A big problem with the upbringing of women in India in a traditional sense prevents them with dealing with the concept of living alone. In a traditional sense of community, family has been of utmost importance to the lives of women. More than a spouse, the extended family and sense of community has been taught to women to be their sole domain of service. Children, elders and all in between have been of superior emotional priority above all else for women. Domesticity has been the universal shackle for women in the subcontinent once they come of age. Even at times when marital or conjugal bliss seems dismal prospects in marriages, women are pressured to cater to the smooth upkeep of a family.
Very few women in India, till date are able to afford living independently or on their own. More than financial constraints, it is the mental preparation that evades women. Living away from family on one’s own is a fearful concept, incomprehensible for most. From a very early age women are conditioned to patriarchal guardianship of some kind or the other, be it the father before marriage or a husband after and children later on in life. Accepting authoritarian domination is seen as normative collateral for social security or protection.
This is a big reason why several women, despite being stuck in extremely unhappy marriages or relationships, even under abusive or violent circumstances. “How shall I live alone in the world” is the biggest fear women harbour that prevents them from moving out of unhappy marriages or paternal homes. The home is all women have been taught to claim for sole possessions in the world. Hence they see the home and all that it comprises of as extensions of their very own selves. An often made complaint against Indian mothers is their extreme possessive and clingy tendencies towards their children. This can also attributed largely to the way women have been habituated to not having a world of their own outside the home.
Women are never taught to love on their own, manage their own finances, fend for themselves on their own. Hence fear of loneliness is an immensity plaguing their lives. Let’s start teaching our girls to be self-sufficient not just financially but emotionally and psychologically