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Do marital symbols really keep a woman safe? Then we would not have had a Sita or an Ahalya! A look at this fallacy of belief.
The justification for why many women choose not to wear symbols, comes later. My question is why there exist biases in wearing marital symbols? Why don’t men need to wear them? How is marriage differently defined for men and women?
Recently I came across a term, “new age married women” which I happened to hear from both men and women. Some women feel the need to justify why they don’t wear marital symbols, while many men are of the opinion that such women defy traditions and signify themselves available.
Does, “not wearing marital symbols” signify availability? NOPE.
Do the Women need to be called “new age married woman”? NO! Why this name calling? Already there exist many, starting from Goddess to Witch.
Why explain to people the reasons for not wearing markers?
Do marital symbols mark you safe? Does that mean men will not stalk or lust after you?
If we go by mythologies, even Goddess Durga was seen through evil eyes by Mahishahura; also mentions are of Sita, Ahalya,…. They all were seen through evil eyes by one man or another, and they all wore symbols. The fact is that evil minds don’t bother about that. In the corner of their mind, resides darkness and in that darkness, no symbols are visible.
Here I introduce myself, who used to adorn all the marital symbols like sindoor, a bindi and red and white bangles which a Bengali married woman wears, but since the last three years, I have stopped wearing them, because I don’t agree with some of these cultural practices.
My MIL never questioned me, she’s a lady of no worries; but my mom kept on questioning until I spilled my heart out, and to which she instantly agreed.
Yes, my mom agreed at the dehumanizing ritual which makes symbols her forbidden vanity, when a woman becomes a widow and worst is the insensibility of the society that, they don’t care for the grieving woman or give her a chance to become steady. Worst is that, at that vulnerable moment, a woman gets tortured at the hands of her own tribe, who follows rules made by the patriarchs,when they wipe her Sindoor and break her bangles. Sigh!
Not wearing marital symbols is not my personal choice or any prejudice, but if the symbols don’t belong to the woman then why sport it? And if it is her, then how you snatch it with so much cruelty. Does the essence of being a woman centre around her marital status, only? Doesn’t she has her own identity or individuality? Or the patriarchs never allowed her to identify herself because they feared her presence?
If the symbols belonged to her, then how could society be so cruel and discard the markers no sooner her husband dies? Is this not inhuman? Already it’s daunting for her, then how could you make situations worst right at that moment?
Some people say that wearing marital symbols have scientific basis, (!!??) then why has no research done keeping men’s health in mind? Even they need some sort of beautification in the name of symbols or vice versa. Some communities might have marital markers for men, but they are so subtle that they can’t be seen at all.
And if society can’t explain how could they be biased against the women then how do they expect an explanation?
The fact is that marital symbols don’t shield you. Also, despite these symbols, many women are not safe at home as well. So the demons exist not just outside, but inside too.
It’s no time to give explanations, it’s up to you – whether to be a Sita and shed tears while accepting every wrong in silence, or be an Ahalya and accept a biased curse, or be a Durga and defeat the demon.
Marital symbols don’t make women safe. Men, be they uncles/ boys (now more inspired by Omprakash Mishra’s song) or any random men will give a try. The fact is that either you wear symbols or not, the eyes of lust will gaze and try.
From my experiences, I can say that the scenario remains same, whether you wear symbols or not.
Symbols don’t shield you from evil eyes, but they only make you appear “taken”. This is the only reality of symbolism of married woman. But then the highest search for porn is for a certain ‘bhabhi’!
I only sport a bindi on ethnic dresses, making it my style statement. The imperative word is, choice, no obligations!
If men were taught a little modesty or self-respect, and there would have been symbolism for a married man as well, several problems would have solved!
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