Simple methods, recommended to anybody else, coping with any other kind of abuse, are forbidden to Indian daughters in law. Forbidden by whom?

While I agree with everything in the video shared below, I hesitated in sharing it because the discussion leaves out the one person without whom such abuse would not ever be possible.

I believe Indian women would not have to deal with most of the in laws issues if they were permitted (or just left alone) – mainly by their spouse, to cope with them in their own ways.

Some of the methods (simple, common sense) that are recommended to anybody and everybody else coping with any other kind of abusive relationships (or healthy relationships), are forbidden to Indian daughters in law – by whom? Mainly by their husbands.

Most women who do not face abuse by in laws are those where the husbands do not demand that they get along, impress, compromise, display ‘respect’ or obey their parents/extended families. (Such men risk being labelled Joru Ka Gulaam) The parents and extended families realise that abuse would not be silently supported by the JKG. [link]

That’s all it really takes. Letting adults deal with each other as equals.

What kind of coping methods are forbidden to Indian daughters in law?

What would you do to anybody else who attempts to control, bully, harass, demean or humiliate you? Avoid them, at the least? Ignore them? Create a distance? Have nothing to do with them?

Some of us might choose to tell them why we find the abuse offensive? This might require asking questions and giving opinions?

But most women – married Indian women, are denied even validation.

Not only must they not complain or question, they must actually attempt to ‘win over the heart’ of someone who is being manipulative or blatantly abusive. And who empowers these abusers? Who has the most power to end such abuse? What would Indian daughters in law do if they were not restricted by someone they believe loves them – the only person they are actually married to? (no matter what he claims)

What if these Indian Shravan Kumars were not given the option of enforcing obedience and displays of ‘respect’ on their spouse?

Or if Indian women did not view Getting Married and Staying Married as the only goal in their lives? If a successful divorce was seen as a new beginning. If staying single was acknowledged as an option.

It would, eventually create a fairer society where everybody who wishes to get  along with anybody would have the option of being decent to them.  There would be no entitlement to enforced displays of respect.

So basically there would be no Saas Bahu issues if there were more Joru Ke Gulaam who married their wives, and not their parents’ daughters in law.

Video shared by Sangitha and Mansi.

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So who is eating the the gajar ka halwa that the daughter in laws are was not permitted to eat? 

An email from an anonymous Confused Wife.

To an Anonymous Daughter in law.

No jeans for an Indian Daughter in law.

“My husband says he can’t go against his family. My father says study but not without your FIL’s permission.”

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

“I have to seek permission for visiting parents. My phone bill has to be reasonable. My expenses nominal. And my desires non-existent.”

“When wives become too possesive of her husbands and do not want the affection to be shared with their near and dear…”

Of girly men who fail to convert irresponsible women from liabilities to assets.

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon

Shravan Kumar takes his wife to London to bring back her smile…

From the modern, Indian woman to Shravan Kumar.

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

The JKG: Joru Ka Gulaam

‘Unbelievable? Believe it. This isn’t your usual Ekta Kapoor serial.’

You’re going to be with your in-laws for only a few days in a year so why can’t you live the way they want and keep every one happy?

‘Last month, my sister’s husband picked a fight with her as he felt she was not doing enough for his parents.’

“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

‘His family seems a bit traditional type.I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’

“Leaving US is a tough decision and, going back to live with in-laws has scared and shaken me.”

No Gajar Ka Halwa for an Indian Daughter in law?

From an Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter.

‘His family seems a bit traditional type.I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’

Because of my initial submissiveness, my husband and his family volunteer to take care of my chores, to let me resume my career.

‘I am not really sure why is it the duty of a new bride to adjust no matter what you feel?’

An email: ‘He made it clear to them he will not marry me without their support. He will not leave them behind… ever.’

 

 

An email: “Advice for an ageing old maid?”

How does the idea of a ‘marriageable age’ influence the lives, the freedom, the choices and the happiness of those involved?
Also, why is this age considered ‘marriageable age’? The answer to this also conveys how we view marriage. 
Sharing an email.
Hi,
 
I came across your blog when I was Googling life-changing advice. It is insane that I am writing to a complete stranger to share something about my life on a public forum, but I could do with some honest advice. 
My problem is not unique or something that hsn’t been discussed before, I am sure. If there is someone else’s experience I can learn from, do point me to the relevant post. 
 
Here is what I have to say, and ask:
I am almost 29, Indian female and on the verge of giving up a lot of good work I’ve fought really long and hard for in life, because my parents are old, and want me to get married, and get married  FAST, because I am nearing 30. Is that all it takes to decide to get married?
I studied engineering, mostly because it was my father’s dream, worked in the IT sector for a couple of years, and then quit to pursue a career in what I really wanted to do – journalism. I managed pretty well — working with reputed Indian and international brands. The pressure to get married has been there since I finished engineering. I was 22 then. It has been seven years, and of course it has only increased and is now threatening to consume my very existence.
I have worked in two different cities, apart from the one that I live in (one of the four major metros). It was only when I moved out for my second journalism job a couple of years ago that I figured the kind of person I want to be. Apart from keeping the pressure at bay, the new city, the new setting and the right set of people made me understand that it is okay to want to be happy and have a life that does not require you to abide by the rules your family sets out for you. It was also the only job that made me happy.
I dated a guy for three-odd years, and that did not work out. It left me a little jolted, but nothing extreme. I am okay getting married some time in life, or may be find a partner and live-in. However, I DO NOT, absolutely DO NOT want to get married because I am a certain age. The need for companionship seems to hold no logical meaning for parents and family. How does this work really?
I had to quit the job-I-ever-really-liked and move back home to be with my parents because their attempt at finding a suitable boy in that city did not yield any results and my father wasn’t keeping well. The emotional blackmail and drama almost killed me then, and I had to quit and come back home. I have been home for nearly a year now, working at a job that has a big name but no satisfaction, gone to extremely traumatic prospective groom meetings, absolutely abhorred and cursed myself for doing so, but done it anyway because I tell myself it keeps my parents happy. My brother is extremely understanding, but because these guys see no reason for me to continue being unmarried, he has also been asking me to consider marriage.
The problem here is, my father does not keep well (he’s 72, and has recently undergone open heart surgery and is on dialysis), my mother is stressed all the time, both of them are losing health. And after meeting/talking to at least 20 men in 3 years, I feel no more inclined to wade through a sea of bad-looking, extremely close-minded men (mostly) online who only want a wife because most of their friends are married. If at all I get married, I want to enjoy the process.
I am not even allowing myself to date someone or actively look for guys on my own because I stay at home and have limits on when to get home, which leaves me no time to socialize post work. Also, I really dislike the work I am doing right now.
For the first time in years, I was really beginning to understand the kind of person that I want to be, the kind of life I want to lead, and now I cannot because there is this sense of guilt and not having done right by my parents.
I want to move out, I am even considering studying for a year, but am stalling the application process because I am scared. Is there any way to do it without killing my parents? I really do love them and care about them, but I felt closer to them when I wasn’t staying with them.
I am absolutely unhappy and get bouts of insane fear, thinking about how I could just give in to the blackmail, which includes stuff like “If you don’t get married soon and something happens to us, you re responsibe”.
I know this post is rambling on, but I really do not understand this fixation with marriage. I also do not understand what holds me back. Maybe the fact that I have very few savings, if at all. It is tempting sometimes to just give in, marry a man that is handpicked by the family, and just “settle” and “compromise”—two favourite Indian parent words. And then I think of everything I have given up and gone through, and realize it’s not worth it.
Thanks much.
Related Posts:

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Shuddh Desi Romance : When Getting Married and Staying Married is not an Indian woman’s life purpose.

Separated she smiles.

How important is it for an Indian girl to get married?

Are these advises and suggestions possible for an Average Indian Woman to even consider? Will she be able to think that way… educate me

An email: “The relatives seemed to be offering ‘condolences’ for me to my mother, having the misfortune of having an ‘unmarried’ daughter…”

Yes I am single so? – Nirjharani

Why marry? – Careless Chronicles

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?

And they said financial independence will solve all women’s problems for all times.

“I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.”

Does Patriarchy combined with Patrilocality (the wife relocating to the husband’s parents’/ancestors’ home) and Patrilineal-ity (women not being permitted to have, or to pass on, names or identity of their own) create a happy society?

Would such a society survive if its members were permitted to reject its norms? What prevents the members from rejecting these norms or diktats? Indoctrination, risk to life, violence, boycott or stigma. Or maybe they believe they benefit from the system? 

Sharing an email.

Hello indian homemaker,

I am not writing an email about my troubles right now – it’s just that I have been thinking VERY DEEPLY about something for many years now.

Having been born and brought up in India and having observed how Indian families behave, the gender stereotype, social hierarchy, gender based discrimination (in the name of culture and ‘sanskaar’) and everything that goes on in india …………… I think we are all too familiar about what goes on in India even before a girl child is born and after her birth and later when she gets married in majority of households (thankfully not all households) :- so I do not need to write much about that.

My parents were very liberal /modern/progressive in their outlook, so I guess that made me question things that others just considered to be a norm.

My mother is a gynaecologist :- so I have seen how indian families react when a girl child is born and how they react when a guy child is born. I mean to say I got the front row seat thousands of times to what I call extreme injustice bestowed upon the girl child even before she is born.

How the faces of the parents and in laws would drop the minute they hear its a girl child as if they have come to a funeral.

And their reaction when told a guy child is born :- they would be as joyous as if someone handed them Diwali, Holi, Lohdi, Eid, Christmas everything in one package on the same day.

Tonnes of sweets would be distributed, and what not.

I have lived in the West for several years. Two years in the USA and approximately 3 years in the UK.

I have observed the life of the Americans and the British up close.

It has seriously made me wonder :- how much BETTER it is, for a girl, to be born in a WESTERN family.

I feel they have their own demons they fight.

Their culture is imperfect too.

But then again, possibly sooooo much better than ours.

I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.

There would be tooooo many things that I may forget to write, so readers help me out! Please add what I forgot.

Indian Homemaker and other readers please give me your opinion on what you feel on this topic :-

1) Parents are as joyous if not more on getting the news that a girl is about to be born as joyous they would be on knowing that a boy child is about to be born. even the in laws without any stigma would genuinely be delighted and start buying gifts for the little princess who’s yet to arrive in this world.

2) Of course nobody would even think about female infanticide after she is born. She would be welcome in this world with tonnes of gifts and showered with love and blessings from both parents and both sets of grandparents.

3) Her upbringing would not be sacrificed for preferential treatment of her brothers. Equal amount of effort would be put into her education, all round development (soccer practice, gym classes, swimming lessons), equal nutrition, medical care. Basically not raised with any bias:- born an equal, raised an equal :- in my opinion that leads to a well balanced healthy self respecting adult with good self esteem.

4) No pressure to move in with in laws. Let’s face it we have all heard /seen stories where the daughter in law is crying her eyes out cause of whatever dynamics that go on in indian joint families.

5) If she reports sexual crimes:- its not a matter of bringing shame to the family.

6) No honor killing.

7) It is a generally accepted idea that she has a life of her own, mind of her own. She does not need to do X, Y, Z to please third cousins’ uncles’ nieces’ somebody.

The log kya kahenge crap is not the fuel that destroys her happiness.

8) She is not confined/ forced to do all the household chores if she chooses to rather all her focus and energy on her education/ career/ hobby/ anything that makes her happy and feel fulfilled in life.

9) Most partners (boyfriends/ husbands) help with household chores.

10) Most partners help with child upbringing responsibilities.

11) She is not told by her in laws after marriage, whether or not she can go to her maika, or for how long.

12) Her parents do not have to feel pressurised about dowry or marriage expenses.

13) If she is stuck in an unhappy marriage, she does not have to think about log kya kahenge when making a decision in favour of her happiness and sanity .

14) A Second Marriage is not a taboo, and she does not have to wonder about society thinking doosri shaadi ho payegi ki nahin / baatein banegi/ etc .

15) She is under no pressure to bear male offspring.

16) She can help her parents in any and every manner that she desires after her marriage (with no in laws telling her they are more important than her own parents).

I think the list goes on n on …….

Basically I am getting drawn to the western culture even with the flaws of the western culture. I am getting more and more convinced that it is million times better than our Indian culture IF YOU ARE A FEMALE.

If you are a guy, then it would not come as a shock to me that you admire/love Indian culture.

One thing I used to notice in the matrimonial ads :- most of the biodatas would say the guy and his family love Indian traditions, culture, blah blah .

It also makes me wonder, was this what Indian culture was from the beginning…….or slowly the people for whom it was advantageous to mould it to be in their favour (ladke wale)…. slowly they kept twisting things in their favour and on n on and on n on and it has come to become a very difficult culture for women to live in.

Yes, Indian Homemaker, me and other readers of this blog are working everyday to change it.

But how much mental energy is drained fighting everyday for our rights. how much peace of mind is lost everyday fighting for our rights.

How many sleepless nights feeling furious, troubled by in laws issues, blah blah blah .

I too am fighting just like indian homemaker regarding the injustice.

But nevertheless it makes me wonder:- how much easier/ better life could be if one is just born in an equal society!!

Readers and indian home maker: do tell me your thoughts and please add more points to the list I started making. I am sure there are wayyyy too many points that belong in that list!

god bless
peace

- Mansi

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Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

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Another email. When an Indian daughter-in-law has no brothers.

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?

Indian brides told to reduce mobile phone use.

India leads in sexual violence, worst on gender equality: Study

The father threw the baby on the ground and tried to strangle her with his legs: No case registered.

If she was born somewhere else.

Why do Indian women like to wear western clothes?

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

“I don’t see the point of forcing parents to give birth to unwanted girl children.”

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai?

‘I have grown up and gotten used to the fact that my parents are considered less fortunate since they did not have a son.’

‘And if you are unlucky, you will get an American daughter-in-law.’Why is it misogynistic to promise wives from Bihar to Haryana men who are not able to find wives?

These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

An email: If I am around people who think that having or giving birth to sons is everything in life how should I behave?

Do you think this video can make Indian parents want to have daughters?

Our culture doesn’t back smoking by ladies: govt tells SC

Girls retaliate this time. But will the lectures on culture ever stop?

Boys and Girls Holding Hands …

‘My question is, what do you do? What do you say when the majority thinks this way…’

Oprah, Indian Family Values and Widows of Vrindavan.

Why I Love the Western Culture.

‘Older people in our society need to learn to have a life of their own. Instead of seeking happiness in their kids’ lives, …’

1. What prevents the Indian elderly from ‘seeking fulfilment in their own actions’?

Do they face pressure not to ‘live alone’? Or disapproval if they do not ‘help’ their adult children run their lives and have and raise their children?

I met a busy and otherwise happy 53 year old who loves her successful career, and finds it fulfilling. She was worried that she would not be able to do for her grand children what her homemaker friends manage to do. No matter how much she did, she felt ‘there would be comparisons’.

Another 73 year old independent woman continued to ‘live alone’ after her husband’s death, six years ago, in the same house, with the same dependable domestic staff, managing her own finances, and in reasonably good health.

Her children are ‘asked questions’. She too faces criticism for not wanting to live with her grandchildren. How well she knows her grand children, and how well they know her, is one question she is frequently asked. (Maybe, mainly by those elderly who wouldn’t permit their family members to ‘live alone’?)

Yet another retired and widowed elderly was judged because the children found he was in a relationship. What was the objection? Maybe there were fears that he might spend his hard earned money on himself (or on the partner)?

It seems, as a society, we disapprove of the elderly living their lives or spending their own money.

Maybe it’s not just the elderly – we seem to disapprove of enjoyment [link].

2. If the Indian elderly had lives of their own – how do you think would the society be different?

Maybe, they would have less time to think about family values, marriageability or career prospects of, not just there own, but also other people’s children?

Maybe, there would be lesser anxiety over ‘trivial issues‘ like eating or drinking preferences or housekeeping skills of Indian daughters in law?  And maybe, there would be more interest in taking care of their own health, happiness and self reliance?

Does personal discontent makes the Indian elderly more inclined to wish to control the lives of other people? Would the elderly who are content in their own lives be more willing to allow their children find out what makes them truly happy?

Do you think this could, in someways, harm the society? Could this make the adult children feel unloved and uncared for by the parents who are not controlling or atleast ‘commenting’ upon their lives?

What do you think?

Sharing Malyaj’s comment in response to this post – “I remember how tensed my family was at the time of my marriage 2 years back. Every time they were forced to do ‘Milnis and Teekas with heavy envelopes’.”

Seriously, Why do we need to involve money in everything I don’t understand !

I detest this obsession with money, especially other people’s. I hate when people tell other how much they spent on their family events, when they ask the same questions. And how crassly and casually people ask each other’s salaries and about material possessions. I simply do not understand it.

 

Older people in our society need to learn to have a life of their own. Instead of seeking happiness in their kids’ lives, they need to live their own lives and seek fulfillment in their own actions – go join a book club, travel alone for a few months, learn a language, pick up a new hobby, paint, run, ride a bicycle, write a blog, fulfill the aspirations you couldn’t earlier, get some more education.. the possibilities are unimaginable. But most of them are stuck with chasing their kids to get married, then to have kids and to show off their status in the process. What a waste of life that could have been reclaimed !

 

Related Posts:

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If I made Baghban.

To Baghpat village elders: Self reliance and education, and not cell phone bans and covered heads empower women and society.

An email: “I find it very hard to forgive my husband for all that happened at the time of my delivery.”

But how do we go about accepting ourselves just the way we are?

“Everyone knows, when she decides not to keep relation, she will do that. But I don’t want to go far away from my mother, I want her to be with me.”

Arranged Marriage Market: “Oh! then our son has to take care of you and your wife too”!

Because of my initial submissiveness, my husband and his family volunteer to take care of my chores, to let me resume my career.

100 per cent of the elderly surveyed stated that their daughters-in-law abused them the most.

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

“My in-laws don’t hate me at all. But ‘love’ isn’t about all this. ‘Love’ is about letting your loved one ‘live’.”

My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon

“Leaving US is a tough decision and, going back to live with in-laws has scared and shaken me.”

An email: The last straw was her expecting me to practise 4 day period sit-out thingy.

“My Mother in law is very patient towards all the doings of the Males in the family.”

“He has decided that we will stop trying to have a child now as he wants things to improve between his mother and I.”

“If I was born somewhere else, sometime later, in a more liberal family, in a more equal world…”

“I remember how tensed my family was at the time of my marriage 2 years back. Every time they were forced to do ‘Milnis and Teekas with heavy envelopes’.”

Sharing an email from an anonymous Indian daughter in law.

I am writing this email with a very heavy heart. I am sad, disappointed, trapped and moreover frustrated. It’s not that I am a victim of physical abuse or something – but Yes. I am a victim of mental abuse…. A regular mental abuse which makes me more dry socially and disappointed.

On the first glimpse, it may look like another MIL – DIL disagreement. People may feel that DILs always cribbing about similar issues… But before I proceed I would like to make a polite request that – Peeps, it’s not that DILs always crib or want to crib… They are forced to be the victim of frequent unsocial issues at their in-laws place.

It’s not that the so called ‘Sasural waale’ are always wrong but considering the age old Indian traditions and mindsets, there is always a huge difference in the mindsets of both the families.

It’s not that I am less attached with my sasural and more with my maayeka… both are my families and I love both of them but yes I agree there is a difference which is born due to continuous disturbing issues.

My heart cries and my mind goes blank. I am born in a well-educated Indian family who focus the most on moral values, education and independence. I am a girl but my parents never treated me less than a boy… I was always supported, understood and respected. Fortunately after completing my higher studies and after I grabbed a decent job, my parents got me married to a guy of my choice. I was happy and was in a dream world, when I was thrown back on the ground of reality – The reality of being married to an orthodox ***** family!

In India what I feel is, that once you get married, your in laws treat you as their private property. You have no rights on your desires, your likes, dislikes, thoughts, and decisions. Even, you can’t go to your parents, who stay just 2 Kms away, on your own. Ladki ko maayeke jaana hai to bhai yaa papa lene aayein sasural (Translation: if a married girl wants to go from her sasuraal to her parents’ house, her brother or father should come to take her) and then wapas aana ho to pati lene jaaye (Translation: and then when she has to come back from her parents’ home to her marital home, her husband should go and bring her). But being an independent and financially stable girl with clear thoughts and mindset, obviously I can’t tolerate this.

Both my husband and I belong to the same city and I have grown up there, then why the hell do I require any one to accompany me to my sasural or maayeka?

What I feel bad about most is that be it any any any occasion, it is always a question that ‘Maayeke se kya aaya’? (Translates to: What has (gifts, dowry etc) come from her parents’ home) And this is one question which always leaves me feeling violent. Whenever I hear this question my heart shouts out loud – Why?? Don’t you have enough money to meet your expenses or desires?

Whenever there is any kind of occasion, the most common thing which I hear in my ‘sasural ka khandaan’ is ‘Bahu k maayeke se kya aaya? ’And my MIL, being a typical old fashioned, closed mindset woman she always wants to show off, that too without appreciating, the items received from girl’s parents. But most of the time she is like ‘Kahan kuch aata hi hai.. yaa unke yahan ( DIL’s home) kuch nahi hota) despite of the fact that my parents do their best.

Be it festival or any occasion – My in laws always expect a call from my parents but never ever they will take pain to call them. Diwali hai to mere parents call karein, (my parents should call them) New Year hai to mere parents call karein (my parents should call them) – But why? Is it a one sided relationship? Can’t you call? My parents are tired of inviting them on dinner past 2 years and till date they didn’t bothered to turn up even for once and still my MIL expects them to invite them every time. – Why? Till date, I don’t remember a single time when they felt comfortable at my sasural. I hate myself for that – Being parents of a daughter, can’t they come to my sasural without even a single line of tension on their mind?

I remember how tensed my family was at the time of my marriage 2 years back. Every time they were forced to do ‘Milnis and Teekas with heavy envelopes’. Kisi ke kaka… kisi ke chacha… Unke dada… unke par dada – Sabki milni teeka… (Translation: somebody’s uncle, somebody’s grand uncle, each had to be given envelopes filled with cash) Which is itself a huge financial burden on girl’s family? And, trust me, till date, after marriage, I have never seen those kakas, mama’s taus etc upon whom my parents were forced to spend huge sums of money in the name of marriage ritual. Lakhs of rupees wasted in the so called ceremony and now when I think of purchasing anything of my choice I am always asked to compromise as money is ought not to be wasted. – Why saasu ma? Aapke blind faiths mei jo mere parents ke paise waste hue wo aashirwad tha aur meri ek demand fulfil karne k liye if your son has to spend money – it’s a sheer wastage? (Translation: Why mother in law? My parents’ money wasted on your blind faith was ‘blessings money’ and if your son has to spend money to fulfil my one demand, that is sheer wastage?)

Every time my parents visit they are expected to bring big gifts and envelopes… They are expected to be very polite and always nod ‘Yes’ to their every point of view. And it’s not a cry of only mine; it’s a cry of thousands of DILs across India.

Just like any other girl, I also want a family of my own: my husband and my kids. But, trust me, I feel scared of being a mother. Scared of not the pain and responsible upbringing of my future kids but scared of those unsocial beliefs of my in laws which will make my parents suffer once again.

In my husband’s khandaan – once a child is conceived till he is born there are many rituals associated. These rituals demands huge financial expenses on ‘to-be-mother’ parents. Chauk, Chatthi and one more thing, I don’t remember the name.

During chauk, which happens in the ninth month – A huge list of items is given to girl’s parents and they have to bear it and gift it to sasural waale for the sake of the upcoming grandchild. Again the same shit of sabki milni and teeka.

After the child is born, there is chathi – in which again the same old shit of milni, teeka and gifts. In the sixth month, the girls’ parents have to send sweets for MIL and her relatives and they eat only those things – and I am like – Kyu bhai. Ladki k maayeke se khaane ka saamaan nahi aayega to bhuke rahoge kya? (Rough translation: Why so? If there are no freebies/eatables from the girl’s family would you remain hungry or what?)

There is no point in such rituals which are making me scared of even think of motherhood. Tell me. Do you think it’s good? Ek ladki sirf in unsocietal norms ke chakkar mei maa banne mei darti… ki kahin uske parents ko suffer na karna pade? (Translation: A girl is terrified of motherhood just because of these un-social norms, because she fears what her parents would have to go through.)

I am just fed up with all this. It’s not that only my MIL do this to us (we are 2 DILs)… At the time of her daughter’s (my nanad) child birth –  she spent almost 10 Lakhs rupees just to meet the demands of her daughter’s in-laws. And that was the day I realized that it’s not that only I suffer… It’s the case of thousands of Indian families all across. It’s just that some speak and some don’t.

If someone wants to disobey these so called MILs, they come up with the same dialogue – hamare zamane mei to ye hota tha wo hota tha… aajkal ki bahuein to aisi. (Translation: In our days this used to happen and that used to happen, but the daughters in law’s these days are such… ) Ohhhh godddddddd…. When I listen to these dialogues I am like man kill me.

Every time my mother in law comes with some or other crap in mind… And it’s my bad that both my Jethani’s family and my nanad’s family ( i.e my MIL) are comfortable with each and every huge ritual and they never feel irritated.. They are like – Bhai ladki ka sasural hai karna to padega hi… ( Translation: It’s a girl’s sasuraal, we have to do all this)

They are also tied with these age old rituals – but my family is like – humne apni ladki ko padhaya likhaya and kamane layak banaya (we have educated our daughter and made her capable of earning) then why the hell are we supposed to follow these non-sense rituals.

And ya – before I forget to mention, I also belong to ***** (same community) family but yes there is huge difference between the mindsets.

Dear MIL, I agree that you gave birth to a son. I agree that he is your world and you have every right on his life, his choices, his likes and dislikes. But wait!!! Daughter is also born with the same process. She is the world for her parents and they have the same rights on her life just like you have on your son – Then why such a huge difference between your son’s parents & his wife’s parents? — Just for the reason that the girl left her home and came to your house to light up your son’s life?

Madam, you are wrong!

My husband always tries his best to support me… but since he has seen all this huge rituals since the childhood and his mom being damn superstitious, even he feels helpless most of the time. He has 5 brothers (including first cousins) and all of them and their wives parents are following these superstitions blindly and when I rebel that why my parents are supposed to follow these illogical customs, I land nowhere more than arguing with my mother-in-law and spoiling my whole mood with tears.

And the saga continues ……………….

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Can Dowry be compared to Inheritance?

“My story is not an extreme case of abuse or discrimination unlike some stories shared on your blog, but it makes me deeply angry and resentful nonetheless.”

Marriage Vs Live in Relationships : Twelve points to note.

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Some basic questions on joint family finances and daughters in law.

A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.

An email: ‘My MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters.’

“Is it possible that some women secretly want a dowry – perhaps to enhance their social standing?”

How many women would dare to say this?

Who benefits from banning of Porn sites?

I think it’s good to have a very clear idea of exactly why we are banning something and how the ban, or lack of a ban, would affect those who are involved.

Who is harmed by internet Porn?

1.Those who are exploited, (if there is coercion, threats, deceit, sexual assault,  [link] violence, or any other kind of exploitation) for creating this porn?

2. Or those who view Porn? How are they harmed? What kind of Porn is harmful?

Is all kind of Porn misogynistic – degrading, humiliating, objectifying and exploitative of women (or children)? If it is not, then would you still view it as harmful?

Could Porn be used to change attitudes towards sex, sexuality and women?

How is Indian Culture harmed by Porn being available on the internet?

Consider this. How do random, self proclaimed protectors of Indian Culture view sex? We don’t approve of sex education. Until recently, we permitted (even advertised in trailers?) ‘rape scenes’ and banned kissing scenes in Indian movies. And many of us still view premarital consensual sex as ‘rape’, and marital rape as sex. With so little respect for human rights and so little acknowledgment of women’s sexuality – how exactly do some of us think does Indian Culture view sex and sexuality?

“According to reports the government will also ask NGOs to create awareness and sensitizing the ill-effects of porn.” [link]

What do you think would these ‘ill effects’ include?

What would change if we do manage to ‘ban’ porn from the internet?

Here’s the link:

Government asks internet providers to ban porn sites and upgrade their infrastructure.

… According to reports the government will also ask NGOs to create awareness and sensitizing the ill-effects of porn.

Minister Ravi Shankar stated that although porn is legal in some countries, this issue should be observed in the “context of Indian culture and moral obligation towards society”.

 

Related Posts:

Many of us view watching porn as a harmless activity…

What the hell is difference between a homemaker and a porn star?

“Girls need to be little bit aware of the consequences. Men – will enjoy …”

“The rape victim had gone there willingly. She was not lured into it. They drank vodka.”

Guwahati mob molests girl, video goes viral online.

The Guwahati mob molestation video and the Gurgaon mob molestation video.

Dev D 

Three BJP Ministers, including the Women and Child Welfare Minister caught watching porn in assembly. 

Do you believe that if this video was shot in Delhi, the girl would not reach home alive?

What do you make of this video? How do you think would the experience differ in Delhi? Or worse, Madhya Pradesh? Or Bihar, Haryana or UP?

IndieTube in Mumbai decided to mimic the ‘10 hours of walking in NYC as a woman‘ video. The model wears a top and a short skirt and walks around Mumbai city throughout the day, almost 10 hours of walking. To their surprise she did not get a single instance of street harassment. (But many women were not surprised.)

Many comments seem to believe, with absolute certainty, that if this video was shot in Delhi – the girl would not reach home alive. Many are sure she would have been sexually assaulted.

What do you think?

I think, 98% chances are that she would face Street Sexual Harassment from strangers. In some places it would be subtle.

Stares would be the most common intimidation and harassment.  Also, attempts at seemingly accidental physical contact (like almost pushing her while walking past her).

And in many some places there would be Nothing. These will be the areas where many women dress the way they choose to, and they drive, walk, ride on two wheelers, sit, stand, laugh or just loiter – in public spaces. It seems, presence of confident and empowered women on the streets makes streets safer for women. [Link][Link]

(unfortunately such places are not many). Also, some (not all) of these places might be seen as a bad influence on our culture. Can you think of some such places?

In some neighbourhoods where criminals have more freedom, and where women are more controlled [link], (directly related) there would be less fear of consequences for the criminals – here there is a possibility of the woman being followed for short distances, maybe singing or humming, and in some places, maybe attempts at touching her.

Do consider:

1. The video is shot in broad daylight and in crowded streets.

2. Only 2% of sexual crimes against women are committed by strangers (Stranger Rape Myth) 98% of such crimes are committed by someone known to the victim.

(Though ofcourse in India, perhaps a large percent of that 2% are committed in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, UP, Haryana, Kerala and Bihar?)

3. Also, I think, often, Public Transport seems to be a more unsafe Public Space for women, than the streets are. [Link1] [Link 2][Link 3]

Related Posts:

Research survey on Street Harassment

Which city in India, do you think is the safest city for women? Do women in that city stay at home after dark?

Study finds 98% of India rape victims knew their attacker.

Home most unsafe place for women : A unique court-ordered study by Delhi Police has revealed.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Indian women dancing in the streets? Photographs.

What’s the best way to fight for your rights and freedoms and to prevent Talibanization of India?

“Sunitha Krishnan spoke in my kid’s school about violence against women, only girls were allowed in the audience.”

Can sexual harassment be compared to Terrorism against a whole community called women?

What did Sharad Yadav mean by, ‘Who amongst us has not followed girls?’

Is stalking of girls and women illegal in India?

‘“Why would this girl lie? After all she is taking the blame on herself”, said the police officer to the criminal infront of me.’

The fearlessness of the Indian ‘Eve teaser’ (sexual criminals)

Penile whitening cream launched for men

DG of girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com shared this link with this message -

‘Finally! How much we had wanted this :)

 

Penile whitening cream launched for men

 

‘The new product Fair & Manly, currently undergoing clinical trials in a lab in Pune, promises fair skinned private parts for men, boosting their confidence level and increasing their chances of getting jobs and attracting romantic female partners.

“There are many whitening creams for men in market that promise fair skinned face and other parts of the body, but none of them work on their private parts, making them feel less confident, and at times, depressed. Common wisdom says, no matter how much fair a man is, his private part will always be darker than the rest of the body. We aim to change that.”, CEO of Hindustan Moonilever Limited Gorachand Kamdev told Teekhi Mirchi.

“No, we’re not competing with that Indian pharmaceutical company selling vaginal whitening cream, since we are targeting altogether a different demography.”, he clarified.’

Related Posts:

“Here’s what I would tell my future/potential daughter, if I ever have one.”

How would life be different if you never had to give a thought to how you looked?

An email: If you can’t change something and you can’t change attitudes, what can you do?

You don’t owe prettiness to anyone.

Does beauty really lie in the eyes of the beholder?

Beauty Without Cruelty

Sending a girl a text that says “good morning beautiful” can change her attitude for the whole day.

What makes a woman look beautiful?

Why this?

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s body and Willow Smith’s hair.

A double mastectomy in a world where a woman is seen as ‘packet of behinds, thighs, hair and lips’.

How do you celebrate yourself?

But if there is so much of hesitation in spending time to know a person… aren’t the marriage hopefuls playing with fire?

Sharing an email from ‘a “not so young” (by marriageable age standards in my community), below average looking, well-educated male with a well-paying job in a metro city.’ 

“But if there is so much of hesitation in spending time to know a person and so little focus on understanding and exploring compatibility, attitudes, values and character, aren’t the marriage hopefuls playing with fire?”

Dear IHM,

I stumbled upon your blog while surfing online in the context of a particular unhappy incident in my life. And since then, I have been hooked – going through posts after posts, and reading all comments therein. It has actually been shocking. I never imagined that even women in the upper echelons of the society – educated, upper middle class, career women were also victims of patriarchy in marriages. And in not even a subtle manner – from being dictated on what not to wear, to restricting their interaction with their families, to controlling their careers and their earnings, to occasional beatings – it was all blatant harassment happening to seemingly modern, educated women (writing emails to IHM in impeccable English itself was an indicator that these weren’t oppressed females from, small towns/villages). Perhaps, it is because I am surrounded by mostly happy marriages (or seemingly happy – who knows what’s the reality?) and hence this blog has been a revelation. And am glad I came across it now – I am not yet married but when (and if) I do, I would now be very conscious about any of my and my family’s behavior which may tantamount to abuse towards the wife.

Reading of all the stories here, I feel sad for the women who are suffering in the marriage system. It must feel pathetic when one realises that such a major decision in life has turned out to be a dud. But my personal experience of trying to get married through the “arranged” route over the last one year has made me feel that a lot of people are approaching marriages in such a manner that disasters may be inevitable.

As a background, I am a “not so young” (by marriageable age standards in my community), below average looking, well-educated male with a well-paying job in a metro city. To me, marriage is perhaps the single biggest decision which will tremendously impact the course my life takes from here on. The way I see it – I do love my parents but they are my past and will most likely not be around for too long now. I would love my kids but in a couple of decades they will grow independent, find their mates and fly away. The spouse is the one person who would be my closest companion, and with whom I will share all small and big things of life, till one of us meets the Creator. It will be the most important relationship of my life. And so, when I started my search, I was looking for compatibility, mutual attraction as well as somewhat of a similarity in interests and a broad agreement on long term goals and expectations from life. I had no other checkbox to be ticked, other than a certain minimum level of education. There was no magic wand to figure these things out and so I thought communication and instincts would be the key. But some of my experiences, with well educated women, have left me flabbergasted. I have summarized a few of them below:

- Prospect 1 (Dental surgeon)
After a day of brief WhatsApping on where we work, who else is in the family, what do we prefer to read, hobbies, general chit chat etc., on the second day I get asked “What car do you drive”. My response “XYZ” (a small car). Lady “But you said in your profile you earn “ABC” lakhs. Why do you drive a small car? You can certainly afford a better car”. I didn’t hear back from her thereafter.

- Prospect 2 (Entrepreneur)
After speaking on phone once and whatsapping for a few days, we meet for a coffee. After a few general conversations about each other’s work, Lady: “Do you drink?”. Me: “Yes. Occasionally”. Lady: “Oops. I wanted a teetotaler as no one in my home drinks but I wanted someone who was non-vegetarian so that I could continue with my non-veg diet. So I don’t think we can take this forward”. (FYI – my community is generally vegetarian and teetotaler. I am a vegetarian but an occasional drinker. She was from my community too. And no, I have no dietary expectations for my future wife – her life, she chooses what to eat.)

- Prospect 3 (Chartered Accountant)
Father: “We came across your profile. Only interesting thing therein was your salary. So is it the correct salary?” Me: “Your daughter is in a similar industry as me. She should know”. Needless to say I wasn’t interested thereafter.

- Prospect 4 (Journalist educated abroad)
Lady: “I am an independent woman. I have led life on my own terms so far. But I will marry the guy my parents choose for me. I owe it to them for all that they have done for me.”

- Prospect 5 (pursuing PhD)
Lady: “My parents don’t want to take this discussion ahead. We visited your place and there was no dining table. And our astrologer tells us that you will have such a high level of “conjugal” needs that it will affect my health adversely.”

Further, invariably, every call from a parent of a girl would, after the initial pleasantries, ask for the time, date and place of birth. I was amused at the deep belief even the educated generation has in the unproven, archaic concept of horoscope.

To be fair, there were a few women who were focused on interaction, communication, knowing long term plans for life and would meet for a coffee, talk and would make a genuine attempt to figure out mutual compatibility. But the majority weren’t like that.

I must note that all of these prospects either contacted me or I contacted them through the matrimony portals. There was no common family/friend reference. And of course, my experiences are from a man’s perspective but I have no reason to doubt that a woman in my position is likely to have similar experiences from guys she may be meeting in such a context.

After a year of such and a few more incidents, it seems to me that to a large section of the population, especially those who are on these online matrimonial portals, marriage is approached as a transaction. There is very little focus on the person and a huge interest in the outwardly parameters – horoscope, salary, car, size of the house, looks, brands worn on the meeting day etc. When a certain set of criteria are met, the deal is sealed. Seeing this coming from highly educated women and their families has been even more disturbing. I do understand the difficulties in evaluating a total stranger as a potential spouse and hence people relying on some “indicators” and that people are generally wary of fakes/liars/impostors when they have come across the person through an online source. But if there is so much of hesitation in spending time to know a person and so little focus on understanding and exploring compatibility, attitudes, values and character, aren’t the marriage hopefuls playing with fire? If at least the educated generation is less reliant on parents to find a match for them, and is more open to an “exploratory” approach rather than a “transactional” approach to marriages, could it be that we would have fewer unhealthy marriages? Could we then have fewer women becoming victims of chauvinism and patriarchy in their husband’s family? Could we then have more equal man-woman relationships? Could we then have fewer young people with regrets?

I, for one, have now chosen to withdraw from this matrimony process and would rather look for love through dating someone interesting. I would rather stay single than marry someone with a hope that love, connect and compatibility would develop later on. This transactional approach to the most important decision of my life isn’t meant for me. I am looking for companionship and a shared life, not a coexistence for the sake of family, kids and society.

Perhaps, this email is out of context for your blog. But I still felt like writing in because if what I experienced is actually a broader trend – if a considerable number of marriages are actually being decided largely on the basis of focus areas such as those I was scrutinized for, then I believe there is a cause for worry.

Thank you.

Anon

Related Posts:

An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

 Why are Sons treated unfairly and like ATM machines? – Indusladies.com

An email from an Indian Husband… and a Good Indian Son.

An email from a 30 year old Indian man, “Marrying a divorcee and an older woman.”

Physical Disability and Arranged Marriages – an email.

Are these the eight reasons you would give in support of Arranged Marriages?

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

“Even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased.”

This recent Delhi High Court judgment, contrary to how it was first reported [link] and shared on facebook – does not say that menopausal women cannot be raped.

In December 2010, the victim was found dead inside her house … along with an inebriated Achey Lal … The post-mortem of the victim revealed that she has sustained injuries on her vagina, and traces of alcohol were found on her, too. [link]

But it does point out that the deceased had consumed alcohol along with the accused and that the sexual act was forceful enough and was the cause of the death of the 65-70 year old.

Why was the accused acquitted?

1. It ‘has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt’ that sexual intercourse was without consent. (Because there were no injuries except around the vagina). – So, rape not confirmed.

2. The accused ‘neither had any intention nor knowledge that such a forceful act of sexual intercourse would cause the death of the deceased.‘ – So, not murder.

Read more at:

http://indiankanoon.org/doc/21362297/

 

Even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased.

In the present case the post-mortem report shows that the deceased had consumed alcohol and was subjected to sexual intercourse. The finding of the post-mortem Doctor is categorical that the aspiration of gastric contents was caused due to forceful sexual intercourse.

…. it is proved beyond reasonable doubt from the post- mortem report that the deceased had consumed alcohol and was subjected to sexual intercourse. Achey Lal even if held guilty for causing the offence of Section 376 IPC cannot be held guilty for offence under Section 302 IPC as he neither had any intention nor knowledge that such a forceful act of sexual intercourse would cause the death of the deceased. Consequently he is acquitted for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.

9. As regards the offence punishable under Section 376 IPC the deceased was aged around 65-70 years, thus beyond the age of menopause. We find force in the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant that even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased. From the MLC of Achey Lal and the post-mortem of the deceased it is evident that both Achey Lal and deceased had consumed alcohol. The forceful penetration is evident from the injuries on the vaginal orifices. However, besides the injuries on the vagina there is no other injury mark on the body of the deceased or on the appellant to show that there was any protest by the deceased. Hence we are of the opinion that it has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant committed sexual intercourse with the deceased contrary to her wishes or her consent. Consequently the appellant is also acquitted of the charges under Section 376 IPC. The impugned judgment of conviction and order on sentence are set aside.

Another link:  Delhi HC didn’t say menopausal women can’t be raped: Here’s what it really said

Other cases where sexual assault victims had consumed alcohol: 

When a crime is a punishment or a lesson taught to the victim.

‘The woman said she was inebriated when a co-worker took her to a room and raped her.’

Rapist said that coming from Afghanistan meant he didn’t understand what ‘consent’ was.