Being single in India past the age of 30 will get you unwanted attention. Millions of questions, pitied looks, and unnecessary comments on your looks, weight, intelligence, and whatnot. If you’re not married, and not even in a relationship, but are sick of hearing people all around talk about your love life, ladies, this one’s for you!
The Everyday Struggle Of Being A Single Woman In Your 30s
‘Able women’ is not familiar or accepted in India. Women can go into space, but in general, their life is not considered complete unless they are married and have kids. A single woman of 30 may become the CEO of a multinational company or a world-renowned actress, but would still be considered lacking.
Don’t get me wrong; India is a progressive country. At least, it was until a few years ago. Unlike America and England, in India women didn’t have to fight for their voting rights: we have always had universal suffrage.
Domestic violence laws and marriage laws have always been in favor of women, unlike most countries in the world. Women have an equal right to work and equal right to property, ensured by the constitution. Women’s education is facilitated by a number of scholarships and fellowships provided by the government.
Related Reading: Every Strong Woman Is Sexy
While our constitution is just and balanced, our society is stuck between tradition and modernity: the concept of the place of the woman is complicated, to say the least. That is why certain things are expected of us, which are in no way required for us to lead full, wholesome lives.
Although in theory, India is progressive and evolving, in practicality, single women are constantly stuck listening to society’s opinions of them. If you’re past 30 and single, chances are you’ve been asked at least one, if not all, of these questions:
1. When are you going to have children?
Women are not equal to wombs. We are not born only to give birth. While those who want to do it are welcome to it, those who don’t should be cleared of that duty.
We have other things to do, other important things: which may include serving our country as a soldier in the Indian army or as a doctor or lawyer, or anything we choose to be. Adding to the population is not our only priority when the current population is about 132.42 crore.
It may be hard to digest but getting married is not the only thing on the minds of single women! We have dreams to chase and responsibilities to fulfill.
2. Who will look after you in old age?
That’s another excuse given to single women over 30 to push them towards having kids. But it is not practical. Any kid born in our 30s will be a teenager during our 50s: still a student and completely under our care. It is simple maths.
I remember standing in a smoking zone of a restaurant when this old lady came up to me and said smoking is injurious to health, especially for women. When I asked her why is it especially for women, she said because I would be bearing children.
I asked her what if I don’t want children. She said it doesn’t matter what I want because my husband obviously would. And I said, what if I don’t get married: She exclaimed and said, “Who will look after you, dear?” I said, “I guess, it will be the nurses in the end” and walked away.
Related Reading: Widows Are Humans Too, And Have Needs
3. Isn’t it high time you settle down?
My friend Chandrima came back from America a year ago. She worked on Wall Street and has now opened her own firm. From there she had a meteoric rise in salary and is well settled. I went to her birthday dinner and found a family member badgering her to settle down.
This particular family member, a widow, doesn’t have any property or money under her name and is completely dependent on her kids. She was married in her teens and that’s all that happened to her in her lifetime. Why do elders want us to make the same mistakes?
4. Don’t you need a family?
First of all, human beings are social animals and it is not just ‘girls’ who need a family. But the truth is, a family doesn’t end with blood neither does it begin there. Not just married women, even single women will have their own world with friends and colleagues, who matter more than family sometimes.
Marriage is not essential to have people around you who love you. A family is anyone who cares about you and would go out of their way to ensure your happiness.
Related Reading: In Love With A Woman, But Not A Lesbian
5. Are you a lesbian?
Just because a woman is single and not married doesn’t mean that she is a lesbian. Marriage isn’t the only normal thing for women, neither in our culture nor religion. Women have been known to devote themselves to God and remain spinsters forever in their dedicated duties since ancient times.
Women also choose to remain spinsters for taking care of and providing for the parents as single children. That choice has always been there and society cannot take that away from us now. And for the record, staying single does not readily mean we are all lesbians.
6. Who will provide for your needs?
If you are a single working woman in your 30s, you can already provide for all of your needs. And if someone comes to talk to you about other ‘special’ needs that can ‘only’ be satisfied in marriage, tell them about Tinder and other similar apps. We are not in the 90s anymore!
Single women aren’t people to be pitied for being unmarried or not having kids. We are strong, independent women who don’t need any man to provide for us. Life is too short, let’s live it the way we want to, ladies!