“Wives..well they are awesome! They will cross heavens to make you and the family’s lives happy.”

What do you think of this comment? My response in italics. 

Can a guy have something to say in this matter…. :)

Okay ! First,its official. I am going to find a good girl, fall in love and marry her. But I’ll do that few months later because I have to study and crack my MBA exams for now. ;)But..Ladies..you have scored big one on this “marriage is for two people” thing. Don’t understand why elders make it a public fanfare ceremony.

To put in my few cents as a guy’s (who is only 23) perspective:
1. I think a man must have guts to stand for his wife against all odds (even if odds are from his own family.
2. He must also have guts to confront the wife if she plays the bad girl.

[IHM: What exactly is ‘playing a bad girl’… read further to get a general idea of what is a good girl, I am assuming those who don’t fit in the description of ‘good girls’ would be considered ‘bad girls’.]

3. A girl leaves her house and life for you. I think her man is her only support. A boy who cant hold her hand if her in laws stand against her, doesn’t have right to fall in love in the first place.

[IHM: A girl should not be expected to leave her life, home, family, friends, (her support group) first name, second name, career, eating, dressing, sleeping, walking, laughing (etc) habits to get married. 

This expectation is at the root of all the hatred for daughters (Paraya Dhan) in this country, because it means a daughter can be her parents’ support and care giver only until she gets married, after that the parents have no rights over her. Indian parents are expected to  train her for this future, and then pay her in-laws to accept her.]

4. An arranged marriage can be equally miserable.

5. “Definition of successful marriage- A marriage that doesn’t ends in divorce” is a wrong notion.

6. Daughter ! I love you unless you fall in love or marry outside the cast, or not marry one among the exhaustive list of these 12.
How stupid !

7. People think that girls in love marriages do not pay due respect to in laws. My cousin had a love marriage in Jain’s and she is living a great life.(Our family is liberal). She was a non vegetarian and Kayastha by caste. She is an IITian but knows and has accepted every element of Jainism now (by choice). Her In laws boast about her in their community. Her daadi in law does’nt go anywhere without her. She is an ideal Bahu and loved by all.

[IHM: Would they have loved her less if she had continued to eat non vegetarian food? Or if she wasn’t seen as a ‘boast-worthy’ ‘ideal Bahu’?

What if she wanted to be herself and live like just another, equal family member? Why not see the Bahu as a person? As human?

Aren’t such expectations the reason why traditional Indians see raising daughters as a challenging task? ]

Finally, Guys (if there are any) ! Girls are not engineering colleges that your parents know about more than you. Marriage is your own choice. Wives..well they are awesome! They will cross heavens to make you and the family’s lives happy. All they ask in return is lots of love and support. Give them that. They deserve it :D
(Actually top it up with few warm hugs & kisses. ;) )

[IHM: And would the wives remain awesome if they see crossing some heavens to make spouse and his family happy as a mutual thing?

Or if they expect a little more than ‘love and support topped up with a few warm hugs and kisses’?

Or if they see ‘love, support, few warm hugs and kisses’ as a mutual thing?

And if they wish to have a say in what they need support for? For instance support in giving up old eating habits or support in continuing to work?]

NOTE:

It seems Tata Docomo and Tata Photon users are not able to access wordpress.com blogs. Please let me know if you are a Tata docomo/photon user and you are able to read this blog. 

Related Posts:

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

My wife will inherit my family’s property, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives.

An email from an Indian father: I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone…

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

 

90 thoughts on ““Wives..well they are awesome! They will cross heavens to make you and the family’s lives happy.”

  1. Good post. But sad to see a 23 yr old guy with a feudal mindset more suited for a 73 yr old.
    Hope his future partner will give him good lessons in Gender equity.

    Like

    • I don’t want to be too harsh on this guy. His heart is in the right place, I think, but he needs to hear the persepective of a peer-

      Dear 23 year old guy

      Let’s start with the good stuff- Yes, You must stand by your (future) wife against all odds. Sometimes that may even involve standing up to your parents or even her parents. You’re absolutely right is saying you will stick with her. Also, in some ways you will be her ‘only’ support – in your family- but remember she can ALSO be her own support, as can her friends and family who will take her side, if you don’t.

      It’s also nice that you’ve realised that a marriage is a ‘success’ only if it enriches the life of the husband and wife, and gives them happiness.And more power to you if you intend to shower your future mrs. with hugs and kisses.

      Now for a dose of reality

      Your smart, educated, beautiful future wife is not going to ‘leave’ her whole life behind for you. She may even want you to move out and stay separately- not because she’s ‘bad’ or hates your parents- but because she wants to be the queen of her own castle- is that so wrong?

      She may not want to change the way she dresses or the things she eats or her lifestyle in general- why would ANYONE ,logically, change so many things about themselves WILLINGLY for 2 strangers? Insisting on such things breeds resentment in anybody- which some girls hide (the ‘good’ ones) and some express (the bad ones). Do you really want a resentful wife?

      Don’t confuse ‘respect’ with ‘obey each and every whim and command’ -they are separate things. Think of your parents as professors for your future wife- she has no choice but to put up with them, but whether she likes and respects them will depend on how they are towards her. It’s not going to be automatic.

      Remember, love is the ability to accept someone for who they are, not for what you wish them to become!

      Finally, before you even fall in love, I ‘d suggest that you imagine put yourself in a girl’s shoes and re read your email to iHM. Then you will understand why so many people got offended.

      Also, there’s no such thing as ‘only’ 23- time to stop thinking of yourself as a kid, if you truly want to attract a sensible and mature mate.

      Regards, 24 year old girl.

      Like

      • Well you are an year more experienced than I am ! 🙂
        But seriously, Read my comment below (as a reply to scribbler ). I have clarified some of my misunderstood views. Let me know where I am wrong. I’ll try to set myself right🙂

        Like

    • Please read my comment below (as a reply to scribbler ). I have clarified some of my misunderstood views. Let me know where I am wrong. I’ll try to set myself right

      Like

  2. I think it just shows how ingrained the negative mentality towards women is, that even though this man obviously is attempting to do something good or right he is still so, so very wrong. Why do Indian men want credit just for not doing things as badly as others?
    All of the talk about the college, caste, religion and background of his cousin spits vitriol that this person obviously thinks they are above.
    Hopefully with a little guidance this man can say that any partner should be loved and supported in any and every situation they choose or that life throws at them – I think there is hope.

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  3. NO! we are no hungry for your support, love, hugs and kisses. That is not ALL we “ask” in RETURN! I find it very offending that a man should say that thing.

    The only difference between maid and a wife/daughter-in-law is maid gets money (spent towards alcohol for her husband, in case of our bai) in return and we get hugs and kisses. OTL!

    Like

    • Mam! I did not mean women are hungry for support. I think you must see men in some positive light as well.Not everyone is alike. Please read my comment below (as a reply to scribbler ). I have clarified some of my misunderstood views. Let me know where I am wrong. I’ll try to set myself right🙂

      Like

  4. You know, he seems to come from a good place and his ideas are not nearly as backward as you would have one believe. I’ll smack my husband if he ‘plays a bad boy’ too. And if he argues that it’s ‘only human’ for him to be rude to my family or carouse with other women or to disrespect the no-smoking rule in our house — I wouldn’t expect it. men and women both have mutual expectations of each other. Some are fair, some not, I’m not arguing that. But to conceptualize a world without a bit of the old quid pro quo is not very smart. If I accept some modes of life that are important to my in-laws, I make pretty darn sure they do the same for me as well. The concept of balance is what you’re missing.

    Yes, the point of the husband being a woman’s only support is a little dated. But in the end the husband and wife ARE the primary unit. I need my husband. He needs me. More than anyone else.

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  5. He has good intentions, I believe. With some discussions, I think he would change his ideas about some things. Some others I think he simply did not express it well enough – like playing the ‘bad girl’. It could be taken in a bonafide manner – either spouse should be able to confront the other in case of bad behaviour, as to what constitutes ‘bad’ behaviour, is of course another matter altogether.

    Often the main support in life IS the spouse. Friends can’t always be there for you.

    Interestingly, I am also 23 years old, and have been dating a Jain guy for a while now.😀 I have made it clear to him that I will never give up my eating or drinking habits, and he doesn’t expect me to either. Neither do I plan to take up the religion, in any case I don’t follow any religion. Would that make me a ‘bad girl’ in the future?

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  6. I liked this guy’s ideas about marriage. At a age when people only think of having an girlfriend and nothing about marrying , he atleast is clear about giving support and care to a girl who would try to blend in with his family. I like that.

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  7. I use a Tata Docomo 3G stick on my laptop.
    I have no problem accessing your blog from Bangalore

    I use a Tata Docomo 3G Sim Card on my Ipad.
    There is no problem in accessing your blog on my Ipad either.

    Sorry for this recent silence.
    I have been reading all your recent blog posts off and on but have not been commenting.
    Too many things have happened during the past month in my personal life.

    Hope to resume being active shortly.
    Health is okay. No worries.
    Keep blogging away
    Regards
    GV

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  8. I think we can give it to the guy for getting his basics right.
    He is spot on when he says –
    //this “marriage is for two people” thing. Don’t understand why elders make it a public fanfare ceremony
    //I think a man must have guts to stand for his wife against all odds
    //An arranged marriage can be equally miserable
    //“Definition of successful marriage- A marriage that doesn’t ends in divorce” is a wrong notion
    //Daughter ! I love you unless you fall in love or marry outside the cast, or not marry one among the exhaustive list of these 12.How stupid !
    //Marriage is your own choice

    And that is where it ends. There are a few disturbing facts in what else he has to say.
    //I am going to find a good girl
    -How do you define a good girl or a bad girl?
    //A girl leaves her house and life for you
    -I think only her house would have been ok. She doesn’t need to leave her life. It is more about personal choices and what the couple want out of the relationship. Remember, they are a unit.
    //(Our family is liberal). She was a non vegetarian and Kayastha by caste. She is an IITian but knows and has accepted every element of Jainism now (by choice). Her In laws boast about her in their community.
    -Somehow this whole talk of liberal family, caste, community etc is a bit disturbing. She is not a martyr and neither is the family. Giving up things for love and as a personal choice is fine but the way it has been projected does not justify it.

    Like

    • Please read my comment below (as a reply to scribbler ). I have clarified some of my misunderstood views. Let me know where I am wrong. I’ll try to set myself right🙂

      Like

  9. @ Anonymous
    Good argument. I think the author, as well as a few commenters are a little too judgemental on the guy here. He is 23 and probably fresh out of engineering college, with limited social experience with women. That he has such liberal views (by mainland Indian standards) is a good sign and I am sure with time and experience, his views will widen and he’ll see the perspectives that are pretty much invisible to him today, because of his relative lack of maturity.
     
    As much as people blame the patriarchial culture for being biased against women, this culture also discriminates men – by creating a false illusion of the supposed ‘bliss’ of marriage and the false idea that women are embodiments of love and support. This idea hurts both, by pressuring women to into an ideal that renegades their humanity (by negating their human nature) and ALSO becomes a source of dissapointment and frustration to men who are decieved by this falsehood. I am sure if people (of both genders) really understood what marriage implies, very few would have bothered to tie the knot, so to speak.
     
    As for the part of the ‘bad girls’ we cannot assume that the guy’s view of bad girls is same as what others presume he means. Based on my own experiences, there are some types of women I wouldn’t date, who’d be in my category of ‘bad girls’. I’d resent if other people take a judgemental stance on that and tell me who I should date and not date. Everybody has their right to who they want to date (or not).

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  10. Nope, this is infact a good sign.. This means that there are people who are improving their mindset.. They are not there yet where they actually accept women as their equals with same share of responsibilities, expectations, and relaxations and luxuries.. but there is improvement

    The idea is that why do women have to cross heavens and what not to please or support their husband and inlaws. Do husbands do the same? For that matter, why does any of the two have to do it? Marriage is first and foremost between the husband and wife, and then the two families.

    This means that through thick and thin, they support each other when it is required. Both are individuals and can deal with their own problems themselves. When there is a need for support the other will be there.. This does not necessarily mean fighting the other person’s battles or arguments.. Sometimes it is just a silent concurrence and support to the other. She has a job and due to it comes home later than you do, so why don’t you take care of the kid instead? aren’t you the father? Similarly he comes home late, and you need to get something repaired so call the repairman or take the broken thing to him.

    The in laws attach too much of expectations as well. Just because she is living in your house after marriage doesn’t mean she has to cut off herself from her parents. First of all since you’re married and together the house is of “both of you” (like hamara ghar in hindi and not mera ghar). She is of as much value to her parents as much as you are to yours. Her parents will need her and your to help and take care when they cannot in their old age or sick health like you expect her to take care of yours.

    So because of your religious or moral views you don’t eat non-veg, and have trouble having her bring it in the house because it makes you comfortable. Does this mean that she cannot even have it outside? For all we know she has been having non-veg for all she can remember and even enjoys some, so she just has to give it up like that?

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  11. Ok so this kid thinks love marriages aren’t all wrong but still thinks a woman should give up everything she is for her marriage. Hope he grows up soon.

    I sometimes fear for my friends who are looking at arranged options. What if they end up with such a guy?
    Exactly the kind of guy who might pass off as ‘not a chauvinist’ in the initial arranged phase (he is so proud of his fake feminist attitude) but is actually as creepy as the worst sexist around. I am going to send this to my friends and ask them to beware of such types!

    God knows what he means by “playing bad girl”: I sincerely hope, for his future wife’s sake, that he isn’t referring to wearing modern clothes, having a career and an independant mind etc.

    Like

    • Mam ! With all due respect, everyone has their own sense of good and bad. When i said bad girl, I meant the way i perceive other people as bad. I am not trying to be a Chauvinist but i am open to change whatever crap has been fed into our system through ages..And before you inform your friends about the “Worst sexist” roaming free in the city, please read my comment below (as a reply to scribbler ). I have clarified some of my misunderstood views. Let me know where I am wrong. I’ll try to set myself right🙂
      And please do read it, lest you beware your friends about me and my chances of getting married gets diminished ! 🙂 take care !

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  12. The one thing that strikes me is that we always try to classify women as good or bad. Why don’t we try to women as human beings alone. Every person has positive and negative traits and should be accepted as a whole.

    Why is standing by one’s wife considered to be a brave deed? Like it was mentioned that the guy needs to have guts to do so. Don’t we voice our displeasure to our friends and family naturally? Isn’t it part of every healthy relationship to be able talk and express ourselves freely? Then why are men considered to be chivalrous for supporting their wives when wives haves have always done that even without being asked for. It should be natural.

    The most disturbing part is, a girl who adjusts well (as in transforms herself completely to suit the liking of the people in her marital home) is considered to be taking extra measures to make her husband’s life happy and comfortable because then the boy has nothing to adjust to. Hence she is a good bahu. Just put yourself in other person’s place and you’ll know the answer to what is acceptable and right.

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  13. I think his heart is in the right place and he has got many of his points quite correct. we don’t know the intention with which he wrote it . He is more open and mature in his outlook than many 28-29 year olds I know.
    He may figure out the rest of it himself in some time. Who knows if you ask him whether he believes, it is right for girls to leave their famlies behind, he may say “no”.

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  14. The writer wants to appear progressive in his thoughts, but some of his statements actually highlight the very biases women face.

    1) “She was a non vegetarian and Kayastha by caste. She is an IITian but knows and has accepted every element of Jainism now (by choice). Her In laws boast about her in their community. Her daadi in law does’nt go anywhere without her. She is an ideal Bahu and loved by all.”

    He is highlighting the fact that his cousin had to change herself to conform to the family’s notion of an ideal bahu.
    While everybody has to adjust to new situations, the problem is when the onus of changing is only on one person.
    The expectation to completely change yourself to fit into other’s definition of ‘ideal’, is the basis of problems a lot of women face.
    And often the change is not really by ‘choice’ but because of ‘no other choice’!
    Is there something wrong with us before marriage that we are expected to totally change later on?

    2) “Wives..well they are awesome! They will cross heavens to make you and the family’s lives happy. All they ask in return is lots of love and support. Give them that. They deserve it”

    I’m actually horrified to read this statement. The basis of any marriage is love and support – it is not something given in return of making the family happy.

    If a ‘progressive minded guy’ expects this, then one can imagine what the others think and expect!

    Why are women defined only by the different roles they play? Why is it difficult to accept women as individuals in their own right?

    Like

    • The Hindu scriptures state that a women’s salvation lies in service to her husband.

      A lot of this kind of thinking is rooted in a convenient interpretation of the scriptures. Boys internalise the notion that their wives will be undemanding and meek, devoted to the family with no expectations of their own.

      Indian parents MUST teach their sons to be good husbands, just as they teach their daughters to be good wives.

      Like

      • Dear Mam,
        Please read my comment below (as a reply to scribbler ). I have clarified some of my misunderstood views. Let me know where I am wrong. I’ll try to set myself right🙂
        Also, The cousin is a High profile banker in BOA. She still has maintained her maternal customs and is responsible for the death of 30 chickens every month.. All I meant was that she has adjusted well with the in-laws and girls married in love do not have to be bad as perceived by our society.

        Like

  15. Most probably the answer is yes.Religious taboos in India are very strong ,even the people who are not related to you have to accommodate them in order to gain respect.The prime example is Ban on open sale and export of Beef .Even though people are not related to beef eaters or producers they still cannot expect them .As a result Govt has imposed ban on cow slaughter in most of the states and beef export.

    Asking a religious family to respect a family member who break their biggest religious taboo is almost unthinkable

    Like

    • So wat abt the people who enjoy eating beef? are their sentiments not offended by this ban? don’t the beef eaters deserve any respect? this ban is the direct result of the “majority rules over minority” mentality that is being discussed in the blog.
      Just because th DIL is a powerless minority in her home, she’s expected to give up her tastes and likes to be “respected” and “acceped”. how selfish.

      Like

      • As a former DIL who was married into such a family, I will say this — it is dehumanising when your in-laws tell you that they don’t care about your happiness, but their happiness should mean the world to you.

        It takes an incredible anount maturity and generosity of spirit to feel goodwill towards people so self-righteously selfish.

        Like

        • It’s true IHM. Contrary to what the K-serials portray, one cannot reward disrespect and unkindness with respect and kindness.

          In real life, assertiveness works much better in toxic relationships than an attitude of “I will win you over with my love and devotion”
          Ekta Kapoor, please take note.:)

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  16. “A girl leaves her house and life for you. I think her man is her only support” – Which village/century do u hail from dude?? Why will any of the partner leave his/her life for another?? Why can’t they both have a good life together , this might require some adjustments or few sacrifices here n there from both…but leaving life ?? Isnt that too much of an expectation from any individual irrespective of the gender that person belongs to???

    “She is an IITian but knows and has accepted every element of Jainism now (by choice). Her In laws boast about her in their community.” – Gah!! I simply detest this education v/s adjustment comparison… what has IIT to do with it?? Or do you want to make it more convincing for all women around that if an IITian can do so many sacrifices (changing food habits and accepting other culture etc), why can’t others??? Come on… How ridiculous is that… I know couples (and many of them including myself n hubby) who have different food habits and cultural upbringing …and yet they respect each other’s choices and are leading an awesome life together … And when two people are happy together, parents (both sets) are going to be happy (with or without boastings) !!

    “Wives..well they are awesome! They will cross heavens to make you and the family’s lives happy. All they ask in return is lots of love and support. Give them that.” – Now, this surely made me laugh out throatily !! Wives are also as much a human as you or any other … Please stop watching those saas-bahu soaps on TV immediately…. They seem to have set people’s expectations really high….

    At last, all I can say in response to this comment is that stop being nice to women as a favor…. Stop expecting them to be nice without any reason just because they are married to you….marriage like any other partnership (yup that’s the most appropriate explanation for this relation) requires equal efforts and equal adjustments….Each partner rightfully deserves equal respect(with hugs and kisses ofcourse )… Let us not demean the beauty of this relationship by over expecting from one partner (irrespective of the gender) and treating him/her lesser than the other….

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    • ‘..stop being nice to women as a favor…. Stop expecting them to be nice without any reason just because they are married to you’

      Pretty much captures what I think.

      Like

  17. Elaborating on the ‘bad woman’ part. Women CAN be bad, just like there can be bad men, bad priests, bad leaders, yada yada. Most societies have norms of what is acceptable and what is not – the parameters of which is defined by cultural, moral or ethical mores.
     
    Now when I talk about bad women, it has very little to do with the clothes a woman might wear. It would imply a woman who is has either one or a combination of these traits – emotionally abusive, habitual liar, blackmailer, alcoholic, hyper-religious or any other undesirable, negative human traits. Now these bad traits can be overlooked in situations where a person’s bad qualities can be negated while we deal with them. However, marriage generally involves people living together, such traits may not be acceptable to a partner and one has to stand up against.
     
    The idea that women ‘be treated as human beings alone’ is utterly parochial. Calling a woman a ‘bad woman’ does not negate or discount her humanity. It only means that a person might be unwilling to date a human who exhibits a characteristic that he/she finds undesirable in a partner.

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  18. Completely off topic IHm… but couldn’t resist this…… your blog is becoming extremely poular :D:D:D Looks like there is a silent troll fest going on…. All sensible comments are getting a large number of thumbs down …. Yaaay u r scaring them out of their wits…

    Now, coming back to the guy in question. This is the perfect eg of ” modern but sanskaari” beta. Well he understands that a lot of water has flown under the bridge and he too needs to change but is still warped by his conservative upbringing. A completely confused being but with his heart in the right place who got the basics right… baki zindagi ka laath with teach him😉

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    • Haha I just noticed the same (way too many thumbs down than usual) and was very amused!! Looks like this kid got some of his friends to do it or something.

      I like it when strong women intimidates sexists!

      Like

        • Yeah, it’s really judgmental to refer to people who disagree with certain comments as ‘trolls’. Trolls post (and seriously, a thumbs down does NOT qualify; do your research) purely to be incendiary, insulting and repeatedly so. Are you allowed to have only one kind of opinion to participate here without unfair labels being thrown your way. If so, it should be specified here that multiple viewpoints are not entertained here.

          Like

        • I agree. So people like Sravan Kumar get shot down because they are far too traditional and people like this guy get shot down because ‘under the surface they are all the same’. Damned if you do, damned if you dont!

          Like

    • Troll (Internet)
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4] The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted.”

      Like

        • Hi,

          to all those who got offended…. I have nothing against people who dont hold my views… but if you have been a regular reader of IHM this post has a disproportionate no: of thumbs down despite most comments being on the same side of argument than many other extremely controversial topics like scaredy cat/ Shravan Kumar and people actually posted on both sides of the fence…

          Like

    • These “modern but sanskari” people fool everybody with their “moderate, balanced” views. If you scratch the surface a little, their true, basically traditional beliefs emerge.

      I respect men who have the courage to call themselves “traditional” openly. They’re much better than men who say “I’m a combination of modern and traditional”.

      Experience has taught me to wary of these “modern but sanskari” types. That’s just a sophisticated way of saying “I don’t like to rock the boat.”

      Like

      • Thanks all for the comments !
        And fyi, every other guy I know- Engineers, MBA’s, Ivy League grads treat women like junk.most are married already or are planning to. I am trying not to be like them. You can spread you views by letting people know where they are wrong not by bashing them right down.
        Please read my comment below (as a reply to scribbler ). I have clarified some of my misunderstood views. Let me know where I am wrong. I’ll try to set myself right🙂

        Like

  19. I think this guy has the right intentions, just that he, unfortunately, did not pay too much attention to the choice of words and instances. Also, he doesn’t seem to have had any dating experience as yet, hence, has never heard a first hand version of girls’ views.

    Good girl, bad girl: He might simply be referring to someone well-mannered as good- someone who treats everyone with respect, who doesn’t bribe officials, who has the basic civic sense of not littering the roads etc. Come on, I too wouldn’t want to date/marry a guy who tends to scold a waiter for a small delay or a mistake. So, am I being judgmental there?

    Not expect a girl to leave her career, habits etc: Agreed, these should not be the expectations just on the girl. But with dual careers these days, both wife and husband have to make some mutual adjustments, right? Unless they think staying as a split family forever pursuing best possible (best in terms of professional growth) is what they both are ok with. It can be either of them shifting location. This guy made no mention of someone having to change her habits etc.

    I know quite a few couples where the lady does not eat meat whereas the man does, and the rule of the family is- No non-veg to be cooked or brought ready-made at home or ordered during common dinners outside. The guy can choose to eat it at other occasions. So, will we argue that he had to give his habits up for the wife? I know an exactly opposite case also. And I think half of you will shout foul there. That the girl is not being treated as an equal, she has an equal right to the kitchen etc.

    The comment’s author’s main point seems to be- Marriage is between two people, and not a girl marrying the guy’s family. We are, unfortunately, stuck at dissecting every single word of his.

    What we girls expect (and rightfully so) from the Indian society is the ideal state of equality. Where our society is stuck right now is at the far end point- negative infinity. But a lot of people are moving from that state towards the ideal state. If we thrash every person who has made half the journey and is moving forward, I fail to see how it will help our cause.

    Can someone, out of the people who have commented in negative above, explain to me what steps is she/he taking towards spreading equality? What is the correct way of educating people against such biases and what are you doing for that? I would really want to adopt some such methods, but till date, I have not read any such advice around here. It is mostly just complains about the society.

    -A 24 year old girl

    Like

    • //This guy made no mention of someone having to change her habits etc.//

      1. She is an IITian but knows and has accepted every element of Jainism now (by choice). Her In laws boast about her in their community.
      2. A girl leaves her house and life for you.
      3. They will cross heavens to make you and the family’s lives happy. All they ask in return is lots of love and support.

      And most comments have agreed that,
      “I think it just shows how ingrained the negative mentality towards women is, that even though this man obviously is attempting to do something good or right he is still so, so very wrong. – Chardi Kala Wife “

      Like

      • That’s exactly what I meant by “did not pay attention to choice of words and instances”. His cousin’s example was perhaps just to show- It is not true that girls in love marriages do not respect their in-laws. I agree that one does not need to change ones preferences to show respect but then, this is just one specific example.

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      • Hi ! I am Pallav ! (Your 23 year old guy🙂 )
        I am so happy that you all put forth your views. And if I have problems in the way I perceive women, I can always correct them right? Thanks all for posting your views but I think you took the sense of what I meant in a wrong way. Mam, Please make this reply public for all to read.
        Starting with my cousin- She has not left eating Non veg. She is still a “chicken freak” ! And she still practises her customs the way she did before marriage. When i said she accepted the jain culture, I meant she has fit in with her in laws and balanced both her own culture with theirs. She has not changed herself. I don’t accept my future wife to do so either.
        Defining Bad girl: I mean guys, this one was too harsh on me. When did I say that not following customs, or wearing short clothes or not following those “Sati Savitri” customs defines a bad girl ? Please don’t assume things When I said bad i meant the way any person is bad like being irresponsible, uncivilised, cruel or ill treating or being greedy. Why do you assume that girls are always the right gender? In short what I meant was that if any member of my family does something wrong, I’ll treat them equally regardless of their gender and will try to talk them out and make them aware of their mistakes. it could even be my father.
        Leaving your life and home: Yes, I believe its great for women to leave their home and settle in a new world. And by life I meant their old life in their own house. i did not mean that I expect her to leave her style, customs, views or any other thing. She can wear what she likes and do what she wants to do.
        Traditional views : When did I say that I want her to behave the way my family would want her to. I meant she should behave well. And my parents need to behave well with her as well. Again people just assumed things.
        Clothing : My mom used to wear Jeans and tops in her college days. Even after marriage she wore both western and Indian. Do you expect I’ll have problems with what my wife wears. I have no idea why you assumed that I would want her to wear “PROPER” clothes ?
        Hugs and kisses : It was absolutely said in a lighter sense. And yes, i meant affection from both sides! Can’t believe you guys took this wrong too.
        Mam, most of you are older than I am and of course more mature. But I think some of you did not even read my post completely before picking out sentences and commenting. Read the post again with a positive mindset and you will find that I am a believer of gender equality.
        Someone said that I had a mindset of a 73 year old. Well, Sir, please do visit a college and learn what guys think about girls. I am trying not to become one of them and a little appreciation or advice would have been quite cheering.
        Thanks for letting me post Mam ! I am sure I still need to learn a lot about women and will take every single opinion from everyone very seriously. Trust you me, I’ll become a responsible man before I get married and will try to motivate others too ! (And yes ! I have dated! 😉 ) Love ya’ all !!

        Like

        • @B : No I don’t believe joint families can work anymore. At some point of time, families develop problems of authority, freedom and cooperation. Don’t know a single ideal joint family that lasted more than 2 generations.

          Like

        • I think you sound like a really nice guy and I felt pretty bad how everything you said was twisted around and judged harshly by some people — it’s just the sort of reflexive thinking that needs to be guarded against when it comes to attitudes about both men and women.

          Like

    • “I think this guy has the right intentions, just that he, unfortunately, did not pay too much attention to the choice of words and instances.”- Most sensible comment of all the comments. You summed up exactly what i was thinking.

      Like

    • I completely agree here… ^^
      This guy has good ideas in his head… If you decide, then every sentence in everybody’s writing or saying can be misinterpreted and commented on… I focused on the broader picture of this guy’s ideas and he sounds like a pretty decent guy…
      -A 25 year old girl…

      Like

      • Misinterpret?
        1. So you don’t think he would expect his future wife to change her eating and dressing habits – by choice – to show respect to his parents and grand parents?
        2.Do you think he would be willing to grant her the freedom to visit her parents and friends instead of taking the responsibility of accompanying “his” dadi everywhere? Would he be willing to take on this responsiblity instead, thus doing his bit to take care of his family member?
        Do you think he has fair and realistic expectations from young Indian women – doesn’t he seem to be saying “be from IIT but do not forget your place/role in the Indian society/family? “

        Like

        • Why is it that every time a ‘well meaning’ letter is thrashed the writer or some people come up with the “meant well but could not articulate better” reason! Another case in point- Scardy Cat’s letters…

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        • Replying to Anony. To be honest, I was one of those who espoused that line of argument in the Scaredy Cat thread.

          Perhaps some of us just want to give the OP the benefit of doubt? However, I believe that the litmus test of good intentions in real life is whether one “walks the talk”.

          Many men spout stuff about equal marriages before the wedding but mysteriously regress a few centuries once the wedding guests have departed and the “marriage” has begun.

          Like

        • Give people the benefit of doubt. You guys don’t have to rip apart every sentence that he has written. He may not be the Shakespeare that you expect him to be.

          What you guys think about what to expect from a future spouse is not the only way people think in the world. And please don’t flatter yourself by imagining that your way is the only right way.

          I am neither condemning nor condoning what he has written. I don’t know the writer well enough to do that. But going by the general tone of the letter I think he has his heart in the right place and he by no means is an ass that the people commenting here have made him (by dissecting every word that he has written to suit their arguments).

          Everyone has expectations from a spouse-a man expecting the girl to dress modestly in front of elders or a woman expecting her husband to not drink etc.(Again not justifying any of this; merely stating that such people exist) The fact that someone else’s idea of marital bliss does not agree with yours does not imply that they are essentially wrong.

          There are things that can be construed as downright gender discrimination and should be opposed in every possible way.

          I think someone commented about the number of ‘thumbs down’ on a lot of comments on this post saying that this is the work of some MCP trolls. May be for once you are wrong and there are many like me (going by many comments) who believe that you are giving this guy a hard time and hence the comments and the thumbs down.

          Now go ahead and trash me🙂

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        • I think the “daadi” part got entangled because I did not clarify it well..Sorry, may be I was dozing off while writing that. Okay so the reason my cousin’s daadi in law only lets her take her everywhere is because she doesn’t have good health and she trusts her. It’s out of Love and not compulsion. The daadi does not even live with her. Its only when she visits the daadi’s ghar, she accompanies her everywhere. I think I must read my own post twice before posting. Unexplained points can cause havocs. I was just trying to shorten the post as I had already written too much. Not again🙂

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  20. Personally, I feel this guy has good intentions…. And he is still in the process of maturing, but he is atleast open to treating his wife as a fellow human being rather than a fancy trophy…. Good signs…. And the way he wrote about his cousin, he just probably got over-eager to show how nice she is…
    Support your wives truly, but not a wife where she is intolerant about everything and has no idea about a family life, where you share, care and give and take….

    Like

    • There are bad eggs in any group…. Like psycho husbands, there are psycho wives… haha… Was talking about them above, in case people jump on me…..

      Like

      • Huh ! Thank you ! One more girl calling me a sexist and I would have caught the next metro (while lying down on the track ! )
        Please read my comment (as a reply to scribbler ). I have clarified some of my misunderstood views.

        Like

  21. He does have some basics right and he’s learnt he rest.. one of my friends daughters was chatting with me and my husband when we happened upon her at a restaurant and here’s our conversation…
    me : how’s your mom
    her: complaining aunty….
    me : why ?
    her : oof she wants me to get married.
    my husband: and you don’t???
    give me a reason.
    her : oh i’m independant, happy, can earn and take care of myself and have a carefree life uncle, i don’t feel up to taking the added responsibility of a housekeeper.
    me and hubby : both shut up.

    later that night my husband asked me if i felt that way — after so many yrs and honestly i don’t, i don’t know why either, i was independent working nad happy and i went against all my irth family and left with him an d maybe because he had all the help there but i feel it was mostly because of our attitude, we both don’t expect the other to perform set roles. anyway looking back i completely see the girls point of view. why ruin a good life for someone , that too a stranger in an arranged marriage is what she’s thinking, i don’t know how many women are thinking this way, but god help the fellas🙂 better buck up boys and start changing your thinking.

    Like

    • I guess such girls are referred to as ‘pankh nikal aaye hain’, ” zyada padne likhne se dimag kharab ho gaya hai”, “paise ka ghamand ho gaya hai…kuch saalon me pati aur bachon ki importance samajh aayege but it might be too late then” etc etc

      Like

  22. The moment you give the impression that you believe that wife staying with her in-laws is more of a natural/desirable/ state than husband staying with his in-laws, you have lost all prospects to sound gender neutral in any logical sense. And if he believes that all that women want is kisses and hugs, then he is in for a shock when he actually gets into a relationship with a real woman. I don’t blame him though. Men of his age hardly have any clue about women or relationships in this culture.

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  23. why do indian men think that they are doing us a favor by just being decent to us? shouldn’t that be a basic expectation? They expect the wives to feel grateful by just fulfulling th lowest common denominator.

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    • Because Indian society has set the bar really low for men — a good husband is one who does not beat his wife, provides for his family and does not fritter money on alcohol and women.

      When the bar is set that low, and when many women are willing to “adjust” with this state of affairs, why then, would the majority of men strive to change?

      Like

  24. @ AS and B
    Some of the readers here suffer from false concensus biases, where they believe their opinions are ‘right’ and hence should be accepted by ‘right’ people, which means only ‘trolls’ (~wrong people) would disagree. Rather than opening up their minds to the diversity of human experiences which can shape up other’s opinions or ideas on any issue, a lot of readers here take up a dogmatic approach where opinions/ideas are divided into ‘right opinions’ and ‘wrong opinions’.
     
    I strongly agree with princessbutter where she suggests every move towards the positive should be given a positive commendation. The bloke here is traditional, young and has such an overtly diefying idealisation of women, which I attribute more to his naivette than any ‘sexist agenda’. Calling him a sexist is akin to calling a North Eastern woman immoral for not conforming to the North Indian dress codes.

    Like

    • Sexist means discrimination based on Gender. If you believe in principle of gender equity the thoughts expressed by this young man is sexist. What else should it be called?
      If one believe that women should be fully covered up then one can feel North east women are immoral as per his or her moral values.

      Like

      • Thats defining sexism, not a sexist.
         
        A sexist is someone who actively discriminates against or holds prejudices against someone because of their gender. The bloke in this case doesn’t seem to be so, most of the parochial views that he expressed here seem to be out of ignorance and inexperience rather than any prejudice against women. So I wouldn’t be so eager to jump the gun and start a ‘what a sexist!!!” witchunt.

        Like

        • Damn right atheist. It saddens me to see this rejection of nuances here. It’s exactly the sort of all-or-none thinking that caused such rifts in the feminist movement and polarized women against each other.

          Like

  25. As a 20 year old girl who has been dating a guy for quite a while, and from experiences of cousins, friends(both Indian and American actually, although specific expectations vary in different cultural settings, i.e. Americans definitely won’t expect you to accompany your Dadima everywhere), this is the best you can expect in terms of a boyfriend in the vast majority of cases even in our generation. However, when people tend to be nice and well-intentioned, as this guy seems to be, it’s easy to make them see reason, and I know a lot of boys who have done so, and changed a lot after coming in touch with their first girlfriend/other female friend/radical college or workplace environment. Of course, feminist mothers do the trick from way before, and it’s been a delight to have grown up with my mom’s friends’ sons. But in general, I feel not as much offended as amused by this post. After all, patriarchy is tailormade to make their lives easy, maybe it’s not as easy to see the injustice from the position of power as it is from the other side?

    Like

    • I should add here that patriarchy is NOT tailormade to make all men’s lives easy. Gay men being an obvious example. Heterosexual men are also often controlled and limited by it, but by the point in life this guy is in, they’re conditioned enough to have a certain mindset, and with that mindset, it must seem like a joyride to be able to spend the rest of one’s life eating mommy’s food and having daddy do the grocery shopping and being waited upon by them in general, and yaay bonus sex and romance and more waiting upon in form of wife. Everyone’s being nice and obliging to him, so why bother to see if it’s fair?

      Like

      • And I agree there’s a troll fest going on, the general thinking of the readership of a blog is unlikely to be swayed so much overnight.

        Like

        • For gods sakes. Just because someone disagrees with your opinion does not mean that they are a troll. And judging by a lot of the comments, people do seem to think that we should not be so harsh on the boy. So they downvote some of the harsher comments. It’s not such a mystery as you make it out to be.

          Like

        • Yeah the number of downvotes is a little odd. Maybe IHM is getting popular.

          However, contrary opinions are always welcome. I wish these down-voters would post comments about why they disagree instead of just thumbing comments down.

          Like

  26. Once, I was in the midst of a discussion where people were discussing couples where one spouse is vegetarian, and the other non vegetarian. Most of the people talking were fairly liberal, egalitarian folks. Yet, as they spoke I noticed a common thread –

    The “good husband” was the vegetarian husband who didn’t have a problem with his wife eating non-veg. If he was a “very good” husband, she even cooked or ate non-veg at home!

    The “good wife”, on the other hand, was the vegetarian wife who didn’t mind her husband eating non veg at home. (the idea that a vegetarian wife would stop her husband from eating what he liked didn’t seem to be a valid option) The “very good wife” was the one who remained vegetarian… but cooked meat for the husband!!

    Of course, nobody said this explicitly, it only came out in the examples of the couples they were talking about.

    Like

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