Yesterday.

Yesterday, in a very Juno-esque moment, a teen girl gave birth to a baby (the baby was my patient).While filling out some paperwork , I overheard some other staff ‘speculating’ about this girl’s life. While a teenage mum is always subjected to scrutiny, everywhere, I was taken aback by remarks that she ‘must surely smoke pot’ and ‘drink too’- especially since there was no mention anywhere that she did such things.

Have you ever heard people making assumptions about a man or boys’ drinking or smoking habits- BASED ONLY on his being sexually active? For, my part, I felt sorry for this girl- obviously the baby daddy was nowhere to be found- and in my opinion, nobody should be ‘written off’ at 17!

.

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Yesterday , I was flipping through a copy of UK Grazia, when I came across an article by a 30-ish woman claiming that though she was happy to be single, her family and friends felt pity for her and felt she was ‘abnormal’ not to be with someone by her age.

I checked the authors name , wondering if she was Indian- she wasn’t.

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Yesterday, I heard a male , caucasian colleague, tell his friend that he wanted to date someone who would ‘stay at home and take care of the kids’.When his friend pointed out that he was being a bit too rigid, and cross questioned him about whether HE would be willing to stay at home , his reply was that he had a medical degree -so that was out of the question, unless he married an heiress!

Sigh.

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7 thoughts on “Yesterday.

  1. When I was in college, I’d wear my hair long. When I’d visit home for the vacations, my dad would remark, “India made you a hobo. Do you do ganja?” (Among North Easterns, ‘India’ is a term use to refer to the mainland, as opposed to us non-mainland folks). I think trying to judge people for their dress, hairstyle, friends circle, appearance, sexual preferences, etc. is not limited to women. Men are judged too, on different parameters.
     
    I also don’t think it is wrong to want a woman who’d be a stay-at-home-mum. Different strokes for different folks. Your caucasian friend is more likely to find a woman who is willing and probably even prefers such a role. In Indian arranged marriage scenario, it would usually be pre-decided for the woman, even if she is an adventure sports type, which is the sad part.

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    • Yeah, I agree that it’s his choice to marry a woman who chooses not to work- I guess i was just surprised that somebody who’s young and living in a major Western city would admit to such thoughts:) Also, given my desi background, I’m prone to getting riled up at such valid but still conservative utterances

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    • “I guess i was just surprised that somebody who’s young and living in a major Western city would admit to such thoughts…”
      As surprised as I was, getting a ‘western’ experience in sexism from my Caucasian buds in Edinburgh. Although of course, their sexism is far more benevolence that the deep and rampant misogyny (~fear of women?) prevalent in India.

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  2. I think it´s actually not even that seldom that men and women (also in the West) would prefer a more conservative family set-up. Only that often the economic reality kicks in which asks both partners to work. In Germany (my native country) latest when there are kids it´s usually the women who stay at home – partly because they succumb the myth that “a baby needs it´s mother” not understanding that a baby/kid needs stability which could be provided by any gender…

    When in my early teens our teacher asked us what we wanted to be and the half of all female co-students said “the wife of a rich man”. Being the daughter of a single mother I was not only surprised but also somehow offended. By now, around two decades older, I learned to accept that there are many life concepts, most of I don´t want to have any part of but if these people are happy…

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    • Yeah I guess it’s in a way easier to play a more traditionally feminine role in a developed/Western country. Especially in Europe, where the loss of financial independence need not necessarily lead to becoming vulnerable, and where the end of a marriage doesn’t come with so many adverse implications.
      For a lot of middle-class Indian women my age, picking a SAHW or SAHM role leads you to getting labels like ‘dependent’ and ‘just a housewife’. Working on the other hand , helps to cultivate a feeling of self-worth, which is usually (by default) denied to a lot of women in my country anyway.

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