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Do Women Need To Wear Symbols Of Marriage, And Prove Their Marital Status ?

Posted: June 1, 2016

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Sowmya Rajendran and her husband were asked to prove their marital status to get a room in a hotel. Do women need to wear symbols of marriage always? 

Sowmya Rajendran who is a noted writer, and her husband booked a room in a hotel after reading the positive reviews of it on Tripadvisor. When they reached this well known hotel, they were in for a shock. They were asked to submit their IDs. This procedure is carried out normally for security reasons, so Sowmya’s husband submitted his. Seemed like that wasn’t enough. Sowmya too was asked to submit hers. Then the guy questioned them if they were married to which the couple replied “Yes”.

After going through  Sowmya’s ID, he wasn’t convinced that they were married as her surname was different from her husband’s. He went a step further, and requested them to submit their marriage certificate. Shocking, isn’t it? Who would think of carrying marriage certificates all the time?

Fortunately, the couple had the same address on their IDs. After the receptionist spoke to the manager they were allowed to stay in the hotel. What an exhausting process !

High expectations to wear the symbols of marriage

Such a taxing experience for a married couple who just wanted a room in a comfortable hotel. I understand that hotels need to follow their rules due to security reasons, but this went a bit too far. They had submitted their IDs and there was no obvious need to investigate further.

So, why such hue and cry about it?  Her husband’s identity was not questioned. Obviously it’s because Sowmya didn’t have the conventional ‘wife’ identity. No mangalsutra, bindi, and toe-rings. Do women need to wear symbols of marriage? It’s evident that there are still some people who expect women to wear them all the time.

It’s not mandatory for a woman to change her surname after marriage

The receptionist was also confused whether Sowmya was married or not, because her surname is not the same as her husband’s.  Is there a law in India that says a woman has to change her surname?  They explained to him that there is no such law.

The onus to prove whether a couple is married, doesn’t lie only on the woman. Clearly this kind of humiliating treatment is mostly meted out to women in our country.

Did someone say we’ve changed as far as the status of women is concerned?

Diana has worked as an Editor/Writer and Content Manager for various digital platforms and

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