There are many Indias in one India.
That some parents feel too much education might harm their daughter, would be difficult to understand for those parents who feel girls must be self reliant.
Nimmy and ‘A’ had a discussion on her blog, I couldn’t resist requesting Nimmy to let me answer some of A’s questions…
A: Girls should be married off by the age of 18-19…
Me: Not everybody is matured enough to get married at 18/19.
A: Early? Not at all…Bcoz by 20+, they will start making their own choices and will have own opinions
Me: Even when families are there to support, they need their own judgement to be good wives, mothers, daughters, and daughters in laws. Smart girls make better mothers. Children need to be guided by well educated, informed, confident mothers, and education gives all this.
A: So? So, parents should marry off girls before they start having firm opinions and start making decisions for them
Me: And god forbid if they ever need to support their families how would girls who can’t make choices or have opinions do that?
Will any husband not be happy to have a ‘partner’ instead of a ‘ward’? Someone who is a friend and a companion, not another child to look after?
Think Shahrukh Khan and Gauri. Rajeev Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Obama and Michelle…. happy couples, and compare them to families where women cannot think independently.
A: Ha, what is the need for girls to have so much education. The role of women in a society to make a good family and bring up kids in a good way.
Me: Educated, intelligent, strong mothers (parents) are a strong foundation that every society needs. Children pick a lot from mothers, their values, their attitudes, and if mothers are educated - she’s a great support for the entire family.
A: All this ‘men-women equality and stuff is bullshit. Women cannot be equal to men.
Me: Happy members in a society make a happy society. Equality simply means if one member is suffering it is as bad as any other member suffering. A child, a woman, a man, an old woman – each one’s happiness is valuable to the society. Each deserves respect and consideration.
A: Let me tell you an e.g. Last day, there was an accident nearby, when a lady bumped into a sccooter-wala and he died..The lady was admitted to mental hospital for weeks..Have you ever heard of a man being mentally unstable just because he met with an accident? …you women are silly and emotionally weak, and let me remind you, they are physically weak since ages…
Me: Men and women both are needed in the society. Both are equally valuable. We cannot do without either. Children and senior-citizens also. If one is weak then they should be given extra support.
About mental stability I only know a large number of women commit suicide in all those societies where women are repressed. Men tend to react the same way when fired, during stock market crashes and during recession etc. Some other men start drinking, some become violent. Both need support.
A: Ok, let me tell you something. What if I sent my daughter to study medicine? Obviously, by the time she passes out, she will be 24 yrs and so, and she will not accept proposals from any men on a lower grade than doctors themselves.
Me: If a girl is a doctor and marries an engineer/MBA etc who does not earn as much as her, but is intelligent and well settled, there is no harm in such a marriage. Many men marry women more qualified and earning more than they are, and leading happy lives. Having a compatible partner does not mean they must earn more/less.
We want the best for our children; we must open our minds to newer better ideas, if it can give them better lives.
There was a time when any education for girls was considered unnecessary; some of our elders made the bold move of educating their daughters, now it’s our turn to do the same. We must evolve.
A: Its ok with her, but not for me, as I have find Crores of money for her dowry.
Me: Look out for boys who don’t ask dowry. You will be surprised to find many such families, who just want a compatible match. In our family we never give or take dowry, and I know many other such families. The biggest blessing of a marriage without dowry is you are sure the boy really likes the girl; he isn’t marrying her for money. There are also no fears of harassment for dowry. Such families will also respect you and your daughter more than the usual greedy families do.
A: Such people exist only in theory. In practise, all people ask for dowry, and when it comes to higher grade boys ,as like Doctors, they ask for loads of gold and money..So tell me, should I let my daughter become a doctor and finally spoil my life in the name of her dowry, or should i marry off her to an average man, at the age mentioned earlier, when she is not so firm in her choices and opinions..On another note, there is no need for lady doctors…
Me: Some women are more comfortable with lady doctors and it’s a great career for the doctors. Parents can be very proud of a doctor daughter.
A: Yes, tell me what is the problem if there are male doctors alone? After all women are weak enough not to enter areas like surgery and such complicated stuff… Tell me how many efficient female surgeons and anaesthetists have you seen or heard?
Me: Although women are made to choose between career and home, women are doing very well in every field. Class X board results also show that although girls are made to help with housework, they still manage to do brilliantly.
A: That’s the only area where women can empathize with fellow patients..But even in that field, there isn’t a compulsory need. Labour and Caesarean will be fine in men’s hands too. Coming back to the topic I still stand by what i said,” Girls needn’t study much and should be married off early”…
Me: Well educated women, who are independent in mind and attitude, make matured and intelligent mothers and life partners. The whole generation, an entire family benefits.
A: You are wrong. In real time, it is the educated girls who come back to families, while the other end girls move on with their life, rather than shouting for divorce and such.
1.) If the girl’s husband is having an affair or is unhappy with her dowry and divorces her. Or if he dies or looses his job – then what will happen to a girl who cannot support herself and her children.
2.) If her parents have no sons, and need someone to take care of them, then will she able to support herself.
A: You are wrong, good girls will find happiness where they go…
Me: Unfortunately this is proved wrong everyday…
Long-lasting marriages depend on compatibility and suitability.
Also happiness in marriage depends on both the partners. No amount of goodness will make an abusive man stop mentally or physically battering his wife.
Greed, violence, lack of consideration, cruelty etc cannot be cured by goodness. This can be somewhat controlled by endless supply of dowry and/or fear of consequences.
Parenting is a serious responsibility. Teaching a girl not to complain is convenient for parents, but it is also irresponsible. Daughters should be able to find ways to solve their problems and also take responsibility for their decisions. Guiding them and helping them achieve this is the parents’ responsibility and duty.
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PS: Please do not criticize the person and say anything bad about her/him, as I don’t intend to hurt the person…But her/his thoughts are surely worth discussion, aren’t they?