It is the 21st century, women- urban, educated, liberated, are almost at par with men on the outside. They can afford to live independently, pay their own rent, travel to places on their own and even exercise sexual freedom to a certain degree in this country. In this demographic of women who dwell in the microcosm of progressive, modern, urban existence, liberation and equality are not so much the ends of everyday struggles. However there is one thing that keeps even the most liberated shackled: personal romantic lives.
No matter how educated, idealogical or even gender-conscious women get, they are always impeded by one hurdle, which more often than not is the relationship shared with their private romantic partners. In the domain of the personal, be it marital relationship or a high school fling, the power dynamics of a cishet romantic relationship are always the same. Predictable and uninnovative . It’s the same story of the man taking the woman `and her huge repertoire of emotions for a ride.
Because even men who have to face some resistance in the world outside, once they step inside the threshold of the home (as in emotional space, not just physical),women are pretty much their conquests. Conquests to their troublesome whims and sadistic desires. Objects to vent the frustrating blows of the world outside. For the best place for men to tame and conquer women is through love and romance and oftentimes, hollow promises of the same.
Women, in love, are a separate phenomenon altogether. They turn blind to reality and anything contradicting the greatness of the beloveds they have placed on a pedestal. Love, rather the unreciprocation of it is perhaps one of the greatest miseries womankind has in their own stock of sufferings at the hands of patriarchy. For women, truth be told, have immense reservoirs of and capacities for devotion and selflessness as are unfathomable to men, to be more clear, toxically masculine men. Hence, their expectations of reciprocation stay beyond what typically masculine males are capable of ever giving. And instead of learning to love as selflessly as women do, men find it easier and more self-affirming to withhold , restrain or shut off. These are age old defense mechanisms for safekeeping the idea of masculinity where to pay much heed to the heart is considered weak and unmanly. Hence no matter how much women wail and cry, as the age old conditioning for femininity to process grief, the typically conditioned male never yields. That makes women, always the clingier or needier one in a relationship.
Hence men, especially the suave and ‘chill’ urban man finds it easy to whine about all the “unnecessary emotional drama”. And then again there is the woman who wants to be at par and demand what she needs, deserves and wants in terms of emotional and sexual gratification. She feels she has a claim on his time and attention and finds ways to convey it to him, either explicitly or covertly. And all HELL breaks loose in most relationships- especially in non-marital relationships where the legitimacy quotient is a woman’s disadvantage. So you see, for a woman in a relationship it’s always a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Men often bask about how they would like their woman-on-top as in sexually, but sadly most emotionally and intellectually myopic men are incapable of gauging that an omelette can’t be made without breaking the eggs. A woman-on-top means so in every way it could possibly imply. She would demand, argue, reason, contribute, differ, opine and at HER WILL NOT THE MAN’S. Men expect their women to be at their beck and call whenever they want to talk, or romance or discuss finances and politics and indulge in intimacy. On the contrary when a woman needs the same companionship from her male partner, she has excuses varying from a busy schedule to work pressure to exhaustion to a friends’ night out shoved down her throat. So the question we need to ask men,perhaps ones they even need to ask themselves is ” Are you really ready for the WOMAN-ON-TOP? “
It is true women are weak when it comes to love. They are quick to sacrifice their own self-interests for the sake of their beloveds. Centuries of patriarchy has taught women to make themselves easy sacrifices to the cause of the upkeep of the male. Women have adapted to survival through allying with the male for sustenance while patriarchy has given the trump card to males to divide females from knitting together in solidarity. Hence the first instinct women feel when in love is to fight for territory, gnaw, gnarl, bite, bark, do whatever is needed to establish their control.
Men have it easier. For them to establish control is to exercise their free license of forming multiple sexual relations. Hence partners are replaceable by years of conditioned instinct. This makes women the worst sufferers in the game of power in the personal front. And more often than not, also the vanquished.
So, many well educated prodigious women, with immense potential have LET GO of it all at the altar of love, love that has been nothing but a societal conditioning, patriarchy has always used as a tool. The sheer nobler women who could have had better fates had it all not been drowned to the enormous mistakes committed at the hands of primary instincts, is too sad. Perhaps the history of humankind would have changed had women opted for themselves before love.
It is an important question we need to ask ourselves as to why women are still so far behind when it comes to empowering themselves on the personal front. Love should be an emotion that should be cherished for what it is, the supreme form of intelligence humankind has been gifted with. Not as a means to a selfish end of establishing power and control. And women especially, need to understand how much strength they hold within themselves and how that could be used for building themselves into more and not erasing themselves into less.