Friday, 4 September 2015

The "fallen" woman

The Indrani Mukherjea saga has once again brought to the fore our obsession with the "fallen" woman. And, as usual, more women than men are crying foul and discussing in gory detail how bad a mother she was or what a social climber she has been and how she deserves exactly what she got. Well, maybe all this is true in her case or maybe not. Haven’t we all heard the adage “innocent till proven guilty”? We are ready to believe that she has committed this crime even though there were no eye witnesses to this act other than those also equally guilty but there are many who still don’t believe that Salman Khan ran over innocent poor people sleeping on the footpath while in a drunken state, though eye witnesses confirm the fact. See what I mean?

Yes, we are sometimes too ready to tag a woman as “fallen” and find excuses for the men.

Even though divorce is a common thing today, even in India, a successful divorcee woman is regarded rather warily by many other “happily married women” in the society. They fear that these women might lure their own husbands into some kind of a honey trap. Please !!! Give it a rest women …your husbands - paunchy, balding, miserly et al - are attractive only to yourselves. Nobody, especially not these successful, gone-through-the-wringer women, is interested in your husbands. And the same goes for those smart, successful women who choose to remain single. They are not interested in your husbands. Now, whether your husbands are interested in these women is something you have to ask yourself.

Woe be to those divorced (or widowed) women who found love and are either, married a second time or living in with their partner. People around start commenting about how soon they could move on when the ex-husband couldn’t, though these same people wouldn’t bother to comment if the ex-husband went around with a thousand girls & the woman remained single and maybe, miserable. If the woman has children then there will be those who’ll comment on what a bad mother this woman is and how unsettling it’s for the kids when the mother remarries or lives-in with another man. Never mind that the kids are well-behaved, well-balanced & happy!!! And startlingly, these comments come not from enemies but from some of the closest friends, also women.

Why are we still like this? Why haven’t education and a broader world-view been able to change this woman-hate-woman attitude? I don’t know. But it angers me every time I see it. It makes me cringe and I am neither divorced, widowed nor single. 

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