“I have met a lot of Indian guys who say their parents have done a lot for them so they can’t leave them now…”

” …So what about the girls? Haven’t their parents done a lot for them?”

 

Sharing an email from ‘A born feminist’. 

Dear IHM,

I hope you will post my letter. I would love to read all the responses that I get from the readers and I think it will help me a lot in making my decisions.

I think I am a born feminist. From the time I was a child I was highly ambitious and demanded equality. I somehow had a natural knack of
observing and analysing inequality between men and women in my  surroundings. To my great amazement and frustration this was treated
as something ” normal” by everyone.

I remember seeing when I was 7 or 8, I used to visit my Bua’s (dad’s older sister) place and saw that my bhabhi (cousin’s wife) would finish her job, come home, take a quick shower and help my bua in the kitchen. She then sat down with her kid to help with the homework and stuff like that. I remember her being busy from morning till night. On the other hand, my cousin who had his own business and worked from home most of the time didn’t have to do anything once he was done with his job. He came home and ordered for tea while watching TV. This was considered to be completely normal by everyone.

I think here I got the first taste of my growing feminism when I asked my mother why didn’t my cousin help his wife in the kitchen? Why didn’t she get to rest and watch her favourite shows? What made him special? I was amazed that no one questioned it. I was a little disappointed in my parents for not questioning the inequality. However, I was young and soon forgot all
about it.

As I grew older, I noticed a lot of things around me which just didn’t feel right to me. My mum comes from a small town and I remember spending the best times there with my cousins during my summer holidays. I also noticed all my female cousins helping their mums with housework while my male cousins worked in their shops and hung out with their friends. But atleast my male cousins had weekends off. The town was apparently not safe for young women after 8 pm when all the young boys would go out in their bikes in a big group and create a ruckus all over town. This made me mad because I was not allowed to go out because parents did not have control over their 20 something years old boys.

When I was 14 my mum suddenly decided that it was time for me to learn
how to cook and let me tell you it didn’t go down well with me. There were more tears and clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen than actual cooking. If only my mother had said that cooking was a skill that every individual should have rather than something that a girl needs to start learning when she hits puberty in order to prepare her for marriage. I have no regrets not learning and learnt all on my own when I realised I needed to cook for my own survival as a freshman in a new country.

When I was 25 and decided that I was now ready to settle down with a “Nice, Indian boy” one of my criteria was that I didn’t want to live with In-laws.

I am now 28 and let me tell you, all of the men that I have met over these three years have been utterly shocked by me not willing to live with in-laws. I think they consider me self centered and selfish. Here are the reasons why I am justified in not wanting to live with in-laws.

1) I am expected to not live with my parents so how do the boy’s
parents become more special?
2) I have no intentions of living with my parents either after marriage
3) I am ready to give my 100% to my parents and in-laws when they need
me (emotional support, during illness or disability) and I will be more than happy for them to live with us.
4) I want my freedom with my husband.  I have no issues with them visiting us whenever they like.
5) I have no expectations from my parents or my in-laws to help me out
in any way.
6) I want to create a lifestyle with my husband where we create the
way we want to eat, sleep, travel, decorate our house, watch TV, raise
our kids, use our money
7) I don’t expect my husband to be better in any way. I want us to work
together, save together, make plans together, cook and clean together.
I am ready to work hard with him. [link]

So how do the above seven points make me selfish in any way? I have met a lot of Indian guys who say their parents have done a lot for them so they can’t leave them now. So what about the girls? Haven’t their parents done a lot for them? Doesn’t it then, make the girl selfish to leave her parents who have done so much for her and live with a new family she
hardly knows just for her own happiness?

I clearly don’t understand the Indian marriage system and the rules of
patriarchy. I find them very archaic and suffocating. Even if my in
laws are uber modern and supercool why should I have to live with
them? Why cant my ubercool in laws just visit my new family with my
husband over the weekend? I wouldn’t want to live with my MIL even if
she was Sonia Gandhi or Hema Malini. Does it make me selfish?

Related Posts:

A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

Is your relationship healthy?

“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.”

“…it’s better if he is NOT a family guy. Extra points to the one who hates kids.”

“I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”

“I thought it would indeed be wonderful to live with my in-laws.”

An email: Salary of the prospective groom must be 3-6 times more than the salary of the prospective bride.

An email: “My in laws want me to stay here with them while my husband works in another city.”

An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

An email: What worries me is, will we be able to find guys who have a similar thinking process?

“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

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हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

Roughly translates to: Our daughter has good values and despite becoming a minister, she remains the footwear of her husband’s feet. 

Indian paraya dhan’s parents who could view them as role models and be proud of them – continue to justify and make excuses for the paraya dhan’s success. It would seem it is against Indian sanskaar for Indian daughters in law and wives (or married Indian daughters) to be seen as ‘successful’.

For such parents, Happily married daughters, who are ‘pampered’ or ‘approved of’ by the damaad ji (son in law) remain the role models and continue to be viewed as the ultimate status symbols. The society celebrates their position (equivalent to the footwear of their spouse?) with rituals, which are generally forbidden to single, divorced or widowed women (who don’t have any feet to place themselves at?)

For this mindset, success in single women is tolerated because they have sacrificed the joys of serving their Lord and Master (and his extended family) for worldly success. Women in abusive marriages are frequently told they are better off than single women who have no feet, to serve as Juttees. The same idea expects women to choose between having a family or having a career. 

What could make a parent of an Indian daughter say their paraya dhan’s rightful position is at the bottom of the family hierarchy? Do they believe this?

1. Or, are they being tactful and they feel this would make it easier for the Pati Parmeshwar to accept the paon ki juttee’s success? 

2. Maybe it is a reminder to other women in the community – so that  they don’t get any ideas about equality, success, human rights or empowerment? 

3. Maybe it is an assurance to the neighbours’ third cousins (or anybody else who might judge and comment) that they have given her good sanskaar, and ‘the juttee’ would not attempt to view herself as human?

It seems many parents of Indian daughters believe that they do not have the option of loving and respecting their daughters.

Is it surprising then that Haryana parents avoid having daughters?

Is it possible to change anything until this mindset is challenged and changed?   – IHM

Shared by Abhishek Oza.

http://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/state/punjab-and-haryana/other-cities-of-punjab/haryana/kavita-jain-takes-oath-as-new-haryana-cabinet-minister/articleshow/44952390.cms

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

Kavita Jain’s husband Rajeev is facing charges for unaccounted income. Yet Kavita’s mother Kamlesh is proud that Kavita always behaves like Rajeev’s “paanv ki jooti” (literally: footwear).ie. She finds her place below her hubby’s feet, even after being a minister. For Kamlesh, this is a sign of Kavita’s “sankaar”.
Kamlesh is neither ashamed of a son-in-law like Rajeev, nor proud of a minister daughter. She is just proud that some “sanskaar” forces a minister to be a “paanv ki jooti” (in Kamlesh’s own words.), and feels more so that such a “sanskaar” is shown by her own daughter!
– By Abhishek Oza.
Related Posts:

An email: ‘My MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters.’

Sharing an email. Is it possible for something like this to happen without atleast some amount of social and cultural sanction? 

Also, do you think such Patriarchal controls could survive without women being pressurised to Get Married and Stay Married?

Dear IHM,

I wrote to you a couple of months ago [July 4, 2014] about how my in laws were not talking to me, because I wanted to visit my mother for my father’s death ceremony. Since then, my MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters and that we are arrogant girls who think we are “birlas”. She pulled in my sister too, claiming that she had had an abortion (probably a miscarriage… I do not know… she never wanted to share). I do not have a biological child, and I wonder what she was hinting at. I am really hurt and am at odds. How do I react/ what do I do? Can you please publish this on the forum?

And, this message in a comment from July 4, 2014,

My story is similar… I had emailed IHM, but I guess I could not wait. I have been married to a very nice guy for the past seven years. We recently adopted a nine-month old baby and life has been just awesome. I lost my father quite some time ago and was really attached to him. A couple of days ago, my mother told me his death ceremony was coming up. So I planned to go to my place ( in another city, where my in-laws live too ). My in-laws stay on another end of the city, so I would not be able to visit them this time, with the baby in tow. They created a huge scene, saying I was disrespectful and that I was not following the “rites”. I really want to spend time with my mother this time, especially on a day that makes her sad, but my in-laws are acting as if I am committing a crime. Even earlier, my MIL has complained about the one or two days I would spend with my mother when we visited them. She has threatened suicide now and has even told my husband that he’s going to my mother’s place (he’s there only to drop me off, after that, he’s back for he’s busy with work) because my mother lent us money towards construction of our new home. The husband is very angry at this accusation (we have supported them through their joblessness/ money crises) and refuses to speak to them. I don’t want to either, for I really want to be with my family this time and that too after nearly 4 years.

Am I justified in not wanting to apologise (I wasn’t rude to them, I just told them plainly what I wanted to do)

 

Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai?

Tradition, family values and custom are often used to enforce something (convenient for the enforcer) that  seems to defy logic, fair play or common sense. 

Which is why we hear things like, “Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai”, which roughly translates to – After marriage, a girl’s priorities change in favour of her sasural or marital home.

And since many get away with this sort of abuse, we have a Skewed Gender Ratio.

Because, only when Indian parents are in a position to view their daughters as their own children (and not as future daughters in law) would they be able to Want, Welcome and Enjoy having and bringing up their girl children. [link].

Sharing an email. 

Dear Indian homemaker,

I need help from you and other readers. If you can kindly share my story.
Here’s what’s bothering me soooooooo much:-
I am a working woman and my mother in law is driving me CRAZY.
According to my mother in law after my marriage I am not allowed to do any “seva/support” towards my widow mother. It’s all my brother’s responsibility.
I have to do EVERYTHING for my in laws now on since I am married.
I have to wake up at the time my mother in law thinks is appropriate, do things around the house (household chores), am not allowed to talk back, am not allowed to have a mind of my own, get loads of gold from my mom .
What I am simply not able to understand is :- why am I not allowed to do seva for my mother? After all it’s my mother who has given me life and not my in laws.
My mother never discriminated between her son and daughter. Not in any manner. Gave both the same love, educational opportunities, food, clothing, basically everything.
My logic is this:- it’s my mother who gave me life, raised me, spent crores on my education to make me a successful career woman, basically from A TO Z did EVERYTHING a parent can do and beyond for me . While within 3 weeks of marriage if my mother demands unconditional devotion towards herself:- the way I see it :- she has not done ANYTHING for me; she has not given me life, has not raised me, spent crores on my education.
I am NOT against doing ” seva” for my in laws.
But I do NOT understand why it is only my brother’s responsibility to look after my widow mother in her old age, and age related diseases.
I need to point out that my brother lives in USA . While my mother and mother in law both live in the same city in India.

Common sense is telling me my mother in law is the most selfish person on the planet and I am hating her more and more by the day.

Even to meet my mother; my mother in law expects a three step process :-
1) my mother has to take permission from my mother in law.
2) I have to take permission from my mother in law. (though with all the bitterness that is growing inside me, u feel like calling her monster in law and not mother in law).
3) I have to take permission from my husband in order to see my mother.
I am a cosmopolitan girl with a very liberal progressive outlook.
All this seems like total and absolute gibberish to me. Her views. Her expectations. Her demands. They do not make any sense to me .
Cause it totally defies all logic and common sense.

But I am still writing this letter to you in DESPERATION cause I am losing my peace of mind and sanity trying to understand the monster in law. I swear I will go insane if I keep all that’s going on bottled up inside me. According to my viewpoint :- am more than willing to give my in laws respect, care, live, understanding, help in their old age. Support in any and every manner.

But why would I not do the same for my mother?
Agreed I am married.
But my mother is not dead to me.
My gratitude towards her is not dead.
Why is it only my brothers responsibility to look after her? Also him living in USA for professional reasons makes it harder for him to be there for her as much as I can as both my MAIKA and sasuraal are here in the same city.
Basically my monster in law keeps repeating the same thing over and over again.

She says :-” Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai”.

I have not heard this saying before. But monster in law keeps repeating that over and over and over again .
My question to you is, is that a commonly heard saying?
And even if it is :- I do not understand the LOGIC behind it . Cause within 3 weeks of marriage, REALISTICALLY speaking I will not be more in love with my in laws than my own mother. [link] And isn’t the person we love more going to be our priority?
Isn’t the person we have MOST gratitude towards going to be our priority??
Also I need to add :- isn’t the gravity of the situation going to determine who our priority will be??
My mother has to undergo a MAJOR life threatening operation. What I am trying to say it’s a surgery in which there are chances of mortality (death) and morbidity.
While my monster in law only needs me in sasuraal to cook. I agree my monster in law also does not keep good health . But there are other male members in the family. Why can’t they help her in the cooking or hire a maid or get tiffin service? They have enough money, by the way, to be able to afford tiffin or maid .

But my evil monster in law keeps saying :- it’s my brother’s responsibility .

My brother cannot come to India cause his infant child is not well at all.
There’s way too much more I need to write; but honestly I am totally going crazy with all this stress.
Am simply not able to understand why it is only my brother’s responsibility?
Why do I need permission from anyone to see my own mother?

Why should sasuraal be priority whilst the gratitude lies towards MAIKA ??

What is the logic behind it all???
It does not make any sense to me???
Please please help.
I want honest opinion of yours and of readers.
Also I think it’s worth mentioning that the monster in law who keeps giving me all these lectures about sasuraal being priority :- she herself never stayed in her sasuraal, lived in a nuclear family :-  did not allow her husband to send money home to her husband’s parents in village, did not care for her in laws in their old age, did not allow her husband’s siblings to come stay with them while they desperately needed to!
So am I right to conclude that she is a super selfish woman who only thinks about what’s convenient for her?
And even if she’s the kind of person who believes that I am ” parayee” for my mother now that I am married :- then why expect gold from my mother for sasuraal if I am parayee now? My monster in law says :- ” ladki to jab bhi Maike jaati hai, Kuch na Kuch leke hi aati hai apne yahaan se gold ka”.
Regards,
An Anonymous DIL
Related Posts :

How can forced marriages be prevented when the person being married off is dependent on the people forcing them to be married off?

How can forced marriages be prevented when the person being married off is dependent on the people forcing them to be ‘married off’?

What can make it easier for those who are being forced to get married, to fight back these pressures? 

Sharing an email.

‘But I am scared that I would be forced to marry and by force. I mean it.’

Hi,

I just turned 26 last week. I worked for three years in an IT company. I have my GMAT scheduled in a week. I am being pestered for marriage at my home. The whole day I hear my mother cribbing about me to relatives. They have got this whole squad behind my ass. My only aim right now is to get admitted to a reputed college in us for MBA. Its got so ugly at home that there is no emotional support for my career. That’s fine I never needed that but there is so much of negativity at this time. I have postponed my exam twice already. This time I know I am going to give it and apply soon. But I am scared that I would be forced to marry and by force I mean it. I have no clue how far the emotional blackmail would go it has already crossed most of its limits. They keep saying stuff that they paid for my education brought me up etc etc but if I had known that the cost would be living my whole life their way even if you don’t like it I would have never grown up lol. Times like this … I really feel like giving up. But I had so many dreams and I try so hard to fill myself with positivity. I try too hard. I can’t find words to pen down that would explain how troubled n lonely I feel right now. I don’t even believe in arranged marriage.

Should I start meeting guys so that at least I land in US?

Related Posts:

“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”

“I am betraying my parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage, people are talking, younger sisters not getting married.”

Why is abuse by parents taken so lightly by Indians?

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?

“These people saw my jeans. What they did not see was how much I fought everyday to assert my right to wear them.”

Sharing an email from The Vamp.

Dear IHM,

I am writing to you today, just to say thanks.

I wrote to you because I find a kindred spirit in you; reading this blog has saved my happiness and life.

Earlier, being a part of the patriarchal system as a DIL married into an orthodox household, I was upset without realizing what exactly I was upset for. Like I said earlier, I unsuccessfully tried to kill myself. Although I had been suffering from these suicidal bouts ever since I was in my pre-teens, the depression exacerbated itself after marriage when things got more real.

In your blog, I found some rationale for a lot of thoughts that were going on in my mind.

My parents were the best. Still, why was it that many of their thoughts upset me?

Why was I angry with so many people who were fat-shaming me? After all it happened to everyone else.

Why was I constantly pushed by a need to prove myself the best everywhere and constantly worrying about it, be it academically or professionally?

Why was it an ultimate feat for me to pass two SSC exams, one CLRI interview, and one public service commission exam, topping two university entrance tests, but without being really interested in them?

Why did I want to slap everyone who had ridiculed me for a totally unrelated thing (my being fat) with my academic and professional achievement?

Why did I dress badly and eschew feminine appearance just to prove myself strong, although I really loved delicate, flimsy and hot pink ‘feminine’ clothing?

Why did I take pride in being a tomboy in my teens even though I was quite the opposite internally?

Why was I trying to show off my skill with patriarchal beliefs, customs and traditions after marriage?

But even when being lauded for these efforts, why was I still unhappy and suicidal?

Though counseling helped me calm my mind, your blog answered a lot of these questions.

Today, I am still the same introvert. I am still what you’d call overweight, although pretty. But, I am at peace. I am no poster child for feminism. But, I have found my own comfort zone between conservativeness and liberation. At least I know what liberation looks like.

The most important change, however is, regardless of my beliefs, I am willing to push myself for others’ rights to live the way they want, whether or not I agree with it. I may not wear minis, but I will advocate someone else’s rights to wear them.

Some people say feminism goes too far. They think I have everything anyone would want so what is this whole fuss about? It seems that a woman being a postgraduate, wearing jeans and going to work in a corporate company represent the pinnacle of gender equality. It is not. As in my case, taking things for granted can kill you.

These people saw my post graduation. They never noticed that had I been less inhibited about myself living as a woman with limits, I would have done a doctoral in Scotland. They would have noticed that the very reason I chose Science was not because it was my passion, or I was good at it, or I was intelligent (the latter two, I am, truth be told), but because that was what my brother did and other peers considered smart. I chose this stream because I was ashamed of choosing English literature or History, lest I be looked down upon and teased further for being so benign. I abandoned my real passion and chose a stream that was considered more ‘male oriented’ and therefore, ‘intelligent’.

These people saw my jeans. What they did not see was how much I fought everyday to assert my right to wear them, no matter what others thought. What nobody saw was me walking into a clothing store to get a jeans my size (I’m not that big; I wear 34/36) and the shopkeepers giggling at me as if I had asked for a condom (which too isn’t fair). They did not notice how self-conscious I felt about my not so slim figure and always had reservations walking out, which my parents tried to fix by advising me “not to wear jeans as you don’t have the figure for it”. Nobody cared about all the subtle jibes and stares I was subject to, not because I looked bad in jeans (which is totally false as I know I am pretty and fashionable), but because I defied all those invisible rules set for overweight women, overweight fair women, overweight fair women from a conservative community, overweight fair women from a conservative community who wanted to look ‘respectable’. Finally, nobody stood by me when my in-laws passed diktats against jeans, citing that “married girls must look married” and that “you are not a college student anymore” and “what willchaar log think”. Nobody knew that the very act of wearing jeans was a battle I fought every day.

These people saw me working. They never noticed the compromises I made by moving in to my husband’s home after marriage, thus putting me 10 km further from my workplace. They never cared that after ‘work’, I had a second shift at home. They thought I had a maid so I must be having fun at home because after all that’s what working women do; neglect the home and go mad about their career. They never cared that my in laws have an eating/sleeping schedule which just does not support the wavelength of an average corporate employee. They watched me go to movies with my newlywed husband but never noticed me falling asleep on his shoulder due to severe exhaustion.

Feminists told me to get a divorce. Patriarchs told me to suck it up. Feminists said my husband was a jerk. Patriarchs said I was a loser. Everyone said I and my husband were idiots. But, nobody helped me live. Nobody helped US be. Everyone said we ought not to have married, but nobody guided us, two confused people and victims of Indian culture, on the right path to go about.

Your balanced views, on the other hand, helped me find that right zone where I was happy, being a non-confrontational person, without giving up on my rights. For once, I knew what, considering my strengths and weaknesses, I had to do to protect my rights. Firstly, I got to know what my rights were. With this strength, I got about making my life happy. It’s still in progress, but I can say I and my husband have both found that place where we are happy and respect each other’s differences. We only have to walk up there.

Thank you IHM, for all this.

Regards

Vamp

And then in response to my email:

Yes, of course I am at this stand today because I staunchly believe in feminism, that is to say, the textbook definition of feminism. I don’t however, support radicalism or militancy that many people do in the name of feminism.

 

 

“When a girl is wearing shorts, everything about her changes, even the way she sits changes!”

Here’s a video I intend to watch with Brat Three this afternoon. Please do watch.

What does it mean to do something “like a girl”?

Video shared by Vidya Vasudevan. 

Ages ago a TV show had this celebrity advising Ms India aspirants not to wear shorts, because, she said something like,

“When a girl is wearing shorts, everything about her changes, even the way she sits changes! She stops being graceful. When a girl wears shorts, she stops behaving like a girl. When a girl wears a skirt, she is graceful. She sits like a girl, she moves like a girl.”

So, what exactly is sitting or moving like a girl?

I think it might mean moving or sitting,

1. In ways that are said to be found attractive (mainly by men, but also by others who are judging).

2. In ways that ensure that nobody’s egos are hurt – so, non threatening, submissive, timid, shy, in need of help, non assertive, vulnerable, physically weak, ‘modest’ etc.

And in India, ways that are always ‘respectful’.

3. I think being ‘#likeagirl’ also includes slower movements and some amount of incompetence or clumsiness with some ‘manly tasks’. ‘Manly tasks’ like running, throwing a ball, laughing aloud, calling out to someone.

4. And somehow being like a girl is also used as an insult, even for girls.

Related Posts:

How do you celebrate yourself?
That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.
“Here’s what I would tell my future/potential daughter, if I ever have one.”
Sending a girl a text that says “good morning beautiful” can change her attitude for the whole day.
What makes a woman look beautiful?
My Sins Against Gender Stereotypes.
You don’t owe prettiness to anyone.
Give A Girl A Ball…

“My dad tells me not to wear skimpy outfit when he is around”

My dad tells me not to wear skimpy outfit when he is around – Link shared by Swarup. 

According to this article, this dad, ‘has enough time to be a doting father and also gives his little girl thoughtful advices’ 

And all the comments agree.

‘which dad will not give this advice…!?’

And some assume the ‘thoughtful advices’ are meant to protect the daughter from crimes.

he is a genuine daughter loving father who wants to see her reason with the truth. Under Indian conditions and under Indian policing infrastructure, judicial system, he is giving her the wisest advise through himself.

This belief is so strong – it is almost as if there has been serious  research, and as if statistics have found that traditional clothing protects women from assaults. Why do we continue to believe and propagate such Rape Myths?

This mindset takes the focus away from the horror of the crime – it makes serious crimes a matter of shame, honor, clothing, timing, social life etc. And that make it difficult for victims to report sexual crimes.

Also consider – if a young woman has been ‘advised’ against wearing ‘skimpy’ clothes, isn’t there a risk that she might blame herself [link] if she is sexually harassed? What if the blaming and shaming silences her?

Yes, Indian conditions are frightening – but lies and myths have not protected women through the centuries. Why don’t we see that this doesn’t work?

Confidence and Awareness are more realistic tools. Equally (or more) empowering is having a Voice.

Also, the understanding that like any other crime, this crime too can only be controlled by putting the fear of the consequences in the mind of the criminal.

I wonder if instead of risking silencing with shame about clothing (or anything else) maybe a doting father would assure his support and love – no matter what.

That alone would be a step towards two of the three most powerful tools, towards Confidence and  towards having a Voice.

Related Posts:

“But, my only motive in life has been my daughter’s happiness which is now in your hands. I beg you, please keep her happy”

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

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

Difficult daughters, easy sons?

What do you think of this mother, and this family?

“This man is openly threatening his daughter and is instigating others to burn alive their daughters.”

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

Rape and clothing: How it’s all dressed up – A guest post by Praveen Talwar.

“This is how we all do it. We find a corner in the house, where the others can’t see, and then dry them.”

“Here’s what I would tell my future/potential daughter, if I ever have one.”

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

Did the posters threatening acid attacks on women wearing jeans surprise you?

Dad knifes girl for speaking to lover

“I know my dad is short tempered but he was never this aggressive until my relatives started making him over think about my marriage.”

Indian parents seem to continue to believe that their children’s (only girl children’s) self reliance and happiness is less important than creating a good impression on the relatives/neighbours/peer group/colleagues. 

All the news about women being harassed, abused and even killed by in laws/spouse doesn’t seem to make some Indian parents question the idea of Get Married Stay Married as the only goal for some of their children (daughters). 

Such is the power of established norms. 

And short temper continues to be seen as a rational reason for inexcusable behaviour – with those who can be forced to tolerate it.

Hi IHM,

I am in a fix and i thought of contacting you and your readers for help.

I am a  24 year old girl working in an IT firm in Mumbai  for the past one year. My family lives in another town. I graduated In B.E and got campus selected in the same firm. Due to some issues I was given my joining date after two years. In the meantime I was working in another firm.

My father started asking me to get married when I was 22. I always wanted to work and be independent because i never wanted to be a housewife. He brought one proposal and when I said no to him, he didn’t talk to me for a while and started creating issues to his health. Some how people made him understand and he was alright after a while.

After about a few months he again brought a proposal and asked me to consider and when I said ‘No’ again, he asked me to never come back home and we didn’t talk for a month or so. I am someone who is scared of my Dad because he is a very short tempered and controlling kind of guy. I have always been a good daughter and have never had any different views from my father. So I always try to give in rather than fighting with him. I always made it clear to him that my career was the most important thing in my life and until and unless am stable, I won’t be getting married. This somehow my dad is not very comfortable with. He wants me to get married ASAP because apparently if a say no to a guy, Thats an insult to him. I have tried making him understand but he never gets it and whatever discussion or point I throw in, he ends up humiliating me and never listens to me. He is a man who you cannot win an argument with.

Now he brought a proposal again and when I said it clear that this marriage stuff is not something I want right now, he again started scolding me and told me that he will meet the guy and his parents and if i say no, he will make sure to make me resign the company am working right now. I am a career oriented girl and I would never sacrifice my job for anything, and my dad is aware of this. I told him that I want to focus of my job and be independent and then we can talk about this stuff. I just joined my company and it will take a minimum 2-3 years for me have a decent money and savings. But he did not get this and said that he will make sure I don’t work in the firm if I create a scene or say no to the guy.

I love my parents and I know my dad is short tempered but he was never this aggressive until my relatives started making him over think about my marriage. My parents will be forcibly making me meet the guy in about two weeks without my approval and the more I talk to parents about this, the more they become aggressive towards me. What do I do.. please help me.. I don’t wanna fight with my dad, I know he loves me but this marriage bullshit of him is something I cannot stand.

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

What Khaps need is a strictly implemented law against Forced Marriages.

“My husband says he can’t go against his family. My father says study but not without your FIL’s permission.”

Dad knifes girl for speaking to lover

What kind of society tolerates the idea that a 23 year old is not capable of knowing what and who makes her happy, and somehow another adult – and this is someone who is capable of inflicting grievous violence, is seen to have ‘her best interest’ (or anybody’s best interest) in mind? This violent person also finds sympathisers – including in the TOI comment section.

What makes so many non violent and seemingly civilised people excuse violence under certain circumstances? Is it just that we are so used to seeing violence being justified that we see it as a normal (or practical) method of coping with disagreements?

We also know that more than half of young Indians believe it’s okay for a man to beat his wife. [53% Indian boys and 57% Indian girls believe it’s okay for a husband to beat his wife]

And we tolerate educated fathers openly threatening their daughters with honor killing. (link)

It seems many Indians believe:

1. It is necessary to control other (mainly young) people’s personal lives, happiness and liberties to save Honor, ‘Society’, Patriarchy, the Institution of Marriage etc (i.e. the status quo).

2. Use of violence to save culture, religion, tradition, family values, honor etc has to be tolerated.

On Wednesday, Suma had gone to her father’s weaving unit in Dommasandra where she also works. Chinnaswamy came to meet her defying Reddy. When he saw them talking, an enraged Reddy ru8sh8ed at Chinnaswamy, chopper in hand. A shocked Suma tried to save her lover but received the brunt of her father’s fury. She received grievous blows from the weapon. 

And here is a comment explaining the circumstances under which violence is tolerable to many Indians.

It could also be because this Chinnaswamy is a vagrant, a no good, unemployed married looser with bad hygiene. We don’t know.. if this “lover boy” is indeed unemployed and belongs to an underprivileged family he could very well be seducing the girl in the hope to one day usurp the business and improve his financial conditions… The hatred that Ashok Reddy displayed against the lover boy could be because he wanted to protect his innocent, gullible daughter against the well thought out, sinister plans of Chinnaswamy.

A Question: Is there any way this can change without media campaigns creating awareness about women being ‘people’, capable and deserving of making their own decisions –  right and wrong, and learning, unlearning and moving on?

Related Posts:

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.