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Having It All

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Best portrayal of gender inequality till now.

So ladies, have you asked for that raise yet? 

Gender inequality has always been a highly debatable topic, and I doubt if that would change in the years to come. First it was Pepsico's Indra Nooyi's "Women can't have it all" statement and then followed by the much hyped Microsoft CEO's not so soft words about women having to wait for their karma, instead of asking for a raise. Both statements make no sense to me. If a woman cannot have it all, then there is something that she is not doing right. I know this is mainly defined by the society as to a woman has to take care of home first and then her work. But do we conform to all societal norms? I am a working lady who works from 9 am to 7 pm, five days a week and at times this is extended to weekends and late nights too. In between all of it, I manage my writing and the household chores. I make breakfast and lunch before I leave to work and cook dinner once I am back from work. I do have my mother in law to help me out at times, but I am sure I can manage fine even without her. Why? I have my husband by my side who is always willing to help me with these chores. He knows and understands that he is not the only one who was at work that day. I was too and it is the responsibility of both of us to take care of these chores. Screw society. When there is equality within a home, then a woman and the man can have it all.

Apparently Nooyi's mother sent her out to buy a packet of milk, the same day that she was announced to be the CEO of the FMCG giant. What is the big deal about it? I buy vegetables on my way home for cooking dinner that night. And I have my husband with me while shopping. I am not the CEO of any company but I work my ass off at my current role and I sure am exhausted by the end of the day. But there needs to be food on the table right? For us to eat. Some people are rich enough to hire cooks and helps, but I cannot afford them and I am more than happy to take care of these chores. Irrespective of our roles at work, my husband and I handle all the household work together without complaining or pointing fingers at each other. Remember the furor this Airtel ad created? First the chauvinists spewed fire, for showing the woman as the boss. Next, the feminists added fuel to it by saying why is the woman shown cooking for the husband? Cooking a meal for someone is a gesture of love, and has nothing to do with gender. Most of the successful chefs in the world are men, what do people have to say to that? Of course, this would create a huge storm in our country, where a woman is the only one expected to be a part of the kitchen. It is time that such notions change.

I work in the biggest IT company in the world, and it head by a woman. And I am sure it was not karma that got her there. I joined this place six and a half years ago, straight from college. It was not karma that got me here, it was six rounds of rigorous interviews that lasted for more than twelve hours. Getting chosen out of a thousand people was not karma too. It was something called hard work. I could not just depend on karma, and stare out of the window during the interview right? Today I am at a very good position at work, thanks to my hard work and I am earning well. I receive a raise based on my performance at work and it has nothing to do with the fact that I am a woman. The men receive the same raise too and sometimes even lower. It is all about the dedication and interest towards the work in hand, and not the gender. Anyone who thinks that they are not getting paid what they deserve, should ask for a raise, with enough proof of their hard work. And this is irrespective of being a man or a woman. Someone who takes home a pay of 112 Crores a year, has no right about commenting on a woman who asks for a raise. Nadella's hard work got him to where he is today. Or was it his karma alone?

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I am a feminist who believes in equality of men and women and not in the special privileges. I do not want special reservation for women or special treatment. I just want to be treated like a normal human being. Just like the way a man is treated. Of course in certain areas, a woman needs the help of a man and that is only because he is more physically stronger than her. That's it. Period. Everybody has a sense of thinking and a level of intelligence. That is what gets people to places and not the gender. If there are fewer women in the police force or the army today, it is only because of the prejudice of the Indian society. It is not because a woman is weaker or the fact that she has bad karma. I am a firm believer of karma too. Karma influences situations in your life; do good you get good, do bad you get bad. It does not define situations or take you high up the ladder. Maybe luck plays a factor somewhere, but definitely not karma. A girl at work got promoted because of her hard work. But all people could talk about was how he seduced influenced the manager and the others involved. Another guy got a promotion too and soon people were talking about his dedication and good luck. Wow, I sure am proud of the Indian mentality.

My husband snores at night at times and I am a very light sleeper. There are times when I cannot sleep a wink at night. People say that I am girl and hence I need to adjust as a man snoring is signs of stress and tiredness. Well hello! My husband and I leave to work together and get back together. Both work for the same hours at work and at home. How is the stress and tiredness different for him and me? Of course I gave a fitting reply. There is no one to blame here. It is the rules defined centuries ago, by people who are now turned to dust and yet people go out of their way to follow this. I think some people get a kick out of putting the other person down or trying to order them. All this is done to satiate one thing. The ego. If a woman makes more money than her husband then the man feels insecure. If she is more good looking than her husband, then he feels insecure. If she is successful in her field and is getting recognition, then he feels insecure. This is where the problem lies and not in the karma of the woman. The seed of fault is sown in the human mind and all they can do is water it. Gender equality can easily be achieved, once the thinking process changes. Once the man believes that the woman is also a human being just like him and deserves all the privileges that he does, then both he and she can have it all.

And for the record, karma has nothing to do with the materialistic things you receive in life including your pay check. If you have the capacity to earn and the talent and dedication to stick to your job, then no one and nothing can stop you from getting or asking for a raise. And just because you are at a good position at work, doesn't mean that you are excused from doing the household chores. If something at home has to be done, then it has to be done. Either by the man or the woman. 

Doing it all, is the only way you can have it all.


  1. what a powerful post! i really adore brave girls like you who come out and open and give it back to the MCPs out there who are always actively engaged in announcing stupid diktats to women. Sadly some intellectuals and famous personalities too (like Yesudas), blame women for every damn crime that takes place in the society.

    It is not good karma but caliber and ambition and of course hard work that takes one to the top but unfortunately in our society, girls are given nasty tags when they cross a certain threshold of success and start giving men a real competition.

    Indira Nooyi once revealed in an interview that she had to work twice as hard as men to reach the same position.
    But as i said, women like you are fighters who always pave way for change! Keep rocking!


  2. This has been a burning topic in my head for a long time and I have been filling my draft with every single thing which discriminates a man from a woman, will be posting soon. Nice post!

    1. You should write, I'd love to read it!


  3. Agree with you Soumya. I also work from 7 am to 4:30 pm and I also cook breakfast and lunch . I pack breakfast for my toddler, pick him in the afternoon, bring him home, and cook dinner once I reach. Hubby also works and he helps a LOT without which we cannot strike a balance. And he does not cook dinner because he reaches after I do. Not because cooking is for women. There are certain things which are done better by men and vice versa. The woman soothes a crying child better, and this is a law of nature. One cannot argue that a man has to do it because it is his child too. Yes feminism and gender equality is a recurring debate with no light at the end of the tunnel, but this post is very good with all your points spot on.

    I also could save my career after my baby came because of the support and encouragement of my partner ... I will never argue that a woman should continue to work and the man should stay home...because babies do better with mothers in the early stages of their lives. We took turns to take leave when our son was sick. It is all a matter of making sacrifices, compromises and understanding, not karma.
    I hate it too when hard work is underestimated and everything attributed to karma !

    1. Its so sad no when people attribute it to karma! Thank you so much for reading and sharing your points too!

  4. "I am a feminist who believes in equality of men and women and not in the special privileges. I do not want special reservation for women or special treatment. I just want to be treated like a normal human being. Just like the way a man is treated. Of course in certain areas, a woman needs the help of a man and that is only because he is more physically stronger than her."

    I have learnt that it is women who put other women down. Men have been supportive, I have noticed.

    1. If only! I agree with you, it is women who mostly put the other women down.

  5. Wow! You rightly said it all.
    Mind defined everything and you can define in the way that suits you.
    For a married woman, husband's support is crucial. also, the in-laws support is critical. If you get it, then awesome. And you are getting it.
    I am unmarried. yet,, i know how men think. they cant marry a woman who earns more, let the wife work after child's birth, do household chores, or take care of wife's parents. And the excuse they give is they are trained that way and it HAS been that way for ages. And, i really pity them. Now, slowly things are changing. But then, much depends upon hw we raise our kids.

    Good one Soumya!

    1. It all boils down to your upbringing at the end of the day.

      Thank you Satya!

  6. There is a man and there is a woman and there are tasks to be done for co-existence. At work and at home. That's all there is to it. Where does the gender come into this?

    And Karma defining what you get because you are a woman? Bullshit! Karma doesn't know gender, it knows only what you have done and what you deserve. I would say all these people spewing words about women are just plain jealous and more importantly insecure. Why else would you try to put someone down?

    And if a woman adjusts to some shortcomings of her man, it is because she loves him and not because she is a woman. The converse is also true. I think some people don't understand the word 'equal'. That's it.


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