Wednesday, April 3, 2013




In modern urban India, at least in modern metropolitan cities of India, I am observing an amusing cultural metamorphosis taking place.

The thrust in professional education for women has done wonders and opened up increasing opportunities for young women.

Almost all young women work, and they take their careers seriously.

There are hardly any full time housewives or “homemakers” these days. 

Women are achieving financial independence and women are no longer dependent on their “breadwinner” husbands. 

As women work shoulder-to-shoulder with men, modern women are developing masculine traits.

Yes, in order to achieve gender equality, especially at the workplace, women can no longer act in the quintessential delicate feminine manner of yesteryear India.

In order to succeed in their careers and break the glass ceiling, women have to become more “masculine” in nature and this transformation is visible in their personality.

She Women are becoming “He Women”.

However, a corresponding reverse transformation is not taking place among men.

Men are not developing feminine traits.

He Men are not becoming She Men”.

Earlier we had “she-women” and “he-men”.

Now we have “he-women” and “he-men”.

This metamorphosis is disturbing the “gender equilibrium” in society.

You must have heard of Yin-Yang Balance.

A Woman is Yin.

A Man is Yang.

Yin is passive, oppressed and feminine.

Yang is active, bright and masculine.

Male toughness is balanced by Female gentleness.

Masculine Traits are balanced by Feminine Traits.

Thus, gender balance or gender equilibrium is maintained.

Yin-Yang Balance helps maintain Harmony.

Disturbing the delicately poised “gender equilibrium” may upset Yin-Yang Balance.

This, in turn, will cause gender related stress, tension, conflict and disharmony in society. 

We are already seeing increasing evidence of such disharmony and its consequent ramifications which include gender based crime, violence and abuse and the rise in divorce rate, breakup and marital discord.

What is the solution?

Well, if you are a “mathematician” or “scientist” you will say: It is simple – just balance the “gender equilibrium” equation.

If increasing masculization of women is balanced by corresponding feminization of men, gender balance will be restored, and the problem will be mitigated.

All you have to do is to balance the increasing number of “he-women” by a corresponding number of “she-men”.

But this is easier said than done.

In today’s urban scenario, owing to compulsions of the workplace, or as a consequence of cultural modernization in society, women are developing masculine traits.

Yes, “she-women” are increasingly becoming “he-women”.

Now, in order to achieve Yin-Yang Balance, and restore gender equilibrium, are modern men prepared to imbibe feminine traits?

Are “he-men” prepared to become “she-men” in order to balance the effect of “she-women” becoming “he-women”?

If this does not happen, Yin-Yang balance will be disturbed. 

Society will become increasingly “masculine” in nature.

The consequential ramifications of this behavioural imbalance will not augur well for societal harmony in general and gender harmony in particular.

Think about it.

I look forward to your comments and views.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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jaya said...

Dear sir , I ve pondered over same thing in d past albait in a diferent manner...I saw many of my husband's high flying colleagues resorting to full fledged cooking as stress buster , some cook to help equally high flying this set me thinking about machowomen and maidenmen . I dont know how healthy this will prove in the long run but the trait is certainly there in nascent stages . Your writing style is simple and strong in its own unique way . Thanks for sharing .

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi Jaya,
Thanks for your views.
Well, maybe cooking by itself is not a feminine trait, but caring for the home (including cooking good food for the family) is certainly a maternal trait.
I wanted to to bring out the gender confusion caused due to role ambiguity which disturbs the yin-yang balance in society.