife to be able to ride it and later had plans for my daughter too and so bought a ladies model. You should have been there to see the exressions of contempt on my friends faces when they found me riding a bicyce with the front connecting rod missing.

    A few years back, one of the smartest among my young lady recruits in my office wanted to leave the job as she had been selected by the Army. I congratulated her and wished her all the best.

    I later came to know, under pressure from her parents she turned down the offer and is today a frustrated homely housewife, eking out a drab existence as a Sanskari Bahu in a prosperous business family that she got married into.
    This gender stereotyping is nothing new for me.

    Regardsg
    GV

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