Even since I reached marriageable age, I have been meeting prospective candidates for the role of my husband. I told the guys I met how I don’t plan to always have a job and would like to prioritise my family and raising kids after I get married - they were all taken aback and the standard reply was, “But I want an independent wife.” Then I would say that I don’t mind taking up a part-time job or take up some social work, but they were not convinced. So I asked them, “What is your definition of an independent wife?” Many stumbled and couldn’t come up with a convincing reply, while some said they wanted a wife who earned a living.
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For me an independent woman is someone who is free to take decisions about her life, be they small or big. She gets to decide whether she wants to work or not after marriage, if she wants to take that promotion which will mean her being transferred to another city or not, where she wants to invest her hard earned money, someone who decides if she wants to give her salary to her mother or her husband...and even makes the small decisions such as whether to hire household help or not. But I was told - subtly and not so subtly - by the same men who wanted an “independent wife” that women are not allowed
to make such decisions on their own. So, basically they wanted a wife who would bring in money but not be emotionally independent.
I am in my 30s and often people ask me why I am still not married. I have a reply: “I am trying to find a guy whose thinking is liberal for real, who knows what an independent woman is and is ready to accept her as his wife.” But of course I don’t say this to those people because, just like the guys I have met, society also thinks I am being “unreasonable”.
Why would an independent woman want to get into a marriage where you can work and earn money but can not make any decisions about your life and even your hard earned money? While women are often accused of marrying for money, from what I have experienced men don’t seem any different. If a man wants a woman to provide financial support, she should be given equal rights as well when it comes to making life decisions.
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The tag “superwoman” is often used for a woman who is handling household chores, children and job, but I don’t agree with this. Is she doing all this of her own will or being subjected to do all this because that is what a woman today is supposed to do? The word “superwoman” doesn’t seem to imply to an independent woman…and I would rather be an independent woman than a superwoman.
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I am a well-educated woman and I decided to quit my corporate job with a good package to teach. This I did for my own peace of mind. After being in the professional world for some time, I knew that I would not want to be a career woman. I know many women are superbly balancing work and home. But that isn’t me, I can’t do an eight-hour job and then go home and handle all the chores. To be the first person to get up and last one to hit the bed...I say without any shame that I cannot be that “superwoman”.
Published on Apr 06, 2016