Fortune Mother Exchange : Mother’s cooking for Indian male children.

What do you think of this ‘mother exchange program’?

Indian women in traditional families are raised to be these mothers. Some comments seem to find the video ‘moving’.

Do you think the video would have been found so moving, by the same people, if it was mothers of young daughters in law (also leaving home for the first time) feeling the same way?

Does the video inspire sympathy for the mothers? How, if at all, are mothers of Indian daughters in law different from these mothers? These mothers expect the sons to call them regularly – we know that in some parts of India, daughters in law are discouraged from calling their mothers. [Link]

How do you think does such looking after influence the way the sons grow up? What about young Indian daughters?

Young Indian daughters, in traditional patriarchal Indian families, are kept in dependence (emotional and financial) and married-off to live with another family, where they are trained to cook (and live) according to the preferences of that family. How does it make the daughters in law feel about themselves and about everybody else? It can result in – Stockholm Syndrome, or bitterness, or if there is support, then walking out of the abusive situation.

To safeguard against the last – traditional families prefer young and pliable daughters in law from their own communities, to make the moulding or training considerably less cumbersome.

The young wives are not allowed, or encouraged, to cook like their mothers did, that is considered disrespectful, because it implies that they prefer their mom’s cooking to the in law’s (ladke wale) cooking.

Women are required (or atleast pretend) to view cooking for their families as a primary purpose of their lives. If they don’t, then they risk being considered selfish and uncaring. And since patriarchal hierarchies are sacrosanct – in many families young daughters in law must display respect by eating last [link]. Having a male child changes the status of a daughter in law in traditional Indian families, she still eats the last, but she is not as powerless as a mother of a daughter (who has to start training her daughter to be a future daughter in law).

Which is why a male child is prayed and fasted for, and sex selected.

Boys in traditional families are not raised to ‘look after’ themselves, although, their comfort and preferences are considered important. Their wives would be trained by the same mothers (seen in the video) to cook just the kind of food they have raised their sons to enjoy eating. If the sons manage comfortably on their own – that’s viewed as being ungrateful or disrespectful to the mothers. They are expected to appreciate the sacrifices and efforts being made for them. One of ways of expressing their appreciation is by marrying an obedient girl of their parents’ choice.

A young woman who has options, might question this kind of helplessness in a spouse, so dependence and obedience in young men and women are nurtured as cherished virtues. Patriarchy can’t survive without these.

What do you think of this video?

Video shared on facebook by Nandini. 

Related Posts:

“If a girl has done MBBS or IAS, I can understand that she did not get time to learn cooking. But it’s strange how you, a mere journalism post graduate, failed to do so.”

Workplace Equality requires Equality at Home

Milton Crisp Casserole Roti TVC

The Men in Our Lives

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

“My Mil never likes to cook. They have maid at home who does most of the cooking cleaning stuff.”

‘Your future is standing next to you. One of these girls will be cooking for you in the future.’

What advice would you give to a woman whose husband beats her when she does not give him lunch on time?

“My Mother in law is very patient towards all the doings of the Males in the family.”

“A Hindu woman derives immense pleasure in sacrifice for her husband. The white man will never ever understand this.”

“She went on and complained to my father in law that this gal cooks non veg at her home.”

It’s not about hot hot chappaties.

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

“How can you eat without taking a shower? With boys, it’s a different matter.”

Indian brides told to reduce mobile phone use

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharing an email from a young man in Karachi.

Hi IHM,

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks,
Raheel

Related Posts:

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

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

The Men in Our Lives – Priya

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

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

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

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

27 ways in which Patriarchy harms men.

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

What do men need liberation from?

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

MIP: Men In Pink

Boys don’t cry. – Starry Eyed

Shravan Kumar takes his wife to London to bring back her smile…

Nitya shared the video above with this message:

Dear IHM,

I came across this British Airways ad on my Facebook newsfeed. I believe it is widely circulated.

It is about a couple who get married the arranged married way, but don’t have the opportunity to spend time with each other because they live in a joint family. The wife says – “after marriage, everything changed. I had to wake up at 6 AM, do household work… anytime we went out there was always someone from the family with us…  I could not even sit next to him in the car.”

To bring them closer, (IHM: After three years.) the husband arranges for a surprise trip to London with his wife, thanks to British Airways. And they are shown to spend time, fall in love again and get closer over the trip.

But throughout the ad I was wondering – wouldn’t a much better way of showing support be to just stand up for their right to spend time together as a couple here in India? Wouldn’t that have been healthier for their marriage (and their individual lives) overall?

Why is it that this typical Indian couple needs to “go further to get closer”?

What troubles me is how this state of affairs is portrayed as de rigueur, a matter of course in Indian society, and how accepting the woman is of the fact that she cannot spend time with her husband in her own house, and how ‘sweet’ it is that the husband takes her to London to spend time. I don’t find it sweet at all in this context. It would be far sweeter to be able to share my life with my husband, not just a week-long vacation.

What do you think?

Nitya

Do try to watch the video, (and if possible read the comments ‘saluting’ the ‘cute, special’ video) but if you simply can’t, here are some quotes. My comments in italics:

Shravan Kumar’s wife:

“I don’t have any of the holidays, not even my birthday, anniversary… 365, 24 by 7, I am on work.”

“It hurts a lot, to love my husband, to be with my husband, yet not know him… ” (Didn’t know him but loved him? Is that love or the Dharma of a dutiful and  Pativrataa Aadarsh Bhartiya Naari?)

“I wanted to know him better to love him more…” (Didn’t want happiness and freedom for herself)

“We have experienced happiness… we have lived our life during that moment…” (Expects no more)

Shravan Kumar:

“It’s very frustrating, whenever we want to spend time with each other, there is somebody or the else with us… we are never alone.” (Didn’t think he should do something about it?)

“All I wanted to do was to bring the smile back on her face….” (And this was the only way to do this?)

“I had made a promise to mom that I would never bring tear to your eyes…” (What about his wedding vows? Keeping promises made to his parents/elders is what makes Shravan Kumar Shravan Kumar)

“I just feel that this trip has given me a chance to reciprocate…” (If he doesn’t reciprocate, she must continue to live without a smile on her face)

“I was myself, and she was herself and we were not pretending… no… nobody looking over us…” (Sees that as wrong, but probably sees it as disrespectful to do something about it.)

“I really feel that sometimes you have to go really far to get close.” (Doesn’t see living somewhere close, but in their own house as an option)

Related Posts:

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon

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

‘His family seems a bit traditional type.I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’

“Leaving US is a tough decision and, going back to live with in-laws has scared and shaken me.”

No Gajar Ka Halwa for an Indian Daughter in law?

The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…

From an Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter.

‘Yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won’t, simply Because you won’t like it, even though you say otherwise’

“Every mother should tell her son………..!!

Email forward shared by Mr GVjee. Author’s name was not mentioned in the forward – do share if you know who wrote this ‘piece of advice’.

What do you think of this attempt at good will for deserving Indian daughters in law? My attempt at better advice in italics.

*   *   *

Every mother should tell her son………..!!Tomorrow you may get a working woman, but you should marry her with these facts as well.Here is a girl, who is as much educated as you are;
Who is earning almost as much as you do;

IHM: How educated she is and how much she is earning is irrelevant. You are equal partners.Every mother should tell her son………..!! : One, who has dreams and aspirations just as you have because she is as human as you are;

One, who has never entered the kitchen in her life just like you or your Sister haven’t, as she was busy in studies and competing in a system that gives no special concession to girls for their culinary achievements

One, who has lived and loved her parents & brothers & sisters, almost as much as you do for 20-25 years of her life;

One, who has bravely agreed to leave behind all that, her home, people who love her, to adopt your home, your family, your ways and even your family name,

IHM’s Better Advice: Getting married does not mean either of you leaves behind your families and friends. And don’t ask or expect her to take your family name. The obsession with carrying forward of family names via male heirs is the reason why we have a skewed gender ratio.

Every mother should tell her son………..!! : One, who is somehow expected to be a master-chef from day #1, while you sleep oblivious to her predicament in her new circumstances, environment and that kitchen

Better Advice: Don’t expect your relationship to work if you ‘sleep oblivious’ and expect her to be in a ‘predicament’ in the kitchen. This is why Joint Families don’t work. Be there with her in the kitchen.

Every mother should tell her son………..!! : One, who is expected to make the tea, first thing in the morning and cook food at the end of the day, even if she is as tired as you are, maybe more, and yet never ever expected to complain;
to be a servant, a cook, a mother, a wife, even if she doesn’t want to; and is learning just like you are as to what you want from her; and is clumsy and sloppy at times …

Ek Sawal: She is expected to do all this by Who?

Answer: Only by Patriarchal Misogynists.

Better Advice: Don’t expect her to be a servant or a cook. Or a Mother unless if she wants to.

Every mother should tell her son………..!! : and knows that you won’t like it if she is too demanding, or if she learns faster than you;

Better Advice: You are an adult. She is not competition. You do not need to pretend to always know better, and she does not need to pretend she thinks you always know better. Let me not raise you to expect a slave who treats you like a badly brought up child.

Every mother should tell her son………..!! : One, who has her own set of friends, and that includes boys and even men at her workplace too, those, who she knows from school days and yet is willing to put all that on the back-burners to avoid your irrational jealousy, unnecessary competition and your inherent insecurities;

Better Advice:

i. Friends are a support system. You may find that you don’t like some of her friend or she doesn’t like some of yours. Do discuss and deal with this if it really bothers either of you, but don’t expect to get along perfectly with everybody either of you knows.

ii. If you remember you are an equal partner, and not a Protector and Provider/Lord and Master, you will find it easier to be free from ‘your inherent’  any ‘insecurities’ which might lead to ‘unnecessary competition’ and ‘irrational jealousy’. Do read: Man’s Man? No thanks. by Cynically Engineered

Every mother should tell her son………..!! : Yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won’t, simply Because you won’t like it, even though you say otherwise

Better Advice: Respect each other as individuals and adults – don’t expect to make her give up something (even while saying otherwise) she enjoys doing and don’t expect her to enjoy the same things you do. You will do somethings together, and somethings one of you will enjoy more than the other.

Every mother should tell her son………..!! : One, who can be late from work once in a while when deadlines, just like yours, are to be met;

One, who is doing her level best and wants to make this most important, relationship in her entire life a grand success, if you just help her little and trust her;

IHM: If she sees this marriage as the ‘most important relationship in her entire life’ then she will expect you to do the same.

Every mother should tell her son………..!! : One, who just wants one thing from you, as you are the only one she knows in your entire house – your generous support, your sensitivities and most importantly – your understanding, or love, if you may call it.

But not many guys understand this…….

Please appreciate “HER”

IHM: Nobody should be forced to live in a Joint Family.

Every mother should tell her son………..!! : Send this to all girls to make their day and to all guys who can handle it.

Related Posts:

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

Man’s Man? No thanks. – Cynically Engineered

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

Honor and Masculinity: How Patriarchy Warps Your Thinking

First name, Unwanted. Second name, Dad’s or Husband’s name.

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

Adarsh Bhartiya Nari – Ideal Indian Woman… !!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His email was published here:

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

Here’s his response.

Dear IHM Readers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Related Posts:

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

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

What kind of sons do Feminists raise?

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

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

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

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

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

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

An email from An Adult Male of India : “Every single family sitting or phone call will eventually lead to….”

Sharing an email from An Adult Male of India.

Dear IHM

I am an adult male of India.

Family background is moderate as parents are govt. servant and we have been nuclear family since 1986. I am an engineer by profession having typical life style in Delhi. Parents stay in home town. I have a younger (6years) brother, who is studying as of now.

My mother has been fierce and open rebel against societal stereotypes in many things which she could understand and comprehend as stereotype as much as I have seen her though my father is a product of patriarchal system and stereotype which he pretend not to be so as far as it does not hurt his own interests. You have to imagine what kind of battleground home can become in with these two personalities in same room.

Because of studies and work I had to leave home town a long back (~11year) and since inception of my comprehending abilities I have been an introvert person who don’t interrupt anybody as far as it does not intrude in my space but at the same time have very strong but logical view point at his own.

I have made my own decisions so far which I intend to continue till death and everything was hunky-dory till a year back. In last one year my folks have started showing a pressure on me (including my brother – surprisingly) to get married. Every single family sitting or phone call will eventually lead to a holy grail – my marriage.

I tried to tell them to mind their own business in every possible way – love, reasoning, compassionately, fight and what not. They agree at that point of time but later on like weeds it comes again.

I asked her/them why they are doing this and in reply I get answer like,

1. Societal pressure(?) – I asked her that when she be rebel all her life whats wrong now which silence her and to en extent father and brother too but then again.. like a weed.. comes again
2. There is a right age to get married
3. Other people my age have kids by now
4. Why I don’t want to get married

There is cross fire every time and after that a deathly silence.

I love my family beyond doubts but this is become burden I just cant keep saying same thing all the time and ruin my time and their too. Its damaging my relation with them. It damaging family in whole.

I fail to understand why cant they leave this to me to make this decision too?  What is the way out?

On the other hand, I don’t know why one should get married. I don’t know what to say when I am asked why am I not getting married. Its like I don’t know.

I meet ladies and I have many friends but at the end of day I don’t see that understanding part in them. Ladies are interested in getting settle down living in one city whole life and babies etc. Well that not my cut. I don’t know what is settling down.

The thought of settling in one city with a family with kids makes me restless. I want to travel. I travel a lot for personal and professional reasons. My idea is when I am on my death bed my passport should have every damn country’s stamp on it. I want to make money for that. I am having a business acumen in me and keep trying. I am happy with my self professionally but if come back to ladies. I don’t know why it is difficult to just live and let live.

So far my family were source of my energy but now they are sucking my energy like anything. I feel tired after talking to them. I don’t feel like talking to them.

Is there any way out of this?

Cheers,
An Adult Male of India

Related Posts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what does marriage mean to traditional and conservative Indians?

“I am the glue in their marriage. They have come to have a largely perfunctory relationship without me.”

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

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

Let me share some parts I agreed with (in blockquotes) from this link shared by Sundar, Why Indian Men Are Still Boys – Nisha Susan (Tehelka.com). 

Disclaimer: Not all Indian men fit into the stereotype being analysed below though a large number does. Often, those who don’t, risk being seen as irresponsible, selfish, impractical, unmanly, Joru ka gulaam, disrespectful, disobedient or immature etc.

1. “I have a cousin in New York, a 35-year-old professor. He sent word home that he wanted a beautiful 19-year old village girl. She had to be musical, highly religious and from a strict Brahmin family. But since he fancied himself as very modern, his wife would have to cook meat for him. Whether or not this would violate her beliefs did not matter. And, of course, his parents found him one.”

Not only did the parents ‘found him one’, they also expect, train, appreciate, respect, and are grateful for his lack of ability to find himself a partner. Hence,  ‘He has never needed to please.’ 

2. KRISHNA, A 24-year-old software engineer who moved from Kerala to Bengaluru for work, seems to have the opposite problem. Allowed by his parents to find a girl for himself, he is out hunting. But as he says, giggling, “Things are very difficult. I am not getting any.” Krishna is suffering from the cruelest and newest of India’s free markets: the singles scene. Nothing he has learnt so far in his young life has taught him how to engage the attentions of a woman. He has never needed to please. That’s the single thread that connects him with the New York professor: an unexamined sense of selfentitlement.

Do you see something wrong with an adult man not needing to please his partner?

Here’s one of the things it does, “Instituting the idea of marital rape raises the specter of a man going for long periods without sex even though he’s married!” (a post by Bhagwad Jal Park)

Rigid Patriarchy and Patrilocality create a culture where men can expect to have their needs ‘looked after’. 

3. THERE seems to be a simple equation between parents and the drought of responsible, responsive Indian men. In the homes of People Like Us, young boys do not automatically learn to cook or even to be grateful to those who cook for them. They are rarely taught to anticipate other people’s needs. They are not automatically involved in the care of siblings, the elderly or the ill, while their sisters are encouraged to keep vrats (or fasts) as spiritual general insurance for the whole family.

They are not taught to settle conflicts peacefully or, to use the unfortunate phrase, to occasionally shut up and put up. Indian boys are not just perpetrators: they are victims of the plague of the stereotype.

Because while Indian women are only required to be dependent and obedient daughters in law,

 4. Indian men are only required to be sons.

Becoming husbands is seen as being irresponsible. Link: An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

While Indian women are trained to fit into their given ‘space in the adult world’ hierarchy (right at the bottom)

5. Unlike Indian women who are trained emotionally and socially by parents and society to gear up for a time when they must leave their parental home and occupy their space in the adult world, and unlike their self-sufficient counterparts in western countries, there are no major markers to end childhood for Indian men.

Indian men are not raised to be independent, responsible adults.

6. He is the one who brings the attitude of the thwarted child to any zone of conflict: an accident on the road, a difference of opinion with a spouse or child, an employee not subservient enough. The hushed whisper families maintain around the tyrant of the house is uncannily similar to the ones that surround a colicky baby.

The same mindset ‘justifies’ street sexual harassment or sexual crimes men commit. Link: In Rape Culture, we understand that if the rapist was living alone, away from his native place, he could lose control over himself.

7. He leverages power so casually it seems to be his by natural right. To him and to others around him — us — it is legitimate for him to exert measured but highly effective violence to protect his way of life. He is the man who is impeccably well-behaved everywhere but at home, where he throws plates if meals are late. The man who finds it difficult to deal with his girlfriend’s higher income….

Related posts:

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

The men expect to be the top priority in their spouse’s life but they are told she should not be their top priority for she might take them away from their parents.

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

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

‘This ‘I, Me, Myself’ culture that most of you on this forum are propagating itself is hypocrisy.’

“…if this thing comes out my husband will think my wife is after all not that ‘pure’ or is not that ‘untouched flower’”

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

“A protected generation of women like my grand mother’s did NOT seek equal rights.”

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

“Well, if it is about the maid, then in that case lets just get Murali (my uncle) married!!!!”

Pubs in Andhra to be officially Reserved For Men?

Does the absence of women in public spaces makes these spaces safer for women? 

Can you imagine such reservation possible if it wasn’t for Patriarchal traditions?

Link and message shared by Madhavi Kaivalya K

Hi IHM,

I came across this some time ago but turned a blind eye. But I can’t any more. This is so outrageous and people should know what kind of powers we’re giving to what kind of Govt.:

I think it will be good if you can blog about this. I don’t understand – if men are committing crimes against women, they should ban men in public places after 10.00 p.m. I know it’s not men Vs. women but this news is so outrageous.

I’ve a suggestion for those who claim that men can get provoked and lose control when they see women dressed in a certain manner – Just take a vote and pluck the eyes of everyone who claims that they can lose control when they see women being dressed “provocatively”. I don’t want to sound barbaric but if that’s what they claim, then this would be the right course of action to keep the country safe rather than restricting women.

Thanks & Regards,
Madhavi Kaivalya K

Another gem from Andhra:

Freedom at midnight but doesn’t mean we can roam around freely at midnight

Those who make such reservations for Indian men seem to believe that generations of Indian men are like kids, singing the first part of this post,

An Indian Shravan Kumar’s poem to his mother

I might be thirty five year old,
But I still crave for your food.
Yes, I do have a wife,
But all she gives me is strife,
Over things I don’t do,
Or wasn’t taught to do,
Like how I need to grow up,
And get things in order,
But what do I do, I always had you,
Fussing over my every single mood,… [Click here to read the entire post]

Related Posts:

What’s the best way to fight for your rights and freedoms and to prevent Talibanization of India?

I do not like reservation.

In Gurgaon, jobs, safety and roads after 8 pm, reserved for men?

I don’t care for freedom

Male escorts and whistles: IIT-Madras’s new safety plan.

One Billion Rising, Gurgaon : Photographs.

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

Sharing an email.

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

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

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

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

Related Posts:

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

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

A Guest Post by priya.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Posts:

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

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

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

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

Boys and Girls Holding Hands …

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

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

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

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

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

The kind of videos young Indians need to watch.

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

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

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

Who benefits from criminalizing consensual teenage sex?

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

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

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.