79% women report feeling the need to seek permission to pursue their dreams

The year is 2021 and yet 79% of women believe they need their partner's permission to work. Only 28% of these women believe they can choose freedom for themselves. As Coco Chanel rightly said, “A girl should be two things: Who and what she wants” and why not? In 21st century India, with greater access to education and opportunity, a small, yet growing community of Indian millennials are not only prioritizing gender equality in their expectations from a partner, but also demonstrating greater alignment with progressive values. An overwhelming number of OkCupid users (87% of men and 96% of women) define feminism as "equality between all genders" and yet, patriarchy is so deeply ingrained that permission is still given or withheld from women who seek the things considered bare minimum for a man. While generations of patriarchal values are finally losing their grip on the Indian psyche, people who consider themselves as progressive still take pride in giving women in their lives “permission” to live their lives. Things that are considered normal for men continue to be considered a privilege for women like pursuing an education, prioritizing career or being on top of the corporate ladder, etc. Establishing an equal partnership in a relationship should be normalized where women shouldn’t have to be grateful to men and society for ‘allowing’ them to make their own choices. The same is echoed in OkCupid’s latest campaign this International Women’s Day.  

To understand how millennials look at equilibrium in a relationship and their views on what matters, international dating app OkCupid reviewed the answers of its users to some of the most popular questions on the app. Below is a round up of the data and insights from the same:  

  • How would you define feminism?

87% men and 95% women on OkCupid are feminist in the truest sense, where they feel feminism is all about equality among all genders and isn’t about pitting one gender against the other.

  • Do you feel you need your partner's permission to prioritise your career?

79% women reported  needing partner’s permission while prioritizing their career. 

  • If you got married, would you change your name?

90% men and 77% women said they would not like to change their name after marriage. 

  • Should women continue to work full time after marriage?

62% of men and 50% of women believe that it is a woman’s choice if she wants to work full-time after marriage.

  • Do you think it’s important to challenge typical gender roles in love?

Millennial India seems to be clearly divided about this question with 50% men and women saying yes and no equally. 

  • Do you think allowing your partner their freedom is important in a relationship?

79% of men truly believe it's important to allow their partner their freedom in a relationship whereas only 21% men think it’s their partner’s decision.  

  • Should women be responsible for running the household and raising children?

88% of men and 93% of women think that the responsibility of running the home and raising children should be split equally between partners.

  • Do you conform with society more, or go against it?

A massive 87 percent of users don’t conform to society’s judgements and choose to live, and let live, life on their own terms. 

  • Are traditional gender roles important in a romantic relationship?

When it comes to the kind of relationship they want, 72 percent believe that traditional gender roles, such as men being default heads of households and not househusbands, or women taking care of chores and children or changing their names, have no place in their lives now.

  • Do you feel that your values or priorities vary wildly from those of your peers and family?

An overwhelming 92 percent of OkCupid’s users feel their values vastly differ from their parents’, and a majority of them (79 percent) also do not believe they echo their friends’ choices. The numbers clearly establish them as a group of people who choose individuality over anything else and greatly value what they want, which is very different from what others want for them.

At the end, it is safe to say that millennials despite living in a fast, stressful, connected and continuously evolving world, are progressive in their views in comparison to previous generations. However, equal partnership in love in true sense is still an evolving conversation. While it can’t change in a day, OkCupid, an international dating app meant for serious relationships can surely help you find your kind. 


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