Help map the landscape of women & entrepreneurship in India! TAKE THE THE 5-MIN WOMEN'S WEB SURVEY TODAY.

The Story Of The Sexist Checkboxes While Registering As A Voter In India

Posted: November 17, 2016
Get your copy of Kunti's Confessions And Other Short Stories. These 15 shortlisted stories represent the very best of the short fiction published on the site in 2016.

Registering as a voter in India amply demonstrates how women are considered second citizens – one just have to look at the sexist checkboxes! A funny take.

So, I am filling out this form for registering myself as a voter in the elections, and I can see I have a grave choice in front of me – that of the Ms. or Mrs.

Looks like the authorities take the cause of choices for women really seriously because for men – I can just see one checkbox, “Mr”, the all-encompassing title that lets you know everything about a man you ever wanted to know. So I am sitting there and wondering why exactly would they want to know if I am married or not.

So let me think about what the reason could be!

  1. They want to know if I am financially dependent. You see if I am a Ms, I am dependent on my parents and if a Mrs., I am financially dependent on my husband. Nah – We are such a modern society. I work, I am not financially dependent – moreover for all practical considerations, my husband could also be financially dependent on me (remember Ki & Ka?), but I don’t see a second option in his case. So I’m still confused.
  2. They badly want to know if I am single and available for a date. I don’t apply Sindoor or wear my mangalsutra – so, how are the form collection guys supposed to know if I can be approached? Well they can quickly check FB maybe – loads of photos with my hubby or Tinder, or maybe the new app nowadays which I am not registered on – so lots of ways to find out. Wait, No, this can’t be the reason!
  3. Straight GUYS made the form! See! They put themselves into one category but when it came to the opposite sex, their inherent curiosity about girls’ statuses got the better of them, and they created TWO categories for us! Well, this really could be why.
  4. Or…Ahhh! Maybe they want to know if I have children. Oh, but then they would be my husband’s too. Still doesn’t fit in.
  5. Pre-marriage, post-marriage. pre-in Laws, post-in Laws. Pre responsibilities, post responsibilities. Ms., Mrs. Light Bulb! Maybe they want to compensate married women for all the troubles we take. Ooh..goodies! Oh, but no…no…all those “Mr”s out there who call us Feminazis, they would be so offended. You get two boxes, and we, just one! We want the goodies too! So no, I don’t think anyone wants to hurt the sentiments of the “Mr”s. No goodies sadly, I find out!

So anyway, I fail at figuring it out, tick the Mrs. box and go ahead – and there you go! I have to halt again!

I look over my husband’s shoulder and he’s writing his father’s and mother’s names. No mention of a wife. And then I look at mine, and I can CLEARLY see it says Father/Mother/Husband. NOT SPOUSE. HUSBAND. So, what could be the reason for that??

  1. A wife will obviously need to be identified by her husband, especially when it’s such an important job as voting!
  2. A husband of course has no need for a wife on such important missions.
  3. A guy could change wives maybe but a woman will, no matter what, stick with one husband till her pyre – such loyalty! Married you say? Husband’s name? Lock kar diya jaye!

I sigh.

And fill in my mother’s name.

There’s some comment in the background with someone saying, how could I, when my husband is still alive? I can hear some mosquitoes too, buzzing near my ear. But that’s just the background.

Mother’s name it is. My silent little rebellion.

Liked this post?

Become a premium user on Women’s Web and get access to exclusive content for women, plus useful Women’s Web events and resources in your city.

Image Source: shutterstock

Sharanya Misra

Sharanya Misra

A Software Engineer by profession and a writer by passion, I love sharing my thoughts on food, travel, books , life & anything even remotely related to women!


Author's Blog: http://la-dolce-vita.co.in

Latest posts by Sharanya Misra

[ View all ]

Facebook Comments

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

Follow Women's Web

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

Newborn Care Tips From The Pros!