No Country For Single Women

Does Indian society realize how draining it is for single women to answer the unending questions about ‘getting settled’ that comes their way?

In our country, a girl’s identity revolves around her marriage. As children, most of the girls are raised to understand that they must end up with the right partner, and must go to a nice family as a daughter-in-law.

Does our society realize how draining it must be for single women to answer the unending questions about ‘getting settled’ that come their way? To have to deal with the taunts, shaming, and criticism for just being unmarried?

Why our society is so intimidated by the idea of an independent unmarried woman?

If given a choice, most women, and even men, would rather not marry until they feel absolutely sure.

You will find the terms “family-oriented”, and “homely” quite often in discussions while talking about the quality of the groom. How to cook, how to do household chores, behave ourselves and maintain the right image-seems to be the priority for every single woman other than focusing on a career.

Everyone wants a wife who will be a home-maker first and a career woman second. Every family wants a daughter-in-law who will respect elders, and give up on her career the moment other more important things like her husband’s transfer, children, and other emergencies pop up.

To be an ideal woman in a man’s life, you must have the best education possible, a pretty face, and a sound career and yet be willing to put it all on the back burner. If you are nearing 30, you are at the bottom of the pyramid of eligible women.

Single by choice

When a woman says she is single by choice, it’s more or less assumed that she is not respectable. She is looked down upon. Essentially, if a single woman lives an independent life, away from her family, it’s assumed she may have loose morals. She can’t live a normal lifestyle.

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There are rules and regulations for everything. And if by any chance it happens that a male friend comes to drop her home, she is immediately branded a slut.

And it’s not only for the girl but for her parents as well, they too face extreme pressure from relatives and everyone in their circle. People will start to realize that educating their daughter and letting her become an independent person has been a grave mistake.

Now their daughter has high expectations and getting her married has become so difficult! Societal pressure, stigmas and unwanted questions make you question your own choice of being single. Even if you don’t wish to marry voluntarily, you have to carry the baggage of taboo.

Risk or compromise

Biological clock ticking, starting a family, and settling down are a few other criteria which are being forced by relatives, neighbours, and even by friends. Single status puts another question mark on your safety, whether in case of travelling or staying alone.

Being a woman itself is risky, and being single makes you even more vulnerable. There are many girls who give in to societal pressure and end up getting the ill/unsuitable match, which leads to lifelong compromise and unhappiness.

The growing number of single women in the country is not an indication of empowerment or emancipation. Society is still judgemental, and single women are bound by stereotypes. Our country, as a culture, is quite judgemental and stereotypical.

Sad story is the stereotype still exists that single women are only career-oriented, they are sexually promiscuous, they are lonely and desperate, they are defective goods, and they are anti-men and anti-marriage. Society still believes that happiness is directly linked to my marital status.

A single, independent woman is just like a free bird. It is possible for a woman to find solace and fulfilment in her own company. To cage her with marriage when she is mentally not ready is a crime.

If a woman is single, does it imply that she is lonely? A lot of people imagine that single women lead a lonely, sad life.

But is that true?

Also, does marriage guarantee a cure for loneliness?

Recommended read: 

Image source: CanvaPro

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About the Author

Anushree Dash

Gender Equality Advocate, TEDx Speaker, Social Reformer, Sociopreneur, Human Rights Activist, Pad woman of Odisha , Writer, Motivational Speaker, Art connoisseur... An impenitent, non-conformist, adventurous, boho soul and an admirer of life. Loves my Indian read more...

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