“All my dreams have gone out of the window. Now all I got to learn is how to serve my in laws. What will I do with a such a life?”

Do you think anybody who raises their daughters as future daughters in law can want to have and to raise daughters? 

Sharing an email by A Kaur.

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Marriage and children are the end of everything

Marriage and children just seems soo.. boring honestly. Every girls dream is to meet the perfect man, get a nice house, and have kids. To me it just seems not only waste of time but dull. There are enough people in the world we don’t need to keep adding more. Getting married kind a makes a relationship much less romantic and more pointless next to the fact that its incredibly boring. Is marriage that the only thing to look forward to? getting married, having kids, and getting a job? That’s it? Is there nothing else to do in life? Are we women not allowed to have dreams and aspirations which exclude the word ‘love’. Are we reduced to being baby making machines. As soon a girl gets to a mature age society starts asking when she will get married and then they will pressurise her, and then after marriage nonsense when is the cute one coming, then when is the next one coming oh is that enough children? Don’t you want more to make your family complete? Then more ridiculous questions and then when the girls’ daughter gets to an age the bloody circles continues. No one wants anything different in life because the society won’t let you. We make the society and we are the one who destroy my faith in humanity. If we women only deserve to be married then why educate us? What is the whole point of so much education if the end result will be being left in the kitchen with the belan to cook the bloody family a delicious meal. I haven’t even turned 18 yet and my parents are already thinking about my marriage. All my dreams have gone out of the window. Now all I got to learn is how to bloody serve my in laws. What will I do with a such a life?

66 thoughts on ““All my dreams have gone out of the window. Now all I got to learn is how to serve my in laws. What will I do with a such a life?”

  1. There are many out there who are single and lead a single life happily. There are many who are married and lead a happy married life. One must think and decide for one’s own self and stick to their own decision no?

    Yes conditioning exists, but if we do not like it we will have to fight for our own rights no? Talk to your parents.

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  2. “I haven’t even turned 18 yet and my parents are already thinking about my marriage. All my dreams have gone out of the window. Now all I got to learn is how to bloody serve my in laws. ”
    That is NOT true. You make your own destiny. First, work hard in school and college, get a job, learn to support yourself and be independent. Then you will have choices, a say in your future. Whether you get married or decide to stay single, it doesn’t matter. Happiness is internal. Once you are happy with yourself, you will know how to make it all work.

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  3. @I haven’t even turned 18 yet and my parents are already thinking about my marriage.

    You want it or not is your own way of thinking . Most woman marry to get a social security and in return do all that you have said . Very few do it because they like to do all of it .
    You can remain single and at your terms provided you have the guts to earn for your existence . Most woman dont earn and still want to be INDEPENDENT . I have failed to understand this sort of independence . All woman say they are equal so should be given equal rights and one just right means ‘not to earn’ or being given a choice’ not to earn ‘.

    I AM HAPPY TO COME know a girl ” YOU “of eighteen is daring to “think” about her future and is bright enough to understand what she needs in life . Many people dont know the direction even after a long life .

    You have a direction , what you need is a will to WORK hard to earn and then when you earn explain to your parents what you want . PLEASE DONT LIVE OF YOUR PARENTS because most dreams are shattered due to lack of courage to earn . I would be happy to know your response

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    • “Most woman dont earn and still want to be INDEPENDENT”

      While financial independence is incredibly important to a woman’s autonomy, and can help women to becoming free from societal expectations in a lot of ways, just because a woman is financially dependent at a certain point in her life doesn’t mean that she isn’t a human being whose autonomy and right to make her own decisions shouldn’t be respected. She is still the only person who has control over her own life, and nobody should be forcing her to do anything she doesn’t want to do, simply because she does not have financial control. You can still exert your independence and have the right to live your life as you please, even as you are dependent on another person.

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      • A, As a regular reader of IHM’s blog I remember lots of posts & emails with complaints of parental pressure to marry, parents disregarding their choices etc. And nearly all the good advises went like ‘study hard, go out of the hometown & get a job’ etc. Why? Because there is a limit to ‘living life as you please’ if you’re financially dependent on another person, be it your parents or spouse.
        I think for a SAH woman, financial dependency & exerting your own independence can go hand in hand only if 1) If the parents are liberal/left huge bank balance in her name/rich enough to support even if the kid choose not to work 2) Supportive spouse who dont care if the wife works or not and still treat her as equal 3)if the woman herself have saved enough to enjoy a break.
        There are subtle hints and taunts injected like slow poisoning into a non-working woman’s brain. “Hes very sweet and all that but…”. Lose confidence sooo slowly that even they are not aware of it. Not every woman has the guts and conviction to stand up and say “So the house chores, cooking and child rearing (which should have been joint responsibilities anyhow) are done by magic?”.

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        • “Because there is a limit to ‘living life as you please’ if you’re financially dependent on another person, be it your parents or spouse.”

          That limit exists so long as there are still those in the world who think that simply because a person is dependent on someone else that she is bound by their choices and their decisions, when in fact, that simply isn’t true. Nobody is bound by someone else’s rules, simply because that someone else is providing for them. Just because my parents are providing for me, doesn’t mean that they can violate and obliterate my autonomy when it comes to my life and force me to do their bidding. This is a violation of human rights, and not to mention, it’s pretty much akin to extortion. You cannot expect someone, anyone, to “fall in line” as it were and limit their choice just because you are providing for them.

          You are correct that if someone wants to be independent, financial independence is very helpful and often needed. I’m not faulting that advice at all. Like I’ve said many times before, you can’t wait for people to give you equal treatment, you have to demand it for yourself. With that being said though, attitudes NEED to change as well. The attitude that just because someone is providing for somebody else, that they have ultimate control over the decisions they make has got to change. You outlined it perfectly in your second point. Spouses whose wives or husbands depend on them for a living need to understand that just because the money comes from you doesn’t mean that you can control all their decisions. Parents who are still providing for their children need to realize that you cannot hold the threat of destitution and disownment over somebody’s head in order to make them agree with you. People need to realize that just because someone is not financially independent doesn’t disqualify them from being entitled to plain human rights.

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        • @A Being independent is not a basic human right. If you do not earn, you are not independent. It simply goes against the definition of the word. However, not being allowed to be independent is a lack of basic human rights. I agree that people should not be taunted for being dependent, but I fail to see how it is not against basic human rights for some people to be forced to provide for other people either.

          Frankly, I feel that as adults, women should take a more proactive interest in their own well being. This obviously does not apply to the LW, so I won’t go into a lengtjy discussion on this topic here.

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      • Without earning there is nothing called as being INDEPENDENT
        We all talk of equality but when it comes to earning we say it should be our choice to work or not work to earn . How can it be our choice ?? Where will the money come from ?
        I understand that not all those who earn are independent because its basically a mental attitude but being financially independent gives woman a firm footing .
        IHM has many readers who are married and many who are unmarried . Its always the married ones who have A PROBLEM of being USED . Most of the mails that come here are about not being able to settle down with in laws . Its like one wants to get married and settle down with a husband and enjoy the life at his cost and but when it comes to bring up the children , take care of inlaws and do / organise household work the tone changes to WHY should we do this .
        EARN EQUALLY , WORK EQUALLY break the conditioning before getting married and not after one is married .

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        • well women should earn…I am not refuting it. But even if they are not, taking care of in laws in by no means a fallout of their not earning. If she is not earning I do agree that chunk of housework and child rearing will fall on her because she will have more free time. But where does in laws come in? marriage is between husband and wife. If she is is dependent she is dependent on her husband not her in laws so why should she take care of in laws? Finances is an arrangement between couple…in laws should have no say in it. Nobody should force her to take care of someone just because she is not earning.

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        • “Without earning there is nothing called as being INDEPENDENT”

          We are human beings, whether we earn or not, and hence, we are independent. To say anything to the contrary is inaccurate. And as human beings, whether we earn or not, we deserve to have our opinions, thoughts, and wishes respected equally.

          “How can it be our choice ??”

          You’re forgetting that often times, when two people get married, and one of them decides to not work, that decision is made mutually, as in, the person who continues to work willingly agrees to provide for the person who has decided not to work. By willingly agreeing to provide for someone else, they have also agreed to presumably act like a decent person. When they stop acting like a decent human being by curtailing the happiness of the person they provide for, by using the fact that they provide for someone else as a means of control, then THAT person is the one at fault. Not the person who decided to stop working. How about we start holding the tyrants responsible for someone’s unhappiness, and not the other way around.

          And before someone asks me if I believe that people should provide for other people’s every whim and fancy, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that no one person has the right to embargo another person’s happiness. I am objecting to human selfishness that simply because one person provides for another person, that they are entitled to asking for that other person to behave according to their every wish.

          “tone changes to WHY should we do this .”

          That’s right. Why should they? Why should they do anything that is objectionable to them? Simply because they are not working? I didn’t realize that the balance on my bank account was a necessary condition for having my decisions about what I am willing to do respected. Why should someone be expected to take care of someone else’s parents? Why is the expectation that when someone marries someone, that they have become the live in help? Because they are not working? Does someone need to work in order to have their objections to other people being entitled and making unfair demands of them taken seriously? Do they not have that right, simply because they are a human being, and therefore worthy of respect and having a voice and their opinions given equal value in society? Is your worth as a human only weighed by the paycheck you bring in, and not by the fact that you’re, you know, born as a human being?

          I’ve said this many, many times before. I am not at all disagreeing that financial independence is important, and at times crucial, to allowing someone to make their own decisions. However, just because this is not the case, does not mean that the person who is not financially independence has their humanity and their right to be happy instantly revoked. That is not how that works, and that is the notion that I object to. They are human beings as well. They have every right to be happy, so long as their happiness is not such that harms another human being.

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        • > EARN EQUALLY , WORK EQUALLY

          I’m curious, Rachna, what your solution is to the “problem” of pregnancy? Childbirth? Breastfeeding? Parenting? Caregiving for the sick and elderly? Cooking? Cleaning? Organizing family celebrations and parties?

          There are many types of work in this world, but always “women’s work”, which human society has decided should remain unpaid. But that doesn’t mean women can simply choose not to do it, because all are essential work that must be done.

          Some of these forms of work can’t be shared between men and women; only women must do all the pregnancy and childbirthing and breastfeeding in the world… even though it is unpaid.

          Some of these forms of work can theoretically be shared equally between men and women. But then, you must add one more type of work – the work of convincing men, employers, parents, and the rest of society to agree to let men to share women’s work – to the list, and that is most certainly women’s work alone. Again, unpaid.

          So what is your solution to all this unpaid work that women must do? How does your “WORK EQUALLY, EARN EQUALLY” apply to reality?

          For some of the “unpaid work” problems I listed, I suppose your solution will be easy. “If you choose to become a mother, then it’s your own damn fault, you should have known better”, eh? If so, you will be marginalizing and oppressing mothers MORE than they already are. Think again.

          For the other “unpaid work” problems I listed, like for instance, the problem of only women having to do the unpaid work of convincing men and all of society to let men share “women’s work”, your solution will not be as easy as blaming the victim. You can’t just say “if you choose to be born as a woman, then it’s your own damn fault, you should have known better.”

          No, at some point, you are going to have to deepen your thinking, and confront the actual problems. Women don’t happily choose to be slaves (that’s what people who do so much unpaid work are called), women are forced to choose it, which means it’s not a choice at all.

          When I was younger, I too blamed home makers and stay-at-home mothers for their own troubles. I held them responsible for giving up their independence. I too thought that if someone doesn’t earn money then they don’t deserve to complain about anything.

          But I grew out of such idiotic misconceptions long before I hit adulthood, because my eyes were opened to all the essential unpaid work women end up doing, because I saw the millions of ways in which society and the world conspires deliberately to FORCE women to become dependent and at the complete mercy of their husbands… and then blames the women themselves for it.

          It’s time you opened your eyes and grew up too. You’re old enough to be on the internet, you’re old enough to stop talking such nonsense.

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        • @Nandini,

          This work of convincing companies and men to share equal workload of unpaid between the sexes is an essential one, even more so than cooking and cleaning. I don’t agree at all that women must just give in and do all the household work themselves.

          I think the focus must shift from giving women the right to stay at home and be dependent to ensure that they are given adequate opportunities to be able to take care of themselves. It must shift from screaming about giving women different treatment to men sharing the workload.

          As for pregnancy and childbirth, once a child is born, a father can equally contribute but usually doesn’t. This hard work of convincing companies to provide paternal leave for this purpose is essential for women’s rights to flourish in any given country.

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        • @It’s time you opened your eyes and grew up too. You’re old enough to be on the internet, you’re old enough to stop talking such nonsense.
          Nandni
          How do you know how old I am ? When you write words like “stop talking nonsense ” some how i wonder how much net etiquette you lack or have . But that is your prerogative to chose words and address someone unknown on a public platform

          BUT
          What is this post all about ? The dilemma of young girl who is saying “All my dreams have gone out of the window. Now all I got to learn is how to serve my in laws. What will I do with a such a life?”

          What solution has your reply offered to her ? That BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN SHE HAS TO @ Childbirth? Breastfeeding? Parenting? Caregiving for the sick and elderly? Cooking? Cleaning? Organizing family celebrations and parties? DO ALL THIS .
          She is not intrested in doing all this and wants to be independent.
          Now how can she be independent to be able to CHOSE what she wants and not what nature { child bearing , breast feeding } or society { care giving to sick and elderly , cooking and cleaning etc } wants .

          She can have the right to chose if she is not financially dependent on her parents and if she uses her financial independence to empower her mind to chose what is good for her .
          Once she is earning and then after a gap of few years if she comes across someone who she would like to marry she can put in her terms as well ” earn equally , work equally ” and settle down with that person .
          But again if she goes in a for a big fat indian wedding where parents money is used to fetch a good earning groom and dowry is given and kanyadaan is done she herself is choosing to go into a conditioned society .

          Its not about married woman versus earning woman , its about being INDEPENDENT which is possible only if you are totally independent . Read Fems reply as well

          And last but not the least
          Solutions are there but once a woman decides she is made to do certain things then no solutions will happen. This girl A kaur wants to know how she can avoid this and MY SOLUTION IS START EARNING and be financially independent and the world is yours to chose

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        • @ Fem and @ Rachna,

          Basic human rights, such as the right not to do slave labor and the right not to be married off against your wishes, is contingent on financial independence?

          Do you think every moral in the world can be reduced to contract law and money? This is not the case. Some ideas must be supported even when it benefits a financially dependent person, just because that idea is morally right and the opposite is morally wrong. Your human rights should not depend on whether you are rich enough to buy them!

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        • @Nandini,

          You are claiming that it’s okay for women not to be independent. We have already been down that road and the results are here for all to see. I cannot condone a viewpoint that claims that it’s okay for women to sit at home because she ought to be taken care of. It’s not a choice. No one is saying that anyone who is not financially independent must be taken advantage of, but invariably, that is what happens in the real world, no matter how much you hate it.

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        • @ Fem,

          Rachna has explicitly said that this 18 yr old letter writer must become financially independent in order to be able to refuse marriage against her will.

          And though you haven’t said this, the thing that troubles me about your comments is that you, just like patriarchy always does, focus exclusively on women and women’s choices when women are being victimised.

          If instead of a financially dependent girl being forced into marriage this had been a scantily dressed girl being raped, would your logic hold up? “Anyone who is scantily dressed will be attracting unwanted attention and rapists, that is what happens in the real world no matter how much you hate it”?

          Stop blaming the victim! YOU FOCUSING ON TELLING WOMEN NOT TO BE FINANCIALLY DEPENDENT ALLOWS PEOPLE TO USE FINANCIAL DEPENDENCE AS AN EXCUSE TO OPPRESS WOMEN. Just like people focusing on what rape victims wear allows people to use women’s clothing as an excuse to rape them.

          Furher, WOMEN BEING FINANCIALLY DEPENDENT IS NOT A MORAL ISSUE because nobody is financially dependent of their own free will. But you keep on blaming women for becoming financially dependent as if women are lazy irresponsible creatures who voluntarily choose this state of affairs. That’s victim blaming again. You might as well blame black people for having remained slaves for centuries – just like it was not easy for black people to break out of slavery it is not easy for women to become financially independent.

          Start yelling at the right people and start criticizing the root cause of injustice instead of focusing on the actions of the victims. Otherwise you are just supporting patriarchy.

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        • @ Nandini,

          Stop yelling at me if you want to have a discussion. So your advice to the LW is to wait and convince her parents to treat her better? Good luck with that. I have nothing more to say.

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  4. After going thru ur post, I was thinking if a women wants to achieve high goals in life and considering end of life by serving inlaws (though she will serve her parents happily) and having children then who the hell is forcing her to marry?

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    • @ anurag

      Yes, who the hell is forcing her to marry. I agree,

      Please do humanity a favour – women marrying with hidden propagandas/sinister motives (only to falsely accuse their husbands or/and their parents later, for crimes they didn’t commit and then cry foul) should stay away because who knows what lies under that facade before marriage.

      And, let’s not talk about ‘what about men with sinister motives’ for a moment since we already have discussed that umpteen times here.

      Why would the question of the ‘serving’ the in-laws arise?

      It’s mutual and simply not one-sided. (Some people can disagree, it’s fine if they want to)
      However If that is a problem too, then such married women can gladly accept assistance/service and not reciprocate but at least don’t try to bar their husbands from loving their parents.

      Moreover, there may be some women (I am not talking about the LW here) who have been raised to regularly throw tantrums and their parents put up with such daughters because of their fondness, she shouldn’t have any such unreasonable expectations from her husband and his parents.

      She can’t bring that master-slave relationship wherein her parents rush to keep up to all her whims & fancies to her marriage.

      That’s the other side of the coin which needs to be seen.

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    • @ anurag : I hope you realize that it’s not up to you or me to tell women who they should or should not “serve”. Just because she might want to “serve her parents happily” does not mean that she should give her in-laws even the slightest bit of respect that they did not themselves earn with her. The very fact that the word “serve” is used only for women in the context of a marriage should tell you that the LW’s fears are very much justified.

      @ Saurabh : Really? Women marrying with “hidden propagandas / sinister motives”? Women who have been “raised to regularly throw tantrums”? Women bringing the “master-slave” relationship to a marriage? I’m sorry…I don’t where to begin with this kind of scaremongering tactics based on using loaded terms by manipulating some people’s random fears about women. But I’m sure the LW found your comment very helpful. If, in case, she does have the misfortune to be oppressed after her marriage, she now knows exactly how the oppression will be justified.

      Also, serving the in-laws is mutual and not one-sided ? I must have missed the memo that day.

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      • Seriously, so it’s only men who know how to manipulate, raised to throw tantrums, torment others and there can’t be women who do that stuff.
        Well, there are people who can’t allow themselves to be fooled by such lies because when we take such an unreasonable position.

        Yes, you certainly seemed to have missed out on a lot.

        You speak out of your experiences, so do I (& several other of my acquaintances).

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        • “Seriously, so it’s only men who know how to manipulate, raised to throw tantrums, torment others and there can’t be women who do that stuff.”

          No one is stating that women never do those things.

          The reason why it’s much more highlighted when men do these things is because when men manipulate, throw tantrums, and torment others such as their wives, what they are doing is propping up a culture that constantly permits men to do such things and get away with it. Men often do these things when they do not get what they want because they have, by and large, been raised by a culture that tells them they are entitled to anything and everything they desire, even at the expense of how others feel, simply because they are men. Men are raised to believe that others, especially women, must be in servitude towards them and their desires at all costs.

          Going back to your original comment, perhaps women do marry with sinister motives. But tell me, how many men have expected that women should give up their jobs and move according to their desire? How many men expect that women should cook for them, clean for them, and raise their children while they don’t have to raise a single finger. How many men expect that a girl’s family should give expensive “gifts” to them, upon marriage? How many men believe that they are entitled to expect their wives to take care of their parents, even if she doesn’t want to? Men overwhelmingly marry with all of these motives, don’t they? Comparatively, the number of women who get married with those “sinister motives” you speak of, is much, much lower, and only happens regularly in TV shows.

          As for “women throwing tantrums”, let me ask you again. How many men, when their wives do not cook for them, complain to their friends and family that they are not being properly taken care of in the home? How many men, when the women in their workplace get promotions, complain that it was done only because they were women and not because they were talented? How many men, when their wives refuse to give up their jobs and careers for the sake of marriage, complain that women are “selfish” and “not family oriented”? How many men, when they feel that women have become too vocal, too talkative about their subjugation, complain that their side is never listened to, that traditions are dead, and that they feel like their opinion is not respected, simply because girls have the daring to speak out against such demands and expectations?

          You talk of women being “raised with fondness” and their parents allowing them to get away with it. What about the men whose mothers have constantly cooked, cleaned, and picked up after them, to the point where they are completely unequipped to take care of themselves, to the point where they throw large and loud temper tantrums when their wives refuse to do such things for them?

          How many men have their parents rush in to keep up with all their whims and fancies by attempting to disrespect and subjugate their daughter-in-law so that she falls in line with their expectations?

          When you switch the genders, you do not get a small paltry percentage of the male population. What you get is the society you live in today.

          And that is why the focus is not on you, and the focus is on women. When you speak of women who throw temper tantrums, you speak of perhaps, at maximum, 5% of the female population. When you switch the genders, what you get is the majority of the male population. Nearly every woman you will speak to in life has had these demands made of her by a man. But you’re sitting here complaining about the two or three women you know in your life who behave the way you’ve described.

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  5. I can honestly echo these sentiments. I’m sure that marriage, if done for the correct reasons, is a wonderful and lovely thing. However, there seems to be a time in a girl’s life where every single other aspect about here–her studies, her career, her accomplishments–are completely cast aside and rendered as less important and less worthy than marriage. And to me, that’s absolutely ridiculous. We work our whole lives for those things. We put in our blood, tears and souls into making something of ourselves, to being successful. It’s really disheartening to have all that effort and work undermined and thrown out the window for the sake of marriage. Marriage is just ONE thing in a girls life. It is not the be all and end all.

    And then, after marriage, all the questions about a woman’s accomplishments are stopped. Nobody ever asks married women about their promotions, or about what they are doing newly in their work, or how much more they are continuing to accomplish. After marriage, the talk turns to children. “How are the kids going?” “How are they growing up?” “Are they doing fine?” People have got to realize that women, even the ones who are stay at home mothers or homemakers, are not wholly defined by their husband and children. They are people in their own right, with their own hobbies, and many many more definitions and facets than simply “wife” and “mother”.

    Anyway, I would advise you not to give up hope. You’re only eighteen. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you to do anything, and everything you can possibly imagine. Do the things that you love to do, and never let go of your dreams, no matter how much people expect you to for the sake of others. As for all the training to “serve your in-laws”, I’ve found that after you burn about your sixth (square) chappathi in a row, they generally give up on you.🙂

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    • Quote:
      As for all the training to “serve your in-laws”, I’ve found that after you burn about your sixth (square) chappathi in a row, they generally give up on you.🙂
      Unquote:

      Sorry for digressing a little.

      A square chapaati tastes as good as a round one.
      II deliberately make them just for variety and to break the monotony.
      The wife of course frowns but I tell her, never mind, I will eat them.
      For good measure I also make triangular chapaatis.
      For paraanthaas I make a round one, spread the mashed aaloo, over lower half and fold the upper half over the lower half and come up with a nice semicircular “D” shaped aloo paraantha.

      My puris are PERFECTLY round.
      How do I manage that?
      Easy.
      Roll out a really large one one the kitchen counter top of any random irregular shape.
      Take a Horlikcks/Bourvita bottle lid and use it like a rubber stamp to cut out perfectly round puries and then lift them off deftly.Long nails in one finger can help lifting them off the counter table.

      It’s fast. It’s fun. Kids love them.

      Regards
      GV

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    • They are people in their own right, with their own hobbies, and many many more definitions and facets than simply “wife” and “mother”.

      I AGREE
      but please explain how this non earning people plan to spend for their hobbies and daily needs if they dont take money that is earned by their parents or husband or in latter years by sons
      what is their financial security to be on their own
      the whole issue what financial freedom means gets diverted by such comments because none has financial security plan

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      • The original intent of my comment was to say that simply because a person is not financially independent, does not mean that she should be treated as anything less than a human being. Just because she is not financially independent, does not mean that she is a slave, or a chattel, or a person to whom anyone can make any wild demand and expect it to be fulfilled, simply because they are financially dependent upon a person.

        You cannot use a person’s financial dependency on you to make them into a slave to your every whim and fancy.

        LW, just because is not financially independent, should not have her human rights violated simply because she is dependent upon her parents.

        Financial independency is not, and never should be a prerequisite for someone to be considered a human being and for them to not have their basic human rights violated. No one should have to qualify their humanity by having their own job and spending money in order to be treated like an equal. They should be treated with respect, dignity and equality, because they are human, and not for anything less.

        As for a person spending for their hobbies while being dependent on someone else–why not? What right does someone have to impede upon someone’s happiness by controlling every minute decision of their life such as their hobbies, simply because the money comes from them? What right does someone have to impede upon a person’s mobility to go where they wish because the money comes from them? Should we not expect better of humanity? Should we not expect better from people, and teach them that they are not allowed to abuse the power that they have over someone?

        I’m not saying that financial independence is not necessary, or that it is not important, or that it is not helpful, or any of those things. It is all of those things, and it is very important. But if a person is not financially independent, it does not mean that the person they depend on has the right or the authority to use that position to purposefully make someone else unhappy.

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        • I think you are making good points – theoretically. But the world does not work that way. If you want to retain your autonomy, you need to have money of your own. If you are going to spend someone else’s money, they have the right to have a say in how it is spent. I certainly would question if someone was spending my money on things I completely disapprove of in principle. Your ideas all look good on paper, but the fact remains that if the LW does not earn, she will be forced into a marriage and spend her time cooking for the husband and his family. Sad, but true. So I think the focus is in the wrong place. It is better to encourage her to be independent instead of insisting that everyone should treat her right even if she isn’t independent. It’s not going to happen.

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        • There are many problems.

          1 – It’s not her money.

          2 – Unless her husband had an equal opportunity to be a SAHD, it’s not an equal decision.

          3 – This is not conducive in the long-run for women’s rights, because unless women are held responsible, they will not be given responsibility.

          4 – Depending on someone for money can be really stressful, especially if you are in a financially bad place.

          5 – If the husband wills the money away or if he goes bankrupt with stupid projects, 100% of all assets would be zero, and in case of divorce, 50% of all assets would still be zero, And then, please tell me who is going to employ this woman?

          6 – In real life, if you happen to have control freak parents or spouse, having some financial independence is a big deal.

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        • I totally agree with Fem & also can understand your take on this. One wouldn’t want their hard earned money to be spent without their agreement on how much allowance can be made & what can be bought with that money.This doesn’t mean the spouse gets treated lesser or like a slave or whatever…Just that one cannot buy ‘anything’ that one wants.Like if the spouse has to move to a different house or get an own vehicle and such…It is not about human rights or dignity, it is about the provision of resources- which needn’t always involve basic rights/necessities.I believe marriage does not promise anything & everything to the other spouse- Only give & take can balance it (-like sharing of responsibilities +work, i mean.If both husband and wife share household work, it is also fair that they share the financial responsibilities)….If he/she would be earning, he/she wouldn’t need approval for every penny spent. This equation can vary couple to couple. There are people like “Anything for you”, there are also people like “My money, my rules”. Hobbies & creative interests are personal and no one should object to it but they can be developed even by being financially independent right? Hobbies are expensive too.Practically, nothing can be done without money.IMHO, personal freedom,is also dependent on financial independence.

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        • I’ll reply to both your comments in one go, I don’t want to take up too much space.🙂

          “I think you are making good points – theoretically. But the world does not work that way.”

          It has to! How else will oppression be eradicated? That is the fight that we’re fighting isn’t it? I’ll use patriarchy here as an example. Women can stand up and take charge of their own lives and say that they are capable and independent as much as they please. But what use is all of that if other people won’t recognize it? It cannot be a theory, it has to become a fact. Otherwise, we’re getting nowhere.

          “So I think the focus is in the wrong place. It is better to encourage her to be independent instead of insisting that everyone should treat her right even if she isn’t independent. It’s not going to happen.”

          By all means, encourage her to be independent. This is not a wrong thing and I am not objecting to this at all, not in the least.

          I object to the part where it is advised that we need to start asking everyone to treat her right, even if she isn’t independent. Guess what? It has to happen. Every woman on this planet is entitled to the basic respect that is afforded to her as a result of her humanity. If we do not hold the people who violate this as accountable, then we are giving permission for them to continue believing these things and practicing them.

          “1 – It’s not her money.”

          If there has been a mutual agreement between two people where one person agrees to provide for the other, and the money has transferred hands, then yes, it is her money. And she can do what she pleases with it.

          “3 – This is not conducive in the long-run for women’s rights, because unless women are held responsible, they will not be given responsibility.”

          Why is there this assumption that simply because a woman chooses (key word: chooses), to become a stay at home mother, or chooses to rely on someone for assistance, that she is not responsible? Responsibility comes in many forms, not all of which take the form of financial independence. I object to this notion that a woman can only be considered as responsible or equal if she proves herself to be those things. Men almost never have to prove themselves responsible, but they are considered equal from the time they are born. Why do women have to jump through all those hoops in order to “prove” themselves capable? Why can’t people just see them as such? Why must women “prove” themselves as capable before their decisions are taken seriously? Why does the LW not get her voice heard until she is independent, has a job, and is sufficiently seen as “worthy”? Men never have these requirements placed upon them. If a man says that he is not ready for marriage, no matter what he is doing in life, people take him at his word and do not force the issue. Why is this not extended towards women?

          “In real life, if you happen to have control freak parents or spouse, having some financial independence is a big deal.”

          I think I have said this about fifty million times already, and my patience is wearing a little thin, so I’ll bold it this time:

          I am not faulting people for being financially independent or saying that people need to be financially independent.

          But why on EARTH is financial independence a requirement to having your control freak parents or spouses not be control freaks?

          Why are we saying, “You have to be financially independent if you don’t want to get married.” to the women, rather than saying, “You cannot control the decisions over your daughter’s life simply because you are paying for her existence.” to her parents?

          And moreover, why is asking this of people who seek to control the choices that women make considered to be “irresponsible”. Why is holding people accountable and asking for those who believe in oppression and misogyny considered to be “playing the victim”?

          This not theoretical. This is not something that is plausible just on paper. If we do not ask people to treat us as human beings, it won’t matter how much we prove to them that we are independent, or responsible, or worthy of such treatment. And if we do not demand respect for every woman, no matter what their financial status is, and demand that their rights and decisions be respected, then we are only fighting for the rights of a few women that we consider “worthy”. And to me, that’s just as bad.

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      • I don’t see what’s wrong with a stay-at-home wife “taking” her husband’s money. Why isn’t this a good financial security plan? In case of his death, all assets go to her; in case of divorce, they split all assets 50-50 and she gets alimony. What’s the problem?

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        • I think u should read a post on this very blog , where IHM has translated a post written in hindi by me on who owns what legally . Sometimes ignorance of law makes a person think the way u are assuming

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        • “I don’t see what’s wrong with a stay-at-home wife “taking” her husband’s money.”

          Neither do I. People often seem to forget that these husbands have consented to getting their money taken. In essence, they are “giving” their money, for their wives’ taking. No woman walks into a marriage and demands that her husband fork over all his cash to her. Rather, marriages that are based on one person providing for another person is done through mutual agreement, and often only after the consent of their provider has been given for that agreement.

          I think people have this image of a woman walking into her husband’s marital home and demanding that he give her all his credit cards without his consent. That’s not how it works. Women in marriages like that depend on their husbands because their husbands agree to provide for them. But funnily enough, nobody ever talks about how these husbands agree to give money, but only about the wife being “entitled” enough to take it.

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        • And further, everybody thinks these wives just sit around enjoying their life watching saas-bahu serials while the husband slogs away to satisfy her every demand. Obviously nobody can name a single wife who actually does this, because women in India are an overworked and literally enslaved class.

          A wife is being groomed from birth to perform unpaid work for her husband and his family, and is often forced to do it even if she grows up knowing better and wanting better. Now along come these so-called feminists hating on the very women who are being victimised, blaming them for not having a financial plan! Women just can’t win!

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  6. I get it. Sometimes, we have to make a decision to live our own life no matter what others say. As you have realised, log kya kahengey does not stop at your marriage alone. It will go on and on. We have to break the cycle.

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  7. you are only 18 – why such lack of hope? My parents wanted me married at 16. I finally married at 26 – with a PG degree and a secure job. Sure it involves fighting with the folks who brought you up, but despondence is an option you give to urself. Its not a destiny written for u at 18. Hang in there, and please take responsibility for your actions – and inaction.

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  8. Her parents cannot physically force her into marriage.If she is below 18 then it is against the law and even if she is above 18 this is human right violation.Forcing someone into marriage is illegal.Parents can be sued for this.Girl, know your rights.Your family cannot force you into marriage.If you are being harassed then please go and file an FIR.

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  9. A ,

    I believe in my turf , my rules . when I was staying at my parents home , I would adhere to what they approve of . My mom objected to my wearing without sleeves and i told her when I will live on my own , i will roam right in front of you in strapless .. I do that till date when they visit, sometimes to prove the point and she just laughs about it . And dad who normally speaks very loudly is not allowed to speak loud in my house , Its a fair negotiation , You want to be what you want to be , go get your own place and feed yourself . You cannot come here and tell me why i should bear your choices or be uncomfortable with your life style . I would’t bring home a bf then , they cannot object to them now🙂
    having said that ,it doesn’t mean they could have married me off with anyone just because i was staying with them or I can mis treat them when they stay with me nowadays . Basic respect in relationship and towards any human being stays and no on should be forced to lead a life that they don’t want to but at the same time sense of false entitlement is also not right .Most parents have it and some kids as well . I will not move my ass , will provide no monetary or house help , but still need my pocket money to be increased by 20 % every year and I will do this till I am 40 is unacceptable .. just as it is unacceptable when someone at the age of 50 says I have a bahu at home and a son who is earning , I will sit watching TV and doing satsang all day and they should take care of everything from earning to managing kitchen.

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    • Your point about “it doesn’t mean they could have married me off with anyone just because i was staying with them” was exactly what I meant and was saying. Simply because one person provides for another person, does not mean that they can curtail their human rights as they so wish. Just because you are providing for them, doesn’t mean that you can force them to do your bidding in unfair ways. With those who are still legally minors, I will say that to a certain extent, parents do have to exert control over them. But again, even minors have inalienable human rights. You cannot violate someone’s rights with the excuse that you are providing for them.

      As for “your home, your turf”, with the case of married women, these women share their home with the person who provides for them. So isn’t it their home, and hence, their turf also? Shouldn’t they have the right to live as they please in the home that they are supposedly co-owners of? A lot of the time, these women are constantly subject to the rules of their husband who provides for them. So what’s up with that? Is that correct, to say that because the husband is providing for them, that it is not their home and not their turf?

      Also, it would be prudent to mention at this point that a lot of the time, those who financially provide for someone often bar that person from having a job and any earnings in their own right, because they want to continue to exert that control over them. That is a violation of someone’s human rights to do as they please. Is this correct, or something that is condoned, simply because “it’s my house, and hence my turf, and my money puts food in your mouth, so you should do what I tell you.”? This is what I’m objecting to. Just because you’re not financially dependent doesn’t automatically equal to having all your rights dismantled and that you have to live at the constant whims and fancies of someone else. Financial independence helps with a lot of things, but it shouldn’t be a prerequisite for being treated like a human.

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        • I did my best to keep the pronouns in my reply as gender neutral as possible. I used those terms because I was specifically discussing a single case of a married couple, where the husband provides for the wife. Otherwise, in the rest of my comment, if you notice, I don’t use gendered terms, because like you said, I object to the notion that it’s always the husband who provides for the wife.

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      • I provided that examples so that we don’t get into this cycle of arguments .

        I would say , My parent’s house is not mine , nor is my husband’s unless I have put in equal money or effort in building it . Its this entitlement that I object to .Parents need to take care of you till you are 18 and that’s it , beyond that you either comply or make your own life .I do not agree to an adult living off parents money and home and not complying to their rules , you can negotiate if you have skills but you cannot say I am an adult and I will do as I please and you as my parents have to foot the bill. Of course in places like India , its difficult to pack your bags at 18 and move out ,but not impossible . Just because you get married should not entitle you to all rights in husband’s house. As they say ” you have to earn independence “.
        I often joke about that I need a house husband or at least a care taker for me and house . A friend of mine recently asked me if she can stay with me and take care of house , she just need a place t stay and food to eat .. I asked her ” Can you cook and clean and wash at least . ” she said No ,, why would I keep you then ? you can’t share rent , you cant share responsibilities why should you stay with me then ?? same question for my ex BF . I don’t need his money , he can’t do anything else .better stay at your own house and meet when we can . Why equation changes when its husband wife and not friends or flat mates . Why in some cases men treat wive’s like slaves and in some cases wive’s are entitled to half the share without sharing iota of work .

        My objection is opposite to your , Financial independence is the first step to independence , otherwise you are not entitled to lot of things . In no way I justify violation of human rights or controlling other people.

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        • “Its this entitlement that I object to .”

          Why do people automatically assume that one is entitled if they are dependent on someone else? I’m not disagreeing that financial independence is important. I am saying that there are circumstances when it is not a possibility, and that it should not be a necessity for someone to be treated with kindness and dignity.

          For instance, as a student, I’m not always able to pay my student fees out of my own pocket. I’m legally an adult where I live. So sometimes, I ask my parents to fund for what I cannot pay for. Would you say that it’s okay for my parents to come knocking on my door, and tell me that I unless I get married, or unless I stop going to eat out, or unless I stop drinking, that they will not pay for me to continue my education and continue living where I am living? I am an adult who can make my own decisions. Should I not expect that this be respected, even if I am at times dependent on my parents? I am not in a position to get a job. My financial dependency is not of my own choosing, but a circumstance of where I am at in life right now. So does this mean I’m entitled?

          For another example, I have a friend who is disabled. His caretakers are his parents. He is in no position to be financially independent on his own. Would you say that because he is a legal adult, that he must go get a job, that his parents must turn him out, and that he should be subjected to their every whim and fancy because he is dependent on them (through no fault of his own)? Is he entitled as well?

          Or yet another example, of a friend whose parents point blank refuse to allow her to get a job, because they claim that they can “provide for whatever she needs”. They use her financial dependency on them to control her living circumstances and the decisions that she can make. She cannot move out, because she has no means to do so. But she cannot get a job, because her parents are controlling to the point where they track her every move. Is she entitled as well?

          The idea that simply because a person is financially dependent, that they are entitled, or that they are the harbringers of their own suffering and dehumanization has got to go. THAT is what I object to. What right does a person have to control somebody happiness and life, simply because they are providing for them? They should learn to not abuse that position of power, shouldn’t they? Why do we make it permissable for such people to do what they do, but instead, place blame on those who suffer as a result as though it’s their fault?

          ” Just because you get married should not entitle you to all rights in husband’s house”

          So it’s okay for a spouse to control what their wife or husband watches on TV, the food they eat, the clothes they wear, whom they see, the music they listen to, etc. etc., simply because the house is not in the wife’s name, and therefore it is not their property, and hence they are not allowed to make any of those decisions?

          Instead, shouldn’t we teach whoever is the provider that it is not alright to curtail someone’s freedom and humanity like that, just because they are providing for them? That such abuse of power is wrong, and that people shouldn’t be subjected to that?

          “In no way I justify violation of human rights or controlling other people.”

          Good, we are in agreement then.

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        • @A “Would you say that it’s okay for my parents to come knocking on my door, and tell me that I unless I get married, or unless I stop going to eat out, or unless I stop drinking, that they will not pay for me to continue my education and continue living where I am living?”

          First, this position is of your own choosing, and not forced upon you. And yes, it would be well within their rights. It would spoil your relationship and they would be doing something not very nice, but it is their right to decide that they don’t want you to spend their money on your drinks and outside food. They are helping you out, but it’s not something you are automatically entitled to. Excuse me for the personal comment, but you gave it as an example, so I used it.

          I am not sure what your disabled friend’s disability is, but if it precludes his working at all, then I agree with your points. But most people aren’t disabled and are perfectly capable of doing some work or the other. Many disabled people can work too.

          Your third example is the real problem in our society. But if your friend is educated, can’t she look out for jobs? Would it put her life in danger if she started to disobey her parents? This would not be true for many girls who accept such restrictions. I had 1000 rupees in my account when I moved to another city because I really needed to get away from the forced marriage business. I had the education and I had friends, so I managed. I was also old enough and experienced enough to make my way. I understand most women are not so lucky, but are they even trying? I am not victim blaming here at all, but personally, I feel that unless victims start doing something about their situation, their lot doesn’t change.

          I know too many women who feel that the main responsibility for earning money should come from the husband. This is wrong, and this is the entitlement that some people are referring to. For example, this woman I knew was an investment consultant and the moment she got married, she dumped her job and started nagging her husband to earn more money than he does. A second woman I know got married and left her job and then told her husband she would ‘help’ him out until he managed to get on his feet. But she wanted to stay home after that. And a third woman has made it clear to her husband that it is his responsibility to buy a flat for her, whether she chooses to work or not. This is entitlement and this exists. This does not mean these women are not victims, because they are. They are also treated badly because of their own decisions.

          “Instead, shouldn’t we teach whoever is the provider that it is not alright to curtail someone’s freedom and humanity like that, just because they are providing for them?”

          I agree. At the same time, we should also teach people the facts of life and encourage them to be independent.

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        • “At the same time, we should also teach people the facts of life and encourage them to be independent.”

          I have never disagreed with this position. But however, I think that many people ignore the idea of teaching people to be decent human beings who do not have the right to curtail others’ freedom. Yes, it is important for women to take charge and look out for themselves. Yes, it is important for them to have skills that are not solely dependent upon somebody else.

          But at the same time, people often ignore the fact that the rest of humanity needs to be re-educated. While the onus has to remain upon the oppressed group to free themselves, people also need to be held to a higher standard of accountability, no? You are not playing the victim when you point that out. And to me, when people say that, it feels like a huge deflection of responsibility from the people who are the causes of the problem. Yes, women need to stop playing into this mentality. But that can only take the cause forward so far. We have to start holding the rest of the world accountable for making it a safer place for women to make their choices, whatever those choices may be. This isn’t theoretical. It has to happen.

          I can say until I am blue in my face that I am an independent, capable, human being. This is the truth. I can say that that I am capable of saying that I can one day become a CEO. This is also the truth. However, if those in the hiring committee do not believe this, even after I prove this many times over, how is it my fault if I am not hired? How am I the victim here for pointing out that other people have prejudices that are keeping me from succeeding?

          Your comment about, “I am not victim blaming here at all, but personally, I feel that unless victims start doing something about their situation, their lot doesn’t change.” How much can victims do? How much is enough? How much “effort” should they put in before it is deemed acceptable that their humanity, their decisions, and their right to live and breathe freely is recognized? I am not objecting to people becoming independent. The entire premise of my argument has always been that one should not have to “prove” that they are worthy of being considered independent. I should not need to move to another city in order to escape the forced marriage business. My parents should recognize that as a human being, my decision to not get married is one that needs to be respected, no matter what my capabilities are.

          The responsibility has always been on the victim to change themselves to cease their oppression. The sad reality is that this is a two-way street. This is not theoretical. People need to start being better human beings before we can say that oppression is gone. Otherwise, all we’ve done is fight half the war.

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        • “For example, this woman I knew was an investment consultant and the moment she got married, she dumped her job and started nagging her husband to earn more money than he does. A second woman I know got married and left her job and then told her husband she would ‘help’ him out until he managed to get on his feet. But she wanted to stay home after that. And a third woman has made it clear to her husband that it is his responsibility to buy a flat for her, whether she chooses to work or not.”

          It is entitlement if the all of these women married individuals who did not want to provide for them. If it is a mutual agreement between two people, that is agreed upon by both and consented to by the husband, then I am not quite sure that I see where the entitlement is. It is entitlement to demand things of someone, if they haven’t consented to it, just because you expect it.

          Believe it or not, there are actually lots of SAHM mothers and working fathers, and lots of SAHM fathers and working mothers, for whom the arrangement works because it was discussed, and in accordance to everyone’s wishes. One woman I knew wanted to be there for her children. So she had the expectation that the man she married would want to provide for them, and accordingly married that man. How is this entitlement? She made a decision. This was also the scenario with a man I knew as well. He and his partner are married (both are men), and they have an adopted child. He had made the decision that if ever he married and had children, he would want to raise them, and would want to marry a partner who could support them financially. So he did. It was a mutual agreement. Is this entitlement?

          It is entitlement to demand that everyone in the world fall in place according to your wishes, whether they like it or not. I doubt that those women you mentioned would have married men who did not want to provide for them, and then expected that they do, and forced them until they did so. That is entitlement. A mutual agreement between two people, wherein everyone’s wishes are fully respected, is not entitlement. That is something entirely different.

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    • Yeesh. “My house, my rules”… that’s a TERRIBLE justification for controlling what your children do, let alone for controlling what your spouse does. Why does everything have to be about money? Don’t you recognize that relationships can be based on anything else?

      Bringing financial accounting between spouses especially, to the extent that you suggest, is a recipe for an abusive marriage. Gross.

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      • Why does everything have to be about money?
        Because money is required to sustain not the relationship but our own existence literally which means if we have to eat we have to buy roti daal chawal BUY

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        • Rachna, women aren’t lazy. Women are never allowed to get away with doing no work. It’s just that nobody pays women for the work they are forced to do. Why aren’t you askign that women get paid for the work they do, instead of blaming women for not earning money??

          As it stands, you’re just supporting the current unfair system and holding women to unreasonable standards even though women are the oppressed and hindered demographic, while allowing men and the rest of society to get of scot free for their sins.

          Step back. Take a breath. STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM.

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        • where have we blamed woman for not earning money , we are merely saying to understand the word INDEPENDENT the woman has to be financially independent
          In india we dont have a SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM where even those who dont work get an stipulated amount to survive . Till the state provides that one has to earn to survive whether man or woman . For a woman to chose its necessary that she has funds on her hand to move and live independently in case she is unable to make her parents understand that she has no desire to marry and bear children .
          Are you expecting parents to keep feeding their children { man or woman } just because they feel they are INDEPENDENT to live as they like . For basic necessities of life one needs money .

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        • No one is blaming the women here. By saying women need to enter the workforce, one does not automatically start blaming the victim. It is an entire system (women included) which needs to change, and that is what is being pointed out here. It’s a valid viewpoint and something that will help in the long term unlike your views where women can just continue to sit at home and be unindependent.

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        • “It’s a valid viewpoint and something that will help in the long term unlike your views where women can just continue to sit at home and be unindependent.”

          Fem, that’s not what she’s saying. Why should women need to enter the work force in order for them to be treated like human beings? What if a woman does not want to enter the work force? Should that choice not be respected also? Does this woman also not deserve respect?

          Also, it would interest you to know that women do not simply “sit at home”. Women, on average, work harder and longer hours than men do. The key difference is that their work, their efforts, and the things that they do are almost never given any sort of respect. Family rearing, taking care of the home, etc, all of these are things that require hard work and effort that should RIGHTFULLY be compensated for. These are very much real jobs, as real as being a doctor or an engineer. Why do we denigrate these occupations and say that they are worth nothing? And why are the women who occupy these jobs considered to be worthy of less respect and considered to be less responsible than the women who work jobs outside of the home?

          It’s not a valid viewpoint at all. It is a viewpoint that states that women need to behave a certain way before they can be considered worthy of feminism’s respect. This is no better than patriarchy saying that women are only worthy of society’s respect if they behave in certain ways. How about, instead of dictating what women should be doing in order to be treated as humans, we say that all women are human beings who should be respected, regardless of if they are a stay-at-home-mother, or if they’re a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Both women should have their choices respected, and both women should be given autonomy. You shouldn’t need to fit into a certain mold in order to be considered as an equal.

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  10. It seems like men are also feeling the same, most of my male friends want to stay single. They want to remain focused on their carriers, making money and financial independence seems to be more important these days. But being part of rat race, doesn’t necessarily makes one happy.

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    • “But being part of rat race, doesn’t necessarily makes one happy.

      I don’t think it needs saying that marriage is no impediment to financial advancement and making money – not for men anyway, even if we assume the traditional setup. If men are unwilling to marry because of ‘career’, that excuse is probably a cover for something else.
       
      While I can’t speak for all men – from my perspective, I think its the realisation that marriage is not what its cracked up to be. It is an institution that demands a hell lot of sacrifice for men, even though the idea of marriage being a sacrifice for men might not seem evident from a woman’s point of view.

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      • “If men are unwilling to marry because of ‘career’, that excuse is probably a cover for something else.”
        I don’t know whether it is cover for something, my friends are all young in their 20s. Some of them want to have their own home, in which they can live the way they want, without being disturbed by wife, parents, relatives etc. The desire to live in solitude for peace of mind and happiness, is what making marriage undesirable to them. But I believe the lingering hostility in the air, that can’t be denied; is making it impossible for any man to even start a relationship based on love without being subjected to doubts of all sorts.

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    • Being financially independent has nothing to do with being part of the rat race. You can choose to live low profile and still be financially independent. It doesn’t take a fortune to be independent.

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  11. A hard point, but something that you’ll have to eventually come to terms with – Ignore what the society says & do what you think is right. Parents cannot ‘pressurize’ you beyond a point. Uncles and aunties cannot force you into a marriage. There are laws that forbid them and they know that – any escalation will result in your favour.

    At least then, I hope, you’ll stop whining and take full responsibility for your life.

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  12. Dear A Kaur,
    I can totally empathize how you feel.Just remember, for a girl or for anyone to be free, financial freedom is very important.For you to make decisions and lead life on your own terms, you should be able to fend for yourself. DONT stop dreaming, don’t give up.Pursue your education and be passionate about whatever (career) you like/whatever dream you have… Beyond a certain point, no one can stop you from doing what you want- for that, you need to be educated independent.Learn to say ‘no’ if you don’t like something/don’t want something.Don’t be a people pleaser (I dont mean be rude), but in instances where people ask “What will people say? What will people think?” Just dont care….No person’s thinking can change anything for you.It’s your life so just don’t let others tell you how you should live it.Today it can be your parents, tomorrow it can be your husband* and in-laws*. Keep up your spirit high, chase your dreams!
    *not assuming that you will eventually get married, but put those words in case choose to get married at your own will or otherwise by being pressurized by your parents.
    Don’t give up your freedom.Don’t surrender your dreams.
    “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -quote by Anais Nin

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  13. 1) Tell your parents you don’t want to marry now. Simply refuse to marry if the parents propose that you do. They can’t force you in these modern times.

    2) Study hard and do well in the field of your choice. Become financially independent

    3)After you reach your late twenties, review your thoughts and act according to how you feel at that time. You would have 10 more years of experience of life and be better qualified to decide what kind of life you want to lead.
    All the best.
    GV

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  14. In India society plays an important role. Parents get into pressure to get their kids ( irrespective of gender) married by a certain age. It depends on how strong parents can be in resisting that pressure. Most succumb. Children too succumb to parental pressure and finally get married. These days parents are a bit liberal when it comes to children choosing their partners. But God forbid if the partner is not perfect in most parameters.

    In India marriage is for keeps. That makes it difficult for abused wives and husbands to walk out of the abusive marriages because “log kya kahenge?” I’ve seen abused men as well as abused women who do not dare to separate.

    It calls for lots of guts to fight for your rights. Besides being financially independent, one also has to be empowered in the mind, first to be aware, and second to be proactive to change the situation which is causing misery. The right to decide whether one should marry or not cannot be decided by anyone else.

    Freedom has never come easy. Stick to your guns and be ready to face the music. But do not give up.

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  15. Conditioning is how a collective tries to keep individuals ‘in line’. This has always been tried and some people have always stepped out of this line. Now, more and more people do. If these people aren’t in your circle, there are very real stories for us to read about.

    The one critical factor is that these ‘out-of-liners’ didn’t wait for others to do anything for them, they did it for themselves. We are not entitled to have people do anything for us. To me, the most important thing about feminism isn’t asking for equality but taking it for oneself. Who is anyone to tell me how to lead my life? Parents mean well but can’t (and shouldn’t) live life for their kids.

    Do what it takes to make this vision happen for yourself. What you want is yours to make happen. It won’t be easy but it you’re able to settle into what you’d truly like, it will be worth it.

    Good luck! I am rooting for you.

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  16. The question is why should anyone be conditioned to live by what the society demands. The first point I will tell anyone is the society is not going to give you food. Everyone who have been able to live on their aspirations have transcended the norms of the society. Of course they may have faced ridicules. But they also trained to take care of themselves. Suppose if I have a daughter, I am not going to bring her up based on what the normal people do. I won’t even care what the neighbors tell about her. She will get love and I will feed her thoughts in such a way that she is independent, fearless and is in this World to accomplish something extraordinary. Both men and women who made extraordinary achievements, could have faced lots of ridicules in the society. Why can’t one think I could make my daughter as a hardware engineer who competes with men?

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