I had this lady ( in her 50’s, 10 years ago) who taught us Biology in high school. She was one of the senior most teachers in my Junior College (11 & 12th grade). Definitely upper middle class but she shocked me with her attitude.
- She told us they were looking for a groom for her niece who was like 21 years old. On expressing my disbelief at her age and asking why were they looking to get her married so young, she told us that young women can be more easily moulded and will adjust. “You know how as they grow older, they develop their own personalities and they will not adjust. So better get them married when they are young and will adjust to the guy’s family”.
– Only women have to adjust? Not men? You want women not to have their own personalities but just be doormats with no opinions or desires of their own?
- She went for her niece’s matchmaking because she wanted to know the current market rates”. Her reason was “you know I have sons, so I went to see how much the groom’s family was demanding, ah money matters, so that I know what is the current rates I can demand for my son”(Her son was in the USA).
– Dowry does not disappear even with education, urbanization or wealth. It only changes from one form to another (Law of conservation of Dowry).
I was disappointed. Here is the urban, educated, upper middle class India with 18th century social values.
P.S – Rumour has it that one of her sons married his girlfriend in USA itself without her approval. Not verified though.
Bottom line – Science, education, urbanization and money do not ensure broad mindedness or equality of women.