There is something deeply disturbing about Indra Nooyi’s brutally frank interview with Business Insider about why women cannot possibly have it all. Her narration of being unable to share her joys with her own mother speaks volumes about what is expected of women in this society.
Her mother’s reaction that she may be the CEO of PepsiCo but she is above all a mother, a wife, a daughter and a daughter-in-law is both and brutal and honest in the current context. We may have come a long from the days when a woman was expected to stay within the home and care for everyone else but herself. But, we still haven’t gotten over the mindset that the primary responsibility of a woman is to care for her family.
Ever noticed that no matter how accomplished and successful a woman is society always points fingers to her personal life and comments on it? Why is that no matter how much you try, you can never seem to make anyone happy as long as you choose to be independent and pursue a career? You may be the CEO of a company but you are still a bad mother if you fail to make it to a PTA meeting. I see women struggle to balance home and work every single day. Yet, when they complain about not having the time, nearly every member of the family and even friends suggest that maybe it’s now time to take off and concentrate on family. As Nooyi’s says, the biological clock and career are always at loggerheads. First, the kids need you, then the husband, then ageing parents. Somehow, a man never seems to need to make a choice.
Sometimes, I feel that we live in a world that’s inherently unfair to women. The tragedy of our times is that we seem to be unable to do much about it. We seem to be increasingly resigned to the fact that we will never be able to change things no matter how much we try.