Question: Are there more single women today because they want to work rather than take care of a family?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not only to do work that women remain single. They see in the outer world that men and women are constantly quarrelling and fighting, and that they are not satisfied with each other. They feel that if they have to be dissatisfied, then it is better to be dissatisfied with themselves than with somebody else. Whether they curse themselves or bless themselves, at least they can regulate their own lives. They are their own lord and master.

Also, they think that they embody the capacity of both man and woman. One moment they have the masculine qualities of strength and determination; the next moment they have the feminine qualities of softness and sweetness. This has nothing to do with mental capacity. To say that women are more mental or men are more mental is not true. Mental capacity does not depend on how many books one has read. In Indian villages many people have not read any books, but their minds are clear and sharp. Only these women feel that they can have both masculine and feminine qualities.

Both men and women have their respective roles to play in God’s creation. God has given women the care of household things and children, because very often women have more of the qualities of sweetness and love of beauty. Human beings have not created their roles. Their roles have come from Above. The one who brings the money home is playing his part, and the one who distributes the money properly is playing her part. But if women want to challenge men, all right. If a woman wants to kill herself with an eight-hour job and be in the subway for a few more hours while the husband is working at home, well and good. Let the men accept the challenge. Some men would be frightened at this idea, but they should say, “All right, if you want, you can go outside and work. Let us change jobs.”

I do support the women’s movement, but women should know what kind of freedom they want to bring to the fore. Freedom is a very good thing as long as wisdom goes with freedom. Freedom lies in action, but freedom does not mean that one has to remain in the outside world and prove to the world that one exists. If women challenge men in an undivine way, nothing will improve and nothing will be accomplished.