May 5, 2013

Marriage Matters for a woman too


He just wasn’t good enough!

The Indian society still believes in arranged marriage. At least, a large section of it, that mostly comprises our parents and grandparents, advocate it strongly for reasons that they know best. But if we delve a little deep and endeavour to scrutinize the flawed foundation of it, it will bring to surface a stark truth about the undercurrent of male chauvinism that still runs deep amidst our social fabric.
Boy’s family comes over to the girl’s place to “see” the girl. And what does this “seeing” imply? Apart from the hackneyed custom of the girl serving tea to her prospective groom and his family, there follows a detailed enquiry of every aspect of her life. What has she studied? Does she cook? Does she sing? Does she want to work? And so on and so forth. The meek and docile girl (well, even if she isn’t, she is expected to be at her coyest self then), clad in traditional attire, is supposed to answer their questions, in a muffled voice and lowered eyes. Thereafter, the girl and the boy are allowed to spend some time alone, so that they get to know each other better, and hence decide, whether they are compatible enough to embark on a new life together. It is all good so far. The main hitch however, lies in the next step. In most cases than not, it is the boy who is asked by both the parties, whether or not he liked the girl enough to consent to the match. And even if he “rejects” the proposed alliance, his prestige remains untarnished. On the other hand, however, if the girl does the same, she is labelled as unbecomingly audacious for a “well-bred” girl. Grossly unfair, I say!
Marriage is a decision, a choice, made for a lifetime. It is as crucial for a girl (if not more, since she is the one who has to leave her home, her family, her entire world behind post-marriage) and therefore, she must have the equal right to say “no” to a suitor. And that too, without having to face any repercussions or being victimized by biased judgements and cynical remarks hurled at her. Why is that, if a man turns down a match, he is simply being independent and assertive, while the same move on the part of a woman leads her to being criticized as rebellious, over-demanding, and bereft of “womanly” virtues. How hollow, futile and hypocritical these so-called gender roles are, that curb the voice of the fairer sex? She is equally entitled to take a stand and have a say when a decision as integral as that of her marriage, is concerned.
If we claim to have reached the apex of civilization, modernization and progress, let us not encourage any such hackneyed notions into our minds that in turn, pollute the societal norms at a larger scale. Be it through love marriage or arranged marriage, a girl is completely entitled to choose her partner independently, and therein the ideal of woman empowerment will reach its fruition.

-Guest article from Glad 2 be a Woman. Glad2bawoman is an online media company for women with over 77,000 members. The articles on their site encompass various topics around Health, Empowerment, Relationships, Fashion and Leisure.

Snuffles Note: Marriage is a matter of concern for a woman too. Women should be allowed to choose a man who not just suits her parents and family but someone who will also take responsibility and care for her; someone who will stand by her and, ask her opinion rather than burdening her with his decisions. It is very easy to categorize people and sway with the gossipmongers. Invest the time and effort and find a life partner worth your time. Meow.

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