These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

In these lines is summed the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India. This is a rough translated – please let me know any errors.

Generations of Indian paraya dhan (daughters), including those who are educated and independent (Modern but Traditional Patriarchal), are brought up for this patriarchal self sacrifice. Note: For many people Traditional and Patriarchal are synonyms.

Link shared by Sarika Varshney, See the Original Post here : https://www.facebook.com/Train.aa.gayi.hai/posts/607036439354085

एक लड़की ससुराल चली गई, A girl went to her marital home

कल की लड़की आज बहु बन गई. yesterday’s girl became a daughter in law today
कल तक मौज करती लड़की, Until yesterday she had fun

अब ससुराल की सेवा करना सीख गई. Now she has learnt to serve her in laws [“I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”]

कल तक तो टीशर्ट और जीन्स पहनती लड़की, Until yesterday she wore jeans and Tshirt [No Jeans For Indian Daughters in Law.]

आज साड़ी पहनना सीख गई. Today she has learnt to wear sari [Why do Indian women like to wear western clothes?]

पिहर में जैसे बहती नदी, The flowing river in her maika (parents’ home)
आज ससुराल की नीर बन गई. has become water in her marital home
रोज मजे से पैसे खर्च करती लड़की, Everyday she spent money happily
आज साग-सब्जी का भाव करना सीख गई. Today she has learn to save/haggle/negotiate while buying vegetables [“Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.”]

कल तक FULL SPEED स्कुटी चलाती लड़की, Until yesterday she drove scootie FULL SPEED [When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?]
आज BIKE के पीछे बैठना सीख गई. Now she has learnt to ride pillion on the BIKE

कल तक तो तीन टाईम फुल खाना खाती लड़की, She ate three times, full meals till yesterday [It’s not about hot hot chappaties.]

आज ससुराल में तीन टाईम का खाना बनाना सीख गई. Today she has learnt to cook three time in her marital home [Daughter-in-law should not be treated as domestic help, says Supreme Court]

हमेशा जिद करती लड़की, She was always obstinate/She had a mind of her own
आज पति को पूछना सीख गई. Now she has learnt to take permission from her husband [“The sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household”]

कल तक तो मम्मी से काम करवाती लड़की, Until yesterday she made her mother work [Dheeyaan dee maa rani, bhudhaapey bharey paani]

आज सासुमां के काम करना सीख गई. Has today learnt to work for her mother in law
कल तक तो भाई-बहन के साथ झगड़ा करती लड़की, Until yesterday this girl fought with her siblings
आज नणंद का मान करना सीख गई. Today she has learnt to respect her spouse’s sister’s wishes
कल तक तो भाभी के साथ मजाक करती लड़की, Till yesterday she joked with her brother’s wife
आज जेठानी का आदर करना सीख गई. Todays she has learnt to respect her husband’s older brother’s wife
पिता की आँख का पानी, [A daughter is] the water in her father’s eyes
ससुर के ग्लास का पानी बन गई.  Has become her father in law’s glass of water
फिर लोग कहते हैं कि बेटी ससुराल जाना सीख गई. Then people say that the girl has learnt to go to her marital home.
(यह बलिदान केवल लड़की ही कर सकती है,इसिलिए हमेशा लड़की की झोली वात्सल्य से भरी रखना…) Only a girl can make this sacrifice, this is why, may her lap be full of motherly love (maybe this means ‘may she have many male children for her spouse’s family name to continue)
बात निकली है तो दूर तक जानी चाहिये!!! Now that this has been said, may these words go far.

We even have an Ideal Daughters in Laws school in Madhya Pradesh. 

This is why all Indians value sons – to provide their families with daughters in law described in the post above. Like DG has pointed out in a comment – in a traditional patriarchal setup, un-marriageable sons are valued less than marriageable/married sons.

Related Posts:

Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

Can’t end marriage over sari ;)

Some basic questions on joint family finances and daughters in law.

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

“I have to seek permission for visiting parents. My phone bill has to be reasonable. My expenses nominal. And my desires non-existent.”

Instead of eyeing their husbands’ ancestral property, why don’t Indian daughters in law make their own homes?

Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…

How important is it for a girl to get married and stay married?

Adarsh Bhartiya Nari – Ideal Indian Woman… !!!

102 thoughts on “These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India.

  1. I hav a doubt … I don’t intend to marry soon n not wishing to hav kids of my own. I prefer adopting. I read a post http://lifeandtimesinbangalore.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/adoption-awareness-month-ramyas-questions/
    wich says that after having a job its good not to go to work fr few yrs bcoz the kids need u.. doesn’t it make way of d woman of staying at home n not being able to get bak to work? ? Its difficult to find a job many times n also der may b talks at home asking her y she wishes to get bak to work? I m nt married so don’t hav any idea of tis.. n also I never hear any father being asked to tak responsibity. Its lik ur post wich says a girl learns.. blah blah.. marriage n kids.. tats d ultimate goal of a girl!! Tats sick!!

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    • how much your kids need you and how they need you is your decision. many working women opt to stay home with their kids for a few years and then get back to work. others work through and yet others transform what they do into something more flexible and often into something they’ve really wanted to do for a long time. Let’s not vilify motherhood and parenting by only seeing it in shades of patriarchy. Choice is the key. Have or adopt kids because you want them and take the right decisions for them and yourself on your own terms. Easier said than done, but that’s the objective anyway. Cheers!

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    • This is a bit off topic-
      As far as adoption awareness goes why the big Indian taboo on adopting children.
      I’m an American married to an India, we already have 2 sons of our why can’t we adopt one more?
      My Indian in laws say adoption is really a ‘sin’?
      Husband’s answer is simply ‘Why?’

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      • It’s a sin because you might end up adopting a lower caste child as your own, etc. I’ve heard that stuff passed around a lot. But there are plenty of good people in India who adopt, especially the current generation.

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      • Sin? I don’t know about that but a lot of Indians don’t want to adopt an orphan because the baby’s ‘credentials’ (caste, religion etc.) are unknown. If they adopt, they do so from their extended family.

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      • “Sin” is a word casually thrown around by people when they don’t want you to do something. So whatever that something is becomes a ‘sin’. Very convenient for them.

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    • Hi, Girl in India!

      That post was mine, answering someone who has two children in close succession, adopting a third. Said my opinion was working and three children esp. one needing more care to start with was a tough one, the choice was hers to work or not – the point of this post was to share what worked and what I could have done differently, to help someone starting off to do so one step higher than I got to.

      Children who join families other than through the birth canal have some needs that are different. Whoever stays home, that someone does for a bit to attach (birth kids attach for 9 months and then a few more, in any case!) well is essential. Man, woman, flex job, two parents…whatever combination works for the couple. I also suggested that she get help in addition, not sweat the small stuff and let things traditionally feminine drop.

      My posts always talk of parenting, not mothering OR fathering. People pick up and drop jobs all the time. If anything loyalty to companies now is at the lowest ever. A person managing a family is also developing different skills, much in line with middle level management, can study, upskill et al with the time/with help. Not working for a salary is not at all about sitting at home…at least, it doesn’t have to be.

      I started working again, have a fulfilling satisfying career that is flexible enough for me to be around for my kids for the 5 – 7 years they are likely to be around, wanting/needing me. It is possible to have it all, even have most of it at the same time. If you think different and openly. Inform yourself before you slam! Then I have no objections to any and all slamming!

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      • I keep making comments and too many comments on your blog. Yes, I had deconstructed the dynamics of mate selection amongst desis and status of men within their birth families but will have to sieve a lots of pages to retrieve the link.

        Men’s status within their birth families is differential and dependent not just on their birth order as primogeniture or ultimogeniture but on their physical prowess, earning abilities and lack of both visible and invisible disabilities. These attributes not only make them desirable in the marriage market (marriage is an economic exchange between families) but also govern the respect their wives will beget in the marital home thus ascribing them a higher or lower status.
        DG

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  2. यह बलिदान केवल लड़की ही कर सकती है,इसिलिए हमेशा लड़की की झोली वात्सल्य से भरी रखना…
    This can be seen as keeping uppity woman in place if buying an extras cow doesn’t work then keep her barefoot and pregnant said, Senator Paul Van Dalsem and lost the next election.
    Peace,
    DG

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  3. life of women always change after marriage and this is the case for all over the world. the so called the equal society exists nowhere.
    it is very easy to make fun of indian traditions but remember this tradition has given a stable society to india and lot of women are living a happy and satisfied life with their children and husbands in this society.
    those who are not satisfied with this can either live single or can find their own type. why so much jealousy with what u cant achieve. it is a bliss to live in a home where indian traditions are followed to the fullest. ur kind of women can complain of sour grapes.

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    • //this tradition has given a stable society to india // The skewed gender ratio caused by parents/society not wanting to have children who had the future described in these lines is called a ‘stable society’?

      Parents who are happy to have daughters and sons equally are those who respect their children’s rights to seeking happiness, personal growth and fulfilment etc. These parents do not cannot prepare their children to be ‘tears in their fathers eyes’ and a glasses of water being served to the fathers in a law. Their children, both sons and daughters, are the joy and laughter in their parents’ eyes.

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    • “the so called the equal society exists nowhere.”

      So, because this so-called equal society exists nowhere, it’s perfectly okay and an acceptable way to live? Let’s say that tomorrow, arbitrary murder and genocide existed everywhere. Well, I guess it’s okay to go and shoot my neighbour then, because hey, no place is perfect right?

      “remember this tradition has given a stable society to india”

      A stable society? Really? Would you define a society that burns its daughters-in-law for not providing enough dowry as stable? Would you define a society that abuses its daughters-in-law for not being ideal as stable? Would you define a society that performs female infanticide and sex-selective abortions as stable? When there is no equality, there will never be stability. We are not a stable society. No society in the world is stable so long as inequality exists.

      ” it is a bliss to live in a home where indian traditions are followed to the fullest.”

      Ah yes. Bliss. Bliss for the patriarchal male who gets his foot rubs, hot chappathis and cool glasses of water while his wife and mother slave away for your sole sustenance. Of course you would find it blissful. You’re never going to be abused by this system–why on earth would you ever want to complain about the status quo that benefits you so much?

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      • “Ah yes. Bliss. Bliss for the patriarchal male who gets his foot rubs, hot chappathis and cool glasses of water while his wife and mother slave away for your sole sustenance.”

        What if the “patriarchal male” works for 12 hours in a coal mine to provide for his wife and mother, he can also say he is their slave. But men usually don’t complain, they are happy to provide for their family even if they have to risk their health. Serving “hot chappathis and cool glasses of water” is neither hazardous to health nor it makes wife a slave.

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        • If said man is so poor to have to work in a coal mine for 12 hours, his wife is also doing household work in other people’s houses. Then she comes home AND serves hot chappathis and cool glasses of water. So don’t be silly.

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        • If my sole choice in life is to serve hot chappathis and cool glasses of water, then it makes me a slave. If I am in bondage to my husband, with no hope of ever doing anything different with my life, then I am a slave. If I am threatened with ostracism, societal ruin, financial ruin and abuse if I dare to choose a different life from serving chappathis and glasses of water, then I am a slave. My slavery resides in the fact that I have no choice in the matter of my vocation, not in the vocation itself.

          Also, if my “patriarchal male” husband CHOOSES to go work in a coal mine for 12 hours, when he could be doing something different, that is something that HE has brought upon HIS shoulders. If he has options open to him, options that are easier and equally financially viable, but he chooses not to improve his skill set to move forward in life, then he has chosen a life of hard labour out of HIS own choosing. Society does not force him to make the same decisions with the same repercussions that women face. But nice try at the false analogy.

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        • @A, I agree with you on all points but a poor uneducated man sometimes has no choice but to take the first job he gets. And he can hardly be going around developing skill sets if he is working that many hours a day. Same goes for women. The poverty has to decrease for this to become possible, and for me, that comes down to another woman related issue – having fewer children.

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        • What you say is true about poverty. I see it all the time where people often are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They need to upgrade their skills to get a job, but to get a job, they have to upgrade their skills.

          The reason I didn’t go into that was because that wasn’t the point of the discussion. The person who posted the comment was trying to derail the conversation by saying that men are somehow forced to slog away for long hours. Of course, that is the case, but that was never the topic of conversation to start with. MRAs do this all the time. “It’s sunny outside today.” – “Oh yes, but do you also know that it rains sometimes? And that it is difficult when it rains? Or it hails sometimes too you know!” They try to deviate from the specific focus of the conversation at hand to spotlight on their considerably smaller gender related woes. Or something completely unrelated.

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    • What stability?

      Rapes? Domestic violence? Skewed gender ratio? Inequality? Suicides of young married women? Dowry murders? You call all this ‘stable’? You need to buy a dictionary.

      The bliss is not for the women. So we really don’t care if you traditional men feel blissful or not. The day we feel blissful, we’ll participate in that tradition.

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    • Life of both spouses change after marriage. the difference is in patriarchal homes, the male’s becomes better and the womens worse🙂
      but dont let that bother you, you carry on and live with your head in the clouds that she’s happy. or if you don’t have a spouse , go ahead and spout your ideas I’m sure women will fall all over themselves wanting ot marry you 🙂

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    • I am a woman, my life did not change one bit after marriage. Your first assumption is wrong.

      Stability without equality can only be based on slavery. Your second assumption is wrong.

      “lot of women are living a happy and satisfied life”
      The rate of domestic violence on women (i.e. husband beating wife) in India is about 40%-80% according to various studies. Is that satisfaction? Wrong!

      “it is a bliss to live in a home where indian traditions are followed to the fullest”.. HA! Bliss for upper caste men. Hell for everyone else. You are wrong again.

      That’s a fail.

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    • “this tradition has given a stable society to india and lot of women are living a happy and satisfied life with their children and husbands in this society.”

      What is your definition of a ‘stable’ society? Where people are coerced by traditions to maintain the ‘stability’ facade?

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  4. Reading this makes me stressed. I don’t want to be the female in this poem. I don’t want to be a female, if it means being like that and we glorify it! How many ppl on Fb commented that it made them emotional.bleh.

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  5. Sad.Really Sad ..Patriarchy needs to be ripped and thrown out of India .Even I sometimes fail to understand whats so great about our culture where millions of girls have gone missing ,where girls die due to dowry and what not .Is this the culture we should be proud of ?

    IHM :- A link which disturbed me a lot yesterday :

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/Guest-offers-to-marry-girl-after-groom-disappears-family-relieved/articleshow/25846038.cms?intenttarget=no

    Is this bride a human being or a commodity ? You tell her she is getting married to X and then no wait now get married to Y.Really ? Did any one think once about her state of mind ?What about compatibility check ,meeting the family ,the bride getting comfortable with this new man? I would be totally traumatized if I were her.And check the comments. People are actually applauding this guy.I sometimes doubt if we are ever going to evolve as a society .

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    • This kind of thing only happens if the groom is not invested enough in the marriage. Why would he bother to turn up if he isn’t in the mood if he is not even looking forward to a lifetime with a woman he loves? To avoid such situations in the first place, ‘arranged’ marriages must be banned. Who knows if the groom was forced into the wedding because it’s a little odd to go missing on your own wedding!!!!

      Has anyone seen Jawani Zindabad? It’s an anti-dowry movie but it fails miserably. Aamir Khan is the male lead and he is opposed to dowry, so when he attends a wedding and the groom walks out, he offers to marry the woman without a dowry. And he fools his sister’s potential in-laws by making them refuse dowry in front of several people to save their image, thus putting his sister in danger. INSTEAD of encouraging her to work and be independent!!!! It still looks upon women as a commodity, albeit a commodity that shouldn’t be purchased with a dowry. I mean, c’mon, who’s going to believe that?

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    • Reminds me of Shudh Desi Romance, a side kick awaiting to step in for missing groom. Why is marriage a compulsory evil? Make it voluntary and half the evils will vanish. But how can we make it voluntary then women will have sex at their volition when and with whom they choose to.
      DG

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      • Horrible.. people are actually congratulating the guy for his ‘timely gesture’. How can marriage be a ‘timely gesture’ in your life? Reminds me of Rab ne bana di jodi…

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      • What do you mean, voluntary marriage? How will parents fulfil their god-given duty of emotionally driving their children to obedience / suicide? What will you tell ‘log’? You must be realistic, you know. The log are all important and can’t be messed with. Vox populi. /sarcasm

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  6. Yuck,what a horrid thing to read!
    Why doesnt anyone write such poems about a male? Doesnt he deserve the glory? He too should be given an oppurtunity for similar balidaan. Come on now, he too is human,ist he?

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  7. Well people like this do exist and unfortunately they do exist in numbers in India. I am not surprised, not shocked and not even flinching anymore. The things I have seen in the last couple of years have rendered me expressionless for situations like these. I do laugh on them once in a while, specially when people try to justify these tendencies.

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  8. Reading this I have a question. But before that let me clarify that I’m strictly against all sorts of patriarchal mindsets and do not think of a girl as some paraya dhan and all that crap. Having said that still if me and my wife do not wish to have a daughter for the simple reason that we do not want our girl child to have to fight the type of society we have in India at every stage of her life then are we at fault? Mind you we DO NOT want a male shravan kumar too but atleast a male’s life in India is faced with far lesser challenges. Thus if we wish not to bring a girl into this world to face such a difficult life should it be onto us to care about the skewed gender ratio?

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    • How about this instead? You bring a girl into the world, but you teach her to fight. You teach her to be smart, to be strong, to be successful, to not care about what society thinks. You bring a girl into the world, and you teach her that traditions are not the be-all and the end-all, and that she must never choose to be defined by somebody else’s terms. How about bringing a girl into the world, not to bring her up with fear, but to raise her to be fearless, to not just make the status quo shake, but bring it crashing down.

      You’re not doing women any favours by “protecting” them from society. Especially by not even having one. You’re just making another decision that inherently dictates that women have to be shielded from the harsh realities of every day life. Not to mention, children are your responsibility. If you refuse to have a girl, purely on the basis that she will have a difficult life–well, whose responsibility is it to prepare her for that? This isn’t about your potential daughter’s difficult life. It’s entirely about your refusal to take on the responsibility of raising a daughter that will not just withstand the force of reality, but punch it back. This is about your inability to see that women can, and will, prevail even above the immeasurable odds that come before us. It is about you being unable to realize that we, as women, know life is difficult. We simply do not care enough about the difficulties to put our dreams by the wayside. We have the strength and ability to do whatever the hell we want, “difficult life” or no.

      By not bringing women into a patriarchal world, all you’re doing is reinforcing that patriarchy. You’re simply reiterating what the patriarchy has been saying all along. That women don’t belong, that they can never belong, and will never belong, and that they’re better off dead and invisible rather than alive, kicking and screaming.

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      • A – Firstly by bringing a child into this world (or vice versa) we as parents are not concerned about doing anyone any favors. Giving birth is not about doing any favor to the child, to ourselves or to anyone else. Lets say we just dont feel we are capable enough for the responsibility. Does that put the blame on us? Even if we accept our inability to give birth to a female child and then do all the things you mentioned then does that make us a culprit? Atleast we are honestly accepting our inabilities and hence making that choice.

        And what do you mean by ‘better off dead’? I didnt say anything about female feticide. How can be anyone dead without even being born? And how can the absence of females be a reinforcement for patriarchy? If there are no females to oppress then patriarchy loses its very meaning.

        On a different note suppose we as a couple were citizens of a scandinavian country which is known for gender equality and absence of patriarchy then would our wish of not having a girl child still be questionable? Does living in the patriarchal Indian society takes away our choice of not having a girl child in the eyes of those who fight patriarchy?

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        • ” Lets say we just dont feel we are capable enough for the responsibility. Does that put the blame on us? Even if we accept our inability to give birth to a female child and then do all the things you mentioned then does that make us a culprit? Atleast we are honestly accepting our inabilities and hence making that choice.”

          Being honest in accepting your inabilities doesn’t exactly make having those inabilities all right. You work on those inabilities, you learn to fix those inabilities and you grow from those inabilities. Having this “inability” to raise girl children, as though we need some special designation, is an excuse. An excuse that parents must stop using. Instead, ask yourself–WHY are you unable to raise an educated, capable daughter in an egalitarian manner? WHY are you unable to instill a sense of confidence and fearlessness in your child, to the point where they don’t care what society tells them about their gender?

          I think answering that question about yourself would be far more enlightening than any answer the rest of us can provide.

          “And how can the absence of females be a reinforcement for patriarchy? If there are no females to oppress then patriarchy loses its very meaning.”

          Are you joking? The entirety of patriarchy is built upon the foundation of erasing women. Women are prohibited from occupying public space, and her hence absent and erased. Women’s voices are underrepresented and spoken over. Women are told, time and time again, that we shouldn’t exist here, we shouldn’t exist there, and that if our existence is permitted by the powers that be, then we should try our hardest to pretend like we don’t exist at all. Erasing women, figuratively and literally, is what patriarchy is founded upon. By erasing women, patriarchy creates spaces that are solely built on the necessities and needs of men. If there are no females to oppress, then the patriarchy has won, because it has claimed every place on the planet for its own sole benefit. Not lost its meaning. It’s attained its major goal.

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        • First, you must have a choice to decide on whether or not you want to raise a child, of whichever gender. I am totally in opposition to the government’s current idea about banning sex determination. It’s a fat headed idea and doesn’t lead to any good purpose.

          Second, the problem is not that you have a preference for a boy, but the reasons you don’t want a girl. Most people don’t want a girl because raising her is difficult. She must be delivered in a chaste condition to her in-laws, she would cost them in dowry, she needs to have a spotless name, etc. This is really hard to do because girls do grow into teens and they do want to have fun and then where are you? If this is your reason for not having a girl, please don’t have one. She would never fulfil her potential.

          Third, as I said in my previous post, most of the challenges for a woman comes from her own family. Until I grew up, I never faced any problem. Yes, there were gropers, there were stalkers, but with the help of my parents it was easy to shrug them off. But the real trouble as a woman started when the pressure for marriage began because they refused to stand by me. So if you are unwilling to oppose society to stand with your daughter, don’t have one. This actually goes for your son too.

          And fourth, I would be interested to hear why exactly you feel raising a daughter is more challenging than raising a son? It’s very hard to raise sensitive, decent men in this culture of patriarchy. Or isn’t that a goal?

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        • //”And how can the absence of females be a reinforcement for patriarchy? If there are no females to oppress then patriarchy loses its very meaning.”//

          Wow. What a naive statement. With more males, what do you think will be the fate of the few women left?! Or are you talking of a scenario when there are no women left at all?

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        • Ok. But all of you so conveniently dodged the question I asked in my last paragraph. Irrespective of whatever the reasons are, if we as a couple choose not to have a girl child then shouldn’t we have that choice just because India happens to be a patriarchal society? Should a couple have reasons, and reasons that are acceptable to the society to be able to choose whether or not to give birth to a particular child? Is it our responsibility to help maintain the proper gender ratio in the country? Should a personal decision of ours as a couple be governed by the society (pro-patriarchal) or by the law (anti-patriarchal)?

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        • “I didnt say anything about female feticide. How can be anyone dead without even being born?”
          Fetuses are not ‘born’ babies, feticide implies death before being born. How do you plan to not have a girl child without feticide? Can’t select before conception.

          ” And how can the absence of females be a reinforcement for patriarchy? If there are no females to oppress then patriarchy loses its very meaning.”
          You not having a girl does not mean there will be no females to oppress. This logic fails. In gender skewed states, women are being abused worse than anywhere else. Fewer women is hugely in favour of patriarchy. Ever heard of strength in numbers?

          “citizens of a scandinavian country.. then would our wish of not having a girl child still be questionable?”
          YES. You are not saying “we would like to have a boy”, you are saying “we do not want a girl”. This means that you don’t just have a preference while accepting either but actively wish to NOT have a girl. That is sexist, by definition.

          Logically, if you are ‘unable’ to bring up a girl then you are also ‘unable’ to bring up a non-sexist boy. Please confront your real feelings rather than thinking that your anti-girl stance is somehow pro-women. It’s not.

          By the way, I have a younger sister who is strong, independent and already very successful. She once ran behind an ‘eve-teaser’ until he ran away scared .It is easy to bring up someone like that if you don’t act sexist and teach them not to accept sexism. Have you seen the number of road accidents in India? Amongst the highest in the world. Do you never go on the roads?

          Like

        • if we as a couple choose not to have a girl child then shouldn’t we have that choice just because India happens to be a patriarchal society?

          No you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t have that choice even if India wasn’t a patriarchal society. You’re actively rejecting one child, refusing to raise one child, merely based on the fact that they are a girl. Imagine if a parent decided tomorrow that because their child will be born with Down’s syndrome, they are going to have an abortion because they, “Simply don’t see themselves as capable” of raising a disabled child in a society that will make their life difficult. You know what this is? Eugenics.

          Also, the other thing that is unacceptable about your situation is that most people when they have a preference, it is just that. A preference. Not a choice. If they have a preference for a boy, it is not an active rejection of a girl. Yours, on the other hand, is an active rejection simply because you do not want to work on your “inability”. An inability, by the way, that was nurtered, reinforced and emphasized by patriarchal Indian customs under which I presume you were brought under. Whether we like it or not, we are influenced by our society. It is up to us to confront those influences within ourselves and consciously make a decision to subvert them. You’re making excuses for them instead to make it seem “acceptable” for you to “choose” to have a male child. If you’re choosing one gender of a child over another (not preferring), then you’re in the wrong. You don’t get that choice, no matter what the reason. Sorry.

          Should a couple have reasons, and reasons that are acceptable to the society to be able to choose whether or not to give birth to a particular child?

          If you’re choosing based on gender, then you’d better have a hell of a good reason why. Especially if those reasons are patriarchal influences masquerading around as apologies and “inabilities” on your part. Your “inabilities” do not excuse you from actively rejecting one gender over the other. Like I said before, people work on their “inabilities”, especially when they want to be parents. You’re refusing to work on them, so I ask–why? Why don’t you want to make those “inabilities” into abilities? Why don’t you want to make yourself a more capable human being? Why are you shying away from a situation that has potential for character growth? Again, I think these questions will be much more helpful than whatever else we can say.

          Is it our responsibility to help maintain the proper gender ratio in the country?

          It is nobody’s “responsibility” to help maintain the proper gender ratio in the country. A 50/50 gender ratio is a happenstance of biology and statistics. However, if you’re actively going to disrupt that gender balance, and not to mention, add even further to that gender balance, it is entirely your responsibility to be introspective of the reasons why.

          Like

        • “Is it our responsibility to help maintain the proper gender ratio in the country?”

          No it’s not but then don’t go around framing your anti-girl reasons as pro-women. You can simply say ‘I like boys better than girls’. Spare us the ‘I don’t support patriarchal stuff but it’s just so hard to bring ups girl.. less girls will make patriarchy pointless.. this is for women’s good really’.

          You can be entitled to your choice of NOT having girls but that choice is purely sexist. As I said in my other comment, NOT wanting girls would still be sexist if you lived in Iceland. Don’t try to dress it up as something else.

          Like

    • You said: …Mind you we DO NOT want a male shravan kumar too but atleast a male’s life in India is faced with far lesser challenges. Thus if we wish not to bring a girl into this world to face such a difficult life should it be onto us to care about the skewed gender ratio?

      Yes, or how else will the system change if you don’t change. Yours is a mind set that wants a change in the society by not changing themselves, you want others to change and then you follow. You are not against the birth of a daughter but you don’t want one for you because of the hardships she’ll face in a female hostile India. It was exactly this mindset that skewed the gender ratio in the first place. Hope you remember the first newspaper ad for sex determination test in mid 1980s stating spend Rs 5000 now and save Rs 50,000 in dowry later. Many parents abort female fetuses just because they don’t want their daughters to die for the want to dowry but they will not stand up to the monster of dowry or even compulsory marriage.
      If one remains childless that will be a great contribution as one less to serve patriarchy and one less to perpetuate patriarchy but that will be a rarity.

      Change comes only when each one of us where were are in our social stations challenge discriminatory status quo.

      Suppose you have a son where is he going to get an Indian wife from? In this gender skewed pool of prospective wives do you think young women will have any say then? More honor and shame will be piled on women and they will be more flaunted as property of not just their families but communities, castes, religions, regions etc.
      Peace,
      Desi Girl

      Like

    • That’s not very relevant because most of the problems girls / women face come from family. If you, as your daughter’s family, do not put pressure on her to confirm to silly social standards, she would have a meaningful life. Yes, there is a little fear of violence, but that really is nothing compared to being restricted from LIVING. You might as well be dead if you can’t live. And as for violence, boys also face violence in a violent society, so why are you only afraid for a daughter?

      Like

    • Actually raising a boy to be a good human being also contributes to the sex ratio not being skewed, to the woman being treated with respect. Most of the time, it is the husband’s family and their approach that ends up mattering to the woman walking in, however amazingly she’s been brought up. Yeah, she can fight (and will be taught to stand up for herself in my household) but she shouldn’t need to! A lot of sex determination tests and resulting abortions are driven by the blind desire for a heir. A non-Shravan Kumar is actually my need for the day for my daughter!

      The goal I think is to have enough people who are able to root out patriarchy in and around them, regardless of the body they get born with.

      Like

    • Vidyut,

      If you have a girl, you can teach her to work hard and become really skilled at whatever field she chooses. You can give her lots of love and believe in her and let her develop confidence. That is the key to women’s problems going away – a sense of self-worth, emotional and financial independence. If you have a son, you can do the same things and raise him to see women as human beings. Either way, you can add a worthy human being to the world – your parenting will play a big role in shaping their happiness. So good parenting can outweigh the evils in our society. Boy or girl doesn’t really matter.

      Like

    • Sounds like a gender preference apology almost. Do you think bringing up a boy in India to have an egalitarian mindset is easier than bringing up a girl to not be a doormat? Do you think it’s easier to bring up a boy that doesn’t harass women than women who don’t take harassment lying down? The challenge is the same, whether you have a girl or a boy. Our society indoctrinates boys just as it indoctrinates girls.

      My parents have two girls who no one can subjugate and who know how to find their way in the world. Having an egalitarian upbringing and complete support at home counteracts a lot that society will throw at a child. Yes, I also face street harassment but so what? My husband faces his own struggles. How will anything change if we don’t start in the home?

      Like

      • Honestly, I thought Vidyut was sincere at first, but now I just think he wants to practice female feticide and wants us to tell him that it’s okay. I’m sorry I wasted my time replying to him.

        Like

        • You pretty much said it. I know lots of people like him actually. Patriarchy apologists, who go on and on about how they don’t want to learn how to cook because, “Nothing tastes as good as a woman cooking for you.” But these are the same engineering types who will brag about the latest engine they rebuilt using their own blood, sweat, and tears, and how good it feels to ace that test after lots of hard work–but COOKING is a job that simply won’t make them feel as good for putting in effort.

          Like

  9. You know, it wouldn’t surprise me if that crappy poem was written by a woman. The patriarchal bullshit that Indian women swallow and internalize leaves me flabbergasted, but I don’t have a particularly people-pleasing personality, and, more important than that, I was raised in the West. I can see how someone who was raised in India and who has a more conciliatory personality than I do could just succumb to India’s patriarchy.
    Vidyut, I too would be hesitant to raise a girl child in India, since even if you do your best to impart egalitarian ideals to her, there will be a whole troop of idiots lying in wait, eager to undo your work. But if we egalitarian folk don’t try to change things for the better, who will? As Gandhi said, you have to be the change you want to see in the world.

    Like

  10. एक लड़के की शादी हुई
    कल का लड़का आज दामाद और पति बन गया

    कल तक मौज करता लड़का
    आज अपनी पत्नी की सेवा करना सीख गया

    कल तक टीशर्ट और जीन्स पहनता लड़का
    आज धोती कुर्ता पहनना सीख गया

    अपने माँ के घर में बेकार सा लड़का
    आज पत्नी की आज्ञा पालन करना

    रोज मजे से पैसे खर्च करता लड़का,
    आज साग-सब्जी का भाव करना सीख गया.

    कल तक FULL SPEED BIKE चलता लड़का,
    आज गाड़ी में पत्नी के साथ साथ बैठना सिख गया

    कल तक तो तीन टाईम फुल खाना ख़ाता लड़का
    पत्नी के लिए खाना बनाना सिख गया

    हमेशा जिद करता लड़का
    पत्नी से पूछना सीख गया

    कल तक तो मम्मी से काम करवाता लड़का
    आज पत्नी के साथ कम करना सीख गया

    कल तक तो भाई-बहन के साथ झगड़ा करता लड़का
    आज साली और साले का मान करना सीख गया

    कल तक तो भाभी के साथ मजाक करता लड़का
    आज पत्नी के भाई बहन का आदर करना सीख गया

    पिता की आँख का पानी
    आज सूसू बनके बहने लगा

    फिर लोग कहते हैं की लड़का आदमी बन गया
    यह बलिदान केवल लड़का ही कर सकता है
    इसलिए अब पेटर्नल लीव को लागू कर देना चाहिए

    बात निकली है तो दूर तक जानी चाहिये!!!

    Like

      • Alright then,

        एक लड़के की शादी हुई (A boy got married)
        कल का लड़का आज दामाद और पति बन गया (Yesterday’s boy has become a husband and son in law)

        कल तक मौज करता लड़का (The boy who enjoyed till yesterday)
        आज अपनी पत्नी की सेवा करना सीख गया (Has learned to serve his wife)

        कल तक टीशर्ट और जीन्स पहनता लड़का (The boy who wore t-shirts and jeans till yesterday)
        आज धोती कुर्ता पहनना सीख गया (Has learned to wear dhoti kurta)

        अपने माँ के घर में बेकार सा लड़का (The boy who was useless in his mother’s home)
        आज पत्नी की आज्ञा पालन करना (Has learned to be obedient to his wife today)

        रोज मजे से पैसे खर्च करता लड़का, (The boy who used to spend money extravagantly)
        आज साग-सब्जी का भाव करना सीख गया. (Has learned to bargain for vegetables)

        कल तक FULL SPEED BIKE चलता लड़का, (The boy who used to drive his bike on full speed till yesterday)
        आज गाड़ी में पत्नी के साथ साथ बैठना सिख गया (Has learned to sit in the car with his wife)

        कल तक तो तीन टाईम फुल खाना ख़ाता लड़का (The boy who used to eat three full meals)
        पत्नी के लिए खाना बनाना सिख गया (Has learned to cook for his wife)

        हमेशा जिद करता लड़का (The boy who used to be stubborn)
        पत्नी से पूछना सीख गया (Has learned to take permission from his wife)

        कल तक तो मम्मी से काम करवाता लड़का (The boy who used to get work done by his mother)
        आज पत्नी के साथ कम करना सीख गया (Has learned to work with his wife)

        कल तक तो भाई-बहन के साथ झगड़ा करता लड़का (The boy who used to fight with his siblings)
        आज साली और साले का मान करना सीख गया (Has now learned to give respect to his brother and sister in law)

        कल तक तो भाभी के साथ मजाक करता लड़का (The boy who used to have fun with his sister in law)
        आज पत्नी के भाई बहन का आदर करना सीख गया (Has learned to respect his wife’s brother)

        पिता की आँख का पानी (Tears of the father’s eyes)
        आज सूसू बनके बहने लगा (Has now become urine)

        फिर लोग कहते हैं की लड़का आदमी बन गया (Then people say that he has become a man)
        यह बलिदान केवल लड़का ही कर सकता है (Only boys can make this sacrifice)
        इसलिए अब पेटर्नल लीव को लागू कर देना चाहिए (So now paternal leave must be made legal)

        बात निकली है तो दूर तक जानी चाहिये!!! (Now I’ve said it, it must go far)

        Like

      • And here’s an “awesome” comment –

        2nd yes centuries our grandmothers mothers sisters wife make roti with hands its our culture n Roti made by hands has a different taste as it made out of love not due to tiredness …. y we Indian are going crazy about propaganda sold by foreigners … we are forgetting our roots its very sad … 😦

        Like

        • Did it occur to him that if he’s so mad for home cooked roti, he’s perfectly capable of cooking it himself?

          Like

        • Are you kidding? Roti making is exclusively the realm of grandmothers-mothers-sisters-wife *rolls eyes*

          Like

  11. This is EXACTLY what is wrong with the prevailing patriarchal system of marriage. It doesn’t just affect the ‘girl’ child’s marital life but her ENTIRE life because she will be groomed for this slavery from the day she is born (“don’t laugh too loud, what will your saasu think?”).

    There was a similar ‘letter from newly married girl to mother’ being shared around some time ago… even by an engineer (female) friend who works and is self-dependent. I am amazed that people cannot see through this glorification of slavery. Such is our social conditioning.

    Like

  12. Indianhomemaker, once again my reply to the comments made towards me is not showing up even after posting it more than once. Can you please check what the problem is?

    Like

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