“Are you a feminist?” I asked Venky.
“Hmm… I don’t know..”
“Do you believe in the radical notion that men and women are equal?” asked Vibhu.
“What is radical about it?”
“Never mind … you just proved you are a feminist.” Declared Vibhu and I.
Venky, our son is almost 14. Vibhu and I are often amused by the kind of teenager he is. No rebellion. No requests for pocket money. No urge for independence.
The first two – we are happy about. Not the third. We keep pushing him to get out more and get things done. Talk to people. Take charge. But no, Venky is just happy following us and being instructed. Vibhu and I often discuss this contrast with our teenage selves when we were dying to be independent.
When his final exams got over on this Friday, Venky requested permission to meet up his friends at a café and we saw an opportunity.
“You can go only if you manage to go and come back on your own.” We gave him an ultimatum.
“Whaa… Why can’t you drop me and pick me up? This is expecting too much!” This was my 14 year old’s response.
Vibhu and I stood our ground and we gave him ideas.
“You can ask your friends to pick you and drop you. Or you can take an auto rickshaw. Or you can come till a certain point and then take an auto rickshaw.”
Venky agreed reluctantly. He spoke to a friend to pick him up (that was a big deal too!). His friends helped him book an Uber auto on the way back. The next day over dinner, we checked with Venky if he enjoyed the experience.
“Naah. It was stressful!” Venky responded.
“Didn’t you like the feeling of independence?”
“Huh! Independence is OVERRATED!”
That’s our GenZ. Feminism is a way of life and Independence is overrated. I am certainly looking forward to an interesting future. Make way millennials (us) ! 🙂