Where is the opportunity for Indian men to learn the most natural thing in the world – finding a mate??

A Guest Post by priya.

Finding a Life Partner  - do we need a book on dating written for Indians?

My company has a branch in India and we sometimes get people from India to come and train in the US.  These are mostly young men and women in their twenties, almost all of them single.  Sometimes I take the ‘India team’ out for lunch or coffee, and invariably the conversation goes from work to more personal stuff.

There is this young man ‘Ravi’ (name changed) in the group.  His parents are ‘looking for matches’ for him.  He recently went to India to ‘see a girl’.  So everyone asked him how it went.  He shared that he was shocked that the girl confessed to him that she had dated another guy and it hadn’t worked out. (This was done in private, without parents around.)  So he asked her why she is agreeing to an arranged marriage. The girl said she is doing it to keep things smooth with her parents, but intends to eventually meet someone and marry by her own choice.

So ‘Ravi’ just told his parents he didn’t like the girl and to keep looking.  When he shared this with the group, everyone ( 5 women, 2 men) burst out laughing.  Apparently, everyone in the group already had a steady bf/gf or were getting engaged to someone they had been dating.  Everyone told ‘Ravi’ to ‘stop being ridiculous’, to ‘come out of the Middle Ages’, to ‘be an adult and go find a life partner on his own.’

Ever since, I’ve seen ‘Ravi’ talking more to the women colleagues.  He is extremely awkward (like the guy in your recent post).  He doesn’t know how to strike up a conversation with a woman – for example he could discuss her work and be interested in role in the project.  Instead he talks about her looks or something she’s wearing – with someone he barely knows.  The women sometimes joke about him behind his back.  The interesting thing is that these women are perfectly comfortable striking up conversations, making friends, asking people out, etc.  Some of them complain that ‘liberated men’ are in minority.  ‘My bf wants to get a flat in Bangalore and live with his parents!’ complained one of the women.  It seems to me as if out of the pool of educated/middle class/professional/worldly/sophisticated group of Indians, the women are changing, but the men are clinging to the past?  I do know a few progressive men and don’t want to over-generalize here – this is not meant to stereotype men – but I was just wondering, is this true of the majority??.

I feel like men like ‘Ravi’ will go back to having an arranged marriage because they haven’t been raised to become adults.  They are like children all their life – their parents will make decisions for them, and in a way that must be comforting because it takes away the responsibility of having to make your own mistakes, facing the consequences, learning, and making your relationship work.  On the other hand, it must be so frustrating when things don’t work out in your marriage.  You never had a say in it, in the first place.  Then you ‘have to make it work’ even if you hate to.

Isn’t this a problem for many young Indian urban professional men?  Even when they want to find a life partner of their own choice, they don’t know where to begin.  How do you talk to a girl in a away that is not condescending, not creepy, not patronizing?  How can these young men learn how to do this?  There are no role models in their family (can’t talk to dad!).  Friendship between boys and girls is discouraged in schools.  The movies have such a creepy version of boy meets girl (except for some of the newer ones).  So where is the opportunity to learn the most natural thing in the world – finding a mate??

Related Posts:

Indian culture today is against young people choosing their own partners. Dowry, segregation, traditions, family values, Indian values, horoscope, caste, community, gotra etc are used to control their choices:

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

“Why didn’t these women find life partners by dating?”

“In unison, everyone agreed that asking her out was outraging her modesty…”

Boys and Girls Holding Hands …

Some young Indian men seek not love but a good daughter in law for their parents:

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

An email: Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?

Some young (and old) Indian men believe girls who have boyfriends are not ‘good Indian girls’:

“why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more”

The kind of videos young Indians need to watch.

Teaching school children that getting married without ‘a bad name’ is a dream of every young girl.

Many Indians understand rape as ‘sex outside marriage’ (consensual or not); interactions between ‘opposite sexes’ are seen as women ‘asking to be raped’. This also serves to prevent ‘choice marriages’.

Where Consensual Sex is Rape, and Forced Sex a legal right.

Who benefits from criminalizing consensual teenage sex?

“Ninety percent rape victims go willingly, but later they meet criminal minded people…”

What Khaps need is a strictly implemented law against Forced Marriages.

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

60 thoughts on “Where is the opportunity for Indian men to learn the most natural thing in the world – finding a mate??

  1. Well, I seriously find it absurd about how anybody can make it the parents’ job to find them a girl to marry, when it is he who is going to be living with that girl his entire life ! Also, I feel everything needs time and one has to be confident about oneself when talking to a girl. The best way to actually start a conversation is by probably giving a warm smile and an introduction. It makes a man feel confident and not stupid. To suddenly start commenting about how a girl is looking and what she is wearing when you barely know her, can sometimes be pretty creepy. I feel more than meeting a girl one on one, people like Ravi need to socialize with friends consisting of more girls so that he knows how other guys in the group would talk.

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    • My co-worker in northeast US, a mother of 3, once told me that she met her husband in the church. “Thank God, I didn’t have to play that silly mating game”.

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  2. Why the “concern” just for the Ravis of this world? Are Indian women specialists in courting? Don’t they need “learning”, so that they might not call the cops the next time a guy asks them out? Do the women in India expect to do nothing other than to say yes or no?

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    • Hi anon, I don’t think all women are more socially savvy. I just think in this pool of yuppies (young urban professionals), women seem to have a social edge. This has nothing to do with men’s ability to learn. I think men and women are equally smart. It’s probably because women have a greater incentive to break free of the traditional system than men do.

      Wrote about this in more detail in reply to Praveen.

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    • Duh, no one would call a cop if they are approached respectfully. The incident you are referring to (the chap who “asked a girl out”) is a very creepy one – a cheapstake guy ordering a stranger woman “we must get together & have fun” – this will (and must) obviously elicit police action.

      >> Do the women in India expect to do nothing other than to say yes or no

      Not just Indian women, but any woman, or for that matter the female of any species of animal on earth, would never run behind a male. It is the otherway round. Nature has made males & females differently (NOT “unequally”), and they have different roles in reproduction. The role of “natural selection” is that of the females – they are given the onus to responsibly decide who (which genotype) has to survive. Their duty is to be careful in their role – to select really good ones (“good at heart” for humans), and not those that put up a big show, but are unrefined & incapable inside.

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  3. ‘….they are like children all their lives…’
    This made me stop and think of a guy who insisted his parents choose a bride for him and had an arrianged marriage after talking forlike 5 min with the girl when he went to see her.
    He is happily married with a toddler.
    His parents both retired from govt jobs and never impose or interfere. Shecanwear wot she wants,not forced to cook clean etc,she is free to work or quit if she pleases,works late hours and comes home at 10pm sometimes to a hot meal cooked by hubbybcos jis mom says nothing wrong if you cook for her,help her out with chores she is hard working etc etc.
    May be a rare case.

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    • There are many reasons why people would want help with finding a mate. Tradition, in my opinion, is becoming a less and less important reason. A lot of the times, it boils down to either not meeting anyone special, even after keeping your eyes and ears open in college and after OR realising that you do not fit in with the dating scene for any number of reasons- most relevant being introverted or economically disadvantaged.
      Wanting an arranged marriage does not exactly preclude one from being a wonderful partner.
      Yes, the arranged marriage ‘market’ may have an over-abundance of rotten apples, but then, so does the rest of the world. It is ridiculous to assume that ever man who wants an arranged marriage is ALSO immature/incapable of decision making/ overly attached to parents/ or ‘living in middle ages’.

      Maybe someone should ask Ravi what he wants- before forcing their choices down his throat. if he genuinely wants to look for love, find a way to help him by including him more in mixed groups, so that he sees that there’s nothing so gob-smackingly different about women.

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      • I agree that his friends ought to be more supportive than jeering (immature 20s behavior?). However here the problem is not so much taking someone’s help in finding a life partner, it’s leaving the entire decision up to them. This ‘parents know best’ attitude is a dangerous one to bring to something as important as marriage.

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        • I agree that ‘leaving everything upto the parents’ is a dangerous situation. By doing that, he will automatically exclude scores of educated and modern women who will by all accounts stay away from this sort of ‘mommy picks for me’ alliance.
          Unfortunately, I’ve seen a LOT of educated , apparently liberated women go by this attitude as well- ‘modern’ in every which way till it’s time to get married, and suddenly,the guy from college who is starting out (just like herself) and is earning roughly the same -is not good enough!

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        • I’m sure there are women who do this too. The ‘danger’ I was speaking about was not so much letting go of liberated women – it’s an attitude they bring to their entire married life that can be devastating. My s-i-l’s husband allowed her to suffer so much at his parents’ hands because he had this ‘parents know best’ attitude. So it doesn’t stop with finding a spouse – it continues on to how the spouse is treated throughout her married life.

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    • And still 2 thumbs down for this comment???? What are these people thumbing down for??? For this man who is absolutely wonderful with his wife??? Seriously people???????

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  4. @priya

    I really don’t agree that friendships are discouraged between boys and girls in schools in India in today’s day & age for I find it difficult to relate to it. On second thought, this might be the case with schools in smaller towns and cities (again, I am not sure it that’s the trend prevalent there)

    Co-ed schools are actually designed for the purpose of healthy interaction between boys and girls. I don’t know if it was the liberal outlook of my alma mater in Delhi but girls and boys were encouraged to participate together in activities beyond the classroom and there was a lot of free interaction between both the genders in the class and outside at school parties.
    And, students from other co-ed schools can also relate to it.
    Moreover, my school (the principal was an octogenarian Indian female) had a strict policy of enforcing the uniform code on both its male & female students.

    The dress code for girls was short skirts (with the hemline ending just 2 inches above the knees) and long skirts for them were a strict no-no.

    Girls who didn’t dress up as per the school’s code (ie. in short skirts) were actually punished and fined.

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    • You were lucky to be in such a school. Unfortunately that is an exception and not the norm. Most of my friends went to schools where they even had separate stair cases for boys and girls. It is very common for boys to occupy all the desks on one side of the class room and girls on the other. In our college, we were made to write apology letters and our “misbehaviour” was reported to our parents if we were seen talking to guys outside the classroom. My parents were as outraged as me at these rules but other parents welcomed them. Such reports usually became huge issues at home and the children (almost adults by now) were punished for spoiling their reputation.

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    • It sounds great except for enforcing short skirts. Everyone might not be comfortable with that – and girls should also have the option of wearing pants if they wish. Having had both a ‘skirt uniform’ and a ‘salwar kameez uniform’ through school, I found the salwar kameez uniform vastly more comfortable for sitting as I please, running, playing sports, and falling down without the fear of embarrassing oneself too much.

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  5. In my intimacy coaching practice, I work with a lot of Indian men, women and couples. I have noticed a very noticeable pattern of behavior. Both the men and women express a lack of sex education and a desire for deeper intimacy. Something about my approach seems to really work to transform otherwise unhealthy sexual relationships. This post affirms a lot of what I have experienced in working with my clients.

    Thank you!

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  6. We don’t need merely need a book on dating, we need a paradigm shift in parental and social attitudes towards the whole process of finding a partner.

    On the whole, you ask some good questions; unfortunately, there are no easy answers.

    Secondly:

    It seems to me as if out of the pool of educated / middle class / professional / worldly /sophisticated group of Indians, the women are changing, but the men are clinging to the past? I do know a few progressive men and don’t want to over-generalize here – this is not meant to stereotype men – but I was just wondering, is this true of the majority??..

    It’s not entirely like that.

    Just thirty years ago, there were practically no young, single, female urban professionals in India. The emergence of this group is a relatively new phenomenon.

    More importantly, it is a self-selected group – the only women who tend to make it to being highly-educated urban professionals are the relatively liberated ones.

    This is not nearly as true of the men in the same class, which results in a situation where the male portion of the educated/middle-class/professional/worldly/sophisticated group of Indians includes a much larger cross-section of value systems and backgrounds.

    Men from even very traditional backgrounds are encouraged to head into professional fields and make a good living for themselves; women from those same backgrounds are instead urged to be good little housewives.

    Couple that with the fact that women have obvious incentives to reject patriarchal structures (incentives which are not so obvious for men), and you can understand why things look the way they do.

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    • Yes Praveen very true. I’m noticing that among young urban professionals, the women seem socially savvy, confident, the men seem more traditional – good point about the more liberated women making it into this group whereas men coming from many different backgrounds – that’s one big reason.

      I’ve also noticed that some of these kids come from smaller towns where girls are not exactly liberated. They’ve worked extremely hard to make it. Even among them, the girls are a few steps ahead – I suspect because women have such a big incentive to break free – they have everything to lose in the traditional system. Men on the other hand cling to the traditional system because it favors them, at least in superficially, and in the short run. In the long run, of course, even men lose out, as they give up so many choices.

      Given this uneven gender progressiveness, I think it makes for an interesting dynamic. These women are frustrated because after standing up against society and fighting this hard for their freedom, they can’t find a like-minded guy. The men are frustrated because they’re confused about what they want – they want the girl to look modern but are not sure where all this is leading them (outside their comfort zone).
      I think this is all so interesting – the way India is changing – and how the next generation of singles are going to deal with these changes.

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      • Priya,

        That’s a succinct summary.

        However, I’d add that I’ve seen the reverse scenario too – that of a relatively liberal man finding it hard to meet women who are equally liberal.

        I come from a well-off, highly educated, fairly worldly family myself. Unfortunately, my family was (and is) also deeply patriarchal. Had I not headed abroad at a relatively young age, I can attest that it would have been nearly impossible for me to meet and marry someone like my wife (even though she is Indian by origin too).
        This is not because I wouldn’t know how to interact with the opposite sex, but rather because smart, confident, career-oriented women such as herself simply would not have been a part of my cone of experience. I wouldn’t have even had a real chance of meeting such women, let alone getting romantically involved with them. Instead, I’d be more or less stuck with dating people very much like most of my own family and the social group they belong to – outwardly posh, sophisticated and urbane, but with deeply orthodox expectations and beliefs. Moreover, my social life would have been subject to all kinds of interference, and in a culture that can sometimes care about social image to the exclusion of almost everything else, this is never a good thing

        Liberal men who are exceptions to the dominant social mindset of their communities can have a hard time finding their kind of partners in India – kind of like a microcosm of the problems that liberal Indian women tend to face in general.

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        • Yes I see this happening too – with one of my husband’s friends – he is progressive, wants an intellectual wife who can passionately discuss issues with him, someone he can share fun, challenging things with (he’s an avid mountain climber) instead she seems more inclined to play the traditional role of taking care of his needs, which tends to frustrate him.

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    • I think your analysis is spot on!
      IMHO, the college years potentially play a huge role is establishing gender dynamics amongst young women and men , especially ones who’ve come from schools/homes where mingling was frowned upon.
      That’s why it’s all the more important to foster a free environment on campus- four years in a liberal environment , with plenty of the opposite sex around,can offset the disadvantages of a segregated childhood to a large degree.
      That in turn will ensure that young professionals starting work together are more or less going by the same book, even if they are not exactly on the very same page!
      Sadly, a ‘liberal’ campus is a rarity in India, most institutions delight in pretending that the 18th century is far from over.

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  7. I think the “women are more open” because they stand to gain more by having their way. The men are not really losing anything by not “being open”. In fact, patriarchy works more in the favor of the men rather than the women. They get a socially sanctioned upper status and more “choice” however false it be.

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  8. I think both men and women are changing. 50 yrs ago there were not many Indian women in the workforce , so where on earth would they practice .. In the temple ?
    Nowadays I see both savvy girls and boys. There are awkward ones in both gender.
    I know girls who want an arranged marriage for fear of finding the wrong mate ?? Whatever the heck that is and I find men wanting mummy to find a mate for ease or should I say sheer laziness. I would leave the ones who want that be, it is their choice . Everyone lives lives on what they think and feel is right at that moment, maybe later they will rest it or adjust or love it .. Again their choice.

    For those who actively want to find a partner , we as a society to enable that, just like we encourage arranged matches we should encourage our kids to go seek their partners if they are so inclined. That’s all is our job , leave the rest to them.
    If they are socially awkward, they will slowly learn, it’s not rocket science a few rejections will set them right.
    I was the awkward one in my teens, I had a lot of friends both men and women but was terribly shy to ask anyone out or even contemplate a date alone — yes this was a few decades ago. I was independent and working so it was not a confidence issue. My spouse had to first be my friend and then introduce the dating angle. So yes he was at that time socially more adept than me, but I caught up :-).
    I think we have to create a conducive atmosphere of freedom, to do what they want and leave it , they’ll figure it out

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  9. When Indian Parents raise children to become ADULTS, responsibility will set in. Few Indian Parents dare to do that ! So if Indian women cant find Indian men, go find other men , but this will solve the problem only if they are outside India. Next generation parents please take note.
    One Indian guy ( IIT) told me when it comes to marriage, my parents will pick for me. they did. the girl was coerced into marriage. After a couple of months she left and married her boyfriend. The guy is depressed and disappointed and has not got back on his feet in the last 4 years. He is shocked ! that his wife left him. When I asked him, why was this not nipped in the bud . His reply, i obeyed ( OBEYED ) my parents. I just carried out the instructions. Basically he wanted to be the obedient boy . How sad !

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    • What i don’t understand is why this guy is shocked? Maybe because he saw how his parents failed in arranging his life and now he is forced to do the things by his own but he is not knowing how? And why he is suffering? It is possible to develop feelings for a woman in few months, considering that woman was also involved in another relation and didn’t gave him chance to develop a relation? Then why to be depressed ? Because of his family failure? Or because he is realising his “impotence”? What i can say after my 4 years relation with an indian is that guys and girls are feeling insecure when is about to develop and maintain a relation. When they go for a relation arranged by their families they feel like nothing can break that. No matter how relation will be, important is that they should not struggle to make it work because they think that will work and this is all that counts. My bf left me finally and said that is more easy to go for something arranged then to fear all his life that i will leave him. Tried to explain that beauty of relation is in the day by day struggle to make it work, that to the end of life is more important to know that the person that is with you is there just because you loved her, cared for her and was her choice to be there not that was forced to be there. Useless to explain. He was thinking that choice of family will be perfect, that an indian girl that is going for arranged marriage is trained to stay in marriage no matter what. It is sad that a person to 32 , that pretended to love me was thinking like that. But in the end i realised that his impotency is a result of society and i wished him to be happy with the girl that never leave him. I think what indian society should teach her kids ( girls and guys) is that the life is a journey in which we can fail, we can go down, we can suffer, we can raise up. Is nothing right or wrong. Are just simple things that are happening and this is life. And no matter who is judging you because in the end important is what you feel, what you are, what you need.

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      • ” is trained to stay in marriage “. exactly that’s why he was shocked.

        i am an i aindian married to another indian of a different religion, culture state, language etc. our parents were against our marriage and my husband was repeatedly told that “i would leave him” because my religion is shallow and have been raised in a city with low moral values , but we have stuck on – like every marriage we have our share of difficulties and it takes a tremendous amount of work to make the marriage, it is our choice to make it work !! As you say it is OUR choice , to make it work and if it falls, we get up our knees, crawl and stand — period and make life and yes we are a “topic ” of conversation for many others because of our differences in the marriage profile !

        in fact after the said guys divorce ( as i write above ) he has been very appreciative of our marriage, though at one time he silently ridiculed us for going against the society’s grain.

        History shows that most Indians have almost never take the responsibility of “responsibility” and decision making. Initiatives is not their inertia and it will continue to stay that way for many years. They will be trembled on, stamped upon, tortoured and mutilated but their resilence to persever in their continued state of blissfull of irresponsibility will chug on even when they are crawling on their knees. Such distaste towards Live and LEARN.

        – it is not a wonder that india has billions of toddlers not even trying to grow up – they are quite comfortable with the state and in fact happy to do so !

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  10. how can they (both men and women/boys and girls) learn and grow? make IHM’s blog compulsory reading from age 14 onwards… the ideas will percolate.

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  11. I do agree that liberated men are hard to find. In my experience I have found that out of all the men I have met/known 99% men cling to the past way of life instead of moving forward to a more free thinking relationship with a partner. I have noticed a reason for this : Men in our society do have the upper hand. Everything socially works out for them. Just or example they do not have to leave their homes after getting married. People want to change when a situation no longer works to the best of their advantage. Why would these men want to change?? They already have every social advantage that women dream of.

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    • Bingo. On top of that, educated, middle-class men also want women who are superficially modern, educated and independent.
      So they want the best of both worlds.

      A woman who works, takes care of her appearance, is not a social embarrassment AND cooks, cleans provides sex and wears a sari (when required).

      Such Indian men are high maintenance because they view marriage as a “husband demands, wife obliges” arrangement.

      At least men in my father’s generation were willing to assume sole financial responsibility for their wives, men these days expect wives to “help” financially.

      Yes, this is a rant, but I am feeling very cynical about the chances of the status quo changing during my lifetime.

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    • Don’t know what to say about women also. I wrote in my reply to Ann Tracy my experience with an indian man and sorry to tell you but to my question how he knows that an indian girl, choice of his parents, will never leave him, he said that this is known in your society. That girls are raised well and never leave a marriage because are “trained” for. I forced the things and asked him how are you sure that you will find a nice girl so quickly to marry and he said that is enough to advertise that he wants to marry and because he is a doctor will be a long line in front of his parents house. So i think are many women not so much liberated and just searching a safe way to marry no matter what will happen after.

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      • Bandaria, what your ex-boyfriend said is mostly true. Many Indian women are indeed looking for a “safe way to marry”. Like attracts like.

        So a man who chooses to have an arranged marriage in hopes of finding a non-demanding, “typical Indian wife” will (hopefully) find somebody who has similar expectations “good provider with professional qualifications and a large salary”.

        As long as both people entering the marriage are in alignment with regard to expectations, the marriage will work. Per se, there’s nothing wrong in having a marriage of convenience.

        Problems arise when men enter arranged marriages with the belief that they will be required to make few adjustments because the wife will be “trained” to make most of them.

        All marriages, arranged or love, require daily and continuous effort and sustenance. They work as long as both partners pull their weight.

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  12. While the problems described in this post are real, I think it’s a mistake to frame the problem as “what’s wrong with men.” – the dating-scene is influenced equally by men and women, and I see no signs at all that the problems which exist are predominantly caused by either gender.

    These are problems we must solve together, not simply blame one gender.

    Being shy and/or socially awkward happens to people of both genders, but because of imbalances in the dating-market, this is (somewhat) worse for a man. Because in most cases the man is expected to make the first move, and take the initiative, while the women are expected mostly to respond.

    Yes, I know, today women take initiative and (for example) ask men out too. But despite the progress we’ve had over the last generation, that’s still reasonably rare. Men probably are the initiators for 80% or 90% of all dates, especially the first date.

    You say that the women sometimes ridicule him and laugh at him, because he is clumsy and awkward in attempting to initiate contact with them. This is cruel and rude. True, he’s not very good at it. But it sounds as if he’s trying his best. And he *has* to: he doesn’t have the privilege enjoyed by many women of simply sitting passively and waiting for someone to approach him. If he didn’t attempt to ask the women out, it’s unlikely they would attempt to ask him out, is it not ?

    It’s of course totally OK to say no if a guy you don’t like ask you out. But he took a chance. He did something scary. He knew he risked rejection – but talked to you anyway. I don’t think that deserves laughter or ridicule, even if he’s captain Awkward rather than Casanova.

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    • Agarjag, I agree his friends could be supportive rather than ridiculing him. In fact there are a couple of men too in their group – they could’ve given him a few pointers. Regarding your statement about gender blaming, I’m not blaming the men. I’m simply making some observations about a subset of Indians. BTW, these women that I referred to do ask men out and do take the initiative – I did not say anywhere that it’s only the men’s job to do so. I agree in general that both men and women (Indian) can use some help with how to go about dating. However my observations about the skewed gender characteristics are specific to this particular group (young urban professionals) – which has nothing to do with men’s ability – more to do with incentive, motivation, and circumstance.

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      • I understand that you didn’t intend to “blame the men”, but even the title of this post itself: “Where is the opportunity for indian men to learn…” gives the impression that men are the ones who need to learn, while women, presumably, already know how to.

        As I said, I’m fully aware that modern women will sometimes take initiative, but not to anywhere near the same degree. This is not a Indian-only phenomenon, but wide-spread. It’s very much the same for American “natives” – as a average man, it’s a rare thing so rare that many will never have experienced it at all, to be asked out by a woman (especially for a first date). For women, this is much more common.

        In other words, I really think that both Indian men *and* (in equal degree!) Indian women, need to get better at finding a mate.

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  13. In many cases, this is also about self confidence and giving yourself a voice.
    You might accept your family’s choice of cars or clothes or political views or the books they think you should read for example, or you might not.
    Not letting your family decide for you doesn’t mean hurting or disrespecting them unnecessarily, but simply stating an individual choice.

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  14. ” It seems to me as if out of the pool of educated/middle class/professional/worldly/sophisticated group of Indians, the women are changing, but the men are clinging to the past? ”

    Honestly, I do not think this holds true. Pretty much everyone I’ve met in India (this includes the parents generation) have had a marriage of choice rather than an arranged marriage.

    Also, the true Indian ‘middle class’ is very different than what’s perceived to be ‘middle class’ in North America. True, some of them are well educated, and thanks to the emerging international corporate market in India, they’re earning more than their parents…but not enough to be worldly and/or sophisticated. A lot of them are still very conservative and traditional in their thinking. I think the economy has to keep growing (along with the distribution of wealth) for the middle class to become more ‘liberal’ and ‘worldly.’

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  15. Funny i posted something like this on my blog sometime ago……as a graduate student in the US i witnessed years of indian men and women figuring things out…..i think the comment about unequal progressiveness is true………there are much fewer women in graduate school and the few are very broad minded and very independent but there is a much larger number of guys and a lot of them are from very traditional, far less liberating backgrounds. Sadly, i have had my share of – are u from hyd questions and cheesy poems in books type of stuff and so had my room mates. I agree, once you are kinda set in your professional life, finding a partner is whats looming out there in front of u. But please, learn some game, stop staring at a woman’s chest and scratching everywhere (even down there sometimes!!!!!!) One of my colleagues asked me why the indian men in the gym were staring at her (mirrors make it obvious) and i give them this much – they are suddenly exposed to this freedom in dressing and expression and even the indian women are in shorts, working out etc etc but what bothers me is that while some of them change, some of them just dont. They continue to have these middle age ideas and expect their women to bend to their rules mostly. Btw i grew up in South India, things were pretty conservative and defenitely no skirt uniforms out there and i can say that colleges in TN discourage male-female interactions. Like i said, what bothers me is the people that just dont change. There are families in the US that force their children into arranged marriages at 21 and what disappoints me is the total inability of people to learn and broaden their horizons.

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  23. It may not be the “most natural” for everyone. I personaly don’t think that every single human being was designed to, well, create more copies of themselves – if so, the population would explode unsustainably, so it cant be in God’s design. There are some types who would be better off not marrying (and that is NOT a bad or inferior thing), and some others who are meant to. But our traditional method of forcing marriage on every single human has led to a lot of problems, and _that_ should be stopped. The glamour and the “most natural” tag stuck to marriage (arranged, or otherewise) has GOT to GO. Not being interested in marriage (and similar relationships) or being too shy/uninterested like the person in the above article is not unnatural – and those persons must not be fooled or brainwashed into thinking that they are missing something out in their lives. Then perhaps only nature-intended couples will actually take the trouble to get into marital relationship (arranged by asking parents or seeking a partner on their own), and this perhaps would reduce the incidents of violence (provided the “dowry” incentive & other such incentives also are removed for good!!! otherwise, the same story would continue)

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