Hyderabad: A lot is said about the so-called male mindset, but a recent survey threw some light on it. Conducted by matchmaking service Shaadi.com to understand how single Indian men felt about their wives or prospective partners earning more than them, it was revealed that 32.1 per cent of men are actually fine with it. The online poll received over 12,590 responses from single Indians in the age group of 22 to 34.
For many, this came as a breath of fresh air. Rahul Raj, a Bengaluru-based interior designer, says, “It’s a refreshing change and it is very encouraging to see the changing mindset of today’s youth. It’s about time we broke this pointless taboo wherein the groom needs to be in a financially better position than the bride. This change will also bring a balance of power within relationships. Personally, my wife’s in the perfect spot in an industry with a higher earning potential than mine. Once, I made a comment about how she was too busy wearing the pants in our relationship and then she instantly regretted it. But later she helped me gain perspective. There are so many more important things to worry about in life than who makes more money. Now I’m grateful to have a talented and successful wife who loves me no matter how much I make.”
But the survey also shows there exists a large percentage of men (33.7 per cent) who are still averse to the idea of marrying someone who’s more financially sound. Members of this group, who said a big ‘No’ when they were asked if they would be okay with their partner earning more, deem they would be trampled beneath the stilettos of supposedly dominant women. However, they don’t admit it’s because of their ego. Actor Ganesh Venkatraman says it’s not only the men who are to blame. “Some strong perceptions in the society need to be broken before an individual can wholeheartedly embrace this change. We as a society need to change because the fight to equality has to come from both sides. And thankfully both men and women have become aware that it’s an ‘equal opportunity’ world out there.”
As he points out, the problem doesn’t seem to be with just the men. Although the survey revealed that while 23.4 per cent of single women would not mind marrying guys who earn less, a large percentage still looked down upon such men. Actress Priyamani explains, “It’s very simple that a woman, once married and has kids, is dependent on her husband for the earnings. That’s how we’ve been taught since God knows when. But in this era, the men need to let go of their egos and be open to accepting the fact that women are indeed capable of being the breadwinner. Having said that, it’s our job as women to stop looking down on men who have lower-paying careers.
Once you embrace this vision of equality and start valuing men for things other than their ability to provide for you (when you can already ably provide for yourself), perhaps there’ll be more successful relationships between higher-earning women and lower-earning men.”...