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Simplicity of Life

If life were simple, there would be just two parameters governing it - you and your choices. However, Life as we live it, has innumerable parameters. In fact, some people believe that an arbitrary butterfly in some unknown deserted island doing its own business aka flapping wings to fly (which is what butterfly's do) can result in a hurricane in another part of the world which can then proceed to disrupt, nay annihilate not just one, but a number of lives! How about that!

If the above is a difficult concept for many people to fathom, I really do not care to force it upon you. However, I do care about certain small things. Like the understanding that everyone needs to work. When they choose not to, they have their own personal reasons to do so, or perhaps it is a choice of profession not seen as 'work' by very many people. For example, being a housekeeper. It is a full time job. But, some (many) people see it as a normal 'activity done by a woman'. This does not detract from its seriousness, but believe me, it is a personal choice to do it full-time as opposed to doing something else and making your partner share the housework.

Now, if life were simple, things would be something like following:
Feel like working? Take up a job. Earn money. Have fun!
Dont feel like working? Quit job. Sit at home. Have fun!

But life is not that simple now, is it? It has all these other parameters skewing every decision and choice taken.
However, while the rest of the world marches on, in India a stupendous population of women do not to work. The term 'Work' here is used to denote an activity which includes an employer from whom payment is exacted, at least once a month, in exchange of pledging ones life.
OK I exaggerated there. But being the intelligent human you are, I presume you understand what I mean. So basically, it does not include yon homemakers slaving away for a pittance pocket money.

As a result, men are expected to stick it out at Work (to support home y'see), and go on ranting about bosses or believe that life is 'just like that' and they have to live it as it is. However, woe be to any women who mentions the atrocity of such life. She is then expected to do as so many of her kin do in India. Quit, go home, and ? yeah. "Have fun!"
It does not strike these people that unlike them, who take work as a part of life, we, the women who are changing the landscape of the country at the moment, are working not because we HAVE to, but because we WANT to. You see? There is a difference? Let me elucidate.

When you HAVE to do something, its a part and parcel of life. Breaking away from it is not a question, hence it does not arise. However, it is a drudgery they have to live with. Like the king who has to bear the drudgery of court life. Hence, the directive becomes money and more money. Money earning as soon as possible, so the King can retire soon, or at least be the richest King amongst the neighbouring Kingdoms. (But remember a King nevertheless)

When you WANT to do something, you do it because you can. You do it because you like it. Usually, I would take an example of an artist or something here, but that would defeat my morale (already low with shitty work). So I will stick with the facts. Like mention the women in India who work. They work because they want to. Because they like to. Because they want to pay for their own living and not wait for any pocket money for slave labour like running a home. Becuase they want a status and recognition apart from being someones child or partner or parent. Is it really that difficult to fathom? Granted, it is not yet a necessity to be out there earning your bread else be classified as a loser or something. But thats what makes it even more complicated. They WANT to be out there, working.
If work is so bad, they will crib, but get a new job, boss, profile, whatever.
If they were the type that wanted a rich man to get married to and then stop working, they wouldnt be working seriously in the first place!
If they were the type who worked for some pocket money to splurge with, they would restrain themselves to being receptionists or open a Kurti shop in their garage or something!
If they were the type who only want to do housekeeping, they will.
They would not sit in office till wee hours trying to get a promotion and a raise and worry about their boss to prove that they can work. Heck! They would live the way they wanted to. Unless their house needed the cash. I make that exception.

But life is not so simple. It does not boil down to a simple thing like - when women dont like their work, they quit and sit at home and enjoy life with their savings!
It is complicated. And it goes something like - When women dont like their work, they, just like other human beings, crib, groan and look for a way to make their lives better. Going home, quitting without an option, and living off your partner/ parents is not a choice they consider.

As for taking sabbaticals? Well, I eagerly await the day when a sabbatical on my CV will be positively accepted.

Now, dont you wish Life were Simple?

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
20th Aug, 2009 17:33 (UTC)
This is a complicated post to reply to, and I'm not sure I've figured out everything you intended to say. Let me go ahead, and you can correct me later.
For one- the dynamics of liking vs. doing a job are different between single and married people, regardless of gender.
The baseline- unless u came into an inheritance or something, you need to earn a living somehow- be it a regular job or freelancing or entrepreneurship. I don't think it's as easy for a woman to up and quit and sit at home if she doesn't like her job either.
She may need the money, if nothing else, and this is regardless of having a working spouse.
Also, depending on the social strata you look at- I don't think a regular modern city bred woman (yourself for example) really has to break any prejudices about whether women should work or not. Working women, in India and other places, have been a reality for close to 40 years now. So there's nothing special about a woman joining the workforce compared to a guy.
The trouble starts when a woman is expected to run the house also singlehandedly in addition to her work- this is demeaning and makes it look like her day job is not as important as a man's job would be to him.

We are in a state of transition. Ideally speaking there should be no big deal about a woman going to work, whether out of interest or necessity. However traditional gender roles for millennia have dictated that men bring home the bacon while women grill it over the fire and serve, and feed the kid and do the dishes afterwards. So for a while yet these prejudices continue to prevail.
21st Aug, 2009 06:22 (UTC)
Re: Hmm...
^__^ I agree with most you say, and hence the post. You see, there still are so many modern city bred individuals who do not see life the way you mentioned.
Apart from the needing the money bit, people in general assume women can up and leave their job and sit at home - social strata notwithstanding - because they can do so!
This post was very simple actually, a rant, when I had enough of some people telling me to just quit and sit at home when I ranted about work. Thankfully for my frnds, none of them were part of this diaspora.
21st Aug, 2009 08:25 (UTC)
Re: Hmm...
People telling you to quit and sit at home? Crazy!!
Probably they expect you'll sell the cappuccino maker for a couple of magic beans to tide over ^^
25th Aug, 2009 06:53 (UTC)
..and life do not fit in same sentence! ^_^
If it was a complaint, very nicely done as it came out as a psychoanalysis of a larger diaspora who are women, working, on their own terms, their choice is to work and make a career, but are regularly facing biases/prejudices at work place and due to other factors also are not able to shape up their career and are forced to slog in a rather depreciating environment where in "work" instead of adding some value to personality, slowly " chips away" something everyday. correct me if I am wrong. Major source of frustration comes from the fact that due to biases and meaningless "Job" a feeling of wasting away comes. NEGATIVE.
Well, even male counterpart feel this thing but the percentage of population of male diaspora who fit under that " choice " philosophy are very less and % of males v/s % female in terms of talent are very less as in females, at higher position , only the talented ones comes, while in males, most of the population rises ( in organisation) because they suck up to their bosses or wherever they smell power. And they ignore the biases as somehow they see these very biases as advantage to them.
Fighting against biases is very difficult as changing the way people think is not easy, and hence if other people think that you basically do not require job for money, they would ask you to quite as they in their limited mental capacity would fail to fathom WHY you would fight bias which is an impossible feet for them and getting hurt? rather stay at home and chill. So here comes the ultimate question - Can an individual, who has will, desire as well as ability to work, shape his career as he/she pleases ? Why the heck there is that " Luck" factor involved? Because even you would agree with me that there are infact a lot of successful women out there who are doing good in their career just because they were at right place at right time. Bias be damned!
And that is what is most frustrating. Not being in control of own life.
4th Sep, 2009 06:53 (UTC)
Re: Simple..
I agree. :)
glad u got what I was saying, though with a vehemence I didnt use :D
4th Sep, 2009 07:07 (UTC)
Re: Simple..
ah. happens sometimes with me. getting what ppl mean i meant! ;)

well, have thought a lot about life and if u want to discuss life someday, we can do that over a bottle of Glenfiddich. ;) m somewhat of a scholar of questions pertaining to life ;)
27th Aug, 2009 07:09 (UTC)
indexed has somewhat simplified one aspect!! :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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