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When marriage is meant to be living, sharing, adjusting and compromising together, why is only the woman expected to do so?
Marriage is a ritual that unites two people who live together and share everything while standing by each other in all walks of life. Almost every girl imagines having a happily married life with a loving and caring husband who understands and stands by her.
But after she’s married come the numerous ‘whys.’ As a married woman and with the experiences I’ve heard from other women, I believe that every woman goes through the same situation at some point in life.
The one thing that almost every woman experiences is that she no longer is considered her parent’s daughter after her marriage. She is expected to live by the standards and expectations of her in-laws. Though she is never directly told about them, they are indirectly imposed upon her. She is either criticised or her flaws are pointed out every time she speaks or does anything.
When marriage is meant to be living, sharing, adjusting and compromising together, why is only the woman expected to do so? Why are the terms and conditions imposed upon the daughters-in-law not applicable to the daughters?
After his marriage, the guy still remains his parents’ son and his married sister also remains a daughter of the family. However, why is the girl who enters the family as the DIL told that she is no longer her parents’ daughter after her marriage?
A woman is constantly reminded and told that her sister is different from her SIL. Why is she told that they’re different since the SIL is the sister to a brother while she is only the sister to another woman?
When no one gets to choose their child or siblings’ gender, why are the husband’s parents and sisters seen as privileged and superior to the wife’s family?
Why can’t the in-laws seem to remember that they too are the parents of a girl, like the DIL and that their daughter is a DIL in another family? Will the husband and in-laws accept the same injustice and abuse if it’s done to their daughter?
Why is ‘feminist’ used as a way to blame the woman who questions all the injustice instead of tolerating the pain and agony the in-laws put her through?
It is time women were taught to stay strong and stand by themselves instead of turning to their parents for support. At the same time, women need to ensure that they make their feelings heard by her in-laws and husband, irrespective of what they would think. Our patience and tolerance might make them feel like we are accepting their torture, injustice and inequality.
When women continue to suffer and silently ignore the torture, they unknowingly teach their daughters to do the same. Their daughters may grow up believing that a woman must be silent and tolerant for the sake of the family. While a little bit of tolerance and patience is necessary to maintain some peace in life, it is just as important to understand what needs to be spoken about and addressed.
We need to stop putting our self-worth at stake for the sake of the family, the husband and the in-laws. It’s time we realised that by all this, we are setting a wrong example for our children and making them believe that being tortured is normal for married women.
And that’s not something we want them to think, do we?
Picture credits: Still from Hindi TV series Sasural Simar Ka
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
When someone accuses you of "too much feminism", what they are really saying is, "I am uncomfortable with you challenging the status quo and disrupting my privilege".
Time and again, there is one phrase that keeps coming up in the social media discourse on feminism. Any guesses?
Ah, no prizes for guessing the infamous “itni bhi feminist” or “too much feminism” phrase, a classic eye-roller for me, and I am sure for many more of my tribe, in the realm of gender equality discussions.
Pray tell me, how can an ideology, a movement be too ‘much’? It’s not salt or the seasoning of your soup where you can go, “Oops, too much salt, only one spoon was required”. Either you stand for what feminism stands for, or you don’t.
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