Is fixing men a woman's responsibility? Amidst all the wedding hoo-ha of Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor, why can't we just accept that two adults consented to get married, without it being a narrative on who needs fixing?
Society from the beginning of time has portrayed women as rehabilitation centres for men. Be it the era of Amitabh Bachchan down to Ranbir Kapoor today, while true love paving the path for us is every Bollywood dream scenario, most women end up being the scapegoats in such situations. Why can't society just accept that men don't need fixing? And that women are individuals on their own and not rehabilitation centres for men?
Time and again Bollywood has glorified misogyny and toxic men through movies like Kabir Singh, portraying women as objects that need saving and protection and how it is okay to be treated as punching bags in a relationship. In the case of Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor, the duo admittedly dated for five-long years before they decided to tie the knot. Failed relationships of Ranbir Kapoor were being highlighted, focusing on his infidelity and lack of commitment ahead of his marriage with Alia Bhatt. When are we going to stop making such unnecessary conjectures?
Alia Bhatt is a self-made woman and, an excellent actor. She was in a consented relationship, bringing her down to be the woman who is capable of fixing her partner, does not only take away her credibility as a person capable of making her own decisions but is also is an uncalled-for remark. It is not a woman's responsibility to fix a man. They are equal decision-makers. If a man has cheated in a relationship before, that only talks about his character and not the woman's capability of not being able to keep him "on track".
Rightly said by Khaled Hosseini "like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always." Somehow women are held responsible for not just their own but also expected to provide answers for their partner's behaviour and shortcomings. This society loves to question women, from what was she wearing, when she was raped to getting out of a clearly toxic marriage, somehow, it all boils down to what the woman did wrong. And even if it was the man's fault, a good woman bears it all.
A woman shouldn't be expected to mother grown men when they get into a relationship.
Relationships should be seen as an equal partnership between two people. Often, women are also seen putting up with unacceptable behaviour. They blame themselves for trivial things, like not being able to help their partner quit smoking or being cheated on. The whole narrative of not being "good enough" stems from these unreasonable expectations of society.
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Men are usually excused for toxic behaviour because of the ridiculous notion that "men will be men". Since childhood, we are fed that, “girls are more mature than boys at a particular given age,” which is a social construct and nothing else. Girlfriends or wives aren't mentors or coaches for their husbands. It is unfair that only one gender is given the freedom to be, while girls are just given the set of rules making them just enough to serve the other gender.
We need to break free of the notion that we as women need to fix our partners. As individuals, we need to focus on our growth and our empowerment. Every individual is responsible for their actions, and women are not caretakers of men.
The views expressed are the author's own.
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