Marriages are suppose to create happy relationships.The strength and inspiration would be the reason that could have pushed our ancestors to bond two people together with an institution called ‘Marriage’. But is it the reality too? It actually strengthen a person or actually weakens and takes away everything which gives the identity to a person (especially women in India). It’s like a taboo being a married women in India. Why? You don’t believe me? Married women shackled within boundaries are a truth in our patriarchal society. They are expected to behave in certain manners and play some roles universally within the boundaries of a home set by her own family members. No matter how successful doctor,engineer,scientist or a loved teacher the woman is her credentials are evaluated by her being a good wife,good mother and most importantly good daughter in law. Though it’s completely a different debate what is the definition and limitation of being ‘Good.’ Marriages were suppose to bring all that love and light into a woman’s life by the very support of some magical people named ‘husband’ or ‘in laws’ but the reality is poles apart and so I said it’s a Taboo. Isn’t it?
The unwritten code of conducts for married women that exist in our society troubles me deeply and In fact I am planning to go through all those caricatures on stone age caves which have provided us huge insight about our early civilisations so I think they might also explain the role of married women today. I mean if ‘role of married women’ were not part of societies earlier then who set the rules for them today? Who actually said that nurturing kids and looking after olds is a married woman’s job? Who said that managing houses and cooking food is a woman’s forte? Who said that she needs to be perfect in managing a family else she won’t be loved? And if these were never the rules then how did this myth spread as plague gradually?
The married women lose everything. It starts by losing her surname first. Yes, a name she was born with and changing the name suddenly signifies that she is someone else’s property now. Yes property! Otherwise what could be the reason of changing names just like we do by putting boards like ‘Mehta & Sons’ on piece of barren lands? Then she is suddenly expected to be cordial,mannered and happy all the time and I mean how is that even possible? Then a married women are expected to treat every family member,relatives or even a dog merrily from her husband’s side and why is not the virtue of her choice with whom she wants to hang out with? Then the mighty Mother-in-laws thinks that her ‘BahuRani‘ is second to her son and so she has all the rights to interfere into her life every possible manner? I mean the statements ‘We are very progressive ji,we allow our daughter in law to wear jeans’ peel off the layers of hypocrisy that exist there. I mean who the hell is anyone to ‘allow’ anything at the first place. We are a democratic country with freedom to live our life our way. Remember?
Now even if we suppose that married women pass off all the hurdles of her daily life and push off those feeling of hitting back somehow then there exist the ultimate walls of ‘Husbands!’ Yes, the men in the life of married women who were suppose to be companions rather turned into a ‘nasty boss’ who would show his displeasure if the food is not cooked right or roti is little burnt. The dreadful husbands who would not talk to you if you don’t behave ‘right’ to their mums and lack the basic sense of not crossing their boundaries of not interfering into your relationship with another person no matter ‘their mums’. The perfect daddies who would openly criticize their wives before their kids if someday somehow the poor woman did not feel like getting up early in the morning to keep the house running and feed the toddler. ‘She has no rights to do that afterall she is a married woman and she has to be perfect in what she does else how will we manage ? Afterall don’t I slog in the office? Then what if she goes out of my grip!‘ I guess this is what that covers the loving heart of the lover that ever existed in that man.
How dreadful daily life can be for a married woman? Do you realise it? The pressure of performing at the personal level is far stressful than performing at the office and the best part is this that the people for whom she is burdening herself with the roles take her for granted and forget that whatever she is doing is ‘not doing out of obligation but choice.‘ Yes, everything that a married woman does is her choice. Like the choices of
- Feeding the kids or not to feed the kids
- To behave nicely to the mother in law or not to
- To smile or put a poker face before friends and relatives.
- To cook or not to cook.
- To be at home or to go office.
- To be responsible or reckless.
- To be a woman she want or play roles.
Not to forget that there exist whole set of other choices that she is always denied off! And the reason behind accepting the roles is simply brutal ‘Emotional blackmail,fear of marital discords,obligation of keeping her father’s head high (which somehow bows down if the married women refuse to play the roles) or the kids.‘ there could be n number of reasons. And even if these are the possibilities if she goes out of the line to lead her own life in her own terms then too, why is this the responsibility of a woman only? We have reached moons and you are saying we can’t find a middle way where women also enjoy the same rights as a man at home?
And if you still don’t believe me then think about it at least once why aren’t married women are taken pride as travelers, fashionistas,adventurers or junkies? Why the family opens its heart to the married women who are good cooks,fair skinned polite daughter in laws with the powers to listen everything smilingly? Why women with brains and logics are not cherished? Why women in India are expected to be docile and not angry goddess like Kali? Doesn’t it all comes down to the survival instincts of human race to be selfish and dominate the weak?
Women are no commodity! Marriages are no hell! To live in a society where gender neutrality is a way of life should be the basic right of a woman!
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