Someone made an interesting observation of how people’s behaviour towards them changed after marriage.Before marriage:
Go to some office in salwar kameez for some application. The person in office may be free but tells you to just drop the application there and does not even look up and talk to youAfter marriage:
Go to same office in salwar kameez but your mangalsutra/thali (the symbol of marriage for Indian women and equivalent to a wedding ring) and it is visible. Same guy, more busy, gives you a more detailed reply for the same application and calls you madam 4 times.
Marriage in this context immediately makes you more respectable and people treat you as mature and responsible and more men treat you with respect. Marriage gives you more social status.Questioning the conditioning:
See how much social conditioning comes into effect. I have heard people saying things like ” Oh, you cannot be free or talk around her because she is married, we have to be careful”. Why, she gets ability to shoot you after marriage? She does not find a lot of things you say funny anymore?
If the husband’s family is more liberal or ‘modern’, then women feel they have more freedom after marriage. Like Pooja, whose parents did not let her go out alone, go out anywhere except to colleges and school and did not let her wear jeans and after marriage, she feels so free because she can go out alone to meet her friends.
Let’s question the social conditioning:
- How is being respectable connected to marriage for a woman?
- Is it this kind of cultural conditioning which ensures that woman will marry and remain under control? When married woman get more privileges, it makes women need to marry.
- Again it ensures tribal perpetuity and not individual happiness.
- Lot of men who would not find mates in usual conditions, can get mates due to such strong social conditioning.
- It ensures women stay in abusive conditions because of social stigmatization and loss of status and respect, should a woman choose to leave a marriage.
- It leads to loss of power and respect outside of a marriage.
- A marriage, which is supposed to be based on two individuals’ wish (not need, note that) to form a partnership, ends up being a community affair and subject to tribal interference because this system is for tribal perpetuation, not individual desires.
- It pushes uninterested parties into doing something for something they are not interested in – like no interest in marriage, they may be homosexual (but tribal perpetuity needs and recognized only marriages that give offspring to maintain the tribe’s numbers, power and political standing among other tribes), or they like some other individual.