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Women are expected to move to the husband's house and endure all kinds of cruel behaviour but why is it toxic if a man has to do it?
Women are expected to move to the husband’s house and endure all kinds of cruel behaviour but why is it toxic if a man has to do it?
He was married to a well-educated woman who had a PhD in mathematics while he also had a PhD in astrophysics from Europe. They fell in love and their common interests of academia, travelling, and reading bonded them together. Thus, they decided to be together, thinking nothing else mattered since they were so in love.
But he didn’t quite realise that none of his academic qualifications or the love he had for his wife mattered. Neither did his life experiences of having lost his mom, living in several countries in Europe or the struggles he went through for his PhD matter as much. Especially to his immediate relatives or his wife’s parents.
For all of them, his ultimate duty in life was to raise his children, quit his job, follow his wife to her parent’s place and take care of his in-laws. According to them, if he did all this will he be a ‘good person’ and serve his ‘true purpose in life.’
It was outrageous that being a man and having a PhD, he was asked to leave everything and stay home and take care of his in-laws. He was expected to seek permission from his in-laws to stay for a few days with his father who had lost his wife a year ago.
The worst thing, however, was that he was forced to wear a gold chain symbolising his marital status and that he belonged to this family. This was the part that he hated the most, he was forced to wear the chain against his wishes. His in-laws often complained to his widowed father that he hadn’t visited any of their relatives and that he was a very bad son-in-law.
When his father wanted to gift the couple a bike to travel around, his father-in-law ordered his wife not to accept the gift. Meanwhile, when his FIL gave them both monetary gifts he had to accept them against his will. His wife said if he didn’t accept the gifts, her father would be extremely hurt. But it was completely okay that his father’s feelings got hurt!
He lost his mother while he was doing his PhD and though he got depressed during this time, overcame all his struggles and still managed to finish his PhD. But none of this mattered, as soon as he came back after his PhD, he was asked to sit down for a meeting. Here, his in-laws told him what was expected of him. That they were extremely disappointed in him as he wasn’t staying at their house since his wedding. He was barely congratulated on his PhD.
Does any of this sound toxic to you? Now, just reverse the gender and read the same thing. Does it sound normal that women are expected to do all this because it’s their ‘duty?’ Why? Simply because she loved a boy who doesn’t even stand up for her and ask his parents to stop torturing her? Should she continue living in such a toxic environment? Actually, should anyone?
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Ki&Ka
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If you want to get back to work after a break, here’s the ultimate guide to return to work programs in India from tech, finance or health sectors - for women just like you!
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend related to personal financial planning and she shared how she had had fleeting thoughts about joining work but she was apprehensive to take the plunge. She was unaware of return to work programs available in India.
She had taken a 3-year long career break due to child care and the disconnect from the job arena that she spoke about is something several women in the same situation will relate to.
More often than not, women take a break from their careers to devote time to their kids because we still do not have a strong eco-system in place that can support new mothers, even though things are gradually changing on this front.
A married woman has to wear a sari, sindoor, mangalsutra, bangles, anklets, and so much more. What do these ornaments have to do with my love, respect, and commitment to my husband?
They: Are you married?
They: But You don’t look like it
Me: (in my Mind) Why should I?
Why is being married not enough for a woman, and she needs to look married too? I am tired of such comments in the nearly four years of being married.
I believe that anything that is forced is not right. I must have a choice. I am a living human, not a puppet. And I am not stopping anyone by not following any tradition. You are free to do whatever you like to do. But do not force others. It’s depressing.