This is what is wrong with our society


I read this email from a reader on IHM’s blog (link). It made me so angry at our society and clearly shows where we are going wrong with our so called tradition and values. Dear troubled lady, I fully sympathise with you and support you in your struggle but there are a few things I need to point out, where things have gone wrong in our society and the way women are brought up in our society. No offence intended at all. I am blaming our society and trying to get women to understand and break free of their social indoctrination. I definitely need to rant.

Main points:

  1. Women should and must get married and stay married? Absolutely not. We must break free of this social indoctrination.
  2. Nobody must put up with this kind of abuse.
  3. Stop worrying what the society thinks because our society would rather let its women die than walk out of a marriage.
  4. We need to break our social indoctrination of what the ideal Indian should be like.

Life was fine and I was happy. All troubles started with looking for a suitable guy for myself… 

  • Why must every woman marry, if her life is perfectly fine and she is happy?

Somehow falling in Love never really occurred to me or may be i didn’t pay much attention to the guys who were interested in me as i thought i cannot handle all that.

  • Falling in love never occurs as there is such a social stigma to it and most people do not dare to break the rules set by our society. If we do, it seems like everyone is on warpath with us, including those dearest to us. We are taught that we cannot handle it? Really what is handling love? Can we not handle the love of our parents? Our family? Our friends? Then why does society think we are incapable of loving and having a romantic relationship? Why is our society so against something as natural as attraction between humans?

 Saying this i don’t mean that i am too weak a woman (almost 33 now) but may be  I didn’t want to upset/ confront my mom on this front.

  • They want us to be mature in everything and be old enough to earn money but choosing a spouse must be left to parents. Sad. Why do parents forget that even they must have loved someone once upon a time? Why do we bow into society’s expectations? 

Both me and my mom wanted a groom who was as educated as my father, a non drinker, non smoker, non dowry seeker and also from our caste. Somehow this combination seemed too difficult to find 

  • Why are we so hung up about our castes? Why is it so diifcult to find a guy who does not want dowry? If men do not even have the self respect to earn their own money and want money from someone else for free, what kind of a guy is he? Do we think he will even care for us? If he cannot stand up to his family now for asking dowry, what is the guarantee that he will support his spouse in the future? Why must the women give dowry? Are we assets to the family or liabilities? Why can’t we view women as someone who adds value to the husband’s family and helps around the house and maybe financially instead of an additional mouth to feed? 

If everything else was fine, then somehow the guys found me too quiet or they did not like the fact that I work…

  • The guys want money, but they do not want their wives to work? So that they can control them and the wife has nowhere to go and be financially dependent on him? Is that the giant scheme of our society to control women? Our society places so much emphasis on docile, shy, quiet, obedient Indian woman. How the hell are we supposed to know our future partners if we do not talk at all to the prospective grooms? If we talk too much, we are considered too fast/’tej’. 

Any ways all the necessary facts from our side were put honestly and correctly on marriage portals and newspapers to avoid any problems later. This was the only time i really wished my father was alive….

  • Prospective brides who have fathers (preferably still working) and brothers have higher value in the marriage market than those who don’t. No matter what, we all know that, the brother and father will do anything to keep their sister/daughter happy in her marital home and this includes pleasing the in laws by giving them gifts.

 Then this particular profile contacted us (unfortunately my present husband) , showing interest in my profile. It mentioned the guy did not drink, smoke and his father was a manager in a govt organization, brother a businessmen blah blah…

  • You go through matrimonial profiles and they almost always say the same thing – non smoker, non drinker and even sometimes vegetarians (Depends on the caste). As our society is so restrictive, parents have no idea if their children smoke or drink in the first place. Friends are a better source of knowledge of that sort of thing. If parents do not accept what their children do, children are bound to hide these things. He is old enough to marry and is scared of mommy *sigh*. How do we expect him stand up for himself?

 There were rounds of talk on the phone with my mother and then the guy and his mother decided to visit us in a cafe to have a physical look of me….

  • When are we going to allow our women to meet and talk to the people they are going to marry rather than parents talking to each other? Old enough to marry but not old enough to judge for oneself first. 

I was married to this guy much against my own personal wishes…

  • I say marry if and when you want to marry and whom you want. Why does society consider giving grown up mature women this freedom as something wrong? 

not that this marriage was pushed on to me but thinking my mother really worked so hard for so long and that this was like her final obligation towards me,

  • When will we stop seeing getting daughters married off as our obligation? First give women the choice and make them independent.  Let them marry if they want to. Daughters are not burdens. When will Indian woman stop being guilt tripped into marriages they do not want but have to due to societal pressure? When will parents stop doing that to their adult children? 

also the guys parents confirmed and assured that the guy is very very nice nice despite me initially refusing to them when the guy admitted he drinks… also fear of society etc.

  • This is just tricking into marriage. Every parent is gonna claim that their child is the best. Children cannot admit to their parents but at least they can admit to the person they are planning to marry. Why fear society? Is society crying with us in an unhappy marriage? Are they footing out wedding bill? Is it going to return the wasted years of our life? Also everyone who drinks is not a drunkard. If you can handle your drink, then it is okay. Why does society instill in us that drinking means evil and bad. That doesn’t stop you from doing it and people just try to hide the facts. 

Somehow this tragedy  happened…

  • We have to make a conscious choice to marry. Marriage cannot just happen like an accident nut sadly it does in our society. 

The guy’s family background: mom housewife, father a suspended officer (coz of some fraud he committed). Brother a diploma holder, running a shop opened by the father. Sister in law, don’t know how educated she is but a real bitch…. 

  • Why do women have to be taught to jealously guard their reputation in society due to fear to marriage but guys do not have to?

 Guy : a B tech, MS from US and an MBA….

  • Education does not ensure broad mindedness or that the guy is nice. 

had a girl friend of 4 years who refused to marry him as he did not marry her initially .. so he looked for an  arrange marriage as his family also did not approve of marriage to her.

  • Nobody has a right to enter the arranged marriage market if they are not over their ex. Tis is just unfair. It often hppens due to parental and societal pressure. Everybody needs time to recover from heartbreak.

 Never was this fact mentioned to me  until after marriage… also that the guy smoked a lot, is diabetic.

  • This is absolute trickery. You cannot hide such facts in a relationship like marriage. Where is the trust in a marriage? So our society thinks trust is lower than money and caste in a marriage? 

They whole family was really cautious to hide this fact from our family… in fact for the 1st year of our marriage, I still feel he was very much in touch with his girlfriend and somehow still wished if this marriage could break, he’ll marry her…

  • I repeat, do not marry via arranged marriage if you love/ wish to marry someone else. 

For 2 years of our marriage, I was endlessly compared to her for every big or small thing…

  • The current spouse cannot be and is not your ex. This just shows lack of respect for what the woman is. You feel your ex is better than the current partner in everything, then you should not be dating your current partner at all.

 If i was so bad a person, better should have not married me in first place or should have divorced me then…

  • Exactly. That is what anyone would think 

I have been numerous times physically assaulted and beaten up…,

  • Nobody should put up with physical abuse. It happens more than 3 times just walk out. The guy may try to make up but the fact is he will never change. So according to our society, women should get beaten up rather than walk out of the marriage.

 compared with his numerous friends’ wives and made to feel how dumb I am…

  • Let no one batter your self esteem. This is done to lower our self esteem so that we feel incapable of moving out alone which suits the abuser just fine. 

All through these things happened, his mother took my side in supporting me and in helping me deal with her son,

  • What support? Look after your son when you were busy being beaten up?

 though never did she or her husband ever scolded him…

  • They did not stop the physical abuse. That shows that they supported it. They should be ashamed of themselves.

 now that I look back, I regret my life because I did have some men like these around my various workplaces but I was a fool to ignore them and fall in trap for this guy…

  • The good Indian girl is taught to ignore any romantic overtures from even the nicest of men. Rather get beaten up by a husband of the same caste than be treated nicely by a husband of another caste. Yeah right. 

Anyways, so his mom played at kind of being a nice mom but also shrewdly she asked me to bring costly presents etc but gave me very cheap things in return…

  • Why should the wife give presents to the husband’s family even after marriage? Why and how do we owe them anyway when they do not even ensure an abuse free household for us? 

He picked up a fight with me and abused my mom on phone when she visited me once….

  • You cannot abuse your in-laws. Also why does the girl’s side always remain quiet and put up with shit just because we are the girl’s side of family. Why can the guy’s family in a similar situation get away with protesting? Would the woman/her family even dare to speak impolitely to the guy’s family? Why does our society allow this? 

which he mentioned later, he did it in love.. u know followed bondage method… he watched numerous porns which is fine but should not expect me to be one esp i was not so interested in it before marriage and for this also he said I has so naive and stupid.. I don’t satisfy him… [why the f*** didn’t u ask such Questions before marriage….u asshole…]

  • Women should not know a fucking thing about sex before marriage eh in our society? So that men can do anything they want with us and later tell us we do not know a bloody thing? 

When he used to go for party to his friends’ place when I was away, he would not always tell me or pick my phone…

A marriage is an equal partnership. If you do not feel your spouse is equal and do not want to share information with her, then do not marry.

 And when i was away for my office party even after telling him… he would call every now and then to check on me and also to show to his mom how awara I am..

  • If a woman goes to parties it is awara and what the heck can the mother of an adult woman do about it if her daughter of her free will chooses to do so?  Why is it okay in our society to have a controlling husband like this?

which was not really the case but its very easy for him to fool him mom or anybody for that matter….

  • He can fool because they choose to ignore certain glaring facts. 

I m tired of  writing but need to write a lot still, its an ordeal of 4 years. and i want a really peaceful solution to it.

  • The most peaceful thing you would do for yourself is to walk out of this marriage. 

Initially i studied his family for sometime to really know the kind of people they are and not really complained much… but when i knew their behaviour well and it was beyond me to tolerate, the troubles starting exaggerating….

  • Women in our society should be taught not to bear anything till breaking point and not be expected to put up with abuse in the guise of saving a marriage. Saving ourselves is more important than a marriage.

 All through this time, my mom knew everything

  • We know about the abuse but we do not speak against it. We would rather put up with it and suffer in silence for the sake of society.SAD 

but for her also the fear of society

  • The society needs to change. The society would rather let its women die than walk out of marriages alive and broken. This society is what gives men the confidence that they can do shit and women will not and cannot walk out due to societal pressure. To hell with this kind of society I say.

 and also may be things improve will improve with time,

  • Abuse does not go away women; an abuser does not stop unless he has to. Walk out of abuse.

she asked me to be patient and not take any extreme steps like divorce etc…

  • Why should only women be patient and put up with shit? Why is divorce an extreme step in our society? So we would rather let our women and daughter die/ be abused/ be battered for life than them divorcing. 

and asked me to be quiet.. phew…

  • Why should the victim be quiet?  The abuser is not shamed in our society, the victim is. 

His mother despite being nice on some occasions, would directly or indirectly compare me with her elder daughter in law and how much her family (lives 50 kms away) come and  give on every festival which we don’t always coz my mom lives alone and was then a working lady herself  and my brother posted in another city cannot always visit them.

  • Why should the girl give gifts to her in laws and why do in laws expect this? Who would want daughters at this rate? See parents your responsibilities do not end the moment you get your daughters married. Therefore, stop thinking of getting your   daughters married off thinking you   can wash your hands of her. The gift giving never ends out here. 

if i objected they would say I didn’t have a father, so I don’t know how men are like…..

  • We have gone to schools/ universities/ offices and in public spaces and they have men!!

 But after marriage he wanted me to leave my job and live with his mother and bhabhi and appreciate the life-style they lead… which I did not like… and so he also developed some hatred for me.

  • Women should not have to quit their jobs after marriage unless they want to or it is a mutual decision.  If you want your spouse to live in a joint family, it must be clearly stated before marriage 

Every once in a while, he and his both parents would complain to my mom about small things which I did instead to talking  about them directly to me, they found this indirect way to trouble my mom, which I did not like…

  • What can the mother do? Would the girl’s parent ever complain about the son in law to his parents? Why is not acceptable in our society? 

They never said this openly but would have wanted me to quit my job and spend my life washing clothes and cooking food… they don’t have any other social life expect for talking to their relatives….

  • Basically they do not want humans with their own personalities, they want robots with no desire or opinions of their own totally under their control.  

My husband had got an overseas posting and I had to leave my really nice job to accompany him and also to see if this marriage works or not…

  • Is that even something to check again. It clearly is not working but women are forced to stay and adjust as always and make things work.

 It’s been 4 years since and we have a 2 year old son, we have more fights and differences than before… and during all this period he had done all to trouble me as much as he could…

  • Why do we have kids in such troubled marriages. Having a kid does not make problems go away but rather complicates stuff. Why are women expected to have kids in such an unbearable marriage? 

That time I decided I will not live with this man… I went back to my mother’s place after a month as I had a planned holiday then… and didn’t know what to do…. for the sake of my son, I came back again and also to save some more money for myself and my son in case we need to divorce in future…

  • Why did you not take your son with you? For sake of your son, you need to walk out of this marriage. No child needs such a lousy example of a father.Why does society allow children to live in such abusive conditions rather than letting the woman walk out? 

As of this date… I can bear living with my husband for the sake of my child but still unsure how long this peacefully time will continue…

  • For the sake of your child walk out. If this continues, you will need psychiatric care and cannot look after your child anyways. Children do not need such abusive parents no matter what the society says.

Infact at many social gatherings he had made fun of me and also for the fact as to why don’t i drink…

  • No respect and verbal and emotional abuse is not something that should be tolerated. 

He wants to show to the world as well as to me that he is a better parent that i am…

he keeps saying every now and then that i am a psycho and need a psychiatrist’s help….

  • Not only saying, he will ensure with his behaviour that you land up there.

 

 

5 thoughts on “This is what is wrong with our society

  1. Hello sos,
    Came over from IHM’s blog. Some points on this post made me think hard because they were implicit and unquestioned, even by me.

    Reading through your post, it suddenly struck me how even an unapologetic feminist like me does not think to question some social norms.

    When I was married, my ex’s family would regularly call me parents to complain about me, very similar to the Letter Writer’s in-laws.

    Until I read your post, I did not realise that neither I nor my parents ever thought of complaining to HIS family about him. My parents were always in the dock, on the defensive, whereas my ex’s family were always judge and jury.

    The more important point I wanted to make was this:

    While we may fume about how unfair and inequitable marriage practises are, it is equally true that men and their families will NEVER change the status quo, because it works for them.

    I often think that it is futile to expect them to treat wives/DILs with respect and fairness. Why should they? They know that custom and social opinion is on their side. That they are above reproach and criticism, no matter how appalling their behaviour.

    Marriage for women is very much a question of caveat emptor (buyer beware). Men have less to lose when marriages break down, so they are less likely to be at the forefront of social change.

    So real change will only happen when women say “no deal”. Until then, women will continue to suffer for no fault of theirs because “aisa to hota rehta hai”.

    My two cents anyway! 🙂

  2. Oh well, this is not a new thing and also not that big too. The only two person I would blame in the story are the guy and the lady who wrote of the letter.
    The boy clearly had abandonment issues and failure to launch. He could not bear the fact that someone rejected him and removed the frustration on the substitute. He could get a psychiatric help
    The girl in the case clearly has confrontation issues who feels she is burdened by the weight of everything. She is dependent on everyone for this case. Well, I won’t blame the society for honestly, no one gives a rats ass. It is the personal fear and guilt that makes the society a bad place. But thats my view, I do agree on most of what you have written.

    1. You could be right from a point of view but I would argue that it is not a new thing and been in our society for ages but we still perpetuate it. Then it is wrong.
      It may not be big for you but is for the lives of the people involved.
      The couple is to be blamed but at the same time we cannot forget to take into account the deep and repeated social indoctrination that a woman must and should get married and remain in the marriage no matter what. It takes a lot of courage to fight all that and you end up alienating everybody close to you. For some it is too great a risk to take. I know of perfectly educated women who bow into this kind of social pressure and feel women are incomplete without marriage though they maybe in unhappy marriages. This thought process is what needs to change and we should not be teaching our children this.

    2. You have a point, and I also think we have to take personal responsibility for our decisions.

      However, that’s when we are allowed some CHOICE in the matter. In this woman’s case, so brainwashed was she (like me) that she made decisions thinking about everyone but herself.

      Women in India are raised to put everyone’s happiness above their own. They are raised to believe that they MUST allow others to make important life decisions for them, even if they have misgivings.

      That it is unfeminine to want to control your own life, or use your own discretion to make informed decisions.

      This woman did exactly what she was told to do, and what happened?

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