Women Are Seen As Mere ‘Value Additions’ To A Man’s Family And Vilified If They’re Not Perfectly ‘Good Girls’

A good girl is soft spoken, gets along well with the new family and friends, respects elders and traditions, comes from a respected family, is beautiful, and would pass on those great genes to their children.

Recently, the nation was engulfed in the carefully embroidered news of a celebrity couple being officially married. I call it carefully embroidered news because there was a lot happening in the country but social media was flooded with wedding photos and updates.

While scrolling, I came across a few comments. While trolling is a common feature and favourite hobby of netizens of today, this behaviour reflects more of what we as a society are than those who are the targets of these trolls, especially when a woman is trolled.

While the same thing was also written by some in a more affirmative and positive manner, like  she manifested her love, a lot of people we still trying to tear someone down – someone they don’t know at all – with the worst of their words and to the best of their abilities:
“Achchha murga phansaya”
“iski toh chandi hai”
“baap ameer ho toh kuchh bhi ho sakta hai”
“don’t know what he saw in her, usko toh koi bhi mil jaati”
“isse achchhi toh uski ex gfs thi”

Who really is an ‘eligible bachelor’?

It got me thinking, no matter how hardworking, earnest and successful a woman is, most of the times we assume she got lucky if she happens to marry an eligible bachelor. In that moment, she is reduced to being just his wife. It’s suddenly all about her marrying him.

Disclaimer: I am speaking not just of the two celebrities in question, but using the example to reflect on what Indian society, as a whole believe or do.

I also realized how toxic the term eligible bachelor really is – it takes shape according to the society’s ever-shifting judgements and set parameters, and patriarchy too, for it functions within the realm of fixed gender roles. Who really is an eligible bachelor? A smart, successful, well earning, good looking guy who is desired by many? And how petty it all becomes when suddenly this object of desire is the love of someone’s life.

It all has roots in idolizing a man and idealizing his traits. And just as this man, who was eligible enough for most women’s love, is suddenly exclusively one person’s, that one person comes under immediate constant public scanner. Not just that, she is also constantly compared to all of the man’s exes. I didn’t see that happening the other way.

Men in the film industry get paid more, as do men everywhere!

We immediately overlook the individual achievements of the wife as she gets married to this man – also, conveniently ignoring the fact that a man might be a bigger name in the industry because of his longer span and more voluminous body of work, and, in general, the very fact that men have been paid more in most industries – it’s obvious that men have more powerful presence in most industry. This gets reflected in how we view the industry as an audience.

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What I have the most problem with is the accusation (because I disagree that it’s a compliment) that it’s the wife who got lucky  in such a union. Here, we are talking about two people who we do not know personally, but since it’s so easy and normal and acceptable for us to call women marrying successful men lucky that we are ready to assume it true for most such weddings.

And to discount everything she might have done and might do in future for her new family that makes her husband and his family lucky  –  from being an emotional support to a pillar of strength who anchors the family – is unbelievable.

When is he a ‘lucky’ man?

But do not be mistaken, we call men lucky too. He is lucky man – when he is marrying a great girl.

A girl who is soft spoken, is extremely sweet and gets along well with the new family and friends, who respects elders and traditions, who comes from a respected and reputed family, is beautiful and would pass on those great genes to their children.

A girl who is intelligent enough to raise intelligent kids but not intelligent enough to use her head to intervene in other areas.

She may have a job (because, progressive family tag), but her sanskars would absolutely not let her work be a hurdle at home.

Someone who knits the family together and manages the house well and never complain.

Basically a dreamgirl that most husbands and mothers-in-law want. Lucky men indeed.

Women are seen as mere value additions to a man’s family

This takes me back to a very basic point – women are seen as additions to the new family after marriage – it’s her who leaves her own family to join another. And their addition is significant to the family for their offspring.
On the other hand, we see a man more for his social and financial status when it comes to his eligibility. And giving away your daughter to such an eligible man is a matter of reputation and position.

While the thinking is feudal, its application in modern society is sad (abhorrent will be too strong a word for anti feminists).

Waiting for a day when all men would be called lucky because they married women who dare to be happy and do everything that makes them happy. Lucky are men who marry women who dare to turn dreams into reality. Lucky are women who marry such men with a strong spine who are not afraid, insecure and/or intimidated by strong women.

Lucky is the society that sees beyond social construct of eligibility, and sees two people as individuals madly in love. Till then, it’s the win for feudal mentality and anonymous trolls.

Image source: Instagram

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About the Author

Chaitanya Srishti

Mostly writing, other times painting. Here to celebrate little wins. I am on the same page as you, just a different book - you read mine, I'll read yours. read more...

33 Posts | 53,957 Views

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