Why Are Women Always Questioned For Their Life Choices?

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In our society, a woman always faces scrutiny for her choices, no matter what she does. Society has a set framework within which women should live their lives. Each milestone that they are expected to achieve, and when, is duly listed. So when a woman strays from this framework, society feels entitled to question her. Why can’t society let women make choices based on their priorities and not the benchmarks that they are expected to meet?

Actor Alia Bhatt was trolled incessantly when she announces her pregnancy in June this year. The reason? She had married her long-time boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor in April. People opined that it was “too soon” to have a baby and that the actor should have waited a bit more.

When asked if she thought getting pregnant at the peak of her career might not have a positive influence on her professional life Bhatt said, “Everything a woman does is put in headlines. Whether she has decided to become a mother, she is dating somebody new, she is going for a cricket match or on a holiday. For some reason, the eyeballs are always on women’s choices. What I consciously want to do is follow my heart and go with my instinct and gut. That’s exactly what I have done through my professional and personal life and things have worked out beautifully.”

Further talking about her pregnancy Bhatt said, “Of course, I am young, but why does that have to change anything? Why does having a family or a child have to change my professional life? They are two completely different things. I would continue to and prefer to lead by example and action as opposed to giving any attention to nonsensical things. To me, the people having those opinions show where they are in life. It doesn’t say anything about where I am. In fact, a lot of decisions that I have made in my life — singular, not in any relation to anyone — have happened when it was least expected. You don’t plan great things, they just happen.”

Policing choices of women: Dear society, please just stop

There is no escape for women from being judged for their life decisions- be it something as trivial as their clothes to the important ones as marriage or career. It is as if a woman’s body, her independence, sense of morality etc all have to be governed by the society.

But why is society always on front foot when it comes to policing the choices of a woman? One reason could be, it likes controlling women or rather feel compelled to do so because it is assumed that women can’t fend for themselves. Society likes to believe that women are weak and immature and thus have to be protected and monitored on every step in their life.

The every idea of independent and assertive women intimidates our patriarchal society. If women take control of their own lives, wouldn’t it threaten to topple the hierarchy that has put them at the bottom of the ladder for centuries? 

Not just Alia Bhatt, almost every woman in this country has her choices questioned. Having kids early or late, being a working woman or homemakers, marrying for love or staying single to focus on career- no matter what women do they will face resistance.

But this resistance is merely a sign of our growing power as a gender. Women today aren’t bothered easily by scrutiny of their choices. They don’t care if their decisions with the bracket of right or wrong for society’s liking. What matters most is happiness, independence and authority. As Alia Bhatt pointed it out, this resistance and scrutiny of our choices speaks more about the naysayers than us.

Suggested reading: Why Should Having A Child Change My Professional Life? Asks Alia Bhatt