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Society with a_midlife_crisis

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This is from Sunday Times. Issue date 26th December 2010. Only for private circulation. Has no commercial intent whatsoever. …

This is from Sunday Times. Issue date 26th December 2010. Only for private circulation. Has no commercial intent whatsoever.
Thought I must share it with my friends who could probably benefit from it.. particularly the young men :)


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  • 1. Society with a Midlife Crisis Shiv Visvanathan Sociologist
  • 2. Youthful society !!!!!
      • A land that worshipped tradition and seniority is suddenly making a fetish of the new. We have dumped the old fears of Malthus to relook at demography and claim that 70% of our population is under 25. We proclaim ourselves as the youthful society, convinced that youth, consumption, innovation is a combined elixir that will launch us into the next century. 
      • Think about it. In 10 years, our population will be middleaged . Ours will be a society with a  midlife crisis . Middle age in India will be like a collective menopause . It will affect the psyche of the whole society.... 
  • 3. Boring Men
      • In 2020, India will become middle-aged . The trouble with middle age in India is that Indians treat it like old age. 
      • It also affects genders separately. India will become a society of boring men and purposive women ready after childbirth to resume careers and their lives. 
      • Men will become iconically fatter, slower and spend more time in beauty clinics. Hair dyes would do little to hide the fading youth. 
      • The crisis of middle age will lead to a gender battle. 
      • By 2020, Indian women will be more professional , more at ease with their careers and their bodies, more sexually demanding.
      • Freedom for women by that time will have become much more real. It is a reality men will not be able to take. 
  • 4. Women will become inventive 
      • Men caught in their professional , patriarchal grids and kept adolescent by their mothers will not have grown, except grown predictable. 
      • Their ambitions will slow down; most of their careers would be at snail's pace. 
      • Unemployment will be higher and they will find that the idea of a permanent job disappeared a decade ago. 
      • In the meanwhile, the consumer revolution would have created a different kind of freedom for women. 
      • Women will become more inventive, not just about consumer products. 
      • We will be a society of vital women hungry for life, contending with a patriarchy that has run out of steam and ideas. 
  • 5. Feminzation of men
      • The one saving grace will be the women's reservation Bill guaranteeing 33% seats in Parliament . The  Congress  would always be remembered fondly by women for creating a wave of politics that will give India new ideas about peace, passion and sustainability. 
      • Women will begin colonizing public spaces leading to strange domestic events. There will be a feminization of men —they will sit at home with their aged mothers.  
      • Consumer gurus will make a killing on two trends. 
      • The consumption of Viagra-like potions will increase, increasing with it the number of sexual quacks. The number of potions advocated by traditional healers will increase exponentially. 
      • There will be a great increase in cosmetic surgery for fat men. 
  • 6. Second Trend 
      • The second trend that people will begin noticing is the increasing presence of men in satsangs. 
      • Religious ashrams will become a place for middle-aged boy scouts and fundamentalists. The satsangs will become more shrill and voyeuristic, condemning women to busy to attend to men or their mothers. 
      • Ever sensitive to new demands, some spiritual foundations might open special sections for men in the middle. One packaged course could be called "spirituality in the age of the middle". 
  • 7. social changes 
      • India would be in a civil war of genders, which society as a whole might not recognize clearly . 
      • For the first time, the Indian family might have to rethink itself .
      • Old ideas such as the sanctity of the family, the inviolability of the mother-child bond could show signs of fraying. 
      • The problem will be an explosion of freedom in a society that feared freedom . Freedom in India would still be seen as licence. 
      • Society's normative system might suddenly fall apart. 
      • Domestic space might become more battle-ridden or emptier than public space. 
  • 8. Premature of end to male sexuality 
      • This is when the first of the reactionary movements demanding a return to the traditional family could mushroom across India. 
      • There would be a burst of evangelical family movements led by matriarchal women. Religious foundations and cultural groups could take on the role of marriage consultants . 
      • But life will become more interesting. 
      • Children will find it easier to discover themselves. 
      • Men in particular will realize that the old IIT-careerist patriarchal male whose sexuality ended at 30 is a doomed creature. 
      • Signs of a different sexuality, a different sense of conversation between men and women will hint at a whole new —and different - world.