Being a woman in India comes with the burden to battle patriarchy, conservatism, and the regressive societal mindset that has trickled down our society for centuries. Even with our claims to modernity, one can spot instances of outright sexism and gendered prejudices with closed eyes. In a world where anything but conformity to age-old regressive norms becomes rebellious, Indian women are breaking stereotypes.
A Reddit post by u/smrjck28 on TwoXIndia is brimming with women and their stories that echo a sound of change. They are sharing how they broke stereotypes and generational patterns within their families.
1. "Being childfree. No one else my age or even younger has decided against having kids. No one in my family understands my decision. But they've had to accept it; it's not really their choice to make."
2. "The first woman in my family to venture out to study and not get married by the age of 25. My family has a rural background, migrated to city for better opportunities but the thinking remained the same. What worked in my case was that I was always good in studies and extra curricular and I got my mother's rock solid support because the way her dreams were shattered (she was good at studies too but wasn't allowed to complete it and was married off)."
3. "Decided to remain unmarried and childfree, for which I very surprisingly have support. Well, not from everyone but from people that matter (my mom and siblings) and that's all I need tbh."
4. "Becoming a career woman, marrying for love outside community and religion. Adopting a child despite being medically able to have a child."
5. "Married the man I whole heartedly love, working in an industry not encouraged by strict extended family, happily child free, wear whatever I like without worrying about weight. I’m a happy size 12 and wear whatever the hell I like. I set up boundaries with aplomb, something my mother could never do. No one talks down to me and if they do they go in for a time out. This wasn’t easy since most people don’t understand that there are consequences to behaving badly. As a woman I’m supposed to let it go and forgive. I don’t."
6. "Going to therapy. Better news, my sister took an year or so and she finally started therapy too. We've moved on to thinking we want to fix our issues even if our parents think it's silly and claim we're wasting our money."
7. "Got divorced with a daughter in tow, fighting a custody battle for 5 years and winning it because we were not at all compatible. Got full support from my mom and sister but had many outsiders asking if there was any physical violence or adultery involved! I was like "Are these the only valid reasons for a woman to come out of a marriage?"
8. "Refusing to do the following unless I wanted to: grow my hair out long, wear earrings, wear traditional feminine clothes. And doing the following: refusing to let people talk down to me, intervening when I feel a woman in my family is being disrespected (standing up to elder men), calling people out on their prejudices, enforcing boundaries, going to therapy and getting diagnosed, despite parents insistence that ADHD isn't real... The list is quite big if I think about it."
9. "I came out as Bi to my mom, and I also have a non-Indian partner. I’ve lived with him for two years before COVID hit, and my very traditional mom had to accept this reality. Also started wearing shorts, doing whatever I want and my mom doesn’t question it anymore."
10. "Choosing my own career path. I come from a family that either goes abroad for masters or a Government job. I chose to do MBA in a state where you won't usually find people from community studying. I'm highlighted a bit here for being different but people are lovely and I'm having the time of my life."
It's just so wholesome to know stories likes these!