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bhagyashree dassani

actress,

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Is a woman's existance confined only to her home, her being a wife, a mother? What is the right time for her to live out her dreams?

Many women including me prioritise their family over their work, dreams, ambition. But there comes a time when the routine has been set and the birds are ready to fly from the nest and then you discover that you have forgotten about your own existance and you begin to redefine the purpose of your life. Some how this change is very rarely accepted. It is taken for granted that what has been happening for so long should continue on...irrespective of the fact that the others have moved on.
Sad but true that the very same intelligent woman that took the decision to sacrifice her desires, putting the need of her family before anything else is suddenly given to feel that she is incompetant to face the world outside.
No wonder then that educating a daughter is a sheer waste if one wants her to marry and raise a family. When we preach about educating the girl child, isnt it of equal importance to condition the male mind to give respect to that intelligence. Why cant a woman have the choice of living out her dreams, aspirations with the support of the man for whom she so willingly changed, adapted to a new way of life. When we teach our girls that they should be capable to stand on their own should we not teach our sons to respect that stature as an individual .
The changing face of today's society merely shows the woman working only because of the requirement of a double income to sustain the needs or luxuries of that home. It has little to do with the talent or aspiration of the woman.
The mid life crisis for a woman occurs when she realises that she is left behind after the children dont need her anymore and she has no conversation to interest her husband with. Marriages too reach a deteoration as the differences mount. It would require the reassuring hand of the husband to help the woman match him step by step. Is it not right to expect the same indulgence in the marriage as the wife may have provided in the beginning of the relationship. Equality has to be in thought.

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    May 1 2011: sad story. but the question can be broadened. why so many, why most people live trapped by traditions? so much creativity, so much human potential is lost, because we have to do things as our ancestors did. society controls our taste, habits, hobbies, dressing, opinions and virtually every aspect of our lives. that is not good. we need to, we have to make a distinction between good tradition and bad tradition. just because something is a tradition, it does not make it good. new solutions needed! be brave and embrace creative destruction!
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      May 1 2011: Krisztián,

      I did not realize you were so anti-cultural (traditionalized heritages). I absolutely agree, change is only good when it brings good with it.
  • May 1 2011: Rightly or wrongly, the key lies in the sense of responsibility of the husband. Unless a husband is willing and determined to assist his wife in materializing her goals/aspirations (other than usual family commitments), she cannot help but feel empty and limited. As generally seen, this confinement stems from various factors like total emotional/economic dependence on husband or an unusually strong sense (perceived or imposed) of additional responsibility of the family.

    While we see many many cases in which wives are confined to those limiting roles, we luckily also have examples of those who have successfully managed both worlds, albeit with an extra amount of hardship/efforts.

    Not sure when the mold of male-dominated world will melt .....and voluntarily provide a fair share/opportunity to female, .... but a 'right time to live out dreams' is always now and today.
  • May 3 2011: Hi Bagyashree, I suspect that there are millions of women on this planet who completely understand what you are talking about. I would say the right time for a woman to live out her dreams is when she has the first opportunity. First, she may have to re-discover herself, her interests and her passions, having spent years looking after the family as a priority. As you suggest, getting employment may be difficult and maybe she needs to create her own employment. With the availability of the Internet and access to a worldwide market, this is a great time for self-employment.

    She needs to find her passion - it could be something very simple but something she is good at and excited about - develop a strategy to implement it. Maybe she can work with friends in a partnership. Set a goal and every day, without fail, do something to take her one step closer to the goal - some research, maybe talk to someone in that business, and so on. One step each day leads to success over the years. She needs to stay focused, enjoy her family because there is no greater accomplishment than giving the world good human beings, and keep in mind that "now" is always a great time to do something. :-)
  • Apr 30 2011: I agree with you in all you say. I find it unfortunate and depressing to still see so many people that do not understanding this.

    We need to raise our daughters to be confident, knowledge seeking, independent and aware of their rights.

    In every family, both partners should share chores and responsibility and that does not mean that they cannot agree on some tasks to be taken on by only one partner if that agreement is mutual and not coercive. In today's world woman should not be required to sacrifice her career or ambitions because her husband should do his part in taking care of the family not just by going to work but also by actively working at home. Sometimes woman will have to take a break from her career in order to fully enjoy her children. But otherwise she should not be limited (unless she wishes so) from continuing to engage in workforce or community.

    I think many men still need to learn that family is shared responsibility. Boys should be taught that girls can have the same ambitions and goals as them.

    I am still surprised how many people (and esp. women) tell me whether I want my daughter to be a tomboy because I am buying her science kits and toys or let let her play soccer. That attitude seem to be coming from people that have not yet been explained the equal rights and opportunities that women should enjoy as well.
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    Apr 30 2011: The fact there are still men by the billions who feel superior to women beyond physical activities could be a dictation of how primitive the human race still is, I mean, these values are older than organized religion and possibly organized systems of governing. Men are only superior in physical activities due to nature, nothing more. If in nature women were the hunters/leaders and men the gatherers/caretakers, that difference would be reversed. And now with our advances in psychology and technology is it proven there are only subtly differences involving the male and female brain.

    To keep women behind men does nothing but deny progression of science involving thought and logic in the long run, in which I feel it already has, imagine if women were never treated unequally because of gender we would have had twice as many scientist in history. However, I feel this value is a dying fashion for the future generations, regarding the internet I can assure many women that this ridiculous value is at an all time low and lowering.

    Small battles are big battles also, so, stop idolizing women for their appearance and stopping there, people are far more than just looks, and even the most beautiful person in the world can be an ugly hearted person. Stop subjecting children to these Disney and Disney-like films giving "princess" values to little girls. Stop spending so much money on cosmetics that do more harm to your skin than it is worth for the temporary "beauty". I know I am generalizing here when I feel most women practice these values, but I live in New Jersey America and that is all I see women doing constantly!

    I want women equal in this world more than anything, it would be a giant step towards uniting the world for the better of mankind, excuse me, humankind.
    • Apr 30 2011: Absolutely. I always believed that if women had the same rights and freedom and if they were allowed to fully participate in society we would see a few if any wars and war conflicts in this world. Men have great qualities but without women sharing the power and responsibilities, many not so great qualities surface all the time =)
  • May 4 2011: first of all I'm a big fan of your's not just because you are a good actor but the sacrifice you did for your family life, by leaving the film industry when you were at the epitome of success. I have seen very rare examples of such dedication and commitment to one's family by any person.
    I think that you chose the dream life you wanted, otherwise you would not have chosen it. In my view you can be a great role model to the young one's who just for the sake of their job leave their children in the hands of maids, that if so successful actor preferred to take care of her family first why can they do that. My mother was a school teacher , although having a joint family helped me raise quite well , still i miss she not being there always with me. may be your children will always cherish those special moments that they spent with you. also mother is the first teacher to child and also the foundation to the family. I honestly accept that men are idiots in family matters.
    But yes some times that hurts , when you think that what might have happened if i had chosen the other path. but the Irony of the science is that they have not discovered any such time machine that could change the path we took. But it is our choice to accept the present with dignity and make the best out of what today is offering. :)
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    May 2 2011: Undoubtedly like most would agree a woman would have to take time off from her work/job to raise children. But along with other values, systems, outlook, behaviour that we women inculcate into our children is not the mental growth a priority. My father often used to tell me to ask myself everyday before retireing to bed..."How have i added something of value to my life, mentally, emotionally or physically" Either you should have gained the wealth of knowledge by reading or practical performence OR helped another in the form of contributing to their happiness, well being, growth OR taken upon yourself to accomplish a physical task or growth..more so incase of atheletes. The enhancement has to substantial for your growth as a human, for you purpose of life.
    I do find that it becomes increasingly difficult to accomplish this little task that my father taught us...not because i dont want to but because of restraints beyond my control. Isnt this growth invaluable for each of us to be able to contribute to the society at any optimum level, to be able to better ourselves everyday...
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      May 2 2011: "Undoubtedly like most would agree a woman would have to take time off from her work/job to raise children."

      I completely disagree, in fact, i would love to stay home and raise my children and not work. Be a stay at home dad. I could only be so lucky for that to happen to me one day. I never understood why this was such a burden for women, perhaps because it was traditonalized instead of a freedom.

      Krisztián dictates this perfectly. Why must people lived trapped by traditions? You technically do not even need to have a child! Why not adopt a child who is already 3 or 4 years old? The effort in which to raise them is cut down by a huge cost and time percentage! Forget lineage, a child in which you educate properly while practicing positive moral values and discipline will carry on your lineage just as well or better than a child who is of blood.

      Bhagyashree,

      I think you are limiting yourself based on experiences/speculations that you created in reflection of the world. Now today more than ever before technology transcends sex all together. It is proven sexual orientation means NOTHING when involving thought processes. Only thing sexual preferences change is who you create attachment with. Reread Krisztián comment, it is beyond a sound statement.
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        May 2 2011: Hi Nicholas.
        While I do not disagree with either you or Krisztians' points I think we need to consider culture and the role it plays. I believe that you were raised in today's American society while Bagyashree was raised in India. I was born in 1955 and raised in Canada.
        My experience is different than yours and I think it might be more parallel to Bagyashree's although she is far younger but we sort of track on the stage in which our cultures were.

        I was the first woman to work in a nontraditional field. In fact, in one of the largest companies in North America- even the world- the 3 men I was hired with and I were all 'layed off' because the men of one unionized department refused to train a woman. We were all 'rehired' a few months later and put into another classification. I stuck with that for 10 years until I had paid off my first house and embraced full time motherhood. It was tough because changing societal roles made all of my previous experience and contribution worth nothing to society.
        As my kids aged- I went back to school and got an MA- which was exhilerating but it was all done around my kid's lives- their school schedule, their sports or music or cubs- because my then husband was 'the bread winner'. When my kids were further along- I had to give up a full scholarship for full PHD studies because 'it was time for me to earn more money.
        When I went back into the workforce- I lacked the right experience and even now- I am paid less than a guy who was hired almost 4 years after I was with less education and less responsibility.

        I am telling my story to say that the times and the culture do matter and while it does not in anyway invalidate your opinion - I hope it gives you a wider perspective.
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          May 3 2011: Hi Debra,
          I think you have understood my point straight on. We women are brought up ih a culture where in tending to you home, family, husband and children is first priority. There is no denying that even if we were given a choice our instinct and maternal feelings would countinue to guide us through the same decisions.
          However Salim and Nicholas feel that it is a probably a forced tradition of sorts...what i am seeking to debate that because a woman chooses to give priority to these things first at the initial stage of her life (Which inturn promote the well being of her husband and kids) should she be "Expected" to continue with the same always, throughout her life.
          Nicholas You might be a great father but giving birth and breast feeding a child isnt something that a man can do. There are men in today's society who do chip in on bringing up childern but they are far and few.
          Salim, the world outside is changing fast and if one has been out of touch from work it will take a while to get accustomed or aquainted with changes that have happened. Unfortunately wether it is at the workplace or at home...it is given to believe that they would rather train a novice than give a stay at home mom a n opportunity to return to work.
          Many a times the kids turn around and say"What would you know" as if one was dealing with someone that was totally incompetant. It is this attitude that causes disillusionment, when a woman's capabilities are questioned even before giving her a fair chance.
          The fact is that in most cultures, the husband can leave home without the stress of whats happening with the kids or whats cooked or clothes washed and literally come and put his feet on the table clicking tv channels to unwind.....do you think women would ever do that.

          Im sorry but as a woman i have really felt the heat on this as many of my friends...
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      May 2 2011: Contradicting or confusing really with the primary premise she had what she is saying now !!! Sorry to say that
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        May 2 2011: Salim- I do not understand what you are communicating. Could you please clarify?
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          May 2 2011: Debra- "Is a woman's existance confined only to her home, her being a wife, a mother"? this question gives the impression that it is not a choice to a woman so the debate is

          Which is again strengthened by "Sad but true that the very same intelligent woman that took the decision to sacrifice her desires, putting the need of her family before anything else is suddenly given to feel that she is incompetant to face the world outside".

          Now the post is "Undoubtedly like most would agree a woman would have to take time off from her work/job to raise children." which says it is obvious choice for a woman

          If it is a self chosen obvious choice no issue, it's choice of woman herself and by saying "Undoubtedly" it is futher stregthened to be a must choice

          Are not premise and what posted later contradiccting each other creating a confusion?

          If it is someone's deliberate choice debate is not necessary thats what I wanted to communicate nothing else
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    May 1 2011: I think the term “sacrifice” may be significant here. To sacrifice our dreams, ambitions and potential implies that we give them up or put them on hold. I have been reading “The Happiness Hypothesis” by Jonathon Haidt and he paraphrases Marcus Aurelius as saying “Work itself is but what you deem it.” and goes on to say “If you are stuck in a job that doesn’t match your strengths, recast it so it does.”

    Haidt”s challenge to bring our gifts and potential to the current situation takes dreams and ambitions off the shelf and into day-to-day reality. Putting one’s own dreams and potential on hold would seem to contribute to an unequal marriage relationship and creates a model for the children that one may not prefer. Exploring and fine tuning how to continually develop our potential according to our priorities and the limitations of the situation would likely have an effect on the spouse and the children as well as the person who has made that decision. This would make the transition easier as responsibilities ease.

    I love your statement “Equality has to be in thought.” I believe our nature is to develop our gifts and potential but sadly, cultural and economic systems that have evolved do not seem to support that. Since a marriage is a commitment to two joining together as one, anything that diminishes one partner would diminish the other. I define love as a commitment to the development of the best interests of another. When one partner fully commits to this process over time, the depth of commitment of the other becomes clear.

    Dreams are always in the future and create a fixed image in our mind. Exploring and learning about who we are and who we can become each day allows us to learn from every setback and leads to increased satisfaction and fulfillment in the present time while creating a path that leads to our best dreams and beyond.
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    May 1 2011: Being from a closer culture I think I understand you clearer and agree to great extent. Before I specifically answer your 2 questions let me have some backgorund 1st.

    With all the differences in different countries , societies & cultures everywhere "Women" remained a 2nd class citizen with in same country ,culture , religion and ethnicity is a fact. Historically when our society moved from maternal to paternal the whole thing shaped up in to a new way with support of religious thoughts even. You can check the book "The Origin of Family, Private Property & State" by Fdredrick Engels (don't get me wrong please I am not promoting communism )

    Almost same "Story of Genesis" believed by Judaism, Christianity & Islam (I don't know why they fight though) gives the notion that Adam is superior. Our civilaztion advanced scientifically & technologically tremendously , what about our advancement in terms of those thoughts. Are not our societies still strongly bogged in to those archaic thoughts? e.g. The judicial "law of inheritance" of our countries still influenced by religion.

    Birth of a son still cherished in many countries and societies. Post-partum depression in women though has got a physiological etiology , I wonder how of much it is influenced by the societal and family pressure for a male baby !!

    In under-privilaged part of our society where food is a precious thing , even mother keeps the bigger portion better portion for her son !!! Even in the so called upper , educated part mother's most important teaching to her daughter is "you have to take care of your home". Mother herself does it as she learnt it that way also.

    To your questions my answer is
    1) No it's not confined & can't be decided by someone else what should be her existance. It's only SHE
    2) The time is NOW, I mean the moment each woman thinks of her dream that's the time.

    No one gives anyone's right easily , so speak up ,stand up, defend for it, fight for it ; you are not friendless .....
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    Apr 30 2011: Watch this TEDWomen Talk from Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html

    It will address a lot of these concerns.
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    Apr 30 2011: I believe in these modern times, women, especially in the U.S., have as much opportunity as men. The kicker is children. They must come first if one decides to have a family. The husband is as well liberated enough, however, to be an important part of the solution. Becoming a couple is as much about love as being a team. A team for both parents to follow a chosen path.
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    Apr 30 2011: I think you'll get responses from many women from different cultures for this discussion. There are many ways to approach the issues you raise. I suppose the best thing is for you to take it all in and then decide your goals yourself. But keep in mind, even in places like the United States were debates and social changes about the roles of women and men have been going on for the last half-century, questions about the right balance between family and work for both women and men are still debated actively today. Times change, social/economic matters change and so I'm not sure there is a permanent or "right" answer to your questions, only continuing adjustment.