‘Unbelievable? Believe it. This isn’t your usual Ekta Kapoor serial.’

Don’t patriarchal gender roles get doubly reinforced for children who have grown up watching their fathers beat and emotionally abuse their mothers? When do they start grasping how much of what they have lived with is not ‘normal’ or right?

When do they begin to see and  then wipe away almost everything they have learnt about relationships? Please note the abuser could be a very involved, controlling and a very ‘demanding’, perfectionist  parent.

It can’t be easy to totally wash away the conditioning and to start rebuilding the part of their brain/thought process that helps them understand relationships, rights, personal space, equality, happiness, gender roles, family values? It would be like a mindset overhaul.

And then imagine doing this when almost everybody, most media, most family elders (generally trusted for knowing better), the legal system, friends from the same generation, colleagues, siblings and worst of all, even the victim – can’t see any need for ‘these trivial issues’ to be taken too seriously.

Sharing some answers to comments from the courageous young woman who wrote: “My in-laws don’t hate me at all. But ‘love’ isn’t about all this. ‘Love’ is about letting your loved one ‘live’.” –

– IHM

* * *

Thanks for giving my story a chance to go up. There are some comments from the viewers, and I realized I haven’t been clear about this issue.

1. Why did I not do my research before marriage?

 I did. I knew my husband. I knew his family. I knew all the fine print. But, could I simply break up with the one man I loved just because his father drunk? Was it his personal flaw that his father was like this? Did it dampen our love? The answer to all this is ‘no’.

I know this is controversial. I will go ahead.

2. How can you love someone who is sexist?

 

My husband isn’t sexist. He is a perfectly ‘normal’ person as every other feminist out there.

3. How can you claim this when he clearly didn’t support you in your trouble?

I reflected upon this and I asked my husband about this yesterday- “If you are really the nice person that you are now, why didn’t you support me then?”

Here is the feedback.

Every time I was away, my husband used to fight with his family for my rights. He fought through all the emotional drama, alone. He was branded a “gooja thookaravan”, the Tamil equivalent of JKG. He took it in his stride and still fought on. Nobody relented.

But, he never told me what was really going on, thinking he was protecting me. Sadly, he was also not very mature to deal with this situation very effectively and couldn’t bear this all alone- me complaining, his parents complaining. So, he’d get frustrated.

As to telling me to “adjust”, since his family clearly wasn’t giving up, he tried to persuade me to keep low until we figured out a solution. I must admit, it was my mistake too that I just panicked and freaked out instead of dealing with this situation as a mature adult should. I don’t mean a mature adult “adjusts”. A mature adult tries to find out workable solutions. I wasn’t mature. I just cried and like I said, tried suicide. I should have fought back in a decent but firm manner. I didn’t do that, even though my husband encouraged me to speak it out openly and politely to my in-laws if I couldn’t obey all their wishes. I was so scared of their censure that I didn’t do it, and I came back to complain to my husband.

4. How can a husband be supportive if he doesn’t help around with the chores?

How can a husband help around with the chores if he doesn’t actually know how to manage a household? You have to teach him. What if he is constantly discouraged from learning housework? He is hesitant and slow in learning even if he doesn’t believe in pelting all the housework on the wife. What if the wife herself is too young to teach him things? The couple has to learn things together.

And, that is precisely what we are doing now.

We both were absolute rookies. Like I said, MIL was a slave. He wasn’t used to being actively involved in the house. He had eventually become addicted to TV and then, lazy enough to procrastinate. He had his own frustrations (coming to that subsequently). But, he believed in helping around the chores and had promised me that before we married.

Million dollar question: Why didn’t he actually come round helping me then? Because I never really asked. I was too scared to ask him to help, what with his grandma staring at me with hawk-like eyes and passing an odd comment that “this was a woman’s job”. You see, there was social pressure too. It is an object of ridicule in my community if a woman isn’t good at all this. All the women I knew were absolute pros at single-handed household management. I didn’t want to be ridiculed.

When I finally overcame this and did ask him for help, I discovered that although he wasn’t unwilling to help me, he was actually a very bad procrastinator. He was quite lazy. To get anything done, I had to remind him over and over and over again. Result: he’d be cleaning up the hall at 3 a.m. in the morning after watching movies all night. Sexist society + husband’s general procrastination/laziness led to him being perceived by everyone as a sexist.

To be fair I wasn’t very different when I was single. I would simply nod to every chore my mom assigned me and ended up doing it very late or never doing it at all. Why is it so different if it is a man this time?

5. How are your first write-up and the remaining story so contradictory?

 

Because that is exactly how reality works in most educated middle-class families. People are conscious that they don’t want to be called villainous in-laws. The result: Internal politics.

To this date, I have never had a fight with my in-laws. They have never scolded me directly. They have praised me to heaven of course, before my parents and everyone else. The “daughters” in this family are treated the same way I am.

Unbelievable? Believe it. This isn’t your usual Ekta Kapoor serial.

In fact, every time we meet, and the moment I turn on my charm (which, I must admit, I have a lot) people are too jovial and cordial with me to think about my flaws. My FIL openly declares to the world that I am his daughter not DIL. Though grandma does some “internal politics”, I’ll be the devil’s advocate- she’s 70 plus; you can’t expect her to simply snap out of her old-generation views. Grandma has affection for me, but she also wants to survive in this not-so-conducive environment. She is dependent on her alcoholic-wife-beating son even if she hates his behavior. But, she is helpless. She was also a victim in her days. Talk about vicious cycle. Anyway, I digress.

Whenever my ILs interact with me, it is so sweetly put, you would hardly figure out that they are actually encroaching on your space/being sexist/controlling you and most often, they end up convincing the listener. Eventually, you realize you are unhappy only when you have actually started doing what they said. My husband had warned me, but I took it lightly. I had no clue “politics” could be this bad.

For example, when my FIL told me to stop wearing jeans, he didn’t openly forbid me. He said, “Please wear salwar kurta/saree whenever you are going out with me. You can wear what you like when you and your husband go out alone. The society doesn’t approve of women dressing in modern clothes.” So, sweet and polite right?

Clincher: He was ALWAYS with us. Almost ALL our outings consisted of family trips. Finally we all moved in together. Result: I would get a cold stare every time I wore jeans, as I couldn’t “fulfill this very simple and reasonable request”.

If I cooked a bad meal, my FIL would sweetly instruct me to learn the right technique from MIL. Then he would call MIL and abuse her for “letting it pass her scrutiny”. I would feel guilty for having become the reason for my MIL being abused.

So what you all call “abuse” was so sweetly and nicely put and the folks were so openly affectionate otherwise, there was no evidence that their acts were making me unhappy. This is why my parents, who lived miles away and knew only secondhand information, persuaded me to “adjust”. I was also somewhat a spoilt kid, so my parents had no clue as to the “veracity” of my claims, as being very sensitive and emotional, I used to show more emotional responses than the cool reasoning of an adult.

In fact, it took me a very long time to discover the real reason why I was unhappy. There was hardly any evidence so I couldn’t pinpoint anyone. For the same reason, I couldn’t openly rebel or fight as I didn’t know how to subtly and firmly decline requests, without leaving evidence in my wake. I was either angry or happy. I didn’t have the tact.

One of my MIL’s SILs (my FIL’s brother’s wife) had openly rebelled and had got branded a “vamp”. My husband didn’t want that for me. Nor did I. (Now, we don’t care.)

6. How is your husband a worse victim of patriarchy?

 

My “abuse” was what you’d call an undercurrent and one had to really read between the lines to discover “abuse” in it, so the problems were more psychological than physical. With my husband, the “abuse” was full-on.

Since he had a work-from-home job, he was constantly bothered. He had to do the usual pick-up drop-at-even-odd timings routine even if people could simply take an auto to get somewhere. He was supposed to drive his parents around everywhere, including pilgrimage trips. They sent him out to get grocery, sometimes as many times as one grocery per trip, instead of giving a complete list. They spent exorbitantly, bending him with emotional drama. They made him run so many errands he was almost given a pink slip. Eventually, the company forced him to resign. He got another job, but it was recession and he couldn’t negotiate the salary as much for his experience. Then MIL says, “You dare not blame us for this. I saw your performance slip. You performed badly so they sacked you. It’s your fault.”

Much earlier back, they didn’t let him choose his own course, or a career. He was told to give up his job and move to another city to take care of his younger brother who had come to study there. He was told to send home his paltry salary of 6000, and as a consequence, he had to go hungry for a week. Despite all this, his younger brother was hailed as the best son and my husband was called “a misfortune to be born with my (FIL’s) blood”.

There is a lot more.

My abuse has stopped now. His hasn’t. Yesterday, he was down with fever. FIL called him and told him to pick him up and drop him somewhere. This would have meant a commute of 16 kms to pick up FIL, then 40 kms to the destination, then another 30 kms back home. My husband picked up his courage and refused. Result: My MIL was abused last night.

But, we have decided “not to interfere in their personal life”.

I know my husband has seen so much and he has a deep psychological trauma. The only thing that can heal this is true happiness- loads of happiness and freedom. Our primary aim now is to make each other as happy as possible.

BTW, I told him about this site and sent him a few articles to read. He enjoyed reading the “invisible person” blog.

Thank you IHM.

Related Posts:

‘An email from a daughter whose mother endured everything because she did not want to ruin her daughters’ lives’

“Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” Please adjust.

What makes some of us resent abuse victims instead of supporting them.

The invisible family member in the saas-bahu post.

“I put my blood and raised my sons. Now the daughters in law are enjoying the fruit…”

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

More than half of young Indians believe it’s okay for a husband to beat his wife.

An email: “But my parents, fearing the society and their reputation begged him to take me back.”

An email from a Divorcee’s Daughter.

“A message is required to be sent, loud and clear that wife bashing has no place in a civilised society and violent husbands deserve no mercy,”

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Ramblings of a henpecked husband? A comment.

Henpecked husband left a comment on this post – ‘Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?‘  My response in red.

Warning: Long post.

How would you respond to the Henpecked husband?

Henpecked husband: Just have a few observations/ comments on your articles. Nothing to disregard you personally, but a few counter arguments to the age old tirade about the great sacrifices only women have to make in a family life.

IHM – In Patriarchy generally lives of younger men are also controlled by their families. Shravan Kumar and Ram are seen as role models for male children. Sons are seen as budhape ka sahara and kuldeepak, so young Indian men in traditional families are not allowed to choose who and when they marry and what careers they choose, they are also expected to put their parents and siblings before their spouse and children – so you are right, it’s not just women who are expected to sacrifice.

Henpecked husband: When I look around myself, I find a majority of women married to working class professionals would no longer be working. They either quit sometime after marriage or once they had a baby and then never went back. While some of them might actually be out of work due to family pressure, for a lot of them, getting a few degrees and holding on to a job before marriage was mainly to land a well-educated husband with a “good earning potential”. They are out of work because they want to. They would have an army of maids taking care of every household chore right from washing utensils to cooking to taking care of babies to even taking out clothes from a washing machine and hanging them out to dry. The biggest tragedy in the life of such a woman would be if any of the maids fails to turn up for a day or two and she needs to do even a single household chore herself.

IHM – Why do we have such situations?

Most married women seem to want to work even if they have to commute long distances, are not paid as well, and have to be responsible for managing baby care and housework along with their careers, and  and even when they are likely to be blamed if they take their careers ‘too seriously’.

So the lack of interest in having a career/job could be because traditionally women’s career have not been taken seriously. Traditionally we have seen it as fair, that when men’s marriages are arranged a prospective wife’s ability to be supportive in case the husband’s career requires socializing, relocating, or requires the wife to start afresh in her career (often missing better opportunities); or requires her to give up career opportunities for child care or elder care or husband’s career.  I think it is easy to understand a hesitation in starting again or starting late, when the children have grown up. And yet many women do still try and many seem to discover abilities they (or their families) were not aware they had.

I know of women who found it frustrating that they had to ask their husbands for money for spending on interests that the husbands found frivolous (say, jewellery, clothes, outings, bags, shoes). Nobody thought they should have the right to earn so they could spend on these interests, it was taken for granted that they would have and raise children and manage house hold with or without domestic help (that depended on the husband’s income and inclination). Once these women started working, they found earning their own money was empowering, but they also regretted having missed productive years doing something (housekeeping and child rearing) that still left them dependent.

Many other women who never enjoyed being homemakers, didn’t have the pressure/necessity to earn a living like men do, and if they had felt the same need to be self reliant, they would have made happier and more satisfied and more productive citizens, because they would have been doing what they have aptitude for, and not fitting into roles chosen for them by Patriarchy.  One also sees successful women dealing with unhappy husbands who feel insecure because the wife no longer needs their financial support or because she is earning more than them. These husbands who married either non earning women or women who were expected to be content with part time jobs or jobs that never became serious, successful passions find it difficult to accept their roles change from main-providers to equal-partners. But it seems unfair to make women (or men) choose between peace at home and a career they love.

In many families, non earning women struggle to prove their usefulness. Their insecurity makes them take pride in adult family members’ dependance on them for finding a misplaced pair of socks, taking their medicines on time etc

Henpecked husband: The man would come home after 10-12 hours of office work and commute in a crazy traffic and the woman would be all ready to rip him into pieces – “My friend’s husband got her a new necklace for 2 lakhs. When was the last time you got me one?

IHM – Women are raised to believe that  their careers are not as important because once they are married, their husbands would ‘take care’ of them. Jewelery is also often seen as security for women, specially when couples do not plan family savings together. If both the partners are involved in planning their finances, a woman would know whether or not a necklace worth two lakhs is a good investment.

Henpecked husband: Your mother called and said she is coming over for a week. I can’t bear the sight of her.

IHM – I think everybody should have a have a say in who visits them, if there is a problem, it should be dealt with. Or else the wife should be allowed to deal with the issue the way she deems fit. Once relationships become two-sided, everybody will make an effort to either be fair/respectful/polite/pleasant or accept that they just don’t click.

Henpecked husband: Your son fell and hurt himself. You need to take him to a doctor. Do you even care for your family? We are out of groceries. Didn’t I tell you to get groceries on your way home when I called you for the 10th time today?

IHM – Are these issues valid? Does the couple feel that the wife can’t take care of these things as efficiently as the husband can? Is she mobile? Does she feel insecure?

Also, traditionally, dependence has been romanticized. Women in particular are encouraged to prove they just can’t manage/live without their spouse. So it is common to hear of men who can only drink tea made by the wife, or wives who can’t pass their day, choose their wardrobe, decide what to watch/read etc without first consulting with their husbands.

Henpecked husband: By the way, why didn’t you pick up when I called you for the 15th time? Oh, you are the only one who is busy with client calls and still what do you even make?”

IHM – Sounds bored and/or insecure. One sees such unhappy wives in many Indian movies, does she feel she is not a priority in his life?

Also, everybody should have their own  interests, social life, self reliance, money and life, even married couples.

Henpecked husband: Honestly, in my experience of looking around at families of working class professionals, I find the above to be a much more frequent scenario than the one you described in your article. A few days back, we were out on a team lunch and a 27ish female in my team was talking about her ongoing prospecting. She’s about 5’2″ and must be weighing about 65, if not more. She was conveying how scandalized she was when a few prospects asked her if she would consider losing some weight. In her online profile, one of the chief criteria for a suitable spouse reads “Must be earning at least 15 LPA” (her own confession). A poor soul asked her about her salary and how much her savings were. And in her own words – “I couldn’t believe myself. How can someone be so cheap? I felt like hitting him right there”. Just to put the torture to an end, one of us asked her what she wanted her spouse to be like. “Well, I really love Salman Khan. But obviously the guy has to be tall, handsome and rich”. I guess this is the guy she would so kindly “settle” for.

IHM – Most Indian women, even today, are raised to see career and financial self reliance as an option and Getting Married and Staying Married as the only goal in their life. I think this will change in the coming years and then women will look for Partners not Providers in their spouses, many women then will be able to take their careers seriously and many would be fine with their partners choosing to work from home or being home makers while they (the women)  focus on their careers. Men too would see that there is more to a life partner than skin color, weight, obedience, chastity, cooking skills, a flexible career, dowry etc.

Henpecked husband: What really bothers me about most women is how naturally they want to be treated as royalty and are fully convinced they deserve that, just because they are females and so kindly agreed to marry that loser who btw, has to be earning at least 15 LPA. But I guess it’s not only within a marriage. We had gone to watch a play in a large group sometime back and decided to catch some dinner post that. We were discussing venues and one of my female friends suggested a pretty expensive place. Most of us hadn’t been there/ hadn’t heard of it so everyone agreed to try it out. The female btw, is extremely articulate especially when it comes to women rights and how women are the better gender. We arrived and ordered. An hour later, she got a call from a friend she was meeting later that night and told everyone she got to go. I had to leave a bit early too. So we quickly ordered main course while others gorged on starters. It was a motley group having many I had met for the first time. I guessed my share should come around 400-500, so I just caught hold of a guy I had been talking to and paid him 500 towards my share. The female got up pretty elegantly not bothering about such trivialities and asked me if I could drop her off in an auto to her friend’s place. It was the other side of town but it was the gentlemanly thing to do. We rode 10 kms in the opposite direction after which she got off, said a quick thanks and took off. It was below her stature to even “offer” to pay for herself.

IHM – Chivalry should be replaced with basic courtesy which should be extended to all, women, men and children. It is okay to remind everybody to pay for their order, unless one has invited them. It’s also okay to politely ask them to pay if they don’t do so on their own.

Henpecked husband: We have so often heard about all the great things each woman does in a family as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, sister-in-law and so on. My obvious question to this is that aren’t there counterpart roles for males in each of these relations? He also fulfills all his duties as a father, husband, brother, son and brother-in-law. Anyone who has even been torn b/w his mother and wife in nothing more than a “power struggle” to make him cater to her whims surely understands what I am saying. But here we have all these soap operas portraying a female marrying as the greatest sacrifice in human history. What about the male who bears a 24*7 nagging of a wife who would simply never be happy whatever he might do?

IHM – I think women who talk about all the sacrifices that they make for their families are those who were given little choice in making these ‘sacrifices’, including in who they marry. Young Indian men are also under pressure to provide caring daughters in law for their parents, and while they may not get to choose who they marry, they are expected to ensure the wife is respectful, subservient, dutiful and obedient to their families – it’s seen as a sign of their manliness and good values that they do not show much obvious affection to her (while she is expected to constantly prove her devotion by obeying, fasting, praying, ‘adjusting’, serving hot meals, eating last etc). Unlike women, men do not need to relocate and also have their family’s support in ensuring their life partner puts the in law’s happiness before her own happiness – since the man’s happiness is connected to the wife’s happiness, this is a ‘sacrifice’ pampered and valued Indian sons are expected to make.

Henpecked husband: After the grind of a grueling week, someone simply wants to laze around on a weekend. Hell No. The wife only has about a 100 pairs of shoes and she has worn them all once each. She obviously can’t wear them again as people would point fingers at her. So she simply needs to buy more. And don’t forget she doesn’t have enough clothes. Ever. And the curtains no longer match the ambiance of the drawing room though she picked them up herself a few weeks back. But did she? Maybe it was your fault that you didn’t take her to the right shop or she picked them under pressure because you were whining after 6 hours spent picking curtains on a weekend.

IHM – Once again, it helps tremendously to have one’s own circle of friends, some hobbies, interests, career, money – basically a life of one’s own. Marriage does not mean Bollywood-style ‘do jism ek jaan’ or one soul and two bodies.

Henpecked husband: Dowry is something we all learn growing up as a social leprosy. I have a simple doubt here. The moment a woman marries, she is entitled to at least 50% of everything the guy owns. Even all his paternal property that he hasn’t really earned himself.

IHM – Legally a woman is not entitled to what her husband inherits, and traditionally she was not entitled to anything her parents owned either, even the dowry belonged to the in laws, her jewelery (stree dhan) was mostly handed over to the in laws and if she was separated or widowed, she was generally left penniless.

Most of the work women do is not paid labor – like cooking, working in the fields, going through pregnancies and labor, bearing and rearing male heirs for the husband’s family; even when they do earn, the income is handed over to the spouse or his family (even today).  Also the kind of careers women are allowed to choose also depends on the spouse’s family, they are brought up with the sole aim of becoming good daughters in law – their careers, clothing, eating habits, education etc are all chosen keeping in mind the approval of future in laws. Their self reliance or happiness is not seen as a priority, their Getting and Staying Married is, so if 50% of marital joint earnings is seen as wife’s right, I wonder if it is really unfair...

Henpecked husband: And why exactly is that? Because she made the greatest sacrifice in human history by agreeing to marry the loser your see in the mirror? Obviously when you talk about parent’s selling organs or taking up debt they can’t pay to meet dowry demands, it’s an evil. But what about cases where a woman acts as if she deserves everything in the world just by virtue of marrying you and agreeing to stay with you while the man has “fun” at his job. For how many of us, is a job a holiday on the beach for God’s sake? And such well-educated, empowered and awakened women are scandalized if someone were to suggest dowry, for them to work, do any household chores, lose the 20 extra kilos they have on them or adjust for a week with her mother-in-law. That would be against women rights and the progression of womankind, I am sure. It would be the male chauvinistic pig dragging them back by centuries after so much of struggle, pain and suffering.

IHM – Why is a suggestion of dowry not wrong? If a man or a woman have to be paid to to marry someone, should they still be marrying them? Suggesting a woman works is wrong if the rest of the responsibilities are not shared, or if she is not permitted to grow in her career or to choose what work she does.Or if she is expected to give up the work when it inconveniences the spouse.

Instead of suggesting a man or a woman adjusts with their mothers in law, maybe the spouse could ensure the reasons for reluctance to ‘adjust’ are dealt with.

Asking someone to lose weight as a condition to marry? What happens if the weight is gained again?

I am also not sure if it is a good idea to agree to marry a woman/man only if she is willing to earn, or bear children etc. What if there is some reason for not being able to do either?

Do you know in China and Thailand it’s the man (or his family) who pay dowry to the bride’s family? Also in Saudi Arabia and Fiji and I am sure in many other places. Dowry is not a payment for a woman’s upkeep, though today in India it’s seen by some parents of brides as a bribe or ransom to keep the in-laws from ill-treating their daughters.

If a traditional Indian family were to pay for everything a daughter in law is expected to do,  like relocate to their place; give up her independence, her name, her freedom to dress comfortably, her family, friends and support system, her right to nutrition and rest; provide elder care, heirs, nursing, child care, sex on demand, free labor etc, they would not be able to afford daughters in law for their sons. 

Henpecked husband: It has been a long article, I know. But principally here is my problem. When we say, “equal”, we have to mean “equal”. “Equal” can’t just mean tilting the scale heavily in favor of the perceived “weak” side to correct for historical wrongs. Awarding a gold digger all of a husband’s property leaving him penniless is not going to bring back the women who forcibly committed “Sati”s a hundred years ago.

IHM – Suggestion of dowry is okay? Suggesting a wife earns (or not earns) is also okay? Suggesting that a woman’s contribution in family income during the marriage is acknowledged is not alright? The bill allows courts to decide if the wife deserves a share in the matrimonial property (that was created during the marriage) – this seems to be an effort to ensure neither partner is left penniless. Also note, that the woman probably gave up opportunities to earn because she was in that marriage. 

Henpecked husband: The woman who goes around blowing trumpets about how she is in no way inferior should also not be hesitating in picking her bill at a restaurant or supporting a family financially.

IHM – I agree.

Henpecked husband: And finally, just because you might sense a lot of emotion at a few points in the article, don’t dismiss it as the ramblings of a henpecked husband. It gets a bit emotional at places because I feel strongly about it but to the best of my knowledge and belief, it’s a far too common scenario is urban families of working class professionals than what’s stated in your articles.

IHM – Self reliance for women, would automatically open many closed doors for men, they would be able to see wives as life partners not as dependents to be protected and provided for. But expecting dowries and dependent wives who can be asked to start and quit working earning when they get breaks from their other responsibilities (child rearing over and elder care not yet a full-time duty) seems unfair.


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

Anju wonders if this man fits into the label of a ‘Maa Ka Ladla’ or  a ‘Joru Ka Gulam’. ‘Few days back I visited a patient and I was amused at the way the patient was being pampered alternatively by the wife and the mother. It was like who will take more care of the man.’

Anju feels for this man, ‘how tiresome it must be for him to pamper both the egos, to make both of them feel important and let both feel that he cannot do without either of them’

***

I wonder if women face this problem.

Are women able to take better care of  themselves on their own? We know they don’t. They need as much care as everybody else does.

So why don’t women have their mothers (or fathers) and their spouse competing to take care of them? He is supposed to be ‘Budhape ka sahara‘ of one and ‘Pati Parmeshwar‘ of the other.

What makes two family members almost fight to take care of this adult, male member? Is it because they each feel they must win a closeness to him? Are they insecure? If yes, then what makes them so insecure? Does this insecurity benefit the man in some way? (I don’t think so.)

Has tradition taught women that their lives must revolve around their husbands/husband’s family? Is the rest of the population given the same values?

Has the same tradition made mothers feel that while some of their children learn to take care of themselves (female children), some of them (male children) need to mothered all their lives?

Married daughters are encouraged to develop a healthy relationship with their husbands, but married sons in India are expected to ‘balance‘, which includes things like making sure their wives are respectful, subservient, obedient to their family etc.

Do I sympathize with this man? I feel I sympathize with the situation and with the families involved.

Indian mothers still look for and ‘bring’ obedient and pliant daughters in law for themselves when they arrange marriages for their sons. Often compatibility and companionship between the couple are not considered as important, as the wife being obedient and respectful to the in laws. Sons who feel this is unfair are labeled Joru Ka Gulaam.

Traditionally the society is fine with sons spending most of their time with their friends, but traditionally the same sons are not encouraged to see their wives as their best friends. Some sons have no real relationship with their wives for many years (often never). The mother remains the friend and companion (or male friends do). This would still be fine, if the daughter in law also had the option of maintaining a relationship with her own parents and old friends – this generally does not happen. She must make her husband and in laws her world, but she must accept that she is not their world.

Double standards don’t make for happy families or a just and fair society.

List of Male Bloggers in Danger…

…of being labeled JKGs  😉

A JKG is a man who does not think gender bias benefits him or the society. (A JKG is not necessarily a married man.)

In India it’s difficult for a man to speak against biases that oppress women. The danger increases if he speaks in support of his wife (Joru). Such acts of common sense require courage, and are rewarded with taunts and labels like JKG (Joru Ka Gulam).
Literal meaning: ‘Slave of Wife/Woman’

[14 more definitions of a JKG here. You have a definition that fits, please leave in the comment box or send an email]

Listed in random order, I think they are all equally endangered 😆

Neo Indian

The war for women
Why creepy men are good for you
25 ridiculously clichéd Hindi film dialogues that tell you the even more clichéd story of an Indian girl
Good schools prefer housewives

TBG (The Bald Guy)

So you want to marry your daughter eh?
Girls learn to say no.
Girls and their cars.

Krishashok

The Tale of Gregory, part I (About a Veetodu Maapilai or a Ghar Jamai…)

Hitchwriter dares anybody to label him, by wearing this JKG badge on his sidebar 🙂

(One of the 8 award winning badges.)

Haresh

Portrayal of women in Indian media
An eve-teasing incident in front of me
Feminism and seven steps in the sky

Josh Marowitz

Why anti-feminist Satoshi Kanazawa is illogical, unnecessary, and evil, and – oh yeah – a giant f-ing douchebag

The Quirky Indian

If A Woman is Out with Male Friends Late at Night, She Must Want Sex.
On The State of Women, Backless Cholis and Shag Fests
We the Deserving….
Indian Culture is Alive and Kicking. Literally.

Kislay

My dear women
Virginity
A story about gender discrimination
Bhartiya Nari

Masood

Name change after marriage.

SM

India – Women Reservation Bill 2010 –– The Need for India – Complete Case Study

Please feel free to leave links of any other male bloggers you think face similar risks. Before adding any links here, their vulnerability will be assessed by a team of judges.

If you are a male blogger and you feel you are in danger of being labeled a JKG, please do leave the link to the post that puts you at peril.

Badge by Freya, see more badges here. Would you like to create a JKG BADGE? Get in touch!

Note: Updated.

Can a Veetodu Maapilai rightfully ask for the 4th coffee of the day or whatever he wants in his in-laws’ house?

Veetodu Maapilai or Ghar Jamai is a man living in his spouse’s parents’ home. Since we think only women must live in their spouse’s parents’ homes – he is likely to be labeled a JKG.

Somewhere in the blogosphere…

“There are empirical arguments against Veetodu Maapilai…”

1.

“There tends to be some friction between a son-in-law and father-in-law. As between MIL and DIL. But testosterone is a powerful hormone and women are thought to handle conflicts better.”

I agree about the presence of friction but I don’t think women handle conflicts better. If women-handling-the-conflicts-while-men-manage-their-testosterone-levels arrangement worked, we would have welcomed baby girls with the same joy we welcome baby boys.

We discuss the symptoms – suicides by young married women, dowry, bride burning, female foeticide and infanticide, ladke-wale-ladki-wale attitude (Do click!), domestic violence etc while avoiding looking at the real issue .

The conflicts (and the terrible consequences) will continue until all married  adults are free to live where ever it works best for them, because only then will half the children not be  seen as a challenging responsibility, to be trained to serve another family; a daughter’s parents will continue to be forced to bribe the husband’s family with dowry to accept her servitude.

Whenever daughters in law have had a choice, they have avoided these conflicts and moved out of their in laws homes (and this, despite the terrible social stigma).

Most women say they would rather live in poverty than live with mental stress.

2.

“Can man X rightfully ask for the 4th coffee of the day or whatever he wants in his in-laws’ house? The kitchen belongs not to his wife but his MIL.”

So we know why,

1. Daughters in law must not eat until other family members  in their husband’s home have eaten. [It’s not about hot hot chappaties]

2. In many parts of the country a daughter’s parents must not even drink a glass of water in their daughter’s marital home.

3. Daughters in law have to take permission if they want their friends or family to have a meal at their husband’s parents’ house.

Breaking these rules can bring disapproval. The disapproval, justified or oppressive, can bring ‘dishonor’ to a daughter’s parents.

4. And that is one of the reasons why daughters are seen as a liability. Daughters (paraya dhan) bring obligations, while sons (budhape ka sahara) bring home a  care giver for their parents.

So long as we think it’s wrong for a Veetodu Maapilai to live in his spouse’s parents’ home while it is the duty of his spouse to live in his parents’ home, we are unlikely to see Indian newly weds being blessed with ‘May you have healthy children‘, because ‘children’ would include daughters. 😐

Three things I like about me.

Tikuli of Spinning a yarn of life and Kiran of 36 and counting passed me the Cherry on Top Award 🙂

The award comes with  a set of unbend-able Rules 🙂
1. Thank the person that gave this to you
2. Copy the award and put it on your blog.
3. List 3 things you love about yourself
4. Post a picture you love (e.g a person you adore etc.)
5. Tag 5 people you wish to pass this award on to

So,

1. Thank You Tikuli and Kiran  🙂

2. Copied and pasted the hearts, polka dots and cherry badge…

3.Three things I like about myself…

i.)  I find it very easy to be happy… a chilled glass of Rooh Afzah milk, a blackened face in the morning newspaper 😉 or sighting of a Kingfisher or Large Green Barbet can make my day 😆

ii.) I don’t loose my temper easily. The last time I remember feeling really very angry was when I heard a college Principal defend (and hence encourage) perpetrators of street sexual harassment by claiming girls  who wore jeans provoked them.

iii)  Unlike some students in AMU, I know I would never give myself the right to interfere in other people’s personal lives.

4. Sharing a picture I received in an email… with a question, ‘A JKG? :P’

Not sure if he qualifies for the Joru Ka Gulaam Badge, but I know I admire those who can multitask 🙂

(The image is linked to the original site)

And I would like to tag…  LOL, I love this part!

The first five people who read/or comment on this post – consider yourself tagged!  😈

The invisible family member in the saas-bahu post.

An excerpt from an unpublished comment in response to, ‘From an Anonymous  DIL, Wife and Daughter‘ :

The biggest and most funniest thing is that it is a tussle between TWO WOMEN RPT TWO WOMEN. No feminists mentions this. This reminds me of an old saying in Hindi — Woman is the biggest enemy of another woman. Mother-in-law and newly DIL fighting over a bone. Pity the poor husband.

______________________________________________________________________

Why do I feel there would have been no saas-bahu post if it wasn’t for an invisible member?

Because no bahu would need to worry about what the saas thinks she should wear, eat, cook, drink etc … if there wasn’t a man who quietly conveys that he would not like it if she did not.

He has the society, custom and tradition by his side. He and the society forget that he is the reason why the daughter in law is in this relationship.

And it’s supposed to be a partnership.

Who should be held responsible if she feels, “...petty things seem impossible to handle and everything looks like its going to collapse…“? [More here]

Here was a girl working, studying, meeting friends, living a normal life.. and then suddenly everything changes. It doesn’t have to.

Times are changing. Whether we like it or not, women are beginning to have choices. They are realising that there’s more to life than getting married to a man who doesn’t think they are an equal partner. Soon, it’s not going to be possible to force a young girl to live an unhappy life.

If we want families to get along, or even stay together, we better make it worth while for the one member without whom it would be impossible to have this family system.

If we do not acknowledge that the system is biased, and if we do not change it fast, husbands will increasingly find themselves having to choose between a divorce or moving out with their spouse to make their own homes. (And nothing wrong with that either).

Maybe then Live-in relationships will find favour because they might free women from one-way-relationship responsibilities?

Traditionally husbands could live in reasonable comfort while remaining  invisible.  Infact they were discouraged from ‘interfering‘, which basically meant they must not support the wife. This generally made a new family member feel isolated. Today it should not be difficult for a middle class husband to imagine the wife’s discomfort – more so if they have had a similar upbringing, studied in similar schools, read similar books – how would he like to live with her family in similar circumstances?

I know of this man who stopped his wife from objecting to being bullied by his mother. He even convinced her to apologise to his mother sometimes. He  claimed to be stressed and fed-up with the situation at home, but continued to subject the equally (or more) fed up and stressed wife to it. His younger brother joined in finding faults with everything his brother’s wife (bhabhi) did.  The siblings said everyone is their house must obey their mom. Then the younger brother got married. He moved to first floor, made it clear that his wife was ‘modern‘ so she could wear whatever she liked and they went out whenever they pleased. I wonder how the older brother felt when he saw this? The family accepted the situation, they knew this son always had a mind of his own, while the elder one was the dutiful, obedient one.

I think the younger brother learnt from the example of the older one. He realised it was not possible to have a happy family unless his wife was happy. He refused to stay invisible.

_______________________________

*Bahu – Daughter in law

Saas- Mother in law

Bhabhi – Brother’s wife

JKG Badges! :)

Along with a new definition for Joru Ka Gulam [click] we had also requested for contributions for  the JKG Badge Contest [click]. We received nine entries. JKG Kislay, our Honor’ble Judge had no hope for mutton biryani (or any bribe in any other form) because we went out of our way to hide all the names from him (except one).

So please treat him now!!

And please don’t forget to mention which one is your favorite and most suitable for Reader’s Choice Award.

1.

By Aritra Chatterjee 🙂

JorukagulaamJKG

This badge created by Aritra Chatterjee has been chosen by our honor’ble judge, HRE JKG Kislay Chandra, as the ‘Official JKG Badge’.


2.

By Freya.

Desktop

JKG Kislay also loved this badge and declared it the second official JKG Badge.

3.

This badge by Solilo Don is his third choice 🙂

Hot Rotisjkg

When a man says “I make hot rotis for my wife.”, he might find himself being called a Joru Ka Gulam.

4.

By Freya again 🙂

Iheartbeingajkg1This is the coolest looking badge for a sidebar!!

5.

By Homecooked.

pandaJKG

Homecooked created this cute looking badge. Traditionally any man who shows affection to his wife is labelled a Joru Ka Gulam.

6.

By Vikas Gupta.

Is chosen by JKG Kislay for

JUDGES’ SPECIAL MENTION AWARD

JKG Vikas Gupta II Vikas’s Entry Number 3 touches upon the expectation that a woman must change her surname to her husband’s when she is married A man is not expected to make any changes to his name though. Any man who does not insist upon this surname changing (sometimes even the first name is changed) risks being labelled a Joru Ka Gulam.

7.

This one is by Freya, thank you for calling him JKG-IN-CHIEF Freya 🙂

SRK JKG in chief

He’s extremely popular amongst women, not just because he is considered hot but because he has changed the way Bollywood husbands spoke of their wives i.e. NEVER!

SRK is not a super star for nothing. He is a feminist and  he is not apologetic about it. I have blogged about this here and here.

8.

This badge by Freya emphasises the belief we have that some chores are too lowly for men (so women should do them).

doingdishesfavthingjkgIt’s often the mothers and even wives who object to men doing these chores. So if a man says he doesn’t mind doing the dishes, there’s horror and embarrassment for the wife, “Did she actually let him do the dishes!!!”

When he says he loves doing the dishes?

… scandal.

9.

This badge is also created by Freya … thank you for your contributions Freya!

Henpeckedandlovinitjkg

It’s expected of women to be devoted and ‘obedient’ to their husbands, if a man as much as shows affection he is declared henpecked. The best answer to any such labelling is to wear it with pride.

Which one did you like the best?! Please choose which badge deserves the Reader’s Choice Award!

Finally Joru Ka Gulam Redefined.

In India it takes a lot of guts for a man to take a stand against customs that oppress women. It’s worst if he is fighting in support of his wife (Joru)! All such acts of courage are rewarded by taunting and labelling them ‘JKGs = Joru Ka Gulam’. Literal meaning: ‘Slave of Wife’.

In JORU KA GULAM Contest we asked for a new definition for a Joru Ka Gulam, (who in reality is a man who dares to fight against gender injustice).

There were14 entries [Read them here] and the winners have been chosen by voting.

And the winners are…


1st

Entry Number 5 by Tearsndreams got an overwhelming support from women. 11 votes for first place came entirely from women voters. 7 votes for second place came both from men and women.

I think this is the kind of man women admire. Guys please take note 😆

2nd

Today an unmarried man be a JKG too.

Entry Number 1 by Sakshi got 8 votes – the 26 JKGs in this post made many young voters proud and emotional. The courage of each one of them is an inspiration for the young Indian male today.

3rd

Entry Number 3 by Vikas Gupta, I disagree when he suggests,

“In the slavery of his woman lies his freedom, emancipation and salvation.”

“..is often tied to his wife’s apron strings and not to his mother’s.”

“He loves what she loves and dislikes what she hates.”

But it seems many young men agree with him! This entry got 7 votes, and many of these came from young, unmarried men, including one that chose only one entry.

And finally Hitchwriter (Entry Number 4), Indy‘s husband (Entry Number 11) and Sakshi’s 26 cousins (Entry Number 1) are being declared JKGs!  😆

Their gorgeous, prize winning badges follow in the next post!

Here are some other opinions, guys be brave there’s some criticism too.

“Two contenders for 1st position- 10th and 9th entries.
Definition given by 10th is precise, to the point and bang on. 9th comes very close to this one. They talk of being fair, logical and rational. Having guts to stand up for, encourage and appreciate the wife besides helping and taking care of her. So these two are winning entries according to me.

***

2nd best is 4th entry.
… this definition is great because it talks about equality, accepting and apologizing for mistakes.”

***

Please permit a non Indian to take part in this contest.
Years ago, in London, I visited an exhibition named  “You ‘ ve come a long way, baby”. It was dedicated to the emancipation of women in the U.K, to their efforts for suffrage etc.I think that your blog deserves this title.
Indian women-as all women- deserve recognition, respect, right to higher education, right to self determination, to independence. I suppose Indian society is ready accept this kind of woman, who can live with dignity either with her loving JKG or without him…

***

2nd: Entry no. 3
talks about the JKG being not only a tough guy but also the friend every woman needs. (Do they exist?)

***

Elaborations for JKG given by 13 are great…”

***

“1st : Entry no. 5.
For this entry talks about equality even when the woman has lost hopes. Kudos .”

***

“Entry no.8 because it sounds so genuine! So much said in so few a words..”

***

“III – Entry no.13- A true JKG is one who believes in challenging social conditions, believes in equality not just after marriage but who lives by them even before his marriage.”

***

Entry 14 makes a very valid point when she/he says – “So, I feel a JKG should be anyone who challenges the social conditioning he is brought up with.

That and the fact that the man stands up and supports his wife because he knows and acknowledges his wife is right and his parents are wrong.

***

“I just love entry no 5….beautiful words and thoughts. Isn’t this all we want in the man we love? I am not one of those who think if my husband does all the household chores he can be the best JKG. I would rather like JKG’s who can encourage their wives at every phase of life to do things they want and brim up their confidence.”

***

“My first choice is entry number 11 for the simple reason that its about a real person.”

***

“2 – Entry No. 11 (Totally epitomises my husband :)

***

1. Entry Number 3 “I strongly believe there is no match to this JKG :)

***

1. Entry Number 1. (i just loved it)

***

“My ranking would be entry 5, then 9 and then 11. And I may not be JKG today but I will be back one day to claim the gold,silver and the bronze.”

***

Position 1 – Entry 4 – ‘A JKG would be some one who would treat himself and his wife EQUALLY.’

***

“I would go for Entry – 10 for first place, because it is very general definition I agree with. The other entries were making rules for a man to be a JKG, which in my opinion is not right.”

***

I would go for Entry No 11 and 12 for the second place, because I like both of them equally. I don’t really consider anything for the third place.

***

“I had a hard time after reading all the entries, but I loved #3 the best. I think it covered a lot of relevant points I can relate to.”

***

“Entry No 2 is not in english….so i think you should translate…”

***

“I like almost all entries…still, competition is competition, one has to lose for the other to win (watching too many reality shows, esp. saregamapa!) 5, 12 and 4!”

***

12th entry is my choice for the second one :)
Loved the way it is written :) Very practical approach!

***

2, 6, 13 in that order(1, 2, and 3)”

***

“2nd – Entry No. 11. ( I kinda can relate to it..)

3rd – Entry No. 10 ( short and sweet )”

***

Position 1 – Entry 4 – ‘A JKG would be some one who would treat himself and his wife EQUALLY.’

Position 2 – Entry 1 – ‘So to me a JKG is one who is not scared to stand up and willing to break all religious customs – just to hear a bubbling joy bursting out through the phone, to see a smile on their beloved sister’s face and bear all the anger and brunt from a society who is conditioned to keep a woman away from choosing her own life’

Position 2 – Entry 14. I think it makes a lot of sense to me. Some one who can question the social conditioning that he is brought up with, is more likely to be a true liberal and a real respecter of women.

It was tough deciding, IHM. I really liked Entry No. 7 too.. If I had a 4th option – it would be 7..

***

My vote for Entry no. 3 . And who wrote it , please ?

***

I liked the Hindi lines. :) (Entry number 2)

***

Hmm… all the above entries were a little too unrealistic, in my opinion. You talk of women being “conditioned” since birth and the husband must make her overcome that conditioning. How about the guy? Even he has been “conditioned” since childhood. He also needs help to overcome that conditioning. Isn’t it?

I feel what is important is a man should understand a woman’s wants and needs. He should respect her decisions, even if he doesn’t always understand them.
(Like not wanting to change her surname). He may not like it(because of social conditioning) but, he accepts it.

It is a long processes of unlearning and relearning. A man can be a JKG when a woman stands up for herself. We can’t put the whole pressure on the man alone.

***

JKG Badges in the next post!!!

VOTE FOR THE JORU KA GULAM WINNER!

Please vote for 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice 🙂 The question we asked was

“HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE A JKG?”

All the entries received have been published. Some definitions were received via email, and I had requested they be submitted as a comment – in case your entry is missing, please email me.

# Entry Number 1.

I am not gonna nominate my JKG husband for this contest as I knew he would be the best JKG as I had the choice of choosing him for that :razz: The JKG’s I am gonna mention here is not one but a whole set of 26 males whom I call brothers. They made sure my life as a kid was hell in every way. They teased me, pulled my hair, set traps, stole my gifts and what not. Yet they loved me to pieces. When I broke the news to my very large joint family about the man I wish to marry and that he was not only a north Indian but from a different religion, the elders took a unanimous decision to almost keep me under house arrest and get me married off to their choice of groom. It was these brave brothers who stood by me even though none of them ever got a chance to live life as they wished in a brutally orthodox muslim family. With their support and blessings I am leading a happy married life with the cutest JKG I could ever hunt down :mrgreen: I owe all my happiness to the JKG brothers in my life who constantly seeks assurance of my well being and still bears the brunt and rage of the elders in our family for my happiness :sad: Did I ever say how much I love my cousin brothers for giving me a life worth living?

So to me a JKG is one who is not scared to stand up and willing to break all religious customs – just to hear a bubbling joy bursting out through the phone, to see a smile on their beloved sister’s face and bear all the anger and brunt from a society who is conditioned to keep a woman away from choosing her own life.

I love my JKG brothers to death and know for a fact that all my bhabi’s are the luckiest ones. 🙂

# Entry Number 2.

जिसका जीवन हो सिर्फ बीवी के नाम
बिवीके चरणों में हो जिसके चारधाम…
बीवी के कहने पर हो सुबह और शाम
कहते हैं उस्से हम जोरू का गुलाम…

:D

[A rough translation – on request from a reader:

One whose life belongs to his wife/At wife’s feet he finds his pligrimage/It’s day or night for him on his wife’s command/he is called a JKG.]

# Entry Number 3.

The ideal type of the Joru Ka Ghulam:

‘Joru ka Ghulam’ is the folklorish version of the ideal man. Some of the characteristics of a JKG are as follows. The list is only indicative and not exhaustive. The following mostly relates to conjugal role but a JKG can be anybody from a boy in his first childhood to the grandpa in his second childhood.

JKG is the ‘new man’ who laments that women in the country got a raw deal over the centuries thanks to religion, customs, tradition, role stereotyping, orthodoxy and fundamentalism. He does his best to introduce the reforms and begins with his own life and family. He is the socially sensitive, ethical man and his heart bleeds for the society. He has a feminine side to his personality; he is androgynous in many ways.
He hates dowry and can boycott his family and friends and revolt against the society that demands/promotes dowry. He prefers a simple marriage ceremony and does not want to torture the bride’s family by bringing a huge baraat and following other decadent customs of marriage.
He touches his wife’s feet in return when/if she touches his feet on the wedding night. He talks to her all night and is not dying to deflower her like the traditional Indian male.
He wants a baby after marriage and not a son.
He nurses her when she is expecting and prays while she is getting a c-section in the hospital.
He loves kids and spends a lot of time with them. He himself is a kid in more ways than one.
He loves his wife and is often tied to his wife’s apron strings and not to his mother’s. This however should not mean that he ignores his parents.
He loves his parents-in-law and can live with them in the same home.
He can quit his job for her wife and can become a domestic husband. He is never jealous of her progress and loves the fact that she has a higher status. Also, he does not have any problem marrying a woman taller than him.
He loves doing household chores, cooking food, mopping the floor and the like. A JKG is a husband, father, driver, cook, gardener, milkman, her man Friday.
He loves the label ‘Joru Ka Ghulam’. In the slavery of his woman lies his freedom, emancipation and salvation.
Other women are jealous of his wife and suggest their men to emulate her man.
He often shouts from the rooftops, ‘My Wife My Life!’ JKGs are the men for whom it is said, “Behind every great man there lies a woman!”
He loves combing her hair and pillow fighting with her. He is the best friend of his wife.
He writes poems on her and wants to immortalise her.
He is not the typical ‘mard’ and often cries on her bosom. He is her first child in a manner of speaking.
He changes his life, lifestyle for her, quits cigarettes and other vices. Also, he does not snatch the TV remote from her but watches whatever she likes. He loves what she loves and dislikes what she hates.
He often confesses to her that it is she who makes him do what he can.
A JKG despite his enormous love for his woman is not blind to her wrongdoings. He corrects his woman as and when the need arises.
A JKG makes an ideal son, brother, husband, lover, father, employer, neighbour, friend and whatnot. JKG is a real humdinger.

# Entry Number 4.

1.) For contest no 2 I can give you my photo to use as a badge for JKG. !!!!

lol :lol:

2.) What is a JKG !!

I really dont know… but well… lets give it a try… A JKG is not a joru ka ghulam literally…

A JKG would be some one who would treat himself and his wife EQUALLY.

He may make mistakes but he must be alive to situations and be ready to acknowledge his mistakes when he does make them and not hesitate if he has to apologise to his wife or make up.

Over the years many things have just become a tradition… we dont even realise how and where the female is being given a raw deal… many times even the female doesnt know….

But when this point is raised the JKG should be able to reaffirm the equality part everywhere…

Let me cite an example :

When we guys have a night out… and we all stay out till the cows go home… but there are all kinds here…. some have to go early… maybe their parents dont like… maybe their wives dont like… or something else….

But to stop them from going home we normally always say… Baap Gharme Ghusne nahi dega… (tats fine) The guys ego doesnt get hurt when this is said…. so to take some more leverage another cliche is used Biwi ghar me ghusne nahi degi… (suddenly the male ego becomes a lil dodgy.) Some just stay a lil longer to prove that he isnt a JKG

the real JKG as we have learnt actually come and tell us… ghar ka problem nahi hai yaar…. par bahar biwi sofe pe sulayengi… lol !!!! 😀 😀 😀

Please edit the last part if you dont want to publish… but I have heard it… from some one… who doesnt mind being called scared of his wife… coz he isnt… and he doesnt need to prove to us… !!!!

Joru Ka Ghulam is just a taunt… nothing else… but amazing effects it has on the male ego !!!

# Entry Number 5.

JKG defined strictly for married men:
A JKG is someone who believes in a woman even when she doesn’t believe in herself. He is the person who undoes the damage caused by years of social conditioning that makes her doubt herself. He is the one who makes sure that the woman in his life reaches her full potential..someone who instead of just letting her be ,makes sure that she reaches where she could be (again assuming inequalities took away some opportunities)Someone who rather than insisting on providing for her makes sure that she can provide for herself if there is a need. Someone who instead of driving her around teaches her how to drive (assuming society didnt give her that chance), someone who instead of giving her cash to spend tells her to go and withdraw from the bank, someone who refuses to even answer stuff such as ‘what should I wear at the party’ because she is grown up enough to decide for herself but always answers ‘How do I look’ with ‘ as good as ever’ :-) .

You talked about how a JKG fights inequality and thats what shaped my answer. A husband has the greatest chance to undo the damage caused by social conditioning, to wipe out traces of inequality and doubts from social conditioning without really fighting with anyone, just constantly pushing his wife to do better. Husbands can either reinforce the inequalities or do all of the above to shatter the ceiling that requires the joint force of men and women.

# Entry Number 6.

My definition :
JKG is a man who is madly in love with his wife and thinks of her as his best friend.
& Whose favorite sentence is : Duniya gai tail lene!!

# Entry Number 7.

Earlier a JKG was the one who used to say, “TUM DIN KO AGAR RAAT RAAT “>KAHOGE, RAAT KAHENGE” ” baith ja– baith gaya, khada ho jaa khada ho gaya”

even now a JKG is still the same
a man who fights against the injustice meted out to women ( wife), who stands for his wife may be called as JKG by his family members. but in my eyes he is a person who is aware of his duties and responsibilities as a husband and who takes his marriage vows seriously

# Entry Number 8.

For this contest, you will have to visit us at our Dahisar residence!

# Entry Number 9.

JKG: A man who has a fair, logical, rational brain of his own (i.e. not influenced by ma, pa, daadi, duniya etc etc), one for whom gender is never the deciding factor in any decision, one who wants to marry an ‘independent’ woman instead of a ‘homely’ one, one who voluntarily shares domestic chores, (and in a lighter vein) one who might hate chick flicks but watches them with her coz she likes them, one who ‘tolerates’ shopping trips with a smile ;-) and hey I forgot the all important chivalry bit ;-)

# Entry Number 10.

According to me in Indian society any man who has the guts to stand up for his wife, take her side, show little bit of concern towards her,appreciate her in front of in-laws, encourage her to find her identity, helps her in household work, takes care of her is definitely a contestant for the award.

# Entry Number 11.

IHM, I’m writing this about my hubby with some trepidation as he is one of those men that , on the face would never admit to being a JKG…but actions speak louder than words! So at the risk of him vehemently and completely denying he is one, I’d say:

A loving JKG may very well be a tough man on the exterior, may mouth slogans against ever becoming a slave to his wife, but his love is so strong that it shines through in his actions!

He instantly held up and offered his palm for me to puke into,when I had a sudden attack of food poisoning on our honeymoon (and we were in the lobby of a hotel)!
When he willing woke up to feed/change the babies for you , in the middle of the night! Willingly donned the role of “mom” when you felt down and out, needed some extra sleep and so helped cook the meals for the day before heading to work! !Rushes to clean the kitchen and wash the dishes if he sees you alone and sighing heavily at the kitchen sink! A habit that comes from helping his own mom when little!
Will fight tooth and nail with anyone that hurts you!
Wants you by his side whenever he is at home, and calls you just to unload and hear how your day is going!
Consults you constantly although he claims his independence loudly!

Dear sir in my life, admit it or not, I can see it and,…Thank you!Masha Allah…!

# Entry Number 12

This was not an entry but a comment on another post,  I think this is the sort a thing a JKG would say.

“Well lets see, to start of with I have never in my life agreed that women are the weaker sex, they are more tolerant, compassionate & definitely more resilient.

Then, comes the stereo type of women being emotionally weak or just simply being emotional which is more to do to empathy as a factor in women psychology plays a major role than in men, so being emotional has nothing to do with mental or physical stability in a woman.

And, also when you get married you are looking for a companion, someone who is intelligent, some one you can relate to, talk to, discuss your kids, you aint looking for a nanny or a nurse to take care of your kids & do the household. And, lastly of the Indian stereotype of men are the financial support and women the household slave is utterly stupid because sub consciously a lot of men know that their wives can earn more than what they can & thus are never allowed to work.”

# Entry Number 13 [ADDED LATER]

I am late…i hope u at least consider publishing this entry for JKG contest

A JKG is…

Someone who is willing to give the same “luxuries” which the Indian society happily gives to men/sons. Someone who treats the joru equal and understands that she had a life and family of her own before marriage and will continue to do so after marriage. Elaborations below-

Case1: Both joru and pati’s in-laws stay in other town/country –
Someone who is willing to share the trip into three equal parts – one where wife stays with him at his parent’s place, second where he stays with wife at her parent’s place and third where they stay separate at their respective places reliving the days when they were single :D

Case2: Hubby and Wife both earn, or one of them earns
Same as above, someone who is willing to financially bear responsibility of three distinct families – one his parents and his side of family, second her parents and her side of family and third their own family

Case3: Same Respect
Someone who does not believe that wife needs to “touch” his feet to please him or IL’s or the society, someone who does not believe in “kanyaadan” or dowry and vehemently opposes such acts

Case4: Household ghulam
Someone who “willingly” loves to help or own household chores, if wife is busy at work, is ready to cook up a meal just as the wife does when he is busy

Case5: Surname does (not) matter!
Someone who understands that his wife might not prefer to change her name or last name and lovingly agrees to this. Someone who wants their kids to bear a mixed last names and middle names which involves both mother’s and father’s identity someway

Case6: No Joint family
Someone who does not bully wife or condition his fiancee to live with only his parents after marriage. This JKG understands that the wife needs time with her family, her parents need to be taken care of as nicely as he wants his to be taken care of, her parents wants to spend time with grandkids as much as his parents want. Someone who stands against society and convinces his parents to stay separately, maybe a location which is equally accessible by both of their parents.

# Entry Number 14 [ADDED LATER]

Ok. A guy may grow up under different circumstances. He may grow up with a father who beats up his mother, his father may believe his word should be law…. so many things. Growing up with a father like that, he may think that is normal behaviour. So, I feel a JKG should be anyone who challenges the social conditioning he is brought up with.
This man may not be the kind who’ll give his wife breakfast in bed or even be ok with her wanting to keep her surname after marriage. But, he would still be one, simply for having the courage to question the social conditioning he was brought up with.

I feel there is this other side of India where boys want to get a higher education only to get a better dowry, those who think girls who wear jeans are sluts. When you are surrounded by such an atmosphere, any guy who has the courage to question or argue with such a mentality deserves to be called a JKG.

Please choose the best entry.

Feel free to add comments and best three entries (or all in order of preference).

Comments will not be published.

Results will be published only after polling is over 🙂

IMPORTANT: PLEASE VOTE BY COMMENTING, LEAVE YOUR FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD CHOICES IN THE COMMENT BOX. This is required because a reader commented very wisely, that “Voting by comments only could have been the best option. You know one can clear cookies and vote again and again [or just open the page in different browsers and vote more than once].”

So I removed the Polldaddy.com option. Sorry for the inconvenience caused guys, please do vote in a comment again!!!






What is a JKG !!

I really dont know… but well… lets give it a try… A JKG is not a joru
ka ghulam literally…

A JKG would be some one who would treat himself and his wife EQUALLY.

He may make mistakes but he must be alive to situations and be ready
to acknowledge his mistakes when he does make them and not hesitate if
he has to apologise to his wife or make up.

Over the years many things have just become a tradition… we dont even
realise how and where the female is being given a raw deal… many times
even the female doesnt know….

But when this point is raised the JKG should be able to reaffirm the
equality part everywhere…

Let me cite an example :

When we guys have a night out… and we all stay out till the cows go
home… but there are all kinds here…. some have to go early… maybe
their parents dont like… maybe their wives dont like… or something
else….

But to stop them from going home we normally always say… Baap Gharme
Ghusne nahi dega… (tats fine) The guys ego doesnt get hurt when this
is said…. so to take some more leverage another cliche is used

Biwi ghar me ghusne nahi degi… (suddenly the male ego becomes a lil
dodgy.) Some just stay a lil longer to prove that he isnt a JKG

the real JKG as we have learnt actually come and tell us… ghar ka
problem nahi hai yaar…. par bahar biwi sofe pe sulayengi… lol !!!! 😀
😀 😀

Please edit the last part if you dont want to publish… but I have
heard it… from some one… who doesnt mind being called scared of his
wife… coz he isnt… and he doesnt need to prove to us… !!!!

Joru Ka Ghulam is just a tease… nothing else… but amazing effects it
has on the male ego !!!