» Five things women need to change about themselves – Chetan Bhagat


Dear Ladies,
Happy Women’s Day! A lot is
said on how men should
change for us to respect
our women better. Here
are some: Men need to see
women as people, not
objects. Men should realize
and truly believe women
are as talented, capable as
men, and sometimes even
more so. Men should not
discriminate in the work
place or at home. Men have
to respect boundaries and
make sure their words to
not make women feel
uncomfortable. Men have
to respect women’s
choices – in what they
wear, where they want to
go and at what time. Men
should never use force or
intimidation towards
Yes, we men have to learn.
However, the stubborn,
fragile and pampered
Indian male ego is a tough
nut to crack. Collectively,
we as Indian men, have a
long way to go before our
women can be proud of us.
We will. At least the
process has started.
But in all this well deserved
male-bashing, I hope the
ladies do not miss out on
another set of changes
required, on themselves.
Yes, for all the talk of
women being denied their
proper place in society,
ladies need to do some
self-reflection too.
Hence, on this Women’s
day, I shall attempt the
unthinkable. As a man, I will
venture out and give
women advice, on women’s
day. That alone is reason
enough for me to be
bashed to bits. However,
every now and then, we
men are prone to risk-
taking behaviour. So
forgive me, for I have
Anyway, here goes. Five
things I feel women need to
change about themselves,
to make things better for
their own kind.
The first behaviour that
needs to end is the
constant desire to judge
other women. Women are
hard on themselves. They
are harder on each other.
An overweight woman
enters the room. Most
women are thinking ‘how
fat is she?’ A working
mother misses a PTA
meeting due to an office
deadline, others think
‘what a terrible mother
she is’. A girl in a short
skirt makes other women
go ‘Slut!’ in their heads. A
pretty woman’s promotion
makes other women
wonder what she had been
up to to get the job. From
an ill-fitting dress to a
badly cooked dish, you are
ready to judge others.
This, despite knowing, you
yourselves are not
perfect. As a woman, it is
tough enough is to survive
in a male dominated world.
Why be so hard on each
other? Can you let each
other breathe?
Second, the faking needs
to end. A common female
trait is the relatively quick
adaptation to feed male
egos. Laughing at men’s
jokes when they aren’t
funny, accepting a raw
deal in an office
assignment or playing
dumb to allow a man to feel
superior are just a few
occasions when you do
your own kind no favor.
Who are you? And why
can’t you be that person?
Why are you faking it so
much? If something
bothers you, say it. What’s
the point of collectively
harping on equality, when
as individuals, you are
happy to lapse into being
clueless eye flutterers,
just to keep men happy?
Three, and this is serious,
standing up for your
property rights. Plenty of
Indian women give up their
lawful property rights for
their brothers, sons or
husbands. Sorry if it
sounds harsh, but too
many Indian women are
emotional fools and need
to be told so. You are not
demonstrating your
eternal selflessness when
you give away your
property. You are hurting
your own kind.
Four, women need to
become more ambitious
and dream bigger. All
young Indians – men and
women, should have a fire
in their belly. Perhaps the
way the Indian society is
structured, our women are
not encouraged to be as
ambitious as men. However,
for their own sake and the
nation’s sake, all Indian
youth must have ambitions
and aspirations to do well
and reach their maximum
potential in life. Many
Indian women have done
much better than men. Use
them as inspiration and
work towards your
dreams. Your success is
what will finally make Indian
men respect women. Play
your part.
Five, don’t be too trapped
in the drama of
relationships. Relationships
are vital. Being a good
mother, wife, sister,
daughter, friend and lover
are extremely important.
However, don’t get too
tangled. You have another
relationship, with yourself.
Don’t sacrifice so much
that you lose yourself. Not
regularly, but just every
now and then, be a little
selfish. It is when a woman
will assert herself she will
be taken seriously. You are
not only here to assist
others in living their lives.
You have your own life too.
I will end here. Hope you will
see the point and intention
behind what I am talking
about. If not, then I am in
big trouble. And there’s no
recourse to a men’s day to
save me either.


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