Women's Empowerment Spoiling Society?
Is this a recurrent thought that arises in many a minds, of both men and women? If so, perhaps it needs some attention and clarification. The question was perpetrated recently by Justice Manjunath, a High Court Judge of Bangalore who was hearing a case of marital dispute. In a sweeping statement, he said that women’s empowerment is spoiling society.
Though it was a generalized remark, it has managed to create enough stir because of its perturbing dimension that questions the recent developments of our society. No wonder most women have voiced their utter displeasure and severe disagreement to such a comment. They argue that unhappy marriages and divorces have been prevalent in earlier times as well, the only difference being that previously, women were too suppressed to take a stand and choose their own happiness. Today, women are not simply relegated to the kitchens, rather, their empowerment has armoured them to speak up for their rights, and take a conscious decision to move out of an incompatible alliance.
The journey has of course, not been an easy one. Time and again, she has proved that she excels not just as a home-maker, but great managers and business-women too! Women are all over the place, name it, & she is there! And it goes without saying that with a strong educational base, coupled with financial independence, she is not willing to succumb to any wrong inflicted on her. She is now assertive enough not to quietly submit but rather to claim her rights. In context of the above statement as well as in general, many eminent women believe that men are feeling “threatened” by the consistent rise of women, and hence their insecurity is being vented through such statements.
It is an era of equal opportunities and stature, and both men and women have to keep up with this situation. Neither should receive any kind of differential treatment as they are both considered on an equal footing in almost all respects. On being interviewed, a few illustrious women of India have said that this is a highly “regressive” statement, and it belittles the efforts put in by so many people to bridge the gender gap. Nobody has the right to complaint since both men and women get equal opportunities. On this account, the society has come to acquire a more balanced status, not to mention that it has benefitted immensely from the all-round empowerment of women. Today, her contribution in all walks of life is instrumental in the smooth functioning of the society. They are actively participant in public life, having emerged out of the shadows of oblivion and virtual existence.
It is not women’s empowerment, but rather, the inability of men (in many cases) to accept it that is instigating such comments. Instead of feeling superior or inferior to each other, men and women should learn to view each other as equals, so that there is no power struggle or defence mechanisms. Women are just as capable of human virtues and vices as men are, it is just that over generations, they have been viewed in a particular way that has type casted them. Also, women no longer need to prove that they “deserve” the empowerment it is the society which needs to change its perspective that sees men and women on different platforms. In a civilized society, every citizen deserves the right to fair and equal treatment. Nobody is entitled to “grant” this right or “earn” it. Also, it must be remembered that women’s empowerment leads to the empowerment of men and children as well. By questioning it in any way, will only serve to undo the centuries of endeavours taken to attain this social equilibrium.