Whether it is ‘twisted’ societal norms, abusive relationships, jobs that stress out or even ‘ghosting’ the ‘nasty negative viber’... these days, women have zero tolerance on things that bother them. They make bold, perhaps even risky decisions and quit the problem zone almost instantly. On the other hand, women of the earlier generation believed in rebooting and “tackling things”. Good, bad or ugly their maxim was: ‘If you have made your bed, lie on it’! So, are women of today less tolerant than their mothers?
Twenty-six-year-old Laxmi Varma walked out of her two-year-old marriage with her seven-month baby because her husband had lost his job six months ago and was whiling away his time drinking. Though her mother implored her to rethink, Laxmi refused to budge. She avers, “It’s no use trying to sort out a rotting mess. It’s best to move out. Nothing is worth busting your peace of mind. Though my mother tells me my decision was hasty, I feel I made a good decision by opting for a new start.”
Her mother, Maya, however, feels Laxmi should have given her husband another chance especially for the baby. “Marriage is not a joke. One can’t just run away, at the first hint of a storm. You can’t break a marriage just because your husband is drinking. Don’t think of always breaking up. Repair things instead of just disposing them off,” she says.
Likewise, 22-year-old Krisha Kapoor dropped out of medical college because she wanted to become an ‘influencer’. Though her parents had paid a bomb for her college admissions, Krisha felt her happiness was of more importance than money. “I didn’t want to wake up at the age of 30 and say, ‘Oh God, I wish I had followed my dreams. Instead I decided to live my dream now’,” Krisha says.
Her mother, Anita Kapoor, opined, “These days, everybody is an influencer — of course, life as an ‘influencer’ is exciting — you get to travel to exciting places, enjoy fine things and get paid a lot of money. But this is short-lived. Her medical degree would have paid a life-long dividend and she would be secure.”
Security was definitely the last thing on mind of 23-year-old Urfi Ahmed, who worked at a multinational company in Mumbai, when she lambasted her boss in front of her colleagues for making ‘inappropriate’ jokes. “I don’t take nonsense whether it’s the boss or anybody else,” avers Urfi.
The result: She was called the next morning and fired. Though her sisters believed Urfi had done the right thing, her mom Razia Ahmed felt otherwise. “At a casual party, a lot is said. Urfi was too ‘in the face’. She should have first spoken about it to someone senior or channelled her complaint through the HR. Instead, her brashness lost her a good job,” she said.
Diverse cases but the scenario is the same — razor sharp, ‘on the spot’ impetus decisions of the daughters versus patient, tolerant, ‘find a solution even if things are going south’ thought process of the mums.
Mumbai-based psychologist Dr Urmilla Satyajit avers, “Women of today do not tackle life the same way as women of the older generation did. In some ways, it’s good. Many-a-times, many women of the older generation would stay quiet — even when things were really bad. But women of today, disregard societal pressures and do what they think is right. On the flipside, younger women are more hasty and don’t take enough time out to think out their problems.”
Dr Urmilla continues, “A research done by the University of Florida concluded that 55 per cent of women between the ages of 40 to 55 globally stay rooted to their marriages or careers even despite serious problems. In comparison, 70 per cent of women in their twenties or thirties make ‘speedy’ decisions and move out at the first hint of abuse.”
Why is that? Dr Urmilla opines, “I think in the olden days, our mothers were financially dependent and so could never think of breaking ties. They were also taught to be more tolerant, patient and to cope with things. Women these days, however, are more confident and financially secure, and so can afford to make their choices. Personally, however, I feel, our mothers would knit the family together. These days, you don’t see that in too many younger women.”