Sharing an email. What would you do?
Sharing an email. What would you do?
I am sharing an anonymous email. What do you think would be the traditional advice here? And what would you suggest?
I have a problem but thankfully I’m not married to him yet 🙂 I don’t write, so may not be able to express it well.
We have been seeing each other for almost three years now and we have been in love before (not the pehla pehla pyaar type). My ex moved on to another girl and we have been sparingly in touch since. His ex got married and they are back to being best friends (like they were before falling in love). She moved to the US with her husband but calls him occasionally.
Problems started pretty early because I wasn’t really comfortable with her calling him. I showed my discomfort on many occasions but he always took her side and assured me that my fears were unfounded and I was just being jealous. We have had many fights, with the issue usually being her. But he never stopped talking to her.
Finally one day a few months back, I was staying back at his place with a couple of friends when she called around midnight. It was daytime for her but I wasn’t very comfortable. I told him very politely but clearly that she cannot call him at midnight. He had to make it clear that he was committed and his girl friend wasn’t feeling good about this. I do not know what they talk about on the phone and I never checked his mails. He assured me that he wont pick any more calls at night. I went onsite for three months and when I came back I checked his phone log and mail, still don’t know why. I saw that she had been calling him everyday at around the same time at night. And they had exchanged quite a number of mails, not romantic but not ‘friend’ type either. He had always told me that he was very busy with work, so we weren’t talking so much. But he had found time to talk to her, everyday. I confronted him. We had a lot of fights but he never accepted that he was cheating on me. I am disheartened by the fact that he was doing something behind my back, that I had told him not to. And he never found time to tell me.
Even if I try to forget the incident I am not being able to trust him anymore. Our families have already started talking so it wont be very easy for me to back out now. Plus I’m 27 and my parents were pretty happy that I finally found someone. On one side I do not know whether ‘she’ is worth breaking the relationship. But does a relationship have any meaning without trust? Now even if he says that he is busy in office, and he might really be, I am not being able to believe him. I’m out of India again and have no idea what he is doing there. I have also realized from his mails to her that he has been telling her everything about us. About all our fights. Am I just jealous and insecure or is there really something to worry about?
It would be a great help if someone who doesn’t know both of us could give me an opinion on what I could do. Thanks!
Twenty seven and insecure
Twenty seven and Insecure says, “I do not know whether ‘she’ is worth breaking the relationship.” If this relationship does break, do you think it would be because of the man’s ex, the ‘she’?
Sharing the Anonymous Indian Liberated Wife‘s response and a question she asked.
First, some clarifications:
1. I am not dependent on him for money. I will be able to sustain more or less the same lifestyle without him. The house is in my name and I paid for it. There is also a car that is paid for with my money. I have my own investment portfolio. Money is not a reason for being in or out of this relationship. It’s not even a factor. Neither is lifestyle.
2. I did not marry him for social security. today, part of my fear does come from “How will my son react to other children calling him a divorce kid“, and how will he react to other boys telling him, “I can call my papa but you cant call your papa because he does not live with you!” but it does NOT come from people giving me a social stigma because of being separated.
My worry is not social or financial “security”.
After this post, there has been a lot of revelation… and quite a lot of introspection.
For instance, so far, most of the people are asking the question “Whats in this marriage for you anyway?” the right answer, predictably, is ‘Nothing.’
I want to now turn that question around and ask, “What is it that I will get by getting a divorce?“
I am already independent, get money for the housekeeping, and take care of the child.
The only thing that a divorce will give me, is the freedom to have another relationship… but my guess is that such relationship will be short-lived…and I’m trading in one frustration for many smaller frustrations…
So net net, what do I get by staying married? Nothing. What will i get by getting divorced? Nothing…
I also agree that the child will grow up seeing an unloving family – but my honest question is this – Yes, my child does see that something is very wrong with his family (separate rooms, no holidays together except to dadi’s house et al) , but the other scenario he will see is not rose tinted either – no father at all, or father in a separate house. taking turns to live in two houses, not knowing which set of friends to call his own.
How much “normal” will his life then be?
1. So this man has clear ideas about the kind of woman he wants to marry.
2. These parents would love the guy in the ad above, provided he is ‘from our own community‘.
3. What if their daughter does not want ‘a nice boy from our own community‘?
There’s help available 😉
4. Or she might decide to get to know him a little.
5. But don’t forget who calls the shots. (Now such ads have been replaced with TV serials.)
6. Finally it seems everybody has a boss. 😆
There was another commercial I can’t find, where the groom-to-be must prove to the bride-to-be’s father and brother, that he can provide for his future wife. He does that with confidence because he has XYZ life insurance or investment plans. The bride-to-be gets up from next to her father to this man’s side once he has assured her father (and brother) that he had planned their future vacations and jewelery.
It seems marriage is a favorite theme for Insurance and Investments advertisements.
How do you like the second one – Community Matrimonials dot com?
I feel the Pepsi ad mocks at our prejudices and uses them to deal with our other prejudices. Do you agree?
If he needs sex, obey him. “You must satisfy your husband. A good wife should be a whore in bed,” (A tip for club members to prevent husbands from straying.)
And to imagine this coming from Rohaya Mohamad a 46-year-old doctor, whose husband has three other wives, not an average woman’s idea of a successful or happy marriage.
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A group of Malaysian women launched an “Obedient Wife Club” on Saturday, urging members to be “whores in bed” and obey their husbands to curb social ills like divorce and domestic violence.
Shouldn’t women instead be informed that the only thing that prevents them from finding real life-partners for themselves (instead of those who marry them to curb social ills like prostitution), is their social conditioning?
“We should really be forming equality in marriage clubs,” she added. [Click to read more]
I googled to read more reactions,
This view is insulting to both men and women, and it’s not limited exclusively to countries with more strongly religious populations. It’s sadly pervasive in American society as well. [Click to read the article at Jezebel]
For Indian women (and their divorce rates), we have ‘Manju Sanskar Kendra‘ in Bhopal, where girls, often teenagers, are taught to ‘adjust properly‘ since ‘families are breaking up because girls nowadays have too much ego‘.
Hemnani says he was open to taking classes for men and their mothers too (Not fathers?) but there was no response. Maybe they didn’t want to know what caused tuberculosis?
The head of this institution (who, surprise, surprise is a man) has authored books on this topic “ Grahasth Mein Vyavaharik Jeevan (Practical Married Life) for one. For the uninitiated, this book scatters many pearls of wisdom, such as too much sex is the cause of diabetes and tuberculosis among men.[Click to read]
Here’s a letter from an Indian woman who is eager to join Manju Sanskar Kendra in Bhopal because she confesses she, “started getting all bad, bad thoughts about Bill (her fiance) – I tried, I really tried to control myself but you must remember that I did not have the benefit of attending your school then…” 🙂
Does the fact that such schools have limited takers and face derision shows we have started putting common sense above old habits (euphemistically called traditions)?
We generally expect men to be afraid of commitment and marriage, but obviously women can have similar doubts. Women are generally expected to want marriage. Sex, children, safety from sexual harassment, respect, financial security and lots more is disallowed to most people, but more specially to women, unless they marry.
This was a comment on ‘Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation‘.
I have faith in your blog and in the sensible advice readers offer here. To talk a little about my life – I am an unmarried twenty eight year old woman residing with my parents, living a hectic life-I go to office, come back, eat dinner, watch a bit of TV, waste time on comp, read a book, and then sleep for another day. On weekends too, it remains the same (yep even the office going part, mostly 😦 ), except that I laze on Saturdays and Sundays. Now, my parents are pestering me to get married, I am already old by Indian standards.
But the real problem is that I hate/am scared of the very concept of marriage/relationship: Friends around me are getting married, but I am scared of making any commitment yet. I am unable to see the point of it all – devoting your life to one person is such a waste of a good life. One reason could be the complete absence from my life of that entire love thing, whatever that means. And it might also be that I have internalised this hate for relationships/ commitment. I do not know what it is, but I definitely do know that men as objects of lust appear more appealing than as objects of love. I have also started believing that there is no such thing as true love – and that it is just a name for endless compromises that people make in order to remove their loneliness. Moreover, I have grown out to be too self centered to actually think about making sacrifices in a relationship, like my friends do. One point in time I was probably ready to make sacrifices, but not anymore – and as I have realized this is probably a good way to live your life. But somehow, sometimes, I do feel terribly alone. I enjoy this loneliness at times, but for how long? What after my parents pass away? I will be left to fend for myself and by then, my younger brother will have a family of his own. His wife may/may not like a sister-in-law residing with them.One thing I know for sure is I want people around me and not want to be abandoned, though I do enjoy solitude immensely and want my freedom.
As far as the responsibility of a relationship or marriage – I am afraid I will not be able to motivate myself enough to carry it forward. The more the responsibility on me, the less keenly I work nowadays. I generally laugh at people who show too much enthusiasm for life, or their work, or even their relationships.
Also, People bore me after a particular time, which is why when someone gets too close to me, I try stupid things in order to alienate them. I do not want to become best friend to people – burden of relationships or expectations – whether of parents or of society kills me.
I wonder if I can save myself from society and people casting doubts on my character if I choose to remain single. I am also afraid of getting trapped in a stagnant marriage if I choose to marry as most of my friends are but would rather die than admit to it. I am scared of becoming sexually frustrated, being used by a man or becoming a pervert, a mere “f–k buddy” in a live in relationship, if I choose to live life on my own terms.
I am successful career-wise but seem to be heading nowhere as far as my life is concerned.
What should I do?
Please guide me, someone suggested I write here.
Thank you in advance.
Silent O’s email reminded me of Anon’s comment on ‘Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.’
Anon said, “The point is I have a wonderful marriage because of the man I married. Everyone tells me to forget in-laws, but can I forget them? They are an integral part and it hurts me when they pass stinging comments. I think I am paying price for a love marriage.” (Click to read).
I’m writing to you because there’s no one in my real life that I can talk frankly to about this, or get an honest, unbiased opinion from.
I’m almost 27, have been working for 6 years and currently live by myself. I like a guy, whom i got to know about 5 years back. He has been studying/working abroad for more than 4 years now. We like each other but his parents do not approve of the match because we belong to different castes. They are totally against it. This was always expected to an extent but we had assumed they would budge if this was told to them after he had established himself in his career, proved himself, and so on. But that’s definitely not the case. He’s visiting India, and will return in a few weeks. He’ll come back next after probably 9 months.
I had talked a bit about the guy to my mom a few months back and mentioned that his family wouldn’t approve easily. My mom was concerned about that, understandably. And later when she asked me, sometime last year, i told her that his parents wouldn’t approve and that was it. We haven’t talked about it since, she assumes that I’m fine with it being that way because she doesn’t know the details. I haven’t updated her about the recent events either (him visiting, actually talking to his parents about it)
Also, things in general have not been very normal at my home. Sort of dysfunctional. Dad used to be a drunkard, is even now to an extent, and that created a rift in the way things are in my family. I have a younger brother, and we (mom, brother and me) are close but don’t talk much to my dad, cos he just wont, and wont take any help, or change or even listen out and he is just very short tempered, to say the least. That’s just the general pic at home, a bit about where i come from.
I really like this guy, totally trust him, am sure things will be good if i choose to be with him. That is, things will be good for the two of us. But I’m not sure if i can handle his parents’ hatred or begrudging approval (that is if they do agree, this will be the best it will get) or if I can put my family through all this.
My family and extended family have been behind to get me married ever since my elder cousin got married earlier this year. But I don’t know what is the right thing to do here. It’s overwhelming for so many reasons. What would you suggest that someone do in such a case – one set of parents dead against the match? The best it will get is ‘fine, go get married to her if you want to, we don’t approve of it’. Which the guy is fine with, because he doesn’t see any reason in their disapproval. They wont agree to even meet me;/my folks just to meet once.
It’s not that I intend to get married within a deadline, or let others decide when/whom i should get married to. But am I holding on to something that i shouldn’t be? Should i let go, accept that things are for the good, and try to go on from here?
Am I even considering everything that a girl ought to be thinking about? What do you think? Please let me know.
Thank You for reading through:)
Anonymous xyz was disappointed with the last post. (“I don’t claim to be a spokesperson for all the men on this planet, but…” )
He says there are some more problems he is facing, I am sure these are common problems. His comments in bold.
Doesn’t matter if my wife often rakes up property issues,
IHM: I think it does matter. Here’s a link (it’s in Hindi) with information about a Daughter in law’s Legal Rights so far as inheritance is concerned. Your parents have a right to decide what they do with their own hard earned money.
or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health,
IHM: It matters. Please assure her that you would do the same for her parents too. If you have financial difficulties, please know that your siblings, including sisters are also required to contribute.
comparing the gifts that I give to my sisters on rakhi.
IHM: Matters. Reminding her that you won’t question/compare what she spends on her siblings might help?
Added: But also consider, yearly Rakhi gifts to your sisters who are, today your equals in every way, can be compared to dowry? Why no gifts to brothers, they are siblings too.
I can move out today if I want (though the house is big), but my mother wants me to stay on since she feels helpless alone.
IHM: The size of the house is less important than how much at home she feels in your house. Does she feel this is her house too? If not why not? Do you and your family feel this is her house as much as it is yours? Do you value her opinion on family matters? Is she included in decision making, budget planning, family jokes etc like all the other members are?
Does she have as much authority as she has responsibilities? This applies to all family members. It’s not possible to like to live in a place where we are treated as less equal.
Only honest answers can truly solve your problems.
Both my wife and mother use their tactics to get their way and both feel martyred.
IHM: Your wife (or even your mother) would have handled a situation like this in office or anywhere else on her own, if nothing else then may be by simply ignoring the person she does not get along with. Would you like her to do that here?
If you interfere and stop her (or them) from doing that, then you are taking the responsibility of ensuring that the situation is comfortable for both.
Is it possible that both are over worked? Tedious, routine house hold chores can be very stressful, make sure you all do your share (equal share) of household chores.
Maybe the word ‘driven’ was wrongly used or my wife has many unrealistic expectations from our marriage.
IHM: Generalizations don’t help, I would suggest sorting specific issues. What expectations do you consider realistic or unrealistic?
For example expecting to have house help is not unrealistic in India. Thinking you have a right on your siblings’ share in your parents’ property is unrealistic. Expecting those siblings to contribute in care giving (physical and financial) is realistic.
I hate it when she uses my failings against me and thwarts any genuine attempt to reach a reconciliation because in that resolution she has to invariably adjust.
IHM: Genuine attempts to reach a reconciliation would mean any resolutions are arrived at jointly. Are the adjustments expected from both or is only one of you required to make all the adjustments?
I maybe asking her for more cooperation and adjustment
IHM: Maybe asking her to suggest solutions would work better? Like asking her what she thinks might work better? This way the responsibility is shared and this would make her feel included.
and seriously can’t afford an entourage of servants.
IHM: Do you plan your expenses together? If she is aware of the financial limitations and feels equally responsible for budgeting, she might either accept your plan to save on domestic help, or show you it might work better to have help at home.
Since there is a lot of stress at home, it might help to have domestic help to reduce chores related stress.
My mother does whatever she can and so does my wife, but then why this clash to dominate?
IHM: Maybe they are not compatible? Your parents might benefit from spending some time with your siblings occasionally?
Maybe you would all be happier if you lived in your own homes, even if means spending more, you’d probably live better quality of life. Many families would trade luxuries for peace of mind.
We both have a job but managing children is another problem.
IHM: How are you managing house work with both of you working? Does your mother manage all the house work? If yes, is that fair?
Do you do your share, before expecting other family members to contribute? It would be unrealistic to expect another member to do your share of work, that includes your mother (Nita’s comment) and your wife.
I do feel when both the partners are working then they do need some house help. Even if your parents supervise, they could be spared the physical labor.
I had a love marriage and accepted no dowry.
IHM: But please don’t see that as a favour to your wife, or as deprivation for your parents. It’s even possible that your wife would not have married you if you had accepted dowry. If you talk about it too much, you might sound like you think accepting dowry was an option.
(I am not saying you do that, but I have blogged about some families who do.)
was I concentrating more on my own needs, or I can ask my wife to adjust?
IHM: If you really want your problems to be solved, you will have to answer this question honestly to yourself. Remember happiness is not possible in a relationship where one person thinks they have some special rights because they are women/men. Respect fair play.
Would you be willing to exchange places with your spouse? No, being men/women does not mean we become more tolerant, caring, sacrificing, unemotional etc. Those are excuses made by abusers.
is it wrong to expect her to adjust when she wants to do each and everything her way
IHM: Yes. It is not right to expect someone to ‘adjust’ when they want to do something in a way different from yours – either they should understand your point of view or else they will do the ‘adjusting’ filled with resentment.
Have no hope of intimacy from someone who is resentful.
is it wrong that my parents want to leave behind some property for their daughters also who are now married whereas my wife thinks otherwise?
IHM: No it is not. Parents have legal right to leave equal (or not) property to all their children. Your wife might feel she deserves more (through you) because she is made to adjust and take care, while your siblings are not, but apart from what she has received as gifts from them (generally jewellery) she has no right on what your parents own, except through you.
This is also why your sisters have as much (legal and moral) responsibility as you to take care of your parents’ health care expenses. It is possible that your wife sees herself giving more than she receives and that makes her bitter.
I don’t give much thought to property like my wife does.The problem is not of property but of living peacefully together.
IHM: Property does become a big issue in Indian families. Most wives believe their husband’s home is their home and the sisters in law are ‘paraya dhan’ but legally the sisters have the same rights on the property as the sons. (I think this does not apply to agricultural land – if you wish you can click here and find out more).
Maybe if the sisters took equal responsibility in caring for your parents and also contributed financially for your father’s health care, it would be fair to you both. Legally all children are equally responsible for caring for their parents in their old age.
[Note: Both the links are in Hindi (shared by Desi Girl). Please do share if you know of any equally helpful links in English.]
Here are some commonly heard arguments against Live-in Relationships. (I picked these from the comments on ‘Live-in relationships in general are inherently advantageous to men and disadvantageous to women?‘)
The basic premise seems to be that Marriage gives women and ‘their’ children ‘Respect and Acceptance’ in society while Live in Relationships don’t.
1. How have women and their children (and even the society) benefited from this dependence of women (and their children) on ‘Respect’ and ‘Acceptance by Society’?
2. Could this Respect be a trap that restricts and rules women’s lives, choices, sexuality, happiness and freedom?
3. Is it possible that women might live better lives if they did not have to depend upon the ‘Acceptance by the Society;? (Like most other people?)
Here’s the comment.
“If a woman is not careful in her selection, she may end up becoming a bed partner of the man , without the associated commitments and responsibilities.
The man gets a temporary disposable wife. A use and throw kind of wife.”
If that is true, then doesn’t the woman also get a temporary disposable partner? If both are uncommitted, and if neither is being forced or exploited, then why is it seen as wrong? How and who does this harm?
But it is believed that women do not want ‘temporary disposable partners’ while men don’t miss a chance to find one.
Gender Stereotypes. Men are insensitive, commitment-phobes, women are desperately looking for marriage (and if they dare to admit they aren’t, they must be sluts – this doesn’t apply as strongly to men because ‘men are like that only’).
“Women I like to believe will not chase a man for the sole purpose of sharing his bed. Their needs are emotional and much more sophisticated.”
Women are people too. They may want to do all the things that everybody else does. Not all women are emotional, and men can be emotional too.
And of course a woman can chase a man just for sharing his bed, with no desire to marry him.
This is one of the reasons why Patriarchy disallowed premarital sex (mainly for women). Maybe because in the past, it put a man at risk of raising a child who did not carry his genes. To ensure ‘purity of lineage’ strict rules were laid down, unwed mothers were not allowed to raise their children on her own. Widows could, but that was acceptable, because they were married when they got pregnant. It was made mandatory for every child to be known by their father’s name.
Did it harm some children?
The child’s well being was not a big concern. Lineage was.
“At the risk of putting it crudely, a live in relationship in some cases may end up as a multiple night stand instead of a one night stand for the man. Mature men and women may be an exception to this rule.
I don’t expect this statement to go down well with live in enthusiasts. But this is my secret inner fear.”
Assuming this is the case, if there is no force, exploitation or abuse – how does it matter to anybody else what two consenting adults do in their personal lives? What makes it wrong?
“It is always the woman who bears the brunt of pregnancy.”
That should, can and is being changed. If a woman wants, she can ensure that the man provides child support. This would be only as inconvenient as dealing with an irresponsible but married father.
“It is the woman more likely to be emotionally and psychologically scarred if the relationship terminates.
Men are crude thick skinned creatures.”
Any relationship exposes those involved to pain. Men are not thick skinned creatures, although they are expected to hide their feelings. Devdas was a man too. Drinking, smoking, violence, acid throwing, stalking, aggression, murder, and suicide are seen as manly ways to deal with pain or rejection.
“They will simply look for fresh prey.”
Relationships are not about trophies, hunting and preys. Men and women both might see relationships as conquests.
“After getting pregnant, if they choose to have the baby, they are denying their children a legal and socially acceptable father.”
Sushmita Sen has two adopted daughters, no husband. Neena Gupta has one biological daughter – no husband. Thousands of widows in India have no source of income, they suffer abuse and raise children alone. Which children of these single mothers do you think have better lives?
In the past Indian society never cared about children (and not just girl children) – children were seen only as ‘budhape ka sahara’, brought up on Shravan Kumar stories. Children were told the parents did them a favor by ‘bringing them to this world’ and by caring for them.
Thankfully parents are becoming more matured and responsible now, one hears about mutual respect, love, care and support. And less about a child ‘repaying’ the parents’ karz’ (debt).
“Right or wrong, men will find it easier to get married later if they walk out of a live in relationship.
Right or wrong, women will find their live in relationship another handicap if they change their mind.”
That is if she wants to marry. And if she wants to marry a man who wants to marry a woman who has never been in a relationship.
Which brings me back to this post – what if women saw marriage as just another option in life and not their life purpose? Don’t you think that might open up a universe of previously unseen options for them?
“A loving caring environment is not enough. A child needs a father. Ask any orphan. It needs a mother, a grandfather, grandmother, cousins and uncles and aunts too.”
If the society realises that children need all this then why do we deprive children born out of marriage from all this?
Our social rules are not child-friendly.
Live in Relationships might actually bring more acceptance to children of both gender.
1. Independent women who see more to life than Geting Married and Staying Married will make being a woman easier in our society, they would then be seen as an asset to the society, and so more girls would be allowed to be born/live.
2. All children, no matter whether their parents were married or not would be able to live with their mothers/families. I know of a mother who did not sign the documents for her child to be made available for adoption, for three years after the child’s birth, because she was hoping the child’s father would marry her. Now the solution is not that she should not have had the child (because that solution has not worked for centuries) – the solution is she shouldn’t have had to bother whether she was married or not. Today this is possible, and high time.
The society/law makers are becoming aware of every child’s right to live with dignity.
Live-in Relationships might just help make this easier…
“Will a child from a live in relationship enjoy the facility of sitting on the lap of its grandparent and be told a bedtime story? Couples in live in relationships will live by themselves. They may not even welcome the parents of their partner to visit them and neither will these parents like to embarrass their son/daughter by visiting them.”
This would depend on the families and the couple. Married couples could prefer to stay away from their families, and Live in couples might enjoy mingling with their families.
“When a child born out of live in relationship, meets and mingles with normal children of married parents, how can you gauge what feelings it experiences?”
If the families(/extended families/social circle) care for their grand children(/their children’s friends) they will not misguide their children to treat other children differently for any reasons.
If they don’t understand, then the parents might choose to avoid those who treat their children differently. Remember the need to mingle is mutual and given a choice, matured parents would rather have their children playing with well brought up children, irrespective of whether or not their parents have a marriage certificate.
“What next? Will live in enthusiasts accept the next stage in this progression?
What if some of you feel ” Why have a live in relationship with just one person? Why not have more these and experiment with A, B, C etc.? Let the other partner also experiment with P, Q, R at the same time. Live with different partners for a month each and see which partner is best””
This can happen in a marriage also. And much worse, when consenting partners are not found, they might stoop to force, Strauss Kahn and Shiney Ahuja are just two examples.
This is a part of a comment by SamosaOfDoom in this discusion yesterday. I would like to know what the readers think.
Do you agree that Marriages are advantageous to Indian women while Live in relationships are not?
What do you think is the biggest reason for breaking of marriages in India? Are married women in India more independent (financially and otherwise) than single women, or women in Live in relationships?
“Have you heard of the concept of “male privilege”? Relationships are one of the biggest manifestations of it.
Simply put, the fact that being a man puts a person at a huge financial advantage in life. Marriage is supposed to equalise that advantage since the law in most countries forces equal ownership of cash, savings and assets between couples, but live-in relationships kill this safety net for women, especially in countries that do not have “common law marriage” laws.
How are men at a huge financial advantage in our world?
#1: Babies are incompatible with earning a good income – BUT ONLY FOR WOMEN:
Men can choose to have kids without taking a career/earnings hit, but women are forced to choose between an uninterrupted career and having babies.
The impact of 6 months’ maternity leave per child is not limited to just lost earnings for that duration, but comes with a host of additional hindrances: study after study shows that mothers face enormous hiring discrimination – it’s practically impossible to go back to your career at the same level/wage/opportunity which you left it before the baby; mothers face staggering wage discrimination – one recent study showed US employers offering 11% lower starting salaries for moms compared to childless women even though their resumes were identical; moms are systematically discriminated against by the working world in a hundred different ways, from lack of pumping breaks and pumping rooms for nursing mothers which forces them to choose between baby’s health and their earnings, to lack of affordable childcare options which often means that it makes more financial sense for families for mothers to quit their jobs rather than pay for daycare. (And it’s almost always MOTHERS that quit.)
#2: Women are expected to do the lion’s share of unpaid labour in our world, which seriously impacts their lifetime earnings.
In the US where gender parity is way higher than in India, women still spend double the amount of time as men do on domestic chores and three times as much time on childcare — and this is in households where both partners work fulltime! Women form 70% of unpaid carers for the terminally sick and elderly people (usually family) — again, this is in the US where there is way more gender parity in these matters than in India.
Men and women work equally hard in general, and yet society only considers “men’s work” as work deserving of pay. We think “women’s work” OUGHT to be done for free, regardless of its usefulness or how essential it is (we are willing to pay maids and nurses but not wives for doing the exact same job). Because of this, women are systematically financially shortchanged all through their lives (and correspondingly men are systematically advantaged by all the extra time they can devote to paid labour) which leaves women absolutely impoverished in comparison to men by the end of it.
#3: Gender-based discrimination severely disadvantages women and severely advantages men.
It starts at birth and continues throughout a man’s life – a series of inbuilt advantages handed to him in a platter labeled “male privilege”.
– In the name of “safety” girls are forced to be home by 6 or 7 PM but boys can stay out late doing what they like, which allows boys time to DO stuff, learn things and build lasting friendships that carry on into adulthood.
– In the name of “safety” girls and women are restricted from going anywhere except a select few places (school, college, office, restaurant, mall, home and THAT’S IT) but boys are free to roam where they please (Collect scraps from the junkyard in the bad part of town to build a radio? SURE! Start a volunteer group to tutor slum kids every evening? WHY NOT! Hobnob with bigshot clients after work at the local pub? ABSOLUTELY!), which gives men a huge advantage in negotiating with the world, making connections and creating opportunities… an invaluable skill in life that is hugely helpful to their careers.
– In the name of “safety” or “decorum”, girls are often forbidden from socialising with boys and men, so they are cut off from having meaningful relationships with future bigshots as well as people who are in a position to serve as mentors in the working world. But boys have access to all this, allowing them to build and be part of “old boy networks” which will help them immensely in their careers.
– All over the world it is still the norm for wives to support their husbands’ careers at the expense of their own. Studies show that when couples move to a new city, for instance, husbands’ salaries increase and wives’ salaries drop drastically.
– Men are thought to be inherently (even biologically) better leaders than women, or inherently better engineers, or inherently better musicians, or inherently better X, Y, Z (where X, Y, Z are highly prestigious, high power, highly paid skills). Women are thought to be inherently better at low prestige, low power, low/un- paid skills. This means women who want to break into high pay, high power, high prestige positions are fighting from the beginning against people’s prejudices against them.
So a man gets many financial advantages while the female partner gets many financial disadvantages.
Marriage, among other things, is supposed to even out the financial imbalance since couples are forced by law to split all assets. Thus live-in relationships in general are inherently advantageous to men and disadvantageous to women.”
How do you think does this apply to Indian women?