Irresponsible girls who throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person…

In response to “Don’t let me down dear daughter!”, a comment expressed this opinion.

“In defense of parents – and while absolutely hating my parents for their emotional blackmail – I do see where they might come from. I have seen innumerable girls (and sadly this still applies to girls in our society) throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person.

These girls typically run away with the first guy who gathers enough courage to ask them out the first time. Typically this guy does not have a great value system, any sense of responsibility, any education,ambition, willingness to improve their lot in life, respect for women and so on and on. As a result, the said girl either lives her life in grief or returns to her parents home where none of guys among us will marry her anymore.
I have seen way too many examples of such irresponsible behaviour and so do not have any hopes of parents granting girls “freedom” within bounds.

As they say, it is the limitation that defines any freedom.”


I was going to delete this but further comments indicated that this was written in all seriousness.

My response:

I wonder why don’t we consider guiding these daughters instead of locking them up. That’s a more reliable ‘protection’. But is it really about protecting the girl from unhappiness? I don’t think so, because we don’t kill to protect.

Also…

Strangely, this  protection is only from falling in love (etc.) – not from violence, being burnt alive, abuse, murder or rape in their marital homes, even if this home is chosen by the parents.

Can an intelligent adult be expected to blindly trust such hypocrisy?

If the arguments given are honest and logical. If caste, community and the neighbour’s father in laws’ third cousin’s  opinion are not the reason given for rejection of a partner a daughter (so lustfully!) chooses.  Then the opinion of the elders would be considered worth taking. The parents have to earn this trust.

Sometimes girls are pushed into running away to escape forced-marriages or other problems at home. If the family accepts and supports their choices, girls won’t be forced to run away, they will see their home as their sanctuary and support system – as the place one always wants to come back to.

Assuming they do choose badly, could it be because they were not allowed to form independent opinions or choices?  While anybody can make a mistake  (including the parents) – some basic guidelines could make choosing easier for the daughters, but parents don’t want to hear of girls choosing their own partners.  They would rather kill them. One Khap supporter claimed only prostitutes choose their own partners.

When the parents arrange a marriage, do they always choose well?

Giribala said, ‘Freedom to obey’ is not ‘freedom.’ And when the obedient girl marries the person of her parents’ choice, she gets the ‘freedom to obey’ for the rest of her life!’

Freedom to obey also means, they can’t come back home.  Sometimes they must adjust till they die. Sometimes they kill themselves, sometimes they  are burnt to death, sometimes they are sixty before they realize they can’t go on. They are told their happiness depends on their luck. Does this make a daughter see the parents as her genuine well wishers?  Think about it, would you trust someone who says it’s your Destiny to live an unhappy life and your Duty to serve those who make life unlivable for you?

Social conditioning has such powers – some girls do.

Some rebel.

They can see that if they are old enough to get married then they are also old enough to choose their partners. Nobody has more right to decide who they marry than the girls themselves…

Sounds like common sense? But we tend to put custom (i.e. old habits ) over common sense.

There are some with unlimited freedom to control other citizen’s lives . It seems Gujarat  government has forgotten that these citizens are voters too.

GANDHINAGAR/SURAT: The Gujarat government has asked courts not to register marriages unless there’s parental consent in writing. (Click to read – Thanks for this link Desi Girl)

81 thoughts on “Irresponsible girls who throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person…

  1. It is true that freedom to make choices could result in the wrong choices being made. But that is what freedom is!

    However, if parents expended more energy in raising girls who are confident and clearheaded, the number of “wrong choices” would reduce.

    That said, parentally-approved choices are not necessarily good choices either. Those marriages may not officially break down but a closer look reveals that many are far from ideal, except that the marriage is somehow enduring (which I don’t see as anything particularly valuable, endurance for endurance sake). If we did a count of how many girls ran away with a boy AND the marriage failed versus how many girls married the boy their parents chose AND the marriage failed (officially or unofficially), I suspect there would be more of the latter, simply because that many girls do not run away in the first place. It may seem like a lot because they are shocking, while the abuse that goes on within parentally-sanctioned marriage is considered worth discussing.

    Me – I have no idea which kind of marriages end in divorce or separation more but I do feel that once a couple has taken a bold step and married for happiness, then if they find it was a wrong choice, they are more likely to find the courage to separate and move on. And like you said, living together does not necessarily mean a happy marriage.

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    • ITA, all this energy wasted on barricading girls at home could be soooooooo much better spent educating girls on sex and relationships, if your goal is truly to help your daughter live a happy life.

      There’s no substitute for hands-on learning, of course. Parents, encourage your sons and daughters to date! Let them learn who they are, what real relationships are like, what their boundaries are (not just in sexual matters either, all *kinds* of boundaries), what qualities they like in a mate, what qualities they truly cannot stand, what great connection is and what heartbreak is. These are essential life lessons, and one is truly unprepared for marriage without them.

      Sure, many of us make do without the benefit of these, we learn about relationships for the first time AFTER getting married and somehow muddle through, all in the name of honour and puritanism and keeping our parents happy. It can be done, of course.

      But honest question for all married people here: don’t you think you could have benefitted from two or three or four “trial runs”?

      I know I’d be more prepared for so many aspects of married life (sex included!) if I’d had more than just my one boyfriend whom I ended up marrying. 🙂 Not that I’m complaining about him, mind. I lucked out that a judgement I made as a ridiculously naive 16-year-old turned out to be a really good one. But why would you leave your kids’ life’s happiness to chance if you can avoid it so easily?

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      • I wonder if people are so scared of educating young girls about life because they themselves are sorely lacking in that knowledge. You know, like sex ed. Most grown adults with kids do not know enough to be able to educate their kids. It is a case of the blind leading the blind.

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      • This is what any parents would do if the goal is to actually see a child happy. A lot of parents are somehow convinced that the kids will not be able to make sensible choices.

        And even in the traditional set up, those who did not like marrying total strangers made sure their kids met before they were married. I have wonderfully taken photographs of my parents near Qutab Minar (in 1960s) – just after they were engaged… all the grand parents were aware that they were meeting. I asked my mother if they weren’t worried that dad might break the engagement and she would have been ‘kaheen ki naheen rahi’ – she said, ‘These things are taken as unfortunate accidents if that happens…life goes on. “

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      • @Nandini I totally agree. I think I gained a lot from having had more than one boyfriend. I learnt how to make a relationship work, what qualities I admired and what I really could not tolerate and even dealing with another person’s family. Oh, and also sexual experience. Both my husband and I were not each other’s first partners (emotionally and sexually) and I think that’s a good thing because we had been there done, sown our wild oats, and made an informed choice in each other. Of course, as you said, can be done without but experience does smooth the path, I think.

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  2. Having no personal expertise in the area of parenting of marraige I cannot from my own personal experience. However when I try to put my self in the shoes of a parent with a girl child and try to think of it, Yes I do find a fear of sorts flaring inside. What if she falsl for the wrong guy, what if the relationship they share becomes intimate, and then he shatters her.

    Yet at the same time I see some of my friends, both young men and women of my age who have had intimate relationships and if it didn’t work they moved on. They took back what they needed to from their relationships, called it quits on the relationship and went ahead with life. Sure the initial few days were difficult, but then that’s the same with everything that doesnm’t work/fail/you lose. And i realized that it was only possible due to their own personal mindsets, and who more than the parents is responsible for sowing the seeds for the right mindsets in their children when they’re young kids and when they’re young teens.

    Amazing observation Hrishikesh!! I totally understand the concern – all parents worry about their children being hurt (boys too!) but I feel the way some (many) of them go about protecting them is rather impractical.
    Also consider why don’t they worry once a girl is married and is crying over the phone, requesting to be allowed to come back home? She is told (and I have seen this happen) that her husband’s house is her own home … is being emotionally abused or being intimate before marriage worse than being burnt alive? What do you think?

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    • You know Hrishi, as a parent I will tell you, fear for the child starts from the time the child is born. You want to protect the child and let no harm come to the child. You check on the child when in the crib. When it starts crawling you keep an eye, on the look out that the child might touch something dangerous or swallow. when child starts walking you are afraid he/she might fall and hurt itself.
      But… in spite of all the fear you let the child move around. You let the child grow. You don’t keep it locked in a safe room. Once you have taught the child to walk then parents don’t walk every step with it or hold the child’s hand to prevent it from falling. And some of the children fall too and hurt themselves, they fracture a leg or arm, bruise their forehead and need stitches or worse. They don’t stop being our children because of the falls and injuries.
      But Indian parents feel when it comes to love, they have to hold the child’s hand and walk him/ her through it themselves. Worse, in the case of a daughter, if at all she ruptures her hymen ‘without their approval’ through someone of her own choice, the child is no longer theirs! What nonsense!

      When children grow up to be adults, as parents you hope they have a good life in every way. Hope in our hearts and guidance and support when needed is all that parents can give or need give. Yes we do have fear, just as when they were small. But just as we didn’t keep them confined but let them run and play and go to school, when they are older they should be allowed to live their life as they choose it.

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      • Mom tells me at times that when i was an infant and used a walker (the one with roller wheels) she used to tie that thing with a rope so that i couldn’t reach the stairs or go out of the rooms(mischevious and accident prone that i was back then. mom and i disagree about how i am now :P) and that eentually i foud a way out of it by getting out of the walker to go where I want. Incidentally try as much parents do, teens/young adults will find a way to do what they want.

        I’d like to share this incident which had happened in my school which happened when I was in college. Two of my juniors ran away from home to Bombay with quite a bit of cash and spent their time living in hotels and are said to have had sex as well. So after they ran out of money in about a weeks or so, they guy called his home back for more money . they were quickly nabbed and had to face all the music. They were thinking of pressing charges against the boy as both of them were below 18. However whatever happened was consensual, and both the guy and girl should were equally involved in it.

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      • But the question remains – is the fear that of the child being hurt, or is it of “Log kya kahenge / Hum samaj mein moonh kaise dikhayenge?” There are a lot of relationships that DO end well. As with everything, it is a matter of chance. As you said, if it does not prevent us from doing other things, why this?

        Me – That’s what one needs to question SS!!!!

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      • I can completely relate to this! I have been told a lot of those “purane zamanewale dialogues” .. My mom found out that I was seeing this guy for a long time and somehow she started assuming that, there was ” something” going on between us… Oh my I cannot tell what she said to me at that time.

        My mom: (Crying bucket full of tears) .. her exact words ( whores are way better than you, they sleep for money..but you have ruined your life, you are worst than a whore, no culture, no sense, the guy is a player, he is not Indian, he doesn’t have our culture, ” tu apna mu kala karke aayi hai”, I don’t wanna see your face, you are ” APAVITRA “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Like honestly, my family and esp people living in my appartment are good at creating drama better than these hindi soaps..

        You wouldn’t believe.. my parents actually had one of my neighbours ( a guy ) to keep an eye on me in my own APPARTMENT! I was not allowed to use the phone, call my bf, move into another room without anyone’s permission..

        It lead to the point where the guy’s mother started telling everyone that I’m a whore and for some guy ( my bf), I’m ruining my relationship with my parents, I’m insulting my neighbours, I’m responsible for some old man’s high blood pressure:S and said, god will deal with me… that lady is sucha drama queen, she kept crying as if I killed her son or something. She said she will take the matter to COURT hahaha .. ( which I found rather funny ).. She said, ” oh, god knows how many nights has she slept with him”.. ???????????????????????? HOW DISGUSTING!

        Right now I’m living with my bf and all my dad can do is talk shit about the guy day and night and blackmail me saying, ” HAMARI IZZAT BACHA LENA”, ” your brother will have to face the consequences in the future when he wants to marry a girl. The girls father will ask about his sister and what she’s done”.. BOOM! GONE! your brother future is ruined!

        I SIMPLY HATE THIS!

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  3. IHM, I partly agree with that commentor. I too have seen girls who believe that their first infatuation is love (and have run away with men whom they later realize they are totally incompatible with).

    But, let’s see what is really responsible for this.

    Girl A (from typical conservative, sheltered family) meets Boy B, falls in love, assumes this is it. Now, would Girl A have the courage to tell her parents? Usually, no. There is also the pressure of going around on the sly, fear of being found out, being ‘married off’ to another person etc. So, what does Girl A do? Elope. Thinking that this is the best way for her to avoid losing Boy B.

    Now, if Girl A came from a family where she could tell them that she liked this boy, the wise parent would advise her to take her time, perhaps see the boy for a few months/couple of years and then decide. In these months/years, Girl A and Boy B realize that actually they are not made for each other/or they fight – whichever it is, they break up. Yes, it leaves some heartache, but there is no stigma, no eloping, no lifetime regret. Girl A (now wiser) finds a person a little more suited to her (not that there is any guarantee of this!)

    Because young people don’t have the space to experiment, in a sense, it pushes them towards more drastic measures at a younger age.

    Me – Completely agree Apu.

    Infact this is what I told Bhagwad I would do in a situation like this. And if things still go wrong, I would be there for both the kids.

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    • There is a fundamental difference in perspective between responsible parents and Indian feminists whose definition of freedom is purely political. I have read posts by young Indian moms who write about children from a very personal and sacred view.

      Me – What is this fundamental difference FA, I didn’t get it….?

      What is the ‘definition of freedom’ that you are referring to?
      I hope you do not mean that it’s okay to lock up one’s daughter or else risk being called an “Indian Feminist’?

      Feminism means equal pay for equal work. Child custody rights and being able to invest, take decisions etc for one’s children. Right to vote. Property right. Right not to be burnt alive/stoned/killed by one’s family if widowed or if dowry is insufficient or if one chooses one’s life partner. It also means not killing one’s daughters if they do not accept our decisions. And of course it means letting daughters get education, medical care and a childhood (like all other children). It means expecting to be treated like any other human being.
      Do you find something wrong with any of this?

      Personal and sacred view – about children? Does that help raise happier children?

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      • Normal non-political Indian parents have a perspective quite different from that of feminists.

        Me – Feminists are normal people FA. Anybody who believes in Human Rights for all, is a feminist.

        There are popular blogs of ladies who discuss families, children and relationships with a lot of positivity. Most of them are based in the US and Europe and came from conservative Indian families.

        Me – Talking about communicating and being open with the children is very positive I think FA. I always say, we can’t control what our children do, we can only control whether we wish to know about it or not. I have blogged about parents who claim their children know nothing about ‘such things’ (when all the children were together when something happened). Do you feel such discussions should be avoided? Wouldn’t that be living in denial?

        Each sees a different world. Not everyone needs to think alike. You have a problem with that. And so you pick up extreme cases of cruelty and try to generalize it — everyone who is not an agitated, political-minded feminist is a cruel parent! Not true, IHM.

        Me – You mean all parents don’t kill their daughters? True. But locking and barricading is common enough and I see that as harmful. FA I would like to know if you think that benefits the children?

        Try telling the Obamas:

        Obama eyes babysitting duties for daughters

        Me – Try telling what to the Obamas? I like them although sometimes I may not agree with them.

        Here’s what I call awesome parenting FA. Tell me what you think of it. Do read the comments too.

        http://my2centstoo.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-discovery.html

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  4. “These girls typically run away with the first guy who gathers enough courage to ask them out the first time. ”
    WHY?? What else can you expect from children who are brought up in closed environments and never allowed to ‘think’ for themselves??

    “As a result, the said girl either lives her life in grief or returns to her parents home where none of guys among us will marry her anymore.”
    WHY?? If ‘none of the guys’ marry a girl, does it mean the end of life for her?? Is marriage the be all and end all of life for a girl?? Is a failed relationship the end of life??

    Me – Well said Shail… and do you find ‘these girls’ condescending …

    Gujarat government is the stupidest if it thinks parental consent is necessary for marriage. The next thing we know it might say we need parental consent for taking up jobs, traveling abroad, moving to a different house. having children…. The political parties are happy to call us adults at 18 and give us the right to vote. But they want us to take permission for marrying??

    Would they ask parents to go along with their children while voting too?? Perhaps we have to get their consent to vote and can vote only for the party that parents approve??!

    LOL 😆 😆 😆 I guess they better, specially if this rule becomes well known…

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  5. OMG, IHM, I was away from the internet for, what, two weeks? And how many such prize idiots did I miss?? 😛

    > throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person.

    Yeah, because having sex = throwing away your life (but only if you;’re a girl).

    > As a result, the said girl either lives her life in grief or returns to her parents home where none of guys among us will marry her anymore.

    Any thoughts about WHY exactly the girl is living her whole damn LIFE in grief? Surely you don’t believe she is some Madhu Bala weeping picturesquely into a koi pond, tortured by guilt for her one moment of passion, while her family, friends and society are nothing but loving and caring and supportive? LOL

    And any thoughts on why on earth “none of the guys among us will marry her anymore”? Is virginity the make-or-break criterion in your bride hunt? If so, isn’t it the height of hypocrisy to blame the girl for not living up to your bullshit standards? She’s much better off alone than married to such an asshole anyway, so no loss there.

    Also, FYI, marriage is not the be-all and end-all of female life.

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    • Oh yes sex with someone unless it is someone your parents pick for you is “throwing your life away”. Could not help chuckling at this.

      You know this whole “throw you life away” deal is so tied to the concept of a woman being such a commodity whose hymen is to be traded to further the family’s honor. After all if she should “give away” this valuable thing to someone whom she wants to, it is ever so wrong! it entirely reduces her value and that of her family- better death than dishonor, I guess.

      One can be “emotionally shattered’ by any number of things. Romantic love is just one of them. What about the disillusionment that comes from realizing that one’s parents are not absolutely perfect ( but then ALL Indian parents are so amazing!)? Isn;t all that part of growing up. And making mistakes….?

      I do not have children, but if I did I would certainly teach them how to grow up and become adults rather than shelter them all my life, leaving them little better than parasites when I am gone.

      Me – I agree. I have a young daughter and a son and I do teach them how to grow up and to act like adults. I do not want them to remain dependent on me emotionally or otherwise.

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    • What I found most interesting is how this is spoken on behalf of all boys – “where none of guys among us will marry her anymore.” and how it is take for granted that marrying one the them guys is all a girl could possibly want.

      I am so glad to read your reaction 🙂

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  6. Do you think movies have any role to play in this? Personally if one claims to have been educated, movies should be the last thing that would influence them.

    Me – Movies have created lines like “Ab tu kaheen ki naheen rahi abhagin kulta, ab tere liye mar jaana hi achcha hai…”

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  7. oh no! the guy has his ideas all screwed up!!

    If parents took care to answer questions, to help them with their problems, then the whole question of “running away” doesn’t happen at all!!!

    So, if a girl has sex just for satifying her lust, her life is “thrown away” and its not the same for a guy??? isn’t that hypocrisy at its best?!!
    We are not Goddesses; we are human beings – with needs and wants just like a man!! there is no difference, except anatomy-wise!! 🙄

    And, seriously, we need to stop putting so much of unwanted importance on virginity! it’s so over-rated and so much of drama!!

    Parents need to educate their kids… not just make them literate! And children are children – safety, responsibility, rights and wrongs – are all the same for boys and girls!!

    Seriously – we are not born to be married off/have children/or become sacrificial goats!!
    there is no such thing as “freedom within bounds” – that is not freedom!!

    And freedom doesn’t mean – you let your kids do wrong/incorrect things.
    Freedom means – the ability to think, to make decisions, to live life the way we want.
    Why is this so hard to understand?!!

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    • I wonder Pixie, how does a girl feel if she is actually being monitored by those who talk like this and have the power to control her decisions! If they can actually lock her up and get her husband killed.
      How does one deal with such arguments…???

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      • Isn’t that so scary?! 😦
        Parents mindsets need to change too…
        being monitored every minute ofyour life is scary… and decisions taken by soemone else regarding our life is just worse…

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  8. I feel that we have forgotten the basic tenet of freedom, along with freedom comes great responsibility. If we have the freedom of choice, we automatically have the responsibility to pay the price if the choice is wrong. We can not be truly free unless we accept that. We need to train our daughters to realize this basic tenet. Its her life, her choice. She needs to know that if things go wrong, she is the one that will pay the price. We are there to give her support, but ultimately, the pain, the loneliness, the humiliation (yes gossip mongers and stupid well wishers do humiliate) will cause her unbearable pain. Stupid knee jerk responses like calling girls who chose their own partners as prostitutes or locking up a child madly and deeply in love will only make such a child rebellious.

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    • Me – Ritu but loneliness and wrong choice can and does happen even if the parents choose a partner.

      I feel if a girl is armed with basic information against abuse (of many kind) and also armed with experience in dealing with men and women – she is better prepared for anything.

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  9. oh my ! now gujju’s not only have to run away from home, but also from their state? 😛
    but then… what happens to orphans??

    and yes, you’ve said it right. it is as important for parents to earn trust from their children as children earn trust from their parents. if this is achieved… home is heaven! 😀

    and when did parents chosing the groom for the girl become a tradition? as far as my knowledge of hindu-ism goes, didnt they have swayamvar where the girl choses from an array of grooms?

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    • Yeah now if they wish to marry without parental approval, they must run away from Gujarat also. 😦

      How can such a law be made? Isn’t it against basic fundamental rights… it seems the parents are more equal citizens now!!

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      • IHM, I mentioned this to my husband, and he said “Easy-peasy, the couple just have to present 2 old people in front of the court who nod their assent, and the marriage will go through!”. I dunno how feasible this is though. Do the parents have to give their consent in writing and sign some document? Then it becomes forgery! But yeah, the other option is run from Gujarat!! 😦

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  10. Been a while since I did any commenting, but could not just let this one go past. I am one of those people who did elope to get married (not to the first guy who proposed nor in lust 🙂 ) yet the marriage did go awry. I did do the weighing in – educated, in a well-placed job, decent etc. Life does take its twists! That said, I have also seen arranged marriages go awry too.
    It is just that it is difficult to find the balance in a marriage and is hard work which people are not ready to do. As Ritu has said, the responsibility must be taught to not just the girl but the guy too!
    The parents must realise that the parameters set by them are not always correct and look at the girl’s logic too!
    A balance of everything is what is required!!

    Me – I agree… and there is no way to be sure that a marriage arranged by the parents would last or be worth saving.

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  11. Gujarat government has asked courts not to register marriages unless there’s parental consent in writing.

    Words fail me….I mean wht next. And we have supposedly progressed in these last 50 years 😦

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  12. As a westerner, born in a modern country where men and women are quite equal all this sounds very, I mean very, ancient but I do understand a little about the situation in India. Traditions are so strong and it demands a lot of strength to change. Specially in a country with long history.
    It’s going to take generations and a zillion educated women until bigger change is possible.
    As long as girls are ‘second class citizens’ it’s hard to get the same rights as men have.
    I’m against any kind of abusment. A man has never hit me and never will. I know what I want and I’m lucky to have a very kind husband, my soul mate.
    We have our disagreements but we hardly ever argue. But we talk a lot. About everything.
    By talking we’re trying to learn to understand each others as a man and a woman. How and when we think differently etc. We’ve had many great discussions and hopefully many more to come.

    Thank you for sharing these posts. It’s good we learn more from different cultures.
    Even if we are the same – we all want to be loved – where ever we live.

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  13. I feel that this is the reason we have the adult/child divide. If I have (say) a fifteen year old daughter, I would make sure she doesn’t run away – that’s too irrevocable a step. She can fall in love, or even have sex – things like that can be mended if they go wrong. But I won’t trust her to have the judgment to go away and live her own life. Not just yet.

    When she becomes an adult, we all assume that the person is now in a position to decide their lives. These lines must be drawn somewhere or the other. And eighteen seems to be as good a line as any.

    But I can see the problem for parents if they really feel that the guy isn’t good enough as a person. Not for caste etc as you mentioned.

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    • Doesn’t that apply to boys too Bhagwad?

      Parents can really do nothing after a point – if they are sure the boy is not good and it is not a prejudice, they could ask the girl to date him a while and take their own time, if she doesn’t suspect their motives (planning to marry her elsewhere etc) she would probably accept their advice.

      If she doesn’t then I know what I would do, I would make sure I remain close to her so if I suspect any trouble I am there for her.

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      • An older friend of mine has handled a situation like this IHM. They didn’t like her boyfriend and could see through him crystal clear. But their daughter was besotted. So they befriended him, invited him over, agreed with his utterances, and generally aligned themselves with him. They never said one word against him in front of her (tho they couldn’t stand him). Their daughter, true to teenage nature, dumped him after a while 🙂

        You forbid something, your kids will go for it. You make it freely available, they can’t stand it 😀 In other words, familiarity breeds contempt. 👿

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      • @starsinmeyes

        You know, I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about tactics like this. Every now and then I get a “duh!” moment when I realize all over again how we made the right choice not to have kids…

        I seriously Am. Not. Ready. to do this stuff!

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  14. I don’ t know how my mom did… or when I look back now, I am not too sure how she instilled those ideas and understandings in me.

    As an example, I think locking the girl up will only make the girl throw chits of paper out of her window to the only guy who she can see.

    Instead, if parents start pointing out wrong and right to the girls, then I think that will help them gain confidence in their parents and also making a judgment the next time.

    Me – That’s a terrific example Aathira! And I feel parents say little things that leave a permanent mark, even something like who they openly admire or criticise, and when do they praise the child… My mother used to talk about her younger days, her friends…

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  15. What you mentioned is absolutely right. The caring practices of caregivers and their approval lays the foundation of future relationships especially intimate relationships. If parents are overtly critical and controlling it can go to the extent of creating external locus of identity for the child and he/she starts seeking approval from even strangers to feel accepted and loved.

    This post was basically about how desi women’s sexuality is community business and how they are treated if they are single. According to what you are said it means men have to face similar scrutiny of their sexuality. That we both no is not true. There are more social and cultural impediments attached to women’s sexuality and control over it.

    This self monitoring of desire by desi women mentioned in the post is not just the resultant of caring practices of parents but also of societal scrutiny of their movements- when she came, where she went, who was with her etc… Women constantly feel they are under observation and are judged. I guess that is not the case with men with exception to police survilance.

    Me – Absolutely agree!
    //societal scrutiny of their movements- when she came, where she went, who was with her etc// is one reasons why women and their families are more concerned about their peer group than about their child’s safety.

    Like

  16. IHM,

    the whole problem is girls are brought up to be dependents. Parents do not plan for the future and don’t realise their daughter will be an adult who can be self-sufficient, strong and survive broken relationships or marriages. The whole view of society is, a girl has only one chance at happiness, that is marriage, so parents try to control the whole thing, thinking they don’t want to deal with the girl anymore after she’s 21. she’s packed up, unsoiled and pure, and with the instruction to make it work, no matter what.

    Parents need to change their mindset:
    1. A female’s only goal in life is not marriage and children.
    2. It’s also not one marriage. A divorce is okay. So is a remarriage. So is staying child-free and walking away from abuse.
    3. A girl’s purity is a non-issue. She’s a human being who has free choice.
    4. A daughter needs support and involvement and protection, not from rapists who can’t control their urges, but from people who would threaten her freedom and safety and independence.

    Me – Brilliantly put starry and from the ratings you can see I am not the only one who thinks so.

    I love these ratings!

    Like

  17. Once again.. this touches close to heart. “They are told their happiness depends on their luck.”…
    Life for a girl or a boy is a series of choices one makes that gets them ahead in their journey ahead. In any facet of life you will have external influences that make you choose one instead of the other… You make a mistake you get up and you move on. You might have really strong support, or you might be alone.. but you have the power of saying no.. its self empowerment.
    Luck might have something to do with it.. you might know the guy for ten years before marriage.. and something ticks them off and they might be a completely different person. More often than not, by drawing lines of what is acceptable for you and what’s not.. the chances of depending on “luck” reduces.
    I consider myself to be “lucky” if you will…. before marriage, my husband knew me very well. Even today if he teases me.. oh no warm dinner.. I can say.. you knew what you signed up for before.. go make it yourself.. I might not be an “ideal” wife.. but hey.. I am being “true”.. I am tired after a day’s hard work.. and I cant make food.. take out is fine!
    I stick to my original commandments: “Communicate” with parents, inlaws, husband, brother, boyfriend, sister, friend. A lot of misunderstanding gets resolved by that.

    Like

  18. “I have seen innumerable girls (and sadly this still applies to girls in our society) throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person.

    These girls typically run away with the first guy who gathers enough courage to ask them out the first time. ”

    I think it is the girls who have been sheltered and over-protected all their lives, barricaded really – from the opposite sex, who don’t develop the ability to understand a person’s character or to really determine if it is “love” they are feeling. To them, the first person who comes along and SHOWS them love appears to be THE ONE. Those are the girls who often make mistakes while choosing life-partners (if they do it on their own) Plus, since they have to keep it a secret and can’t really discuss their love with anyone, or introduce their boyfriend to friends and family, they don’t have the support system that would point out a bad choice if that were the case. They only have their own feelings and gut instinct to go by, which may be flawed to begin with because of their limited experience with the opposite sex.

    Who is responsible for this? The parents! Instead of giving their daughters the strength and tools to make sound decisions, they restrict them and thus cripple them forever! Instead of being the pillars of support that they should be, for the girls, they give their daughters fears and insecurities and leave them lonely when the daughters need the most support. And even those who are “generous” enough to allow their daughter marry a person of her choice, tell her to not come back if she faces any problems. They mean to say “YOU chose this life, it is now YOUR problem”. I hope I don’t do that to my girls ever. I do tell my older one (younger one is too little) that even if she makes a mistake, she can come to me and we will find a way together. And when saying that, I have the worst mistakes in mind – I will steel myself to any possibilities just to make sure my daughters come to ME for help and don’t perish alone.

    In a recent conversation with my daughter, I told her that at her age (and even later) it IS a good idea to hang out with different people just to determine what your “type” is, who you really gel with. That’s not promiscuity – that is common sense. Unless you know what kind of people are out there, how can you know what kind will you get along best with?

    Like

    • “I do tell my older one (younger one is too little) that even if she makes a mistake, she can come to me and we will find a way together. And when saying that, I have the worst mistakes in mind – I will steel myself to any possibilities just to make sure my daughters come to ME for help and don’t perish alone.”

      Cee Kay you made me teary eyed with this entire comment and these lines are powerful.
      “I will steel myself to any possibilities” is what I feel too.

      Like

      • Thanks IHM!

        You know, I made a few mistakes in my life that could have cost me a great deal if I weren’t lucky. I was lucky that the things that could go wrong, didn’t. My parents were very open minded and really provided me with a great childhood but one thing I feel they could have done better was to TELL me that I could go to them with my problems. I realized later, after a few incidents, that I COULD but till then I spent a lot of time agonizing over issues alone. Once I realized I could depend on them to understand me and help me with an open mind, my life became much better, much easier.

        I try not to put my daughters through that 😦

        Like

      • Thanks Preeti – but with all humility, there ARE more parents like this today. Parents today are more aware and many of us remember our struggles and at least try to save our children from OUR struggles. Even I have made mistakes in my parenting that I wish I hadn’t. But I try and remember how I felt regarding certain issues while growing up and try to modulate my parenting to that.

        Like

  19. @Bhagwad: 😀 Sure you don’t want to try…how will you get respectable grey hairs if you don’t raise kids and experiment with all the tactics 😛 Practicals are more fun than theory :mrgreen:

    Like

  20. I know parenting is not an easy job. It is a job that requires mindful attention to detail when it comes to how you say, what you say, what you do with and around your children. And you are always on duty. Parents want what is best for the child, whatever the Gender is. I also think, that the job of the parent is only to Guide the child not take the child to their destination. The journey is the child’s not the parent. When the child is an adult it is best to let them make their choices in life. How comfortable the parent is in letting the child be an adult will depend on how much trust they have in their child rearing technique. If that technique is based on “My way or the Highway”, Our Standing in the society, Our biases, false pride, vicariously living our dreams through the child, then it isnt child rearing but a means to serving the parents Ego.

    If the Boys in our society are to be feared or they lack in some way, I do wonder whose fault it is? If the Girls in our society want a way out of their authoritarian families, I wonder whose fault that is?
    If either of the genders lack in Ethics, I wonder whos fault that is? So why blame the Girl and lock her up? Thats the most illogical solution to the problem.

    “One Khap supporter claimed only prostitutes choose their own partners.”

    Wow, this person needs to take his/her head out of their own backside. A Prostitute has a choice? well, I will be damned for not knowing that.

    “freedom to obey” is such an oxymoron… When we Obey, we arent free, we are merely giving in to the will of the other. While obedience has its purpose in certain scenarios(like the military, learning a skill etc). Most dont obey of their own free will, its usually because of some form of perceived threat. For “willing obedience” from anyone, you have to learn to respect that other person and earn that person’s trust, which means you have to be HIGHLY Ethical Compassionate person(these are very few and rare in our population who are so)… Between Parents and children there should be room for voicing dissent without losing the relationship.

    I would like to have parents read Khalil Gibran’s On Children. I am posting the poem below.

    And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
    “Speak to us of Children”.
    And he said:

    Your children are not your children,
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but are not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and
    He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    So he loves also the bow that is stable.

    Like

    • this poem sums it up so nicely ..:) may be children have to learn to blackmail / talk and try to change mindset of parents ..i have done that ..by rebelling sometimes and by by sinple reasoning at others ..over a period of time, they do see some reasn and change 🙂

      Like

  21. IHM : Another brilliant post ..:)

    I still remember my relatives using statements like
    ” aur bigaro larki ko ….aur do inhe azadi ..ab yeh apni marzi se shadi karengi” ( i was the girl in question)
    or
    ” larki aur ghori bina lagam ke nhn honi chahiye ” ( i like the comparison :))
    or
    “agar aisa hi chalta raha to ek din larkiya apne boyfriends ko leke ghar aajayengi” (( wont it be just perfect )
    or
    ” kya karte ghar wale bechare , uska kissi ke sath chakar tha , jaise taise larka dhond ke , dowry de ke shadi kara di , nahin to baad main kaun karta shadi ” ( poor parents to have such an irresponsible daughter )

    I used to wonder as a kid and often question ( a crime , i tell u ) that why is a girls life , her choices , her freedom is a community’s concern. How can my neighbour’s third cousin qualified to comment on the character if my cousin just because she has choosen a life partner , and why parents bother more about what the so called gossiping society than the feelings / judgement of thier own kids.

    when old folks tell us that marriages used to work better at older times when people never used to meet their partners before marriage and nowdays even after dating for months when you guys marry it never work ( a taunt I heard after broken love marriage). I told them they never had any other option . If a women is married she knows that all the doors back are closed and so are the other oppertunities if choose to opt out of a bad marriage. she has no education , no financial support , no idea that she can stay alone , and even cant take her own kids along if all these dont exist. Own parents will treat you like a criminal and you have no where to go. so either they bear all this for life time or commit suicide if its beyond the limit of tolerance.

    Like

  22. Running away with irresponsible guy they meet is not exactly a problem..
    the problem with the society is here .”…none of guys among us will marry her anymore”.

    If we dint have the second problem amongst us, then first one doesn’t really a problem isn’t it ?

    Me – Yes Bach!!! That’s exactly what I have been wanting to convey, you summed it in three sentences 🙂 Thank You!

    Like

  23. IHM I just love you for this post 🙂 I think all the marriage choices people make in India are to please the neighbours father-in-law’s 3rd cousin as you pointed out. I know very few parents who have given in willingly to their daughter’s/son’s choice. And I hardly know anyone who has married a divorced woman 😦

    Like

  24. Seems to me that when the need to control enters a relationship, any relationship, people will rebel. And control seems to come with the belief that there is a ‘commodity’ in the picture. The saddest part is that most people control out of ‘love’. When this gets into government, God help us all! Unless it is done in the name of religion, then there is no help from that quarter as well!

    Did you see the latest SC ruling on home makers? Do check it out.

    Like

  25. Totally agree with you on this. How does it become acceptable to kill your child in order to protect her?!? Or to lock her up to save her from the cruel world?!! Such parents are control-freaks and need psychological treatment. Unfortunately, I dont think our psychologists/doctors have enough spaces to accomodate such weirdos.

    Like

  26. Many a times even parents make the wrong choice. It also depends on perspective. If parents think, the husband has a right to beat up the wife, they won’t look for a man who doesn’t. GIrls are still considered an asset that can be traded at will.
    Not incorrectly since Girls are still not allowed to work in many places.The point is: parents are in a hurry to marry off their daughters in many parts of the country, esp suburban and rural areas. and in this hurry, they tend to make all the wrong decisons.

    Now, even the girl herself can go wrong sometimes, but mistake is unlikely as the girl has some idea as to what the guy is made up of before she runs off with him…
    In any case if she screws up, she can atleast take pride in the fact that it was her mistake that screwed her life up and no one else’s

    Me – I totally agree. Also parents might prefer a partner who fits into their idea of an ideal suitor. A girl may not care if he earns a little less or is unconventionally employed. Caste, horoscope etc are other things she may not care for, if they are compatible.

    Like

  27. This is no a case of lust, maybe limelight lust, the Dimpy- Rahul Mahajan saga.

    But what is your take on that? A twenty year old who threw away her life for an abusive, ex-junkie just for a few hours of fame on national television? I feel she should have taken a rolling pin and smashed the creep’s head and broken his teeth before showing her bruises to the media. Or like Kajol in KKHH sang “Rahul is a beater, beater… and disfigured that creepy smile of his” 🙂
    And also, where is the media when my maid gets bashed up by her husband every day?
    Maybe an unrelated comment here..just want your take on this please

    Like

  28. What you mentioned is absolutely right. The caring practices of caregivers and their approval lays the foundation of future relationships especially intimate relationships. If parents are overtly critical and controlling it can go to the extent of creating external locus of identity for the child and he/she starts seeking approval from even strangers to feel accepted and loved.

    This post was basically about how desi women’s sexuality is community business and how they are treated if they are single. According to what you are said it means men have to face similar scrutiny of their sexuality. That we both no is not true. There are more social and cultural impediments attached to women’s sexuality and control over it.

    Like

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