I am witnessing a surprising phenomenon these days. I see that the average marriageable age for a woman is going up and for the man is coming down. I am not sure whether this is an occurrence only in India or the world over. I see that women from my generation want more out of life. They are not satisfied with finishing their studies and getting married and settling into a life revolving around husband and kids.
Women of today want high paying jobs, want jobs with responsibility and power. Gone are the days when women opted for a strict 10-5 job so that they could spend more time with the family. Nowadays, I see Indian women jet-setting around the globe, attending business meetings and being part of the top management.
I am talking about the average woman and not overachievers like Indra Nooyi or Lalitha Gupte. This change has percolated down to the average woman in any metropolitan city and is slowly going deeper down to the women in towns. I had a male friend jokingly ask me as to why women are taking up professional degrees. He said men have to study better than the girls, get more marks, get higher paying jobs and then marry somebody who considers them as good husband material. He said that it is too much pressure to be handled by an average male.
Earlier a woman who had not had atleast 2 kids by the age of 28 was considered different, whereas now I see that women are not even married by 28. You really can’t fault the woman, as there is a paucity of overachieving men in comparison to the number of overachieving women in existence these days. One girl friend told me that whereas girls have become smarter compared to the earlier generation, men have remained the same. So it has become really difficult for the girls of today’s generation to get married to a guy with the mindset of the prior generation.
None of today’s gals would get married to a guy who expects his wife to be home by 6 and has dinner ready by the time he comes home. I am not saying that all the Indian men today are archaic in mentality. I would say that they have become more tolerant and adjusting than men of the earlier generation. Somehow I don’t see the fire in the belly or that spark which I see in the average woman in the average man. There are few men who are extremely good, but alas they are all taken by the time our lady starts thinking about marriage and family.
One thing I appreciate in these women is that they are not getting married to any Tom, Dick or Harry just because everybody else is getting married. They prefer to wait for their Prince Charming and discuss their hopes and aspirations with him and then get married.
One amusing thing, which I notice, is that most of hubby’s male friends have tied the knot and settled down whereas his female friends are busy concentrating on their careers. Such a far cry from the generation just before us. I can say with surety that the tables have turned a full circle.