And the debate over whether financial independence is the key to granting women the much-disputed freedom that has been an ad nauseum topic of conversation persists. The majority of the women, especially in our part of the world, choose to remain in abusive relationships because “Hum phr kahan jayn ge?” (Then where will we go..?)
Life changing decisions like these should not be based on something as temporary as money, but rather, on mutual respect and love. If one wants to stick by someone and beat all odds, and the ups and downs of that particular relationship, then that should be out of unconditional love, not because one is financially dependent on anyone.
Financial independence may not liberate one from a lot of incarcerations, but it does help terminate at least one of them.
Sad as it may sound, a large percentage of the female population willingly chooses to endure physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their guardians (let us conveniently ignore the fact that an adult woman here is still in need of a guardian), namely their husbands, fathers or brothers. Besides the infamous “Loag kya kahyn ge?” (What will people say?), financial dependency plays a major role in such voluntary acts of imprisonment. And let us not disremember that acts of oppression are not merely limited to physical and emotional abuse, but also opprobriously encompass the relentless trampling of frightened dreams, the ruthless murder of camouflaged ambitions, the communal poisoning of censored desires, the scathing judgments on personal likes and dislikes. Naturally, without any means to support themselves, the victimized women continue to bear the brunt of fragile, male egos because they ensure the sole means of their survival.
If they are to seek freedom from this mental inferno, then it is peremptory that they learn to stand up on their own two feet, whether it is by learning basic skills like sewing and stitching, or by acquiring a professional education. This vicious cycle of female oppression that begins with female infanticide and ends at the death of a woman used as a reproductive machine, must stop. This foul orifice in our society is the ignominious shadow that has been hovering over hypocritical generations since time immemorial and is guilty of inhibiting our social, moral and intellectual growth.
Let us not expect a man to dream for us, live for us. After all, they do not breathe for us, eat for us or sleep for us. Give yourself wings.
“How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?”