IntroductionGone are the days when the women were treated as inferior to men. Today, the woman also seeks an identity of her own; she wants to not only be treated as an equal but also as a woman of substance, who can effectively use her brains to make a big difference to the lives of her family members.
Be that as it may, it now turns out, based on some lessons that we will discuss in this article, that the role of men in the development and process of developing their New Age wives is centered around a) Role as Friend of professional wives b)As a catalyst for encouraging further education c) As a friend, philosopher, and guide for entrepreneurship and d) Role of a moral supporter for social causes.
Role as a friend of professional wivesA friend who can be trusted is someone in whom we confide, all our joys and sorrows; in these days of nuclear families, friends offer that great emotional space that was previously occupied by members of the extended family in the joint families of those times. Friends are those who advise us, guide us, keep cheering us and also help us in a big way.
In our real lives, the New Age wives want only this role from their husbands. Nothing more, nothing less. Though the exact detail of how this role works in practice is different from case to case, the basic template has all that has been described above, for a true friend. They need companionship; someone who will encourage her all the way and be a lively emotional partner in her growth. Men should rapidly go towards such a role. The economic rationale that prompts this sort of a role from husbands is based on practical realities of life. Hyper-inflation, the big increase in cost of living and so on is now taking a remarkable toil on every man and woman and this applies to even the highly paid executives.
In fact, one does see a big difference when this role of a friend gets played out effortlessly. In the case of a family very closely related to this author, the husband works as Vice-President, in a start-up dealing with intra-city Supply Chain Management. He is an NIT-Tiruchirapalli Mechanical engineer, who initially worked in production in a Pepsico factory and then went on to do this MBA from the prestigious Indian School of Business. His wife works in a start-up focussed on intra-city Supply Chain Management. Both of them are based in Bangalore.
They had known each other even before marriage. Since theirs was a love cum arranged marriage, the bonding was better. They would really be like friends. They would quarrel often but patch up fast too. The bonding and friendship were also focussed on the lively sixty minutes of professional discussion, with either of them chipping in with suggestions on what could be done.
Such bonding and friendship is key to giving the New Age women to grow. Cooking and doing all the household work is never their cup of tea. They would rather employ even three servants who would do all such jobs for them. They are deeply career-oriented. Husbands need to suggest and support this transition.
As a catalyst for encouraging further educationThe modern New Age woman can also do wonders and it does not matter what her qualifications are. She can start from scratch and make it big.
The attitudinal changes are seen everywhere. They would never accept the status quo and would expect their husbands to play ball and support them all the way. Since the facilities for online and distance learning is now increasing day after day, learning and getting oneself professionally qualified is what the New Age woman expects from any husband. It becomes essential that the husbands act as catalysts in this direction and ignite the spark in them.
This is exactly what happened to a couple of decades ago. The husband and wife had enrolled in distance education courses and became graduates. Helped by the brother of the man, who lived in the USA, the man first migrated to the USA and did an MBA degree, while the wife lived in Ahmedabad. After the man settled down in the USA, he was able to take his wife along, and she also did further courses in the USA to settle down. The key was the support of the husband and his brother. Such is the role of a catalyst that is expected in today's conditions.
Back home in India, we do find husbands playing such roles quite often. They are also seen supporting the New Age women to pick up technical skills in interior decoration, fashion designing, soft skills training, event management and so on. This is exactly what should happen. When husbands take on this role, the New Age women automatically pick up skills that are relevant to their identity and sense of achievement, and this does not only end up with education or training for special skills. It is the whole gamut of support that comes into play -- it includes emotions, feelings, the positive attitudes that the New Age women often display and openly declare as part of their psyche. When husbands go all out to support such variables, the net result is bound to be positive.
Role of a friend, philosopher, and guide for entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship is a big game. It involves risk but is also thrilling. Even in the smaller towns, one often sees the husbands going all out to support the entrepreneurship ventures of the New Age women. It is men who take care of all the legal formalities, but once the business is established, the results are always very good, when the women are actively involved. Naturally, the role of the husbands should transition from a mere support role to that of a friend, philosopher, and guide. That this is already happening in so many pockets is a sure sign that the New Age Woman is getting her due.
The wife is not only able to devote time to take care of their two school-going daughters but is also trying to diversify into some nearby business, as rental space is available nearby. Native intelligence helps in a significant way. The man is very keen to educate the children, as he feels that their children should go to "the next level". Finance is never a problem, as there is no credit in their businesses. If husbands treat their wives in this fashion, there will be no issue at all.
Role of a moral supporter of social causes The husbands need to actively support social causes that are often taken up by men. When the moral support in terms of a pat on the back, or networking through social sites to widen the scope and reach of the work happens, the woman will be encouraged to take on even bigger roles that enlarge the scope of her circle of influence.
The role of the wife of one the CEO's of Coimbatore's best known auto-ancillary companies, in water recharge of numerous ponds and small lakes in and around the city, has been very well documented. Her husband's support has been massive, to say the least.
Lesser-known support also comes from various real-world examples. In a particular case, the wife is a qualified psychiatric social worker, who has also studied an advanced course in counseling. She not only does it as a professional but also offers counseling free for those poor people who live in the slums of Chennai, The husband not only takes care of the home but also devotes a maximum amount of time in helping with the homework of children, and care of his own parents. Such physical support only gives a lot of symbolic messages -- the moral support is actually a bi-product of good positive attitudes on the part of the men, who are ever willing to support good social causes of their wives. When this happens as a routine, as it is often the case, the results are very good.
Conclusion Certain dimensions of the role of men in supporting their New Age Wives, have been discussed in some detail in the aforesaid paragraphs. The attitudinal changes that are widely seen are welcome. However, as we go along, we need many more cases of such support and pro-active action from the husbands. This will go a long way in giving the New Age Wives their due space in the larger schemes of things.
There will be a lady behind the success of a man is an age-old saying. These days it is also true that there will be a man behind the success of a lady. If not ready to encourage, not at least discouraging her itself is a good support a husband can give to his wife.
Whenever they require any particular guidance the husband should help her by suggesting a way forward. Helping her in her domestic or other job-related works will be a great help and encouragement to the wife so that she will also have some time to relax.
A good article from the author and every husband should read this to understand the role he has to play in the duties of his wife.