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We Forgot the Family

I haven't presented my argument yet.. :)

I find the views above, Bhagat's included, being based on a single snapshot in time and socioeconomic cross-section. The conditions have of course evolved over a larger time-span, differently for many types of women, and must be addressed as such. Say what you say, do what you do, you won't be able to change the present social conditions for the "modern" woman. It's too late - these circumstances were programed over 50-100 years ago for you. Here's what happened:

Long long ago, physical work provided food and shelter. Men have more physical energy hence controlled those emenities. Some 49,900 years passed like that. Same pattern in all cultures: men work/till/hunt, women care for home & family. Time to time, people had amusing debates and  serious fights alike, about which activity was more important. But men dominated for sure (hence such terms like "partiarchical societies" got introduced into common language).

Plus-minus 100 years ago, whatever reason triggered that, women started to ask questions like: Who are these SOB men to dominate us? Can't we do more, outside the home? Equal rights sounds only fair - why can't we have em? Thus began an unprecedented evolutionary event that unleashed the energies and talents of the woman - that's half the human resource, about whichever social cross-section we debate!

It turns out, an unlikely social component took maximum advantage of that event, and actually controls it till date: Industries. Industries realised, we can use all this (wo)manpower (and in recent years brainpower).  Women got themselves educated, became independent, and felt more empowered. Industries benefited due to expansion of the workforce. They encouraged the education system to train more.  This was all btw. thanks to western societies. Left to themselves, oriental societies _may have evolved differently.

I guess this was what got called Emancipation. So far so good - mission accomplished. But there was one problem. Mothers were starting to see their kids less than they would like every waking day. And the other way around is true too - kids spend more time with strangers like teachers, classmates etc than mom.

This puts the whole concept under the microscope again. The modern woman asks, "am I better off at home, or in an office?" Do I have 2 legs in 2 boats? Oh wait, I have to work, coz we need the money, and also, I'd like to preserve my independence (read $€Rs.)  Besides I didn't put myself through 16+ years of education to "stay home".

This is where the "industry controls it" point comes. Here in the western world, and increasingly in India, double-incomes are quasi-mandatory, if you wanna live a "normal" life. By the time you have paid off insurances, the home-loans-till-retirement, kids education, a few niceties to sweeten life, set a tiny little aside for the rainy day, you are waiting for another check from the industrialist.
You all know, that in our parents' generation, all these things were possible in a single income, and they never carried debt.

So Mr. Bhagat may expand his bullet-points into a few books, to cover the under-the-surface complex matter.

I don't think Emancipation or Women's Liberation is a inherently negative. But I ask myself, if it ever took off in the right direction.

In the meantime, believe it or not, the hunting and gathering apes called "modern men" have evolved too. But that's a story for another day!

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