IntroductionThe six important trends in thinking of this generation of young educated women are a) The urge to be on their own b) Become financially well off almost immediately c) Never accept the dominance of men d) Spend money and enjoy life e) Inform everyone the " We are different" mindset and e) Ready to explore alternatives like never before.
The urge to be on their ownEven if a clear ninety plus percentage of women, including the very rich, are the " neither-here-nor-there" types, in terms of their being somewhere in between ultra conservative and ultra modern, they always have a big urge to be on their own. They do not like traditions. There are two vital things they hate. The first is any reference to " those good old days". This generation is least bothered. Most young girls are more attached to their fathers. Since the latter are too busy, their stories and time to relate to children in a big way, is rather limited. The mothers squeeze their time and somehow get more time to tell stories to their sons. It is sometimes seen that the spirit of tolerance, the keenness to jell well with relatives and so on is far better in the boys than in the girls. A sociological explanation might as well be that even young girls are trying to break the traditional stereotypes of girls and women. The stories of the 'new woman' they often hear at school sort of reinforces their belief and behaviour. The second thing that young girls really hate is advise. This author met with a dozen young girls in the 15 to 18 age group in as many families, and in each of the cases it is the same story. The mother, now some 40 to 44 years old, is unable to even influence the girl child on the simplest of matters. The 16 year old girl, reasoned that her friends would make "fun" of her, if she were to wear the half sari and glass bangles and ankles for the wedding. When the mother pointed out the family tradition, the girl threw up a temper tantrum. With some motivation from the father, the girl finally agreed to wear the half sari but not the bangles. It was left to the mother to only wear them. This is so common in most families. And any girl , above 15 wants a good android smartphone. No more, no less.
The girls and the woman have independent ideas on literally every single aspect of their lives. They often argue with every elder and want their own particular ways of doing things. Breaking rituals, traditions and so on are considered the new normal.
Become financially well off almost independently This is a very common observation. Even very ordinary graduates from the vernacular medium, who take up the call center jobs to make a living and also send some money home, have a big desire to quickly become financially independent. Through some good networking, they are quite good in upgrading their IT skills and spoken language skills and quickly switch jobs for the better. When they meet with some good male who has similar aspirations, marriages do occur and this is a good thing. The positive spin off is the increasingly confident and assertive behaviours observed in most urban women.
Never accept the dominance of men Though a very small percentage of young women get hooked to Facebook and sometimes fall into the dangerous trap of being physically abused, there is a huge majority who are not only steer smart, but also have the inclination to positively say no to the dominance of men. Even in the matters of marriage, women tend to reject outright any family that ill-treats their parents or places excessive demands for dowry and so on. The dominance of men through the traditional methods is now history. Women are very demanding. Men can never take any woman for granted now. This is a really very good development.
Spend money and enjoy life Hanging around in the vast and most beautiful shopping malls is not just window shopping. Groups of six employed women pool their resources and have lunch or dinner. Spending for good friends who may be relatively poorer is also common. The caring and sharing is also very good. Women are now in the habits of enjoying life and spending money like never before. The "freak out" experiences are also becoming very common indeed. There is every hope that this trend will continue. The aspirations have increased everywhere.
Inform everyone the " We are different" mindset This is not restricted to making fashion statements. Every young girl and woman wants to enjoy the new found confidence and assertiveness. Better still, they are quite happy at making everyone understand through very frank statements, their intent and mindset. This includes families and friends. There are parents who obviously like to have their daughters behave in certain ways at social gatherings and so on. However, being glued to the latest smartphones and chats with friends is so common and the appropriate body language often says it all. The sign language is used to indicate that they are busy and would not like to be disturbed. The unique qualities of women of all ages in the age group of 19 to 30 is there for all to see. It is a fact of modern life. Whom to talk to, social behaviours in the neighbourhood, choice of food, online ordering of all things and so on are other "givens" that most parents live with.
Ready to explore alternatives like never before Those in the media profession, for example, are not only very fashionable, but also very creative. Such creative minds never welcome restrictions. The increasing rates of divorce of the most famous TV stars happens because of the conflict between the new roles and the traditional roles. Divorce is not a taboo anymore. Women are dating enough to even get re-married to someone, who shares common dreams and is very talented. The search for alternatives is there in every walk of life. It is there in making money, spending money, fashion and what have you. The days are changing and the modern woman wants a big piece of the action. Parents are quite worried but are increasingly able to understand aspirations and desires of this new generation.
ConclusionThe modern days of economic independence, new wave thoughts, of behaviour and thought processes are now touching the lives of most educated women in the 19 to 30 age group. The dimensions described above are all works in progress. The rapidly evolving information technologies have made the change even faster. Such changes are good for the consumption-driven economy.
A nice article from the author about the opposite sex. The age difference, the conventional unsaid rules and perception of women in our Indian patriarchal society with which we have grown makes it difficult for us to understand the mindset of our own contemporaries of the opposite sex. I feel it would be even more difficult when it comes to women who are a generation younger than us.
At the outset, if we keep the concept of gender equality and look at the world from their viewpoint, a lot of things become easy to understand. Just put yourself into their shoes.
The desire to be independent and on their own is often misunderstood. They need their 'personal time and space', like how men have a group of friends going out for a movie or a dinner, like how men want to buy a car or a sports bike etc. This is not breaking the tradition but giving a voice and expressing their normal desires like men.
There is nothing wrong is aiming to become financially stable. If a woman is stable with a good salary, she can contribute to her parents, the family from which she comes and her own family after marriage.
The question of the dominance of men is an old concept that is wrong. If a woman as a mother, sister, daughter or daughter-in-law etc are accepted as individuals the potential misunderstandings would not arise.
Spending the money and enjoying life is not bad as long as it's within the limits. Whether a woman earns or not, at various stages we need to support her or allow her to have the freedom on 'living a life' like how we do for an unemployed son or younger brother, a married son or a father as the head of the family etc.
Yes, there would be a small group who would express their new-found income and freedom to discomforting levels. This is where the elders and good friends can guide and counsel them.
I think if we can shake off the cobwebs in our minds about how we view women and then give them some room and treat them as our equals, we would be in a better mindset to understand them in a better and fair manner.