And they said financial independence will solve all women’s problems for all times.

Desi Girl says:

…And they said financial independence will solve all women’s problems for all times…

We can make women economically independent but not independent of social custodians.


– DG

Why do so many of us believe that married people are easier to have as tenants, children, friends, colleagues and neighbours?

What does ‘squeaky clean background’ indicate? No police records? Morally upright – i.e. never been in a relationship? Teetotallers? Dressed in certain ways?

Do you think unmarried people are seen as either more of a responsibility (for everybody else) or less responsible?

Do you think this is discriminatory?

What is it that makes married men seem safer as tenants/neighbours? And why is single women’s marital status or lifestyle an issue here? What is it that people fear?

Related Posts:

Indian Shaadi Logic – by Prateek Shah

At what point should educated, 21st century women who can think liberally for themselves, take responsibility for themselves…

“A clandestine, and irresponsible, affair may prove dangerous. A city girl learnt it the hard way,”

“Why didn’t these women find life partners by dating?”

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

So what does marriage mean to traditional and conservative Indians?

“Only thing I can can think of now is to take a spoon of boiling oil and put on my cheeks. I will see then who marries a girl with a burnt face”


32 thoughts on “And they said financial independence will solve all women’s problems for all times.

  1. well. having gone house hunting as a group of single working females, we found that people thought that single girls (or guys) are more prone to be ‘irresponsible’….with many ‘bad habits’ like partying, being friends with members of opposite sex, smoking, drinking etc….while apparently married people somehow are extremely ‘moral’.

    Like seriously…the looks we got when we came home ‘late’ after catching the last movie show, or overtime at the office…heaven forbid if a guy came to drop us…..if we had not been so damn thick skinned….and so determined to not entertain such nonsense..that would have made it very difficult for us….needless to say…we were asked to leave in 6 months as we ‘came home suspiciously late’ and good girls from good families apparently do not… most of my unmarried friends (males or females) were constantly asked to vacate their houses…


  2. ….. and then one wonders why the divorce rate is going up. When such criteria are the factors “encouraging” young people to get married, what else does one expect? Wonder when people are going to get some sense.

    One of the problems people mention in renting out flats to singles is that they do not take care of the flat, maintain it well, are noisy …… Over generalizations?


  3. Once I rang up an advertised number for an apartment. I mentioned it was for my husband and on further questioning I answered that I would be visiting on weekends. or whenever I found time since I was staying in a different city for the sake of my college going children. The person on the other end outright refused me, saying it would not be rented out to a single people. I said he is not single, but married. No way, he refused me outright. May be I should have offered to show him my marriage certificate? *sarcasm*
    Kerala is very backward in this respect. You have residence associations wanting to know who the visitors are who visit single people. There has been instances when guests visiting single women have been stopped/refused entry.
    In Bangalore, the security guard at MY SON’s apartment (shared with other boys and where women were not allowed to enter) in posh Ulsoor area, was rude to me, even though I told him I had NO intention of going up to his apartment and was only moving towards a shady spot near the gate! Can you imagine?! This happened just two years back.


    • Here is what I had commented in Sapna’s blog

      Indians make strange landlords when they own a flat.
      They don’t like bachelors.
      They don’t like non vegetarians.
      They don’t like pets (dogs/cats)
      They don’t like tenants with beards.
      They don’t like tenants who are in business with irregular income. They prefer tenants with safe “Gorement” jobs or jobs with MNCs.

      And, finally, let us admit this frankly, most Hindu landlords will not accept a Muslim tenant, however good a person he may be.



  4. The creepiness I’ve faced:

    1. We only give house for families (as if we’re dropped from the sky or something)
    2. Muslim?
    3. Mallu?(Apparently mallus use up more water
    4. Party/late nights/drinks/smoking?
    5. Male friends (boyfriends!?)
    6. Single women are bad influences on other nice girls in the building
    7. Bachelors are noisy & disturb hardworking and decent neighbors


  5. When I lived in India, I stayed in a building with about 20 ‘studio’ kind of apartments. It was essentially for men only, but I liked the place and they had a vacancy so the owner rented it out to me. Suffice it to say that there were zero ‘rules’ (since the rest of the tenants were all young working men,and the owner did not live there)
    About a year into this,someone saw my BF leave early in the morning from my room, and told the owner, who promptly assumed we were living together in that room and tried to charge me more for utilities.

    When I explained that he was just visiting, he said that thanks to me they had ‘learnt a lesson and would never rent out to a girl again’. He then gave me notice to vacate.

    This happened inspite of the fact that he never once said a word to all the men who had girlfriends who *actually* slept over every day. The eviction didn’t bother me as I had been planning to give my notice too, but there was an unpleasant showdown when I left.

    P.S Financial independence is a necessary but not sufficient condition to solve women’s empowerment problems.


  6. I have le out my flat in mumbai to single men, single women, families with ko.ids, without and one family with kids + parents ( god only knows how they fit in that shoe box) andyway, i have seen trouble with every one. the married no kids were the cleanest followed by the girls only , lthen the family and the joint family ( too many people perhaps)
    I’ve never lived nearby , but the society in which the flat is has an association who frowned on me renting it to singles. but then i’m quite abrupt and absent. low tolerance to BS. I’ve told anyone who has an issue can please buy the flat form me for the going rate ( all white money please) and then rent it out to whomever they deem fit… so far no takers ha 🙂 🙂


  7. Interesting comments. This brings back memories so weird to explain.
    Long back when i was single and was looking for an apartment in chandigarh, i was subject of discussion before and after i rented out place for myself. My work required me to work from 4 in evening till early morning hours which added much needed masala to whole story. Some questions i was frequently asked particularly by FEMALES,
    – why do you work
    – you are young and beautiful you will find a husband who will provide for you so why do you work
    – why do your parents allow you to work and specially in night
    – what kind of work requires working in night with eyes wide open
    – why are you staying away from family
    – who all will visit you and what frequency

    Financial independence allows women to go out and stay alone, but deep rooted sentiments of people are not changed through money or through education (trust me all of the above questions were from educated elite women)

    At the same time my muslim friend had issues finding place one for being Muslim other for eating non veg (halal) and not jatka.

    After i got married also stories did not end, since i have not changed my name one landlord actually wanted to see the marriage certificate since he thought there was something fishy!!!!!!!

    Having stayed alone in a city working in odd hours brought out the side of society which was far from my imagination and was defied by logic. One women actually refused to lend me place since she thought i earn more than her son and would be a bad influence. Some refused since i would be bad influence for either tamed daughters or daughters in law!!!!!!!!!


    • Doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t. Work and the question is “you are young and beautiful you will find a husband who will provide for you so why do you work”? Stay at home and you are asked “why do you stay at home? Why can’t you go out and work? It is so wrong to expect your husband to earn while you sit at home and do nothing / be lazy!”


  8. here we go, get set and go people .. thumbs DOWN comment coming up 🙂

    I have a small two bedroom house semi detached that I rent out , NOW it is easier to make a comment saying single earning women need to struggle for a house too.. BUT believe me I have seen it all.
    without going into details , I think some landlords who have had problems shud comment here to, I have now given the house to a young couple and I am finally earning some money , this is 5 years of experience… I would not rent it to single women or MEN… I am ready to leave the house vacant for months , NO PROBLEMS..


    • I think you do need to go into the details.
      Why no single women or men?
      Do they not pay rent on time? Are they too loud? Do they commit murders in the house?


    • It’s your choice, but my advice try not to have one bad experience color he rest. I have terrible experiences with singles too and the same goes for families with kids. But I also had the best experience with a group of single girls and another bachelor .


      • I had taken you advice sir, the couple who are on rent have just extended their contract for another year .. and I am happy with them I have only had, half a dozen tenants so far , I have peace of mind now .. the last time I went to the house to have a look at the condition was months ago and it is not even on my mind , that’s one less hassle in life.


      • right first of all let me say , I am not very popular here, but then that is probably I say the truth or what is on my mind.. and generally people don’t like the truth as they cant face it , so they take the EASY way out THUMBS DOWN.. pathetic …

        Anyway first of all that house is mine, I give it to who I want to..

        you asked for some reasons .. right I will give you a couple and that is from my experience , what I have had to face in the last 5 years , since i bought the house.. I felt that they would not keep the house in the condition that was given to them, whereas a couple when they take it , it is sort on long term , they probably want to have the house for a couple of years like the current couple want to .. and if you living for longer you tend to look after the place where you are living..

        When I gave it to Men (twice) .. I found my loft full of alcohol bottles, neighbours complaining of loud noise , inspite of repeated requests , To make matter worse One of the guy actually threatened me with dire consequences , since they have paid me the rent I got no business to say anything to them, just because they had friends in college etc etc, Now that is a different story that I have a better and Bigger group then any gang in the city.. But still to face this in my own house is something I don’t want

        Ladies :- I had more than 2 experiences 🙂 .. first of all I am very passionate about my garden , I had bought the house to live in , it has a good size garden and I don’t find it funny to have grass grown 2 to 3 Feet tall, and all filled with WEED, dead flowers , when I have spent my hard earned money.. IT says in the CONTRACT that the garden will be WELL MAINTAINED.. if you have paid rent that does not give you the right to ignore it.

        Second experience I had was again complaints from neighbours of MEN visiting at odd hours, Now I am no one to ask who the men are but I am sure

        (All the thumbs down PEOPLE .. AH HOY… can you tell me please .. come on be brave and reply) .. One partner or one boy friend maybe TWO.. but a constant line , suggests something else .. so that was the reason i had to get it vacated ..

        one of the biggest reason with single lady is , that I feel that it comes with a responsibility, I am not able to explain this , but I felt that I have to look after them a couple of times the parents have called me up asking the well being because of my job and all and MAYBE i am weak I am not ready to take up that responsibility.
        I have my own problems to look after ..

        SO these are the FEW reasons that I thought of not giving to singles, who ever they are.

        Moreover over time this couple has become friends and we are quiet close now, I have left my house keys with them when i am away and so have they (well I always have the duplicate) but you know what I mean.. Now the Lady is expecting and I am equally excited for them as I would for my friends ..


        • I agree that you shouldn’t rent to people who have no respect for someone else’s property. i completely understand the garden but too. A family with a small child i rented too destroyed the walls. scribbling , drawing etc., i know can’t control a child much but atlest keep the living room clean, repaint etc., nada.. and the kitchen.. wit the large family, yuck the oily muck and disgusting stuff on the shelves.
          I think this is a risk with all renters. we have this mentality that if it’s not ours ( our own) we can thrash it. For the last few tenants i took before pictures,.and baring regular usage i made it clear i expect them to leave it in the state i gave it.
          anyway as for the girls having men over, it is no one’s business but there’s if they have 1 boyfriend or 10. and i would have told the parents of those girls who called to take a hike and learn to trust and respect their adult daughters.


        • While I do agree that your tenants (regardless of whether they were men or women) should have maintained your house and garden, I really don’t care (or think it is in any landlord’s interest) to worry about how many men frequent the flat and at what hours.

          I am sure you’ve rented it out to people knowing fully well what their professional backgrounds are, so why would you be so quick to assume that something is wrong if a different man visits everyday? As a woman who has a lot of male friends, I would take offence to being the object of any landlord’s/(or anyone else’s) assumptions. Also, would it then be right to say that you have no experience of any other roles men play in women’s lives except that of a partner or boyfriend? What about brothers, colleagues, cousins and friends? And who decides how many boyfriends are ‘enough’?

          It’s also better understood by landlords- sooner than later- that while the house may be yours, the life that they live inside the threshold of your door, to a very large extent, is theirs to live.

          When you rent out a house to someone, you may have ownership of the physical space, and you have the right to ask people to respect it. However, you do not have the right- as a landlord or a human being- to dictate how they live their life. That is something that you have to respect too.


        • I can not only assume buy say it 100% to be true..when the lady is arrested by police in a midnight raid..

          So thank you very much. I don’t assume ..i say as it is. I am sure if you read my previous comments etc.. you will find I am not like others who speak or write things which they assume..

          Well the contact they signed is to keep the property In shape.. i have had a tenant who has our showroom for years and pays 8000 rs. While he himself has given his shop on rent for one lakh plus..

          Moreover the house I rented is in uk.. not india so here we landlord do have some rights unlike india..

          Thank you.


        • @MR

          Yeah I can ask them to take a hike , but here abroad you fall in that circle of fellow indian, etc etc .. that is the biggest problem and when the parent knows about my job than that becomes more responsible.. So now when i asked the agents I told them no singles .. easier for me ..

          yeah its not my business if she had one or 10.. but I got the house as investment and when there is a black mark on the property others wont rent, it , so I got to think of that too. and these days with everything on the internet I cant afford to have that.

          Thankfully it wont now 🙂


  9. I hav lived with grp of girls in Pune…tht city is quite tolerant regarding bachlore tenants….never faced issues in finding houses and we had erratic job shedule and boyfriends staying over was a normal phenomenon for us.We hardly interacted with neighbours so nosy neighbours never bothered us.My landlord was just intrested in getting rent on time which we gave without fail.Pune has a large student and young IT professional crowd.They r ready to pay high rents and they easily change accomodation.So most landlords turn blind eye to tradition.Its all about money now….they know they will lose out money if they refuse to keep bachelors. Infact I know several ppl who exclusively want single girls or men as renters.


  10. I think unmarried people are seen as more wild and people will also wonder about their sexuality. I have noticed that I have been treated differently as an unmarried girl than as a married girl. As an unmarried girl I was seen as lustful, only for the absence of sindoor on my forehead. As a married woman I was treated as an honorable person, when in reality I never changed, only people’s perception of me did. A lot of people are threatened by unmarried adults in India, I have found.


  11. I think we are a very controlling, very prejudiced and very discriminatory society when it comes to letting out our homes (and in so many other ways).

    I have a very close Muslim friend who has been denied tenancy only because of her faith. She is a successful lawyer, an independent woman and is married to a Hindu man, but they have been denied houses in three complexes only because she is Muslim. I have another male friend who isn’t allowed to bring women over at all- whether they are friends or sisters is irrelevant.

    Honestly, we are so creative in thinking of all the criteria we have against tenants. Faith. Eating habits. Gender. Marital status. Sexual preferences. Hairstyle. We are creating little ghettos with our fascist tendencies, and I really do believe I’m right in saying that this is a distressing and very dangerous trend.

    I understand landlords have problems, and I understand that they would like their homes to be treated with respect- they have a right to this. What they don’t have a right to do is inflict their narrow personal preferences and their prejudiced mindsets on people.

    Basics like keeping a flat clean, making a rented house a home, and maintaining a sense of balance and cleanliness is an individual consideration. People who don’t respect their neighbours, who don’t turn the decibels down after 11 pm and who park their cars in the wrong spots don’t do so because of their religious or sexual preference. They do it because they’re just difficult people, and haven’t been brought up to respect the greater good.

    To tar tenants or indeed people in general with one brush because they are single, female, gay or Muslim is the most bigoted view one could possibly take.


  12. Pingback: An email: “Advice for an ageing old maid?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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