Indians generally do not have much respect for privacy. Personal information about everybody else is seen as everybody’s right. Malicious gossip and interference are seen as annoying but not really unacceptable.
Why is this a problem?
Because, gossip and peer pressure (i.e.creating a good impression on the neighbor’s third cousin’s uncle) influence what Indian families might permit other family members to do.
A lot of Indians believe that if they expect support from their community and extended families, they have to allow them to influence important decisions. (And not all these influences are unbiased, well intended or wise)
For example, arranged marriages involve the approval (often indirect) of the community, so what is clearly visible becomes important. The kind of clothes and the amount of jewelery worn before, during and after the wedding, skin color, height, weight, even length of a woman’s hair can become important.
One reason why the community is allowed so much influence is because when it is not possible (or permitted) to know a person, families are not sure what to base their decisions on.
Disability, skin or health condition becomes more important than the person. How much does it really matter in day to day life?
Let me share an old comment.
I know how this system works. Here is something weird:
1. I’m physically disabled.
2. I have a great Job, fat paycheck. I travel all around the world for work. What makes me hot property in the meat market makes me a dummy piece because of point #1.
3. I hate the concept of an arranged marriage. I would want no external intervention with my love life. I’m a feminist, an atheist and i’m highly opinionated and follow objective morality in life. I find the concept of comparing what one has and not has as the basis of matchmaking, very disturbing.
So last week my cousin was married and now the pressure mounts on me to ‘get hitched’. I try to resist but there is much emotional blackmail. I decide I take control of things before someone else decides to So for the first time in my life, though I hate the concept of Matrimony.com I logged on and clicked around and read a lot of profiles and clicked on the ‘Express Interest’ button on a few profiles I found interesting.
The results were obvious to my expectations. Amidst all the 15 interests I sent out about 10 came back ‘Declined’, which isn’t really much of a problem. Here is the icing on the cake.
All the profile pictures that were visible yesterday evening are now ‘hidden’ or ‘protected’ when I wanted to check the profiles again to see why they declined and have a grip of what kind of women are not finding me interesting. I don’t even have a profile picture yet and I wrote nothing else other than wanting a wife who was very independent and cared about her individuality.
I thought this may be a one off instance. I logged on today again and clicked around and in batches of 10, sent out interests thrice. What a surprise. All declined (nothing new here) and few of them now have their pictures protected.
I selected the same option on all profiles I expressed interest on. “I like your profiles, please respond if you like mine…”
Its funny, how almost all of them are created by parents and there are like about 2% of the women who create their own profiles. Whats funnier is they have a template description. “My daughter is ‘FAIR AND GOOD LOOKING’ and she has a modern outlook, yet traditional values. She is God fearing yet not superstitious.”
For an atheist who wants a non religious wedding and does not want to subject his wife (and her family) to the insults of religious male chauvinistic practices & and meaningless stone age rites, I find this extremely disappointing.
My disgust with Matrimony websites, which I suspected were subjective/biased have been proved wrong. I was right, initially. This is nothing but a place to stoke your ego and I’m positive that its almost impossible to find love here. What you find here is a wife, in other words a woman who will be emotionally blackmailed & coerced to say yes to make her parents happy. This entire system is an extremely difficult thing for me since my worthlessness in the marriage market is a profound knowledge everyone seems to agree upon.
I find it unbelievable that women still submit themselves to nonsense in 2011. I squarely blame most of the problems on women and significantly on religion as well. I’m amazed how women get treated as objects of ownership and no one seems to object except for a few loud feminists and then you and me ranting on blogs.
I don’t understand this fear of disability that Indians have. What is it that we fear? Does the society expect a man to physically protect a wife?
I feel fear of disability has become a habit – we don’t give it a thought at all. I believe in this case, his disability did not really bother prospective brides and their families, because they just never thought about it. Or maybe they were worried about what their neighbors might think.
What do you feel?