Have you ever noticed the pattern of thinking in people around us? You must have heard of the terms ‘broad-minded’ and ‘narrow-minded’. The former ones tend to be okay with everything, be it a woman wearing a short dress or a man mopping the floor at his home, they don’t judge. The latter ones tend to be objecting over the simplest things, calling a woman standing among men, a slut while a man helping his wife in house chores, a henpecked. I was wondering if these are the only types of people we’re surrounded with? Guess what? I observed that the majority of us falls into neither of these categories. Then which category does the majority fall into? Well !! I would like to name them as partially broadminded ones. For instance –
‘Tumhe jitna padhna hai padh lo, Ph.D. kar lo, lekin job karne ki kya zarurat hai?’ (Study as much as you want to, go for Ph.D., but what’s the need of doing a job?) – says a few parents to their daughter, thinking they’re broad-minded.
‘First date p jeans kon pehenta hai yaar, aunty samjhega wo tujhe, Kuch sexy pehen na’ (Who wears jeans on the first date, he’ll consider you an aunt, wear something sexy) – advises a girl to her friend expecting the guy to not to date her friend for her clothes.
‘Mujhe tumhare job karne se koi problem nahi hai, infact main pura support karunga, lekin tum saath mein ghar bhi sambhal paogi?’ (I don’t have any objection if you want to go for the job, in fact I’ll support you but can you parallelly manage the household activities too?) – says a husband to his wife, thinking he’s supportive enough.
‘Helped my mom in making breakfast !!’ – says the caption of every child’s pride-filled Instagram story assuming that cooking breakfast is his/her mom’s duty only.
‘Tum skirt mein kaafi khoobsurat lagti ho, lekin ise pehen kar bahar mat Jana.’ (You look very beautiful in the skirt, but make sure you don’t step out in this) – says a brother, boyfriend, husband, and a parent thinking they’re broad-minded enough to allow the girl a skirt.
And the list goes on and on and on…
Isn’t that weird? We all think we’re broad-minded unlike others, we feel proud about it, in fact, show it off sometimes to the ones who are not. Being broad-minded has emerged more as a trend rather than a need. We want to be broad-minded not because we should be but because we don’t want people to entitle us as narrow-minded. Accepting other’s choices with our senseless and biased IFs and BUTs is not called broad-mindedness. The instances that I have referred to, come from the incidents taking place in our day to day lives.
There are daughters who believe that asking for an equal share in the ancestral property is their right, as daughters are no less than sons. On the other hand, they feel that taking care of their parents is just their son’s job and a married daughter isn’t supposed to do that. I mean how diplomatic can one be !! There are parents, siblings, boyfriends, and husbands who allow a girl for wearing short outfits but they too have criteria & limit defined for it. It makes me laugh to say that there are people who can literally draw a line on a girl’s legs and arms beyond which a girl should be all covered up. How crazzzyyyy is that !!
We need to stop judging people around us, be a man, be a woman. It’s important for every woman to realize that if you demand equality, it has to be in every sense without being self-centric. Every man should understand that a woman’s choices are supposed to be treated as equal as yours without any IFs and BUTS. Let’s not define boundaries for anything that other genders do, their choices are as respectable as ours. Both men and women should accept each other for as and what they are and stop imposing conditional choices on each other.
The day we accept others’ choices without imposing our limits, will be the day we’ll deserve to call ourselves broad-minded.
Share an incident in the comment section that shows partial broad-mindedness, I’m sure you must have encountered lots of these.