21st century women face unrealistic expectations

Apparently, these days it is difficult to find a good woman. Wife material. Women of these days are said to be far too insolent, far too empowered and far too modern. They are nothing like the women of yesteryears.

Women of yesteryears were good women. They were submissive, quiet and unquestioning. They bent over backwards to ensure that their husbands were fed, relaxed and that their egos were constantly nursed. They were ‘real’ women.

But then the economy didn’t demand as much hustle. And men were ‘real men’ too. They were dependable. They grew up, worked, planned and solely bore the responsibility of providing and protecting.

The 21st century man finds the idea of being a sole provider quite overwhelming. And rightly so because times are really hard. So he won’t date or marry a dependent woman. He marries a woman who will go out and work in order to contribute to the family income.

But after a hard day’s work, his wife must go home and attend to him. So he gets to stick only to the role of providing while his wife is expected to provide and still play ‘housewife.’ A seemingly learned fellow, he sees nothing unfair or oppressive about this arrangement. He is blatantly blind to the fact that women are human too. And just like men, after a day’s work, they too are weary.

In addition to spreading herself thin, the 21st century woman is expected to let her husband’s dreams take precedence over her own. It doesn’t matter if his dreams could potentially lead to financial ruin. She must not doubt him or question his decisions. Against her better judgment, she must be supportive.

If the entire family should sleep hungry or get evicted or if she should sacrifice her own hard-earned cash or end up in jail for failure to pay back the loan she got for him, she should do it joyfully. And if he fails after all that, she must not be angry or disappointed. Because God knows her feelings, whatever they are, are not as important as his ego.

And this is one of the major reasons why relationships and marriages are not working. The unrealistic expectation that today’s woman can somehow be both a 20th and 21st century wife.

The expectation that she should be smart but keep it under check lest her husband feels belittled. She should attain education but she shouldn’t go so far that potential suitors feel intimidated. She should be independent but not so much so that the man in her life will feel unneeded. She should care for the children with little to no help, while working, while tirelessly serving and servicing her husband with a smile.

This is unrealistic. Society’s expectations of the 21st century woman are unrealistic. And the more women are getting antagonized over their inability to do everything and be everything, the more they are choosing themselves. This is what society interprets as insolence, empowerment and modernity.