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The marital apocalypse
I think in the last decade or so, we’ve witnessed the advent of a new species in the marriage market…
No, they are not the forward thinking liberal feminists.
Then? Who are they?
Women who not only have well-paying jobs themselves, but also want their spouses to have flourishing careers.
My god. How dare they. Where did they come from?
Thanks to feminism, gender equality and all the other social evils of the 21st century, these women received more education, exposure, encouragement and opportunities from their families and the world in general, to do well for themselves.
But, what does this have to do with their spouse now?
Right. The thing is, while women were making all the progress, we didn’t bother evaluating its impact on the institution of marriage, or on the selection process. We still need men to be more financially better off compared to the women. Yet, we are the same people who get frustrated with gender pay gap.
Why? I don’t know.
What do these ambitious women want, anyway?
They want a man who is successful, and continues to be so. They want men to be passionate about what they do, and continue to nurse the passion. No, it’s not the money they’re after, but if that’s an unavoidable consequence, why not.
They want a man to believe in gender equality, and partake in household chores.
They want a man to be emotionally available and intelligent.
They want a man who is able to balance work, family, friends and hobbies.
They want a man who will will encourage their professional endeavours or at least not get in the way.
Errrm.. why not just become a lesbian, instead? Might be far easier no?
Honestly, how many men, married or not, do you know what can actually be all of the above? And how many women do you know who’d want anything different? Now, what are the odds that this little group will end up liking each other?
Probably, one in a million?
Ok no, may be one in a thousand?
Wait, no. One in a hundred?
Ok, forget it. One in two?
There is still a 50% chance that you won’t be the woman who gets this man!
And that my friend, is not a good number.
Where can you find this item?
Matrimonial websites, mostly. They are smart, and so, they prefer to screen your CV before they waste their time on you. Because, after all, they are fairly successful themselves. Ambitious girls are pretty easy to spot. One of the great things about ambitious girls is that they aren’t shy, and hence, don’t like to hide. They’ll tell you that they are ambitious, just so you don’t blame them later for not warning you. Even if they don’t tell you directly, you can sniff them out, especially on matrimonial websites.
They are “managers” or have a masters degree
Their salary expectations from their spouse are much higher than their own incomes
Software engineers, especially the ones who boast of “on-site” experience
They have squint eyes, I think - “I live in the present, with an eye on the future”.
Uncle1: I see there is an appendix attached to your daughter’s horoscope. Your daughter says she goes swimming, clubbing and what not. How is all this going to work in Brahmin families?
Uncle2: She is our only daughter, we don’t have a choice but to accept what ever she chooses to do with her life. Now, if you want her as your daughter-in-law, you might have to do the same. Else, you’ll have to find someone else.
Uncle1 (worried that their 30 year old ward remains unwanted): *faints*
How do you marry one of these?
After everything I said so far, you still haven’t shit your pants? Impressive.
Once you’ve found them on matrimonial websites, or wherever really, talk to them. Ask them what they’re looking for. Tell them what your deal is and why you dig them. Tell them what you can offer and how you intend to offer what you don’t already have. If they’re convinced, and if you’re lucky, you might just be able to marry them. If not, try harder. Not to convince, but try harder in life. Because, men who are successful may not be in plenty, but they are more successful than you can ever be.
How do you avoid marrying one of these?
This can be tricky. But when you spot the signs I mention above, just run. Or ask your mum to find you someone, that’ll do the trick.
Ok, you are one of these ambitious women, eh?
Girl, I get you. It’s fair that you ask what you ask because you earned it. But is it realistic? I am not sure babe. I told you, there’s at least a 50% chance you won’t find what you are after, but if you still want to try, go ahead.
Now, are you wondering what you should do, to marry the man of your dreams?
Just pray. Everyday. Do Mangal Gauri Vrath (Google it), even. Yes, that might work.
On a more serious note, I think women spending more time outside of home does affect the dynamics of a marriage.
Traditionally, men worked, brought home the monies (or not). Women ran the household, took care of children and the world was in order. Now, when both men and women work, there is still household and children to be cared for. This can either be shared between the couple or be outsourced to a third party (including generous grandparents) or a combination of the two.
When outsourced to a third party, there is no reason for the outsourcing agency to be managed just by the woman, because managing outsourcing agencies has never been a woman’s area of expertise. Unless you want to prove me wrong by admitting that women make for better managers.
While women working stirs things up a little on the household front, it does definitely ease the financial burden on a family. Men are no longer the sole bread winners, nor do they have to crumble under such pressure. A couple can alternate by supporting each other because both are now “able”.
I know plenty of men who will happily stay home while their wives work, because honestly, who the hell likes to work. But does this mean they’ll run the household on their own?
They haven’t evolved to operate like that. It took women a few 100 years to work, and work well. So, may be in another 100 years, we could expect the men to run a household as well as your grandmother.
If a man says, he wants to stay home and support the family while you work, encourage him. Don’t nag him because he vegetated on the couch all day watching TV while you slogged your ass off earning a living for the fam. Don’t nag him because you still had to come home and do the dishes.
Actually, don’t do the dishes. Order in. Eat even before you get home, so you don’t have to worry even about who takes the trash out.
Let him figure it out.
There’s no gain without a little pain.
But if he continues to be a sloth, beat the shit out of him. Just as men did with women, all these years.
P.S. - Don’t try this at home.