I had a very thought-provoking discussion with my 18-year-old nephew the other day. He was telling me the reason why his eighth girlfriend broke away. He looked and sounded relieved about the whole thing and decided to take a break for six months before acquiring another girlfriend.
What amazed me was his nonchalant attitude and his confidence in being able to make friends with a girl on his terms. “don’t the girls shun you, with your reputation for being a Cas?” I asked him, using his lingo.
“You think girls are that smart?” He asked disdainfully. “you women might have progressed in all fields but when it comes to emotions you are suckers!.”
So young and so wise! “Now see aunty, when I like a girl a little more than the others, I’d like to seek her company and all’s fine. But when she starts slobbering things like ‘why did you ring up Suman’? or when did you start loving me? I get pissed off. Dash it, why cant girls accept a fun relationship instead of bringing in all this sentimental baloney and I – possess-you-kind-of attitude?” I secretly agreed with him but surely, couldn’t let down the side! “Girls are more constant than you are,” I said.
“For God’s sake, who wants constancy now?” he exploded, “honestly aunty, all this about being faithful etc., is for wives and husbands. I think girls are rum. If they start reading less of Mills &Boon they will have more sense in their heads.”
“But”, I intervened, “if they had more sense, they wouldn’t be fooled by you.” By this time the discussion had moved from the personal to the academic.
“Emotional suckers” – that’s what we women are and that is what has kept us cloistered all these years. We get bogged down by our own sentiments, which draw out parameters for our behaviour. We feel we must give emotionally every ounce of us, when we get into a relationship. We expect the same kind of surrender from the man, which he resists. This results in break-ups and bitterness.
Our inhibitions are dictated by our own perceptions of our role as women. We see ourselves in the light of the women we read about – Sita, Savitri, Draupadi and Damayanthi who tolerated a lot of misery for the sake of their husbands. But we fail to see in their character the resilience, the willpower and the staying power, which is what womanhood, is about.
Like my nephew said, we get taken in by sweet nothings and moonlight promises. We don’t have the pragmatism to put them down to atmosphere and see things in their right perspective.
As long as we have this weakness, men will exploit us. I think we still have a long way to go – we have to strengthen our emotional fibre and not break down when the boyfriend seeks fresher pastures.
After all, relationships are like ships that pass by in the night. The only lasting ties are those woven by marriage and family. Meanwhile, it is better to keep in tact that one thing which is invaluable- virginity.Because we are worth it!