Does Patriarchy combined with Patrilocality (the wife relocating to the husband’s parents’/ancestors’ home) and Patrilineal-ity (women not being permitted to have, or to pass on, names or identity of their own) create a happy society?
Would such a society survive if its members were permitted to reject its norms? What prevents the members from rejecting these norms or diktats? Indoctrination, risk to life, violence, boycott or stigma. Or maybe they believe they benefit from the system?
Sharing an email.
Hello indian homemaker,
I am not writing an email about my troubles right now – it’s just that I have been thinking VERY DEEPLY about something for many years now.
Having been born and brought up in India and having observed how Indian families behave, the gender stereotype, social hierarchy, gender based discrimination (in the name of culture and ‘sanskaar’) and everything that goes on in india …………… I think we are all too familiar about what goes on in India even before a girl child is born and after her birth and later when she gets married in majority of households (thankfully not all households) :- so I do not need to write much about that.
My parents were very liberal /modern/progressive in their outlook, so I guess that made me question things that others just considered to be a norm.
My mother is a gynaecologist :- so I have seen how indian families react when a girl child is born and how they react when a guy child is born. I mean to say I got the front row seat thousands of times to what I call extreme injustice bestowed upon the girl child even before she is born.
How the faces of the parents and in laws would drop the minute they hear its a girl child as if they have come to a funeral.
And their reaction when told a guy child is born :- they would be as joyous as if someone handed them Diwali, Holi, Lohdi, Eid, Christmas everything in one package on the same day.
Tonnes of sweets would be distributed, and what not.
I have lived in the West for several years. Two years in the USA and approximately 3 years in the UK.
I have observed the life of the Americans and the British up close.
It has seriously made me wonder :- how much BETTER it is, for a girl, to be born in a WESTERN family.
I feel they have their own demons they fight.
Their culture is imperfect too.
But then again, possibly sooooo much better than ours.
I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.
There would be tooooo many things that I may forget to write, so readers help me out! Please add what I forgot.
Indian Homemaker and other readers please give me your opinion on what you feel on this topic :-
1) Parents are as joyous if not more on getting the news that a girl is about to be born as joyous they would be on knowing that a boy child is about to be born. even the in laws without any stigma would genuinely be delighted and start buying gifts for the little princess who’s yet to arrive in this world.
2) Of course nobody would even think about female infanticide after she is born. She would be welcome in this world with tonnes of gifts and showered with love and blessings from both parents and both sets of grandparents.
3) Her upbringing would not be sacrificed for preferential treatment of her brothers. Equal amount of effort would be put into her education, all round development (soccer practice, gym classes, swimming lessons), equal nutrition, medical care. Basically not raised with any bias:- born an equal, raised an equal :- in my opinion that leads to a well balanced healthy self respecting adult with good self esteem.
4) No pressure to move in with in laws. Let’s face it we have all heard /seen stories where the daughter in law is crying her eyes out cause of whatever dynamics that go on in indian joint families.
5) If she reports sexual crimes:- its not a matter of bringing shame to the family.
6) No honor killing.
7) It is a generally accepted idea that she has a life of her own, mind of her own. She does not need to do X, Y, Z to please third cousins’ uncles’ nieces’ somebody.
The log kya kahenge crap is not the fuel that destroys her happiness.
8) She is not confined/ forced to do all the household chores if she chooses to rather all her focus and energy on her education/ career/ hobby/ anything that makes her happy and feel fulfilled in life.
9) Most partners (boyfriends/ husbands) help with household chores.
10) Most partners help with child upbringing responsibilities.
11) She is not told by her in laws after marriage, whether or not she can go to her maika, or for how long.
12) Her parents do not have to feel pressurised about dowry or marriage expenses.
13) If she is stuck in an unhappy marriage, she does not have to think about log kya kahenge when making a decision in favour of her happiness and sanity .
14) A Second Marriage is not a taboo, and she does not have to wonder about society thinking doosri shaadi ho payegi ki nahin / baatein banegi/ etc .
15) She is under no pressure to bear male offspring.
16) She can help her parents in any and every manner that she desires after her marriage (with no in laws telling her they are more important than her own parents).
I think the list goes on n on …….
Basically I am getting drawn to the western culture even with the flaws of the western culture. I am getting more and more convinced that it is million times better than our Indian culture IF YOU ARE A FEMALE.
If you are a guy, then it would not come as a shock to me that you admire/love Indian culture.
One thing I used to notice in the matrimonial ads :- most of the biodatas would say the guy and his family love Indian traditions, culture, blah blah .
It also makes me wonder, was this what Indian culture was from the beginning…….or slowly the people for whom it was advantageous to mould it to be in their favour (ladke wale)…. slowly they kept twisting things in their favour and on n on and on n on and it has come to become a very difficult culture for women to live in.
Yes, Indian Homemaker, me and other readers of this blog are working everyday to change it.
But how much mental energy is drained fighting everyday for our rights. how much peace of mind is lost everyday fighting for our rights.
How many sleepless nights feeling furious, troubled by in laws issues, blah blah blah .
I too am fighting just like indian homemaker regarding the injustice.
But nevertheless it makes me wonder:- how much easier/ better life could be if one is just born in an equal society!!
Readers and indian home maker: do tell me your thoughts and please add more points to the list I started making. I am sure there are wayyyy too many points that belong in that list!