A regular Indian girl shared this link.
Was this advice ever helpful – if yes, then who did it help?
Did this advice empower those who it was given to (or enforced upon)? Or did it give some other people the power to control the lives and choices of those who were expected to follow this advice?
Did it in anyway ensure they were treated like equal humans, with basic human rights and dignities?
Was this advice practical, fair and logical?
Does such advice create the impression that marriage is something that happens to women alone?
Advice #1: Family is your topmost priority
In the 50s, family was the most important part of a person’s life. Couples, especially women, were taught to prioritise family over career. This was perhaps one aspect that kept families together.
IHM: In the 50s and even today, our ‘family values’ ensure that many women do not have much choice in what is their top most priority.
Perhaps, the advice that the society (and not just the women) need is to marry only if they want to marry, and only those who they want to marry, only when they want to marry and to remain married only as long as it makes them happy.
If you consider the present scenario, where professional and personal desires and achievements have taken a higher priority, broken marriages have also become rampant.
IHM: ‘Broken marriages’ should be seen as an indication that those involved had the freedom, courage and opportunity to make new beginnings.
Perhaps the society needs to be advised that the purpose of human life is not to save Institutions, the purpose of Institutions (including the Institution of Marriage) is help humans live better lives.
Advice #2: You are married to the family, and not just to your spouse
… the younger generation was trained to accept, love and respect every member of the spouse’s family. Women considered it as their foremost duty to be a good wife, a good daughter-in-law, good sister-in-law and a good mother. Men in turn reciprocated and treated the wife’s family as their own.
IHM: If daughters were seen as children instead of future daughters in law, future wives and future mothers, the society would not see raising them as a challenge.
If there is one advice Indian society needs today, it is to see and to raise their children as as their own children, not as paraya dhan and budhape ka sahara. This alone can help ‘save the girl child’.
So long as we look at women as saviours of Institutions, culture, family name, family honor, or as future mothers of male heirs, future daughters in law – Indian would continue to pray, fast, sex select, kill, wish and bless (etc) for male children.
Advice #3: Marriage is for life
… instead of throwing around the D-word (divorce!), think that marriage is for keeps! Marriage is a “forever bond”, and that is how it should be approached.
IHM: The society and ‘log’ should be aware that sometimes relationships don’t work and that is not a failure or end of happiness for those involved.
Also, expecting women to stay married when they are unhappy, just to ‘save the marriage’ or to create a good impression on other people (log) was never a good advice.
Nobody should stay married because they dread the D-word – if two people stay married it should be because that’s what they both want to do
Advice #4: Tolerance and acceptance are the keys to a successful marriage
One of the most profound advices that people in the 50s received was to set aside their egos and personal prejudices, and develop the virtues of tolerance and acceptance. When parents chose partner for their child, they always gave the highest priority to these values, so that the new member could easily adjust to not just their spouse, but the family as well.
IHM: Tolerance and acceptance can make it easier to deal with most situations, relationships or just life in general – specially when we have no way to change the said situations.
In the past many women did not have the option to refuse to ‘tolerate’ and they had to ‘accept’ whatever ‘fate’ (or family elders, community, in laws, Patriarchy etc) decided for them.
Not sure if that was an advice or a lack of options.
Look around at your grandparent’s generation, their love and respect for one another; certainly not everything that happened in the days of yore is outdated!
IHM: This is romanticisation. The fact is many grand parents feel their children (frequently sons) are the only ‘glue in their relationships’.
The equality between the husband and wife is also more pronounced now. But, the rate of divorces in India is also on a rise today, mainly because of incompatibility and ego issues between the spouses. Perhaps, the younger generation should take a leaf out of yore; and learn to accept, love and respect each other like the people in the 50s did.
IHM: And ‘incompatibility’ is not a good reason for divorce?
What do you think does ‘ego issues’ mean here? Whose ‘ego’?