One of the most common complaints that men have about women is: Women nag! Dictionary.com defines nagging as continually faultfinding, complaining, or petulant”. Most of my friends complain (cry) over this seemingly unsolvable issue. I can hear them talking about it during the coffee breaks and lunch time in the office, at parties over drinks and even at the urinals! Hell, they even bond over this issue!
“Dude, she grilled me last night”
“Tell me about it!! Same here. I tried to explain about the project deadline but she had me by the balls. And I was just half an hour late!”
“I reached twenty minutes late”
- The Scenario
The man comes half an hour late from work and hell breaks loose. The woman gives him an extremely tough time while pointing out everything that’s wrong with him and men in general. While the man, too drained from the day’s work, doesn’t even bother to respond at times and quietly waits for the storm to pass. And these tiffs are not to be taken lightly either, because they can quickly escalate to ugly verbal fights followed shortly by artifacts being chucked in the man’s direction while he expertly dodges them. It is a fairly common occurrence in many modern Indian households. And men seem to blame it all on one thing: women’s nagging nature.
- The Question(s)
So what is it actually that causes women to nag? Is nagging the forte solely of women? Do they really nag or do men simply try to make them look bad by saying that they nag? Is it just a negative stereotype or is there some truth to it? Well if researches are anything to go by, nagging could be one of the leading causes of deaths of hundreds of men each year, according to leading health experts. Now that’s scary, isn’t it? Therefore it only makes sense to try to understand the “why” of nagging.
- The Analysis
While the problem of women nagging seems to be a worldwide phenomenon, this problem seems to be more prominent in the predominantly patriarchal societies. So in this article, let’s try to cover the problem where it has the deepest roots.
In patriarchal societies, women have strictly defined, mundane and repetitive roles of managing the house-hold. While it is no mean feat but it definitely is not an exciting prospect either. In a country like India, in conventional households, the women have to follow a strict hierarchical order. There are certain, set ways to talk to different people in the family. As such, the husband remains the only person with whom the woman can really connect on an emotional level and have an age appropriate discussion.
Therefore, he is the only true human contact that she has – The center of her world. So she waits for him to come back home from work and when the man gets late, anxiety starts to set in, naturally. From the woman’s perspective, it is not just the fact that her husband is late but the only ray of light in her otherwise dark world, her intimate human contact, the center of her attention is not back home when he was supposed to. What does she do? Insecurities and fears start to creep up. Think of the whole situation from the woman’s perspective.
Interestingly enough, women who have their own healthy engagements, hobbies, interests and friend circles tend to nag much less than those who don’t. So the missing link here would appear to be the fact that women need to have a life of their own which is not directly correlated to or intertwined with that of her husband.
In patriarchal societies which are usually biased towards men, the social structure is built in such a way that women usually do not have the liberty to choose engagements and hobbies of their own. Men enjoy the privilege of being the center of total and undivided attention of their wives, until it comes back to bite them in the ass. The overwhelming amount of attention from their wives suddenly becomes unbearable and starts to irritate them.
- The Answer
So basically, the attribute of nagging in women is a product of an unhealthy and biased social and family structure and that is what men should blame it on, if they must. It is not really an inherent attribute typical to women. I think that if the woman were engaged in her own set of activities, she might not even notice that the husband is late, let alone nag! I am sure that in strongly matriarchal societies women might complain about nagging men.
Everybody, be it men or women, should strive for a healthy and balanced life full of diverse relationships and activities. One should never make the other as the sole center of their own existence because that doesn’t really help anyone and both the parties involved end up hurt and confused. Therefore, the key to a healthy, nagging-free household is that everybody should try to engage themselves in enriching and fulfilling activities and create a lifestyle which makes sense to them rather than demanding attention from others to validate their own ego and existence. Now that we have some grasp over the roots of the problem and we understand its repercussions: Stop nagging, start living!
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