An email from Pakistan: “There is a feeling among my parents that I don’t want to spend on them.”

Patriarchy‘s control on men is more difficult to identify and fight against because the control permits what many view as privilege, and because patriarchy is largely viewed as favourable to men.

The fact is, Patriarchy permits some men and some women – and only when certain conditions are met, – to control the lives of others – in many big and small ways. 

The way women are raised to see Get Married and Stay Married as their only purpose in life, men are raised to become Providers and Protectors.

This enables further abuse. Becoming Protectors involves being Controllers (egos and honours are a part of that) and being Providers is made possible or easier by keeping the Provided For in dependence. This makes it seem that Patriarchy benefits men – but not having control over their lives is not a privilege.

Please note, sons in patriarchal societies are mainly valued when, 1.)  they are Providers, and 2.) they can provide obedient daughters in laws who provide male heirs. 

An unemployed male child is still valued if he is obedient, or provides an obedient dulhan hi dahej hai, and male heirs. This is also why Patriarchy is homophobic. 

Sharing an email from a young man in Karachi.

Hi IHM,

Subject: Thank you for sharing your thoughts on patriarchy at your IHM blog

I am from Karachi Pakistan and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts on your blog especially the posts related to patriarchy. An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

Last night I was really feeling depressed after going through an emotional abuse session from one of my parents. I was confused and was not able to sleep. After reading your blog post, I became aware that this is common in our part of the world as well. I can relate to every world of your blog post with my life. Kudos to you for sharing your thoughts  and reducing the overall anxiety of your audience.
After reading your blog, I have decided to challenge the status quo and start introducing change that could get me out from the constant emotional abuse and allow me to save for my future.

Also, I would appreciate if you can ask your readers to suggest practical and realistic steps that could be taken, especially for saving for the future and for convincing our parents so that they can understand why it is important to save now. Most of the comments shared their set of problems but very few actually discussed some steps that could be taken keeping in view the highly emotional nature of the problem.

I have tried working with fixed budgets for monthly expenses and for savings, but in this case, there is a feeling among my parents that I don’t want to spend on them. I find it very difficult to convince them as to why it is important to save now.

Thanks,
Raheel

Related Posts:

Of girly men who fail to convert irresponsible women from liabilities to assets.

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

The Men in Our Lives – Priya

An email: Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?

“For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.”

‘How can we change the socialization of boys and the definitions of manhood that lead to these current outcomes?’

Of how men’s masculinities are connected to their wives taking their names.

27 ways in which Patriarchy harms men.

So why do some men compare and compete with other men?

What do men need liberation from?

Emotions, Masculinity and Hierarchies in Relationships: Or making men walk alone in the journey of life.

MIP: Men In Pink

Boys don’t cry. – Starry Eyed

Advertisements

27 ways in which Patriarchy harms men.

Sharing this comment by thoughtpower in response to the previous post.

I think patriarchy harms men as well but many people don’t even realize so and are happy with current setup.

I would be eager to know comments from readers of this blog.

Some challenges a man faces:

1. Expected to be breadwinner and cannot choose career of his choice
2. Cannot choose to be home maker
3. Not suitable for marriage unless he finds a job.
4. Cannot watch emotional dramas or display certain emotions
5. Cannot wear ” colorful clothes”
6. Expected to shoulder unfair responsibility as elder son
7. Not accepted if physically weak
8. Looked down upon if they choose certain professions.
9. Expected to do all the work outside home.
10. Unfair labels when he chooses to treat wife as equal partner
11. Unfair expectations to keep pleasing parents
12. Not allowed to be a doting type of father
13. Earn/study more than his partner
14. No say in aesthetics of house decoration
15. Expected to learn driving and drop/pick others even when a female family member is equipped to do that
16. Struggle in reporting sexual harassment
17. Limited career opportunities as male sex workers because female sexuality is repressed.
18. Looked down while expressing dislike for sports/violence/cars
19. High expectations due to male stereotyping on how to win over a girls heart and so called Mardangi.
20. Decision to not have kids gets difficult due to unfair burden of carrying family name
21. Financial success as chief barometer of a man’s success
22. Paternal leave for longer duration looked down upon
23. Cannot marry a woman older than him
24. Patriarchy effects men and women in different ways. Deep rooted belief in some women that patriarchy doesn’t affect men at all.
25 Father of daughter expected to shell out his hard earned money to son in laws or as dowry.
26. For someone really interested in good relationships, being too close to relatives on the spouse side looked down.
27. If only parents were as happy with happily married sons as they are with happily married daughters. Treatment of daughter’s spouse versus treatment of the spouse of the son.

Related Posts:

So why do some men compare and compete with other men?

What do men need liberation from?

Emotions, Masculinity and Hierarchies in Relationships: Or making men walk alone in the journey of life.

MIP: Men In Pink

Boys don’t cry. – Starry Eyed

Of girly men who fail to convert irresponsible women from liabilities to assets.

“For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.”

‘How can we change the socialization of boys and the definitions of manhood that lead to these current outcomes?’

Of how men’s masculinities are connected to their wives taking their names.

“I couldn’t tell him that I didn’t want any. That’s even worse. We’re supposed to always be on the prowl.”

What kind of sons do Feminists raise?

An email: ‘He made it clear to them he will not marry me without their support. He will not leave them behind… ever.’

“About household financial status… his parents have done all that they can, and now have passed the baton to their three sons.”

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

Loving husbands who devote their days and nights to maintain peace in the family.

“The sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household”

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

Arranged Marriage Market: “Oh! then our son has to take care of you and your wife too”!

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

An email: Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?

An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

Why are these dads such a threat to patriarchal social structures?

‘Angry Mob cut off man’s sensual organ for attempting rape of a girl.’

Emma Watson to men : Gender equality is your issue too.

And maybe it is too funny to even imagine the same thing ever happening to a man?

“About household financial status… his parents have done all that they can, and now have passed the baton to their three sons.”

Instead of eyeing their husbands’ ancestral property, why don’t Indian daughters in law make their own homes?

Why I can’t take gender stereotypes seriously.

Hasee toh Phasee : When a Bollywood hero is an Emotional Dhakkan.

I Want To Be A Dad. – Radhika Vaz

Do you think it is natural for boys and girls to use different kinds of toys?

A tag: But when a woman sees a hot man, nothing happens in her brain?

Abhishek Bachchan as a Working Dad in the new Idea ad.

“I don’t claim to be a spokesperson for all the men on this planet, but…”

So why do some women judge other women?

An email: ‘He made it clear to them he will not marry me without their support. He will not leave them behind… ever.’

What kind of life and future can a woman expect with a man who has made it clear to his parents that he would not marry her without their approval?

How does the email writer benefit from being married ‘into this family’? (because she would not be marrying the man alone)

Sharing an email.

I am an American white girl with a Punjabi Sikh boyfriend. He told his parents about me from the very beginning. They were open to the idea and agreed for us to spend time together to see if we wanted to get married. We wanted to marry. They refused. I was confused. It was too late. We were already in love!

For months, he called them and tried to convince them to approve our marriage. They cried, they yelled, they threatened to disown him. They told him to never come back to India. He was the reason for their new sicknesses. He was the reason they were now bedridden. “What would society think? She won’t be able to cook Punjabi food. She will take you away from us.” They repeated all of this on a daily basis. Somehow, some way, he got them to agree to meet me. We were so elated. We flew to India bearing smiles and gifts. I adorned my best salwar kameez. I was polite and demure. I looked through all their first daughter’s wedding photographs. I did everything any other Punjabi girl would have done in my situation. Then a neighbor came over and gave his two cents on our possible marriage. He was very opinionated and very negative about me. His mother began crying and refused to speak to me. My boyfriend cried. And then it was all over. We changed our flights and flew home early from India…defeated. Why would the words of one person be enough to change everything?

This was almost one year ago. Since then, my boyfriend has cried and begged. He’s pleaded his case to them to PLEASE agree to our marriage. He made it clear to them he will not marry me without their support. He will not leave them behind…ever. They refuse even to this day. They continue the emotional blackmail on a daily basis. They have X, Y, and Z health problems now, where as before he met me they were in perfect health. They’re bed ridden. They’re dying…..because of HIM. They continue to send him profiles of other “suitable girls”, even though he protests. He says fine, then I will never marry ANYONE if you don’t let me marry her. They said fine, don’t. It appears they called his bluff too.

At this point my boyfriend wants to give up. He’s completely brainwashed by them. He believes their health problems are his fault. He believes their unhappiness and my unhappiness is his fault and his fault alone. He thinks he’s a loser. He can’t go on seeing his parents “suffer” like this anymore. I asked him who is going to be there for them when they die? He says he knows no one will. That he will die alone.

Why is he so blind to the clear manipulation and control of his parents? Why is he not able to see through it? Why is he not able to stand up against them? I know he desperately loves me, but he’s willing to lose me for them. I just don’t understand it. Now he is willing to make everyone miserable for the sake of his parents when if he married me we could at least try to be happy and hope they will come around. I can’t imagine that they would disown him forever. They have no one else. Their elder married daughter no longer speaks to them already. My boyfriend claims this is why he cannot abandon them- because she did. He feels completely responsible for them in every way. He tells me he has tried every thing he can to convince them to allow us to marry and there’s nothing left in him. He said if I think if anything then I should go and do it. I can’t think of anything I can do to change their minds!! I just wish I could show him the light of love. 😦 Help!!

IHM: If there was no emotional investment, would the situation appear different to the email writer?  

Related Posts:

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

Please watch Queen, what kind of future was Rani being offered? 

What would you not change for love?

 ‘And if you are unlucky, you will get an American daughter-in-law.’

“If you are lucky you will get an American son-in-law, and if unlucky, you will get an American daughter-in-law!’

American Woman’s response to comments on her email.

An email: Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?

An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

An email: Is it okay to make someone give up something they love to do, because we want them around?

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

An email: “this issue of the bias between daughters and daughter in laws.”

This issue of the bias between daughters and daughter in laws is also an issue of bias between a much wanted and valued, prayed and fasted for Indian male child and the generally unwanted Indian girl child.

Those who avoid having girl children, frequently value the male child as a Budhape ka Sahara, expected to provide financial support and obedient daughters in law to the parents . 

Girl children are not expected to do either and the only way they can traditionally repay the parents is by Getting Married and Staying Married, preferably Happily Married (only to someone the parents approve of).  

Because Happily married daughters are seen as well brought up, sanskaari or empowered or ‘lucky’. The parents of Happily Married Daughters generally maybe considered fortunate, sensible, matured, sanskaari and successful.

Happily married sons risk being seen as Joru Ke Gulaam (JKG), neglectful of their parents. Parents of happily married sons risk being looked upon as uncared for, by others and by themselves. (parents who have no male children are free from such expectations)

But how does patriarchy expect to see happily married daughters without any happily married sons?

Same way it sees ‘peace and harmony’ in silenced voices, unhappiness, injustice, cruelty, denial of human rights and freedom, and gender bias.

Sharing an email.  

Dear IHM

Gender issues and bias against women never seemed to really touch me until my marriage. My upbringing was such that both career and family were made equally important. After, completing my studies, I got landed with a cushy corporate job in a big city. My parents supported my decision to move to this city.

After a few years of working life, I met a guy. We fell for each other and decided to marry. While my parents approved of him and respected my choice, his mother refused of our match. Reason, after showing my horoscope to a pundit, the latter told her that while I will get along well with her son but I won’t get along well with her.

Somehow, my hubby along with his dad managed to convince her and she agreed. Unfortunately, my father in law expired only a few months of our marriage. Mil refused to shift with us. I had to quit my job immediately to be with her as she couldn’t stay alone. After a few months my hubby too got a job in his hometown and moved with us.

When we were finally settled, my hubby brought the subject of me starting with my job again. She bluntly refused saying that she does not want to be a maid to us plus she cannot stay alone after her hubby’s death. I loved my hubby a lot and made this sacrifice for him.

But her tantrums didn’t stop. She never allowed to us to go out alone, parties were not allowed, movie dates were not allowed, visiting relatives were not allowed…..Worst, she would get furious even if talked with each other in her presence, many times she would come to our room to sleep since she used to get afraid in the night! We were newly-weds who slept with their mother in between!

I sacrificed my desires as well. She demanded a child soon so that she could get busy with the grandchild.

We understood her situation and conceived. She became all the more controlling and dictating now. I was advised bed rest for one month due to chances of abortion but she told me that doctors don’t know much. The more you will work, the better your chances of having a normal delivery.

She started playing dirty politics. Would say something to me and something different to hubby. Used to treat me like a maid behind his back and showered false care in front of him. Foolish me, I never complained and never shared with even hubby. Kept on enduring all abuse because I wanted to make the marriage work.

Pregnancy and delivery both were a nightmare. Only used to share with my mom. But enough is enough.

My mom expired and I went through one of the worst periods of depression. I couldn’t take it anymore. The desire to make the marriage work finally lost its battle and all I wanted was a divorce.

My hubby got extremely distressed and spoke to his sister, who’s in a similar situation. Her MIL too is a widow. She’s working in a highly reputed company at a good post. She advised us that the only solution to the problem is that I start working and we keep a full time maid. We all spoke to my MIL and she had to agree.

By this time my kid had turned two. I got a job and started working. We kept a full time maid for all the work. Things improved. Although, she never allowed us alone time but at least she stopped treating me like a maid. Time passed and I got promoted. I now used to get a little late from office. Where earlier I used to be home by 5:30, I started arriving around 6:30.

Problems started cropping up again. Our maid used to leave by 5 pm and against half an hour, she now had to keep the grandchild for full one hour. I spoke with my boss and worked upon a solution from working from home. I had to visit office for just one day in a week and just required to remain online during office hours on Skype.

Now she asked the maid to leave to cut down expenses. Due to work at home, my job suffered and I got fired. Even the job solution didn’t work. To engage myself I have now started spending time on my laptop. Once I got fired, the maid treatment started again.

I could have still understood her expectations for having a typical house wife as a daughter in law had her own daughter not been working. Hers is an arranged marriage. She takes special pride in describing her daughter’s achievements. She loves to narrate how she prevented her daughter from marrying the boy of her choice because the boy’s parents were not ready to let her continue her career.

Had she married that boy, she would have turned into a ‘typical housewife’ by now, she describes flaunting her choice of groom for her daughter. My sister in law has two children and her MIL keeps her two kids for 12 hours. And my MIL couldn’t even keep my child for just one hour!

I understand I should not make comparisons, each person is different. But if I am understanding her, atleast she can let me be me. If she expects me to do household chores, I have no qualms. Its my work, my responsibility. But when I am doing all my duties, have sacrificed my career, my desires, why can’t I do what I enjoy doing. Now she is having problems with me spending time on the laptop and not spending time with other ‘bahus’ in the locality!

She now has problems that I don’t go to kitty parties, I don’t mingle with other bahus and waste time on the internet! Her daughter doesn’t go to kitty parties because she is a career woman. I never neglected my duties even when I was working. I used to make chapattis, pack three tiffins (hubby’s, son’s and mine), make breakfast, get my son ready for school, prepare dinner…

My SIL knows no cooking, does not help in any household work, does not even looks after her kids, shouts at her MIL (many times her MIL calls my MIL that her daughter does not treat her well and makes her feel like a maid!) Her ‘saat khun are maaf’ only because she is earning in lakhs per month, while I earned peanuts compared to her! Every time she gives this excuse, if hubby or me say anything.

But why does she fails to overlook, I was also earning good. In fact we both would have been doing well in our careers had we not compromised with our careers due to her. We are now living in a small town, the place is not meant for service class or professionals.

This time when my SIL visited us on a festive occasion and dropped her six month old baby with us to take care as she can’t stay up late in the night with the baby and her MIL wasn’t doing well, I lost it! My blood literally boiled over. This time my MIL had no problem in keeping such a small baby and she refused to take care of my 4 year old child during that one hour in the evening.

I thought a grandchild would make a difference in her behaviour. But she never took interest in my child.

Why such a strong bias! Why such difference between a daughter and a daughter in law. When we raise our daughters to become career conscious individuals, why do we expect our daughters to be perfect
home makers?

This injustice and biased treatment is eating me up. Since we cannot live separately as my hubby is the only son, I have stopped speaking to her. We do not interact other than the basic communication. But the bitterness is still there, hatred is still there. Its affecting me, affecting my relationship with hubby. I have not mentioned here about her manipulations, dirty politics, bad mouthing about me, my parents to my hubby and SIL.

I love my husband but I hate his mother. And after rendering all this mistreatment to me, she wants to prove me guilty to my hubby and other relatives and seek their sympathy. I have lost my hair, my weight, my health due to this. Is there any way out? Will she ever understand and acknowledge what she is doing? What should I do? I am clueless and losing the desire to live.

I cannot divorce my husband, living away from her is not an option. Hubby asks me to ignore and focus on my hobbies. At times I do and at times I lose it and sink into depression again. How to kill this hatred, this bitterness from my heart. I know the damage cannot be undone but how to forgive and start living?

It’s a long letter. But I really felt good writing to you. Would appreciate if you take up this issue of the bias between daughters and daughter in laws.

Related Posts:

Please watch Queen, what kind of future was Rani being offered? 

Why are Sons treated unfairly and like ATM machines? – Indusladies.com

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

Daughter-in-law should not be treated as domestic help, says Supreme Court

To an Anonymous DIL

I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

“When there are guests I don’t get to talk to them because I am in the kitchen all the time …even wearing a Nighty is considered indecent.”

“Now I just think of marriage as contract to go serve some stranger family. He made it clear that I could have ended in a much worse situation.”

‘And if you are unlucky, you will get an American daughter-in-law.’

How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way?

Sharing an email.

” I wish they just become bad… too bad… too abusive that they start beating me. That would be easy for me then.”

What would you say to him if you were his parents? How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way? 

What advice would you give to the email writer?

’24 year old guy: Help needed Desperately’

Hey there,

I am struggling with a challenge which might seem quite ridiculous at first, and may be it is, but I can’t seem to come out of the situation. I live in a traditional Indian family. But through my small rebels, I was able to create a tiny bit of freedom for myself. And, my parents are supportive of me at some level compared to the rest. Though they still are traditional parents, but compared to what I hear and what I read on your blog, they don’t stop me from doing what I want (in most cases). And that is the problem. They are just normal people… good…fine… OK people. Not abusive, not threatening. Nope. Nothing like that. Just common ordinary people of ordinary lives. I am 24 years old and staying with my parents.

I know it is being very destructive for my growth to stay at home and be lazy and continue the living style my parents inherited from their… and continue the same trend. I am big on personal growth, wants to come out of conformity, escape the rat race, living adventurous life and I keep doing what my current level of growth and confidence allows me to. I just can’t live fully at home, and can’t do all these things I desire, that I know for sure. I want to move out. I want to constantly travel, from one place to other. Try new challenges. And living at home is very limiting. My parents may be slight above in par than the traditional Indian society but that shouldn’t make everything OK.

They don’t encourage me. Don’t support my growth plans, even if they are good.

My parents even make fun of my goal of vegan diet. They think it is too impractical in India. They call my decision of leaving meat as “pretentious” and boring. Can you believe that? They don’t allow me to buy good healthy expensive cooking oil from my own money, just because it is expensive and they don’t know why I do such thing. They don’t understand my habit of reading books. They call me “Kitaabi Keera”.

They still constantly ask, not force, but ask politely to take a regular job. Which I have clearly told them I will not. And I am earning myself through a writing job which does not pay that well. But I take care of my own needs. And this discussion of job still come up every single day. But other than that, they are, I guess, nice people. Normal average people. Don’t abuse me. They give me some level of freedom which THEY think is appropriate but not the “real” freedom. So the problem is – I want to move out but parents are blackmailing me emotionally. Which I think is selfish nature. Whenever I talk about moving out they make sad face. Their tone of voice changes. They just WANT me to stay at home and live a mediocre life like they did. They are so bored and afraid of life that they can’t think of anything they could do themselves, without me. This is utterly sad and depressing. The love between mom and dad is totally gone. They are just living and counting days. (And are they expecting me to do the same?) But they never really pressurize me to stay, never really threaten me to stay, which is the problem itself. Because if they did, I would move out that day only. I know that is completely out of line. But they don’t do that. They become sad, helpless, lonely. that is where I get stuck. I wish they just become bad… too bad… too abusive that they start beating me. That would be easy for me then. I don’t know what to do. I can’t live at home anymore. I have a lot to explore and staying at home at 24 years of age is depressing. Don’t tell me I can stay at home and make it worthwhile without knowing about my passion and goals. And this is one of the hardest decision I have faced in my life. Can’t stay… can’t move out. It scares me to even think of a sudden crisis, an unfortunate event at home, which might happen when I am out of city. Will I who be blamed? I know I can not just stop thinking about it and move out with my stuff. That is just not possible. The solution is somewhere inside me, somewhere I have to grow, give a shot at making them understand, something, I don’t know.

Please give me some advice.

Thank for you reading the whole rant.

Related Posts:

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

“You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices?”

“When the time comes to support them, they back out and and blame the children for misusing their trust and freedom.”

Against your child’s happiness

An email: I want my parents to know the real me, why do I have to lie?

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

‘We grew up in a very liberal family. We knew what our limits were and our focus was our education. We never betrayed our parents.’

An email from an Indian Husband… and a Good Indian Son.

What kind of sons do Feminists raise?

An update: ‘I am told that I am very wrong since I think of money, but is it not an important factor here?’

An update from “another frustrated daughter-in-law married to a good son” who wrote this email two years ago: An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

Hello IHM,

It has been 2yrs since I wrote this email, I wanted to update a bit.

Situation has not changed much, in fact it has become worse. My worries for the future, and my constant bringing up this topic has caused a lot of misunderstanding between us, I talked even to my in-laws but they instead of understanding me told their son that he needs to think of his duties towards his sister and parents, they told him to keep me under check since I am acting like a selfish daughter-in-law.

I saved every penny that I earned till now, unfortunately the company shut down and I lost my job, it has been months and I still have not been able to get one more and this has worsened the situation. I begged my husband that he has to support me, we need to pool up money and think of securing our future by buying something for ourselves. Even though he seems to agree at times, a phone call from his parents his thoughts go back to the way they were.

He now blames me that I am selfish, that I am not adjusting enough to live with his parents hence bring up the topic, he says all my problems are self created.

I feel very down that my husband instead of understanding the need for securing his and my life for the future is more worried about what his parents might feel, he continues to spend on them and his sister but thinks that I should earn and get what I want since I am one of those feminists who talks about equality of women.

If I cannot expect a little support in this matter what is the marriage for I do not understand, if they think it is just about feeding me even my parents would have done it. Should I give up thinking about future just because my husband does not? Or if I do should I do it independently? Then why am I even married? Why wife takes a backseat when it comes to parents and siblings? Why is it that it is never about ‘us’ as a couple in a marriage?

I am told that I am very wrong since I think of money, but is it not an important factor here? Am I not being exploited by all of them? Is it not just money for them too? Wouldn’t they have understood the point I am trying to make otherwise?

Sorry about the rant, but just very worried and disappointed with the man I am so in love with. He despite of understanding and loving me thinks his only responsibility in life is to be a good son.  😦

Related Posts:

Instead of eyeing their husbands’ ancestral property, why don’t Indian daughters in law make their own homes?

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

“…being his mom’s support in ways his sisters were not…. He borrowed money off me to pay for his mom’s car.”

“Although my in laws maintain a facade of being content with what they have and never asking the girl’s side for anything…”

My wife will inherit my family’s property, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives.

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

“Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.”

A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.

Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property

Should couples’ assets be treated as joint property?

Some basic questions on joint family finances and daughters in law.

Reply from the Indian mother in law.

Do Indian men benefit from being married in exchange of dowry?

Cabinet clears bill: Equal rights in Marital property, Easier divorce.

“Everyone knows, when she decides not to keep relation, she will do that. But I don’t want to go far away from my mother, I want her to be with me.”

It seems the whole idea of having a son for many Indians is to enjoy the privileges of being the Ladke Wale – namely or atleast mainly, an obedient daughter in law chosen by the parents. The son’s happiness is generally not taken too seriously. A common reasoning given is that the son  doesn’t quite know ‘what’s good for him’ and the parents always want ‘the best for him’.  

Also, a happily married son is not seen as ‘successful parenting’, an Obedient Son or a Shravan Kumar is. Which is why even the gods we worship are admired for being obedient sons and not happy men who made sensible, strong and happy choices.

[The rules change a little for daughters, Happily Married Daughters (or daughters who appear to Happily Married) are seen as a status symbol]

What kind of parental love is this? Why would any parent want their child to go through this? 

“My mother is very stubborn ( Ziddi ), everyone knows, when she decides not to keep relation, she will do that with 100% guaranteed. But I don’t want to go far away from my mother, I want her to be with me.”

Please help this 25 year old Indian male who wants to marry out of caste, and whose mother asked : “How can you think about her without our consent ??” Is that an example of the much touted Indian maternal love?

What kind of life can his wife expect if they do marry without all these issues being resolved first?

His email was published here:

Is it possible that the ones whose disapproval is dreaded the most are those who are most likely to express disapproval (and occasional approval)?

Here’s his response.

Dear IHM Readers,

Thank you very much for motivating me with all your valuable suggestions on my last e-mail.

I took stand, and finally, the false marriage is cancelled. Happy at this part, as I saved Girl’s life, chosen  by my family,  I am always blessing her for her happy marriage life with decent guy of her choice. But some obstacles are lying in middle.

I again request IHM readers to give me some suggestion, which is required for final shot and for successfully marry my loved one.

Few days back I fought with my Mother and brother that I can’t marry anyone because of culture and standing. I am sorry for that, but I can’t marry a girl just because she is of same caste. Either I will marry of my choice or remain single forever.

Everyone in my family was fainted, angry….. Then again the same drama began, emotional blackmail, torture, crying, hunger strike etc etc. But this time I took firm stand by informing them that this is my final decision whatsoever you people react, I don’t care. My marriage is none of your business as far as my happiness is concerned.

The same drama was going on and on for last seven days, but I was unshakable. And finally two days later my elders informed everyone in girl’s family that I am not ready to marry, as I already have an affair.

Girl’s family made some drama, but eventually they agreed and marriage was cancelled.

Now my mother is not talking to me since last 4 days. She is continuously taunting me for spoiling her reputation in society and SAMAJ. She made me clear in front of everyone that you do whatever you want and leave my house. She indicated me that she will never see my face for entire life and same she is expecting with me. My mother is very stubborn ( Ziddi ), everyone knows, when she decides not to keep relation, she will do that with 100% guaranteed. But I don’t want to go far away from my mother, I want her to be with me.

 

Please help me with the valuable suggestions. How to get through.

Related Posts:

“When wives become too possesive of her husbands and do not want the affection to be shared with their near and dear…”

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

What kind of sons do Feminists raise?

An email from an Indian Husband… and a Good Indian Son.

An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

An email: “I have absolutely decided that I will not marry her, but I am wondering if I made the right choice.”

Response from the email writer accused of betraying her “parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage”

Of how men’s masculinities are connected to their wives taking their names.

An email: “Is it safe to assume he loved his culture and tradition more than me?”

Sharing an email.

Good evening and greetings from the eastern part of the United States! 🙂 I am a young woman in my 20s currently living in the US.

One email you posted is an issue I have been struggling with for the past 8 months and really resonates with me. It’s a topic I fail to understand, and no family or friend of mine can really offer me any sound advice or reasonable answers. The post from December 7, 2011 which you received from another American woman titled: “Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?” is a very similar situation I have just recently gone through.

I am a Caucasian-American and had been dating an Indian man (Brahmin) for about two years. He was the one who pursued me 2 years ago; I did not pursue him, but once I got to know him, I genuinely started to like him a lot. He never led me to believe that he wasn’t truly “committed” to me or that our relationship was only “temporary.” he had been with my family on several occasions. We got along well, but in the back of my mind, I wondered what would come to be.
We had briefly talked about 3 or 4 times about his parents and how them getting to accept me would be “his problem” and no-one would ever influence his” decision. He admitted it would be a “mountainous task,” but always said he would take care of it. Back in the summer when I indirectly gave him an ultimatum, (we would still be together going nowhere otherwise) he chose to end it with me because his parents would never accept me and he could never been happy if his parents were unhappy, which he claims would lead him to have a grudge on me. He tried talking to a family member about the situation, but even they said that he needs to make the parents happy, and that he could learn to love in an arranged marriage. As far as I know, a few months after we broke up, he tried explaining the situation to his parents, but only using hypotheticals, like “what if I did this? or what if I did that?” (not real situation or real people) and when he did, they threatened to disown him and panicked, and frantically tried to get him married off. He did not have a heart for me, did not fight for me, and only cared about the happiness of his parents. Sometimes he expressed sadness, and sometimes he seemed as though he couldn’t care less and have moved along just fine.
Now, my question is, did this guy ever truly care for me, is it truly that he can’t “shatter” his parents heart, is he just a loser/coward who can’t be bothered with doing the work associated with being with me, or, did maybe he need an excuse to end it because, after all, he took pride in his Brahmin beliefs and maybe did not want to see that tradition partially end with an American wife? (After all, I am not vegetarian, and he was a very strict one.) If it is the 3rd one, is it safe to assume he loved his culture and tradition more than me? It may be so. He is not yet married, but the pressure to do so started 4-5 years ago, before I knew him. His mother has been hounding him non-stop since to get married. Is he really so concerned about her happiness? If so, why didn’t he give in to her 5 years ago when all this nonsense started? It seems a little sick that he is expected to sacrifice his life-long happiness, and is it me, or is he willing to do so? Does the control ever stop? I suppose only if the sons let it.

I am sure you are super bombarded with emails, work, family, and just the trials of life, but I was wondering if there is a way I can hear your opinion, and if possible, hear the opinions of the public, specifically Indian men? I think hearing your and others opinions might truly give me the inner peace I desperately need. Thank you so much and God bless.

Related Posts:

“Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?”
So what does marriage mean to traditional and conservative Indians?
“I am the glue in their marriage. They have come to have a largely perfunctory relationship without me.”
An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.
“Leaving US is a tough decision and, going back to live with in-laws has scared and shaken me.”

Where is the opportunity for Indian men to learn the most natural thing in the world – finding a mate??

A Guest Post by priya.

Finding a Life Partner  – do we need a book on dating written for Indians?

My company has a branch in India and we sometimes get people from India to come and train in the US.  These are mostly young men and women in their twenties, almost all of them single.  Sometimes I take the ‘India team’ out for lunch or coffee, and invariably the conversation goes from work to more personal stuff.

There is this young man ‘Ravi’ (name changed) in the group.  His parents are ‘looking for matches’ for him.  He recently went to India to ‘see a girl’.  So everyone asked him how it went.  He shared that he was shocked that the girl confessed to him that she had dated another guy and it hadn’t worked out. (This was done in private, without parents around.)  So he asked her why she is agreeing to an arranged marriage. The girl said she is doing it to keep things smooth with her parents, but intends to eventually meet someone and marry by her own choice.

So ‘Ravi’ just told his parents he didn’t like the girl and to keep looking.  When he shared this with the group, everyone ( 5 women, 2 men) burst out laughing.  Apparently, everyone in the group already had a steady bf/gf or were getting engaged to someone they had been dating.  Everyone told ‘Ravi’ to ‘stop being ridiculous’, to ‘come out of the Middle Ages’, to ‘be an adult and go find a life partner on his own.’

Ever since, I’ve seen ‘Ravi’ talking more to the women colleagues.  He is extremely awkward (like the guy in your recent post).  He doesn’t know how to strike up a conversation with a woman – for example he could discuss her work and be interested in role in the project.  Instead he talks about her looks or something she’s wearing – with someone he barely knows.  The women sometimes joke about him behind his back.  The interesting thing is that these women are perfectly comfortable striking up conversations, making friends, asking people out, etc.  Some of them complain that ‘liberated men’ are in minority.  ‘My bf wants to get a flat in Bangalore and live with his parents!’ complained one of the women.  It seems to me as if out of the pool of educated/middle class/professional/worldly/sophisticated group of Indians, the women are changing, but the men are clinging to the past?  I do know a few progressive men and don’t want to over-generalize here – this is not meant to stereotype men – but I was just wondering, is this true of the majority??.

I feel like men like ‘Ravi’ will go back to having an arranged marriage because they haven’t been raised to become adults.  They are like children all their life – their parents will make decisions for them, and in a way that must be comforting because it takes away the responsibility of having to make your own mistakes, facing the consequences, learning, and making your relationship work.  On the other hand, it must be so frustrating when things don’t work out in your marriage.  You never had a say in it, in the first place.  Then you ‘have to make it work’ even if you hate to.

Isn’t this a problem for many young Indian urban professional men?  Even when they want to find a life partner of their own choice, they don’t know where to begin.  How do you talk to a girl in a away that is not condescending, not creepy, not patronizing?  How can these young men learn how to do this?  There are no role models in their family (can’t talk to dad!).  Friendship between boys and girls is discouraged in schools.  The movies have such a creepy version of boy meets girl (except for some of the newer ones).  So where is the opportunity to learn the most natural thing in the world – finding a mate??

Related Posts:

Indian culture today is against young people choosing their own partners. Dowry, segregation, traditions, family values, Indian values, horoscope, caste, community, gotra etc are used to control their choices:

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

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

“In unison, everyone agreed that asking her out was outraging her modesty…”

Boys and Girls Holding Hands …

Some young Indian men seek not love but a good daughter in law for their parents:

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

An email: Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?

Some young (and old) Indian men believe girls who have boyfriends are not ‘good Indian girls’:

“why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more”

The kind of videos young Indians need to watch.

Teaching school children that getting married without ‘a bad name’ is a dream of every young girl.

Many Indians understand rape as ‘sex outside marriage’ (consensual or not); interactions between ‘opposite sexes’ are seen as women ‘asking to be raped’. This also serves to prevent ‘choice marriages’.

Where Consensual Sex is Rape, and Forced Sex a legal right.

Who benefits from criminalizing consensual teenage sex?

“Ninety percent rape victims go willingly, but later they meet criminal minded people…”

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

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

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

Patriarchy empowers Parents of Sons, but it controls (not empowers) those Sons (or younger men).

Whether young Indian men are raised like spoiled princes or as obedient Shravan Kumars – they are traditionally valued for being Budhape ka Sahara who provide care givers and dowry for their parents’ old age. That’s our ‘family system’.

Most of Indian culture seems to be about ensuring that young Indians do not choose their own partners because we believe that Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

Isn’t that why we claim it’s our culture/tradition/values to control the personal lives and choices of young Indian adults?

Sharing an email.

Hi,

I have been reading your blog for the past few days. I especially liked your posts on the conflict between modern and the orthodox India, and the problems that arise as a result of it. When reading your post “How i spent 4 years in this hell-hole” about the horrors faced at college, I felt as if I was reading a story of my own life…

I am a 18 year old male, from a traditional (read: backward) Indian family. Just to give you an idea, love marriages are considered taboo, and any sort of interaction with members of the opposite sex is frowned upon. You may not believe me but I’ve had instances where I was having a conversation on a mobile phone, suddenly my father walks up to me and demands that I put my phone on loudspeaker mode so that he can listen to the conversation. When I refused, he put his ear to my cellphone’s earpiece trying to eavesdrop.
Enraged, I disconnected the call and told him that he was intruding upon my privacy. This enraged him and he told me that I was getting spoiled and was falling into bad company. Actually there was nothing of that sort, I was just talking to a female friend (mind you, she wasn’t my girlfriend). But I knew that if this was discovered, there would be uproar in my home and my father could even call that girl and tell her not to talk to me after that, he could even have asked to talk to her parents. I didn’t want her to embarrassed because of me, that’s why stopped talking to her, except on Facebook.

Basically, my parents are control freaks. They want each and every aspect of their kids’ (yes, they consider us kids, even my elder brother who is 23 years old and is a banker) lives to be controlled. I have no life of my own. I have never been to a movie. I don’t know what a mall looks like (from inside), I haven’t ever partied with a group of my friends. I can’t even work at my PC for half an hour without someone coming in and standing behind me to see what I am doing.

I don’t know what to do. I have no social life. No girlfriend. No friends. I feel lonely sometimes.
Sorry about the rant. Just felt like telling someone thats all. 🙂
Any advice for me how to deal with this situation would be greatly appreciated.

Related Posts:

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.
Boys and girls holding hands.
Don’t fall in love NOW!
Boys!
Girls!
Girls these days.
“Wonder how I survived for 4 years in this college!!”