Does our marriage system turn a woman into a feminist?

Soo. Ever wonder why many married women speak with such fervor about feminism and gender equality? I believe our lovely marriage system and traditional practices turn them into feminists. Ah, do you have a scorn on your face now? Well, read on, this is for you 🙂

These women, when they were single, tend to be the bold, confident ones, who question authority if required. But when they get married, they become helpless as they don’t know who to fight with, because every side they turn, they experience gender-inequality occurring in the name of “traditions and social expectations”.

In reality men, when they are by themselves, are mostly understanding and supportive of women. It’s the society, the group of people doused in traditions and decade-old practices, who seem to give unjust importance to men, right from when they are born till they breathe their last. And so when a woman enters the married life, she doesn’t understand why men require all the fuss when she has been brought up the same way and end up getting irritated.

Men on the other hand, also get frustrated as they don’t understand why these women complain about equality when they do their best to make life as fair as possible. Frustrated guys, listen up, the woman isn’t angry with every man in the world, she is angry with the system – the system that expects her to get up and do chores in her in-laws place while guys can happily rest their legs in their in-laws’ place.

She knows it is difficult to win this war, as the enemy is an army of old people drenched in traditions and prejudiced views, but she still tries to fight her war after marriage. And that’s when the bold woman gets the label of a “feminist”.

If you can’t understand what a married woman is up against, check out the list below to know how her world is like, “as soon as” she enters her married life. And then you will understand she is not actually fighting with you, but with a faceless enemy – “the Indian marriage system”.

1. Wedding rituals – everything begins here!

If you sit back and think about it, most of the practices in our Indian marriage system tries to subtly send out messages that the groom is a little superior to women.

  • There is “Kanyadaan” where the bride is given away as a gift to the groom who is considered as a form of Vishnu(!!!).  [There is no “Putradaan” where the groom is given away as a gift..hmm].
  • Oh, and of course the most important ritual in a wedding – the tying of Mangalsutra is only done by men. Come on, IF a mangal sutra is all that is required to denote the holy union of two souls, shouldn’t it be tied by both of them, just like the exchange of rings?  Can you find a guy who would accept to a wedding if the bride has to tie the knots and he has to sit meekly with his head bent down?
  • The dream sloka! “Mangalyam Thanthunanena mama jeevana hethuna Kante badhnami subhake sanjeeva sarathas satham”. Ahh, the sloka that sends thrills down our spine when recited during tying of the  knots! Here is the translation – “This is a sacred thread. This is essential for my long life. I tie this around your neck, O maiden of many auspicious attributes, may you live happily for a hundred years (with me).” Lol. The hopeless romantic I am, I kind of expected the sloka to mean something a little more sweet and divine..But..frankly, how many of you think the meaning sounds a wee bit patronizing? So much of self-importance proclaimed to men! Sigh, no wonder my eyes well up every time I hear this in a movie or in any marriage!
  • On the subject of wedding rituals – ever heard of a Hindu marriage officiated by a woman priest? Oh yes, they do exist! Here’s one such wedding ordained by a woman priest – http://www.lassiwithlavina.com/faith/women-pujaris-between-man-and-god/html. If you think it’s a little weird, I think you are a little chauvinist.

Sooooo…we spoke of the wedding rituals. I am not questioning every single ritual in a wedding. I wish to only point out those that give one sex a higher importance than the other. I am all for following rituals and traditions that consider a husband and wife as equal partners in life. And here’s a trivia for you guys – this tying of MangalSutra wan’t even in practice in days of Ramayana. None of the Ramayan versions speak about Rama tying a Thaali to Sita. They do speak about tying a sacred thread on wrist but BOTH Rama and Sita did that. So people, who compare a husband should be like Rama and wife to be like Sita, why are you offended by my suggestion of Thaali being tied by both the bride and the groom?

Anyways, my point is don’t you think all these small practices together would give the bride an impression that men are considered a little more important than women in a wedding? Oh, but wait, there’s more to come after she is married.

2.  The dream home.

Ah, you are married. What’s the next step..? Going to your “new” home, of course! Right after the wedding ceremonies, the couple are required to be dropped off at their “new” home, which, as you know, is the home of the groom and his parents. Parents of the bride wave tata, bye-bye with tears in their eyes, and the wife is suddenly left all alone in a new home with the groom and his parents. Now seriously, shouldn’t it be only fair that both the bride and groom bid farewell to their respective families and enter “their” home, just by themselves? Perhaps a guy would like to begin his dream life in his wife’s home, with her parents abiding by their rules? Sigh. Do you see how the so-called “traditions” give fringe benefits when you are a married man?

3. What’s in a name?

Hmmm…when was the last time you heard a married guy change his last name to his wife’s first name? That’s a laugh, you say? Well, here’s a trivia – many guys in other countries have done so after their marriage. When it is common for an Indian woman to change her last name to her husband’s name, why shouldn’t guys in India do that too? Seriously, has the society instituted a law that only married ‘women’ should change their names? I wish a bold Indian guy would do the honors and create history by adding his wife’s name after his first name. (Er..don’t forget to mention my name while doing so)

4. His Royal Highness!

Ever seen a guy lift a finger for anything except to eat or change channels on TV at their in-laws house? It’s never expected of a son-in-law to help in the in-laws’ kitchen or do any chores. Not to blame the guys, the wife’s parents always treat them like royalty. Quick change of scene, and now let’s imagine a woman in her in-law’s house.Cross your heart and tell me, is she given the same royal treatment as you are given at her place?

ROFL right?! Oh and if a wife thinks she deserves to be treated the same way and acts just like her husband does (when he’s in her parents’ place) she is scorned upon and looked as a “bad” daughter-in-law. Why do the in-laws expect a daughter-in-law to help with their chores, and a son-in-law to relax? Where’s the gender equality police?!

5. Questioning in-laws

In-laws questioning their daughter-in-law about her whereabouts, her actions or her plans to visit “her” parents is something common. But can you show me an in-law questioning their son-in-law about his actions, his office work, or his plans to visit “his” parents? Parents somehow never cross their ‘limits’ when it comes to son-in-law, but when it comes to daughter-in-law, anything out of the blue can be asked. Tough baby!

6. Buying a first home

Think about this – if a couple decides to buy a land/home “after” marriage (in India), for whatever reason most of them register their property in the guy’s name, even if the wife parted with her savings. I do know a few who are different in this area, but they really are a few! Help me, tell me, in your circle of friends, how many have registered their property in their wife’s name?

7. Kid-o-kid

I am sure everyone has this question in their mind..why is that the initial/last name for a little one, has to be that of a father’s and not a mother’s? Of course, all that she had done was undergo 10 long months of difficult pregnancy, and so many hours of painful labor..nothing compared to what the father underwent..hmmm, what did he go through by the way? Not to belittle the dad figure, but seriously why does a kid’s initial/ last name has to be that of a dad’s? I am curious to know!

8. Swahaa!

So everyone’s heard about Savitri puja(vratam), Gauri Vrat puja that a wife performs for her husband’s long-life. (Not everyone does it, of course, but a good many do this). And there are so many slokas that  are all good for providing the husband with longevity, good health and everything he wants I guess. Perhaps I am wrong, but can someone tell me if there even exists a puja, vratam or sloka which a husband has to perform for longevity of a wife? Hmmm…still thinking..

Well..so what do you think? Do you see why married women are frustrated about not getting equal importance as their husband? Think about it – let’s say the roles were reversed in each of the scenarios listed above, in other words, if every privilege given to a man above was actually given to a woman and vice versa…who do you think would be considered superior? Wouldn’t the men be fighting for equality then? So there you have it.

I believe it’s our marriage system and married-life-practices which belittles women and thinks high of the male gender. Just because a family has a male child doesn’t make them any way superior to a family having a girl child. Both families raise their son and daughters the same way. So why should a marriage give one sex more importance than the other? They get married to be equal partners in life, so give them both equal importance and treat them equally well. Don’t expect a wife to follow practices that are not expected from a man.

All I wish to state is there’s no way to bring about equality when resorting to follow the centuries-old traditions and norms. If the current generation wishes to change this unfairness, they should give up a lot of old practices, change traditions, to make sure a wife is given the same treatment as a husband after marriage. If that happens, we can say feminism has won on the social front. And a marriage can be a peaceful ground for husband, wife and both their parents.

P.S. – I loved the cute picture and hence used it in my post. Nothing else behind the image 🙂

New addition -
Many people have asked me what changes I can suggest, to each of these scenarios. To not make the article any longer than it already is, I have listed the changes below, that I personally would like to see happen.
What could be done instead to each of the cases above -    
Instead of parents deciding for a couple, why not let the husband and wife decide for   themselves on how their life needs to be after marriage? Ideal solution would be to take a new home, close to BOTH their parents' home, if that is possible or live together as one big joint family. Both sides' parents are old, so it is not fair to leave one and pick the other by doing inky, pinky, ponky.
Changing a last name is a choice. If a wife wants to change it, out of love for husband, why not let the husband change his name too and show his love? It is romantic both ways! Let's not embrace one and ridicule the other!
Treat them equally well. A son and daughter are raised the same way. Let them be treated the same way. If not, the women need to speak out.Or the men should speak out demanding equal rights.
Speak out when the limits are crossed anywhere.   No one else can speak for you, except yourself.
Discuss with your wife on whose name the house needs to be registered,instead of blindly following what another person had done.
Many people are keeping two initials (mom's and dad's) to their kids. Let's be open to  that.
A husband and wife can take the vratam and do puja together, IF at all it needs to be   done. They both need longevity and good health, don't they? :)

 

Disclaimer – This post is to voice out the minds of majority of women. Views expressed in my blog are solely my own. 


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Jibber jabber:

padhs2k Written by:

Another dream-chaser.

302 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    September 26
    Reply

    Prelude

    Feminism in a way has been largely misconstrued as trying to do everything that ‘a man’ has been doing, by women and claiming moral victory & the inch towards the ever forbidden equality!

    True feminism just like secularism has been long lost and now all that is left is fragment of it with little or no relevance to the actual liberty it was supposed to cater to, many a time!

    That being said, getting to your post and it isn’t really a surprise I could see a lot of shades of the impact of the aforementioned point of mine!

    I am not for a point to point rebuttal kind of take but a much more of a generic view!

    We all would agree that there are certain things cannot be done by swapping men and women roles for biological aspects of it!

    However where we fail to accept the matter of fact is all that is the mental & psychological in nature, where the line of divide gets blurred and hence arises non-acceptance, confusion and gender competition!

    On top of all of these comes the evils of blindly abiding to the ‘rules laid out by god only knows who’ generation after generation for religious ceremonies!

    Even today nobody can prevent a god fearing woman from visiting a temple during their menstrual cycle or perform the last rites or tharpanam for their dead parents except their own mindset!

    So irrespective of the fear and mockery we have at all the practices that are followed ceremoniously, it all boils down to the question, “Are you ready to be the change?” “Would you be ready to bear the consequences of it at any cost, come what may?”

    If it is a resounding yes then welcome aboard to the world of elite few!

    Cheers!

    • padhs2k
      September 26
      Reply

      Beginning with your understanding of feminism – I agree with your first statement, you perfectly stated how “men” largely misconstrue feminism.

      Feminism has many shades. There was a period when Sati existed. There was a period when widows were never allowed inside a temple or in any holy ceremonies. There was a period when women couldn’t re-marry. There was a period when women weren’t allowed to study. There was a period when women weren’t allowed to work outside of their home. There was a period when women in their menstrual cycle (you asked for it!) had to stay outside their house for a week with a separate stove and separate water. I could go on. Women and men like Periyaar fought for equality or “sama-urimai” and brought about the changes that we and by that I mean women, enjoy nowadays.

      If you look at each one of these closely, per your argument, it could be stated that Periyaar fought for women to do everything that a man was doing in those days. IF he hadn’t done that, and if some actions were blindly reserved for men alone, then we would still be living in a backwards society.

      I wish you had given a point by point rebuttal to see what aspect you found in my post that depended on biological factors of men and women. Does the biological factor make the guy tie the Thaali? Or does it play a role in why men have to live with their parents and women have to say goodbye to theirs? Or just because a man doesn’t have a menstrual cycle (like I said, you called for it!) does it mean his child should have his last name?

      That being said, if a woman fights to wear her shirt open like what a man does, then you have a point to argue on the biological aspect and how swapping men and women roles won’t work. But here I am arguing about how tradition and old-people’s practices are giving undue importance to men just because you see, they are men.

      Also – it may be easy for a woman to take the role of a man in all the aspects I mentioned, but I doubt if men can handle the role of a woman! Difficult buddy!

      • December 3
        Reply

        I just chanced to see your blog when I was looking into feministic perspectives. I am truly happy that I read your thoughts which echoes many women’s thoughts. Yes, you are right in asking the above questions, for which we can find solutions, only by either not following the age old traditions and also explaining to others why we are not following. sometimes the explanation can be an eye-opener for many.

        Good way of distinguishing the biological aspect and how it is confused with the way girls are brought up.

        Do write more…..

        • padhs2k
          December 4
          Reply

          Hi Chintu,

          Thank you for your kind words. Unfortunately, yeah, the post does echo many women’s thoughts. I say unfortunately because many women are going through such issues in daily life..be it whether they are uneducated or highly educated. The problem will continue to apply to all women unless we stand up and protest against it. Not in a loud, boisterous way, but like you stated, letting people know that we are equal in every way to our man, and the old “customs” are not customary anymore. But the problem is, not everyone might be willing to listen. But still, we shouldn’t give up, and continue to be our bold self. Many of this generation guys are understanding, so only together we can win this fight..the fight to be treated the same way as married men.
          Glad you liked it..and since you say you were looking into feministic perspectives, you might be interested in this video.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8. It’s an old one, but I really liked his views…

          • December 7

            Hi Padhma,
            Thanks for the youtube link you have sent. It is very interesting to see there are many who are working on it, and trying to bring changes. Wish such workshops are conducted in India too, as Indians are blindly believing that they are respecting women, as they worship some Goddess, or named some rivers on women.
            Also will you please send some names of other blogs, which deals with feministic issues.

            The following are some which I already know (womensweb.in, indianhomemaker.com, 50 million missing).

            If you know of any other, please write them, so that let us all spread the words to more women. Also, such platforms act as a place to give strength to those women, who have feministic thoughts, but are silenced by others who do not have such ideals.

  2. September 26
    Reply

    Loved your write up. It echoes my thought process 🙂 Thanks for sharing this. Please keep writing!!

    • padhs2k
      October 5
      Reply

      Thank you Tiaengineer!I missed this comment somehow but I’m glad it caught my eye at least now! Thanks for your encouraging words! 🙂

  3. Manasi
    September 26
    Reply

    Hi Padma,

    Guiltornoguilt is very true. You are just speaking my mind…every point you mentioned above always questions me…but never gives answer and I frustrate…

    • padhs2k
      September 26
      Reply

      Thank you Manasi. Married women have a lot of unasked questions for which we never will get a reply..In the name of “traditional practices” men and women are treated differently. The only hope we have is to change the way we bring up our future generation.

    • padhs2k
      September 26
      Reply

      Thank you very much! 🙂

  4. Manasi
    September 26
    Reply

    Very nicely written article. I think to start with we should try not to follow these practices and fight boldly against it. Some simple things can easily be implemented like, not changing the surname after marriage, avoiding some of the wedding ritual, etc. Having said this, its sad but a reality that bringing some other changes, like groom not biding goodbye to her parents will take some time and agree with it or not, it is bit hard to come in practice.

    • padhs2k
      September 27
      Reply

      Thank you Manasi. Yes, it’s difficult to bring about the change of bride not having to say goodbye to her parents. We just follow this practice forever without thinking why we have to do it..I mean, this is a difficult practice. It makes us cry, it makes our parents cry – and the sad part is that everyone is aware of the heartbreak that comes out of it. But they sit back and state this is a normal practice, that’s how its been done for centuries.

      I think the current generation women and men, should raise their kids in such a way that they don’t follow all practices blindly. Either raise them to live independently or raise them to be broad minded enough to stay with both parents in the same house. Why choose one and leave the other? Or better yet, live independently but close to both parents – that would work out ideal. It’s difficult to change the mentality of elderly people, so we should work on the budding ones — and never give up our freedom ever. After all this is one life, why not live it as we want?

      • Manasi
        October 1
        Reply

        You are right yet again. Even I think from the same perspective of raising the next generation to be broad minded or as you said to be able to live and think independently.

        • padhs2k
          October 2
          Reply

          Yes Manasi. The change has to come from us. And hopefully we can raise against the marriage system currently. 🙂

          • priya
            October 4

            I also think this practice of saying good bye to parents by girls is more of ritual now… Me n my husband are in us and have been here for sometime before wedding too… I just don’t see d reason for my parents to cry at our wedding…. I just don’t understand… It is more of concept of d girl leaving the family than the physical displacement

          • padhs2k
            October 6

            Good for you priya, I applaud your thinking. I am abroad too and I have been away before marriage as well.
            But my post wasn’t to only speak for myself but for those thousand others who are living in India, in the same city where their parents live. Let’s think about them as well.

  5. Girish Balasubramanian
    September 27
    Reply

    a good and thought provoking article, although heavily biased. this is a good example of a little learning can be dangerous. please get the facts right about the traditions and rituals. you are free to ascribe and interpret whatever meaning you want to make out of it. this is also a good example of the double standards in terms of questioning things for the sake of it. for example in most brahman weddings, (the groom who by virtue of wearing a thread is a brahmachari), enters the sacred grihasthashrama by wearing a second set of thread, followed by a third set when a child is born. there is a custom called the saptapadi where the groom takes the foot of his beloved in his hands. picture this in a so called christian wedding or a western wedding, even there the father of the bride plays a role by walking her to the priest and the groom before the priest solemnizes the marriage. regarding the name taking and changing of names, our mythologies are rife with stories where the name of the mother is given example one of the name of Lord Krishna is Devakinandan, Pandavas were also called Kaunteya. fortunately or unfortunately in today’s modern world we have somehow adopted a uniform practice. examples galore where in there is a practice of having a double surname. while we are still on the rituals part, for your information marriage into the same gothra is also not allowed as they are considered related as brothers and sisters. while we are still on rituals part, when the couple are blessed with child, it is the mother who is given all the attention in the rituals even there.
    look at the custom of parents and newly married couple staying together in this way. it is such a strong social system. most developed countries are grappling with this issue of old and senile people being left alone to fend for themselves. India too is not far behind. the number of old people and oldage homes are on the rise. if not their children, do we expect the government to take care of them.
    my point is please have a decent understanding of the rituals and the practices why they have evolved and what is the significance. considering that you are an avid blogger, you do have access to the internet, so please take effort and delve into the nuances and details of the significance of rituals and also the social aspects related with it.

    • padhs2k
      September 27
      Reply

      Thank you Girish. I appreciate your views. I did read about Saptapadi earlier. And I agree it is a beautiful ritual in Hindu marriages. It has a beautiful meaning behind it of how a husband and wife should share their life’s happiness and sorrow. And that was the reason I didn’t mention Saptapadi in my post. My point behind the article is that we are following a lot many traditions and practices blindly. If there is a reason why Mangalsutra has to be tied by the groom alone and not the bride, please let me know. A lot of people are offended by this particular statement that they never even bothered to think why I am asking the question. The traditions are absolutely great if there is a meaning behind following them.

      And thank you for pointing me to the mythologies where Lord Krishna has so many different names, one being his mother’s. So now what made people forget this even existed and only try to keep father’s name as surname? That my friend is because a lot many are following practices just because a hundred others are doing.Few do stand out by keeping both mom and dad’s surname to their kids. But I wish to see this change happen throughout and become a normal standard. I am not saying let’s leave out the dad’s name, I am saying let’s add the mom’s name too. Is that difficult?

      I am not saying let’s leave all the rituals entirely. I am saying think and do a ritual/practice if it has a meaning behind it. These practices were developed centuries ago, when the world was ruled by men. Probably that could be the reason why many practices give more importance to men. That could be why after marriage a wife had to leave her parents and go to the groom’s parents. Now this is a modern world, like you said. I am not saying we should put the elders in a home. Instead I am saying we should definitely consider the wife’s parents in addition to husband’s parents. Both are old people! So why leave one alone and take care of another! Why don’t the couples live with both their parents instead? They pick just the groom’s parents to live with, and leave the wife’s parents alone? In what way is this not different from what you compared to what “developed” countries do?

      I do have understanding of rituals. My point is I request everyone to think what is the reason behind following a practice instead of blindly following it.

  6. September 27
    Reply

    This post makes a good point of WHY an Indian marriage turns a woman into a feminist. But I think the very fact itself that men/women WANT/HAVE to get married in India regardless of whether they want it or not is where the problem begins.

    Till we are banging the drums of religion and tradition, women (and men) will be subjected to some weird rules and regulations. The problem is that we have locked ourselves in an invisible prison which is the most difficult kind to escape.

    We should be asking why and not just following something written in ancient texts.
    http://i.snag.gy/kdu77.jpg

    • padhs2k
      September 27
      Reply

      Thank you Kevin. I agree with your view about the invisible prison. We hesitate to think outside the box. Just because 5 people does something, it doesn’t mean the 6th person has to do the same thing. I wish people, both men and women, should raise questions if they feel a practice is unnecessary. It’s very difficult to change a 50 year old’s point of view, but the current generation should take pains to allow a change if its good for the society.

      Most of our mentality is that if a problem doesn’t affect us, we wouldn’t bother raising a voice for it. Some have named this mentality as S.E.P. (Someone else’s problem). Society would change if people think more and not act blindly.

  7. Anonymous
    September 27
    Reply

    Very well said.. I really get frustrated some times because of these so called traditional things …

    • padhs2k
      September 27
      Reply

      Thank you my friend. Women everywhere have this problem, but like I said, it’s difficult to fight alone. Some things have to be changed, else our life will only be full of adjustments. Tradition is good if there is a reason for following it. But we (by that I mean men and women) are following a good many of them blindly because the that’s how its been done so far. Sometimes people only start accepting things if a popular figure says it. I am not a popular figure, perhaps we should get Aamir or Rajnikanth to speak for this!

    • padhs2k
      September 27
      Reply

      Thank you! 🙂

  8. Anonymous
    September 27
    Reply

    Hmmm.
    Well the fact is you dont like it. So make sure you don’t get married at all. Why do you want to get married, get frustrated and write all these godsake words and bring down the reputation of india. The system is like that. No one is bothered wheather the writer is part of it or not. Feel free to walk away if you are not feeling good. Yes u turn into a feminist n stuff like that. Encourage all such feminists to drop the concept of marriage, so that neither they do not have to feel bad nor screw up a guy’s life.

    • padhs2k
      September 27
      Reply

      Thank you for your thoughts. The fact is you are not broad minded enough to even allow a mild change to occur. Reputation of India will not be brought down by allowing women to have equal rights as men. That’s a funny concept you have in your mind! Think about all the rapes that are happening, that my friend, is bad for India’s reputation – NOT fighting for women to have equal rights as men. I encourage you to grow up.

  9. Anonymous
    September 27
    Reply

    Wow, when I read the articles I didn’t think anyone will contradict it, apart from the guys who make tea at home or make it for in laws ( that rare breed) but that’s a strong reaction dear Anonymous and Girish, but forgivable as u r not woman and will not see the point of the article. Just wondering when was last you did dishes in your in laws house or washed their clothes by the way..

    • padhs2k
      September 27
      Reply

      Thank you, friend for your kind words of support. When I wrote my thoughts I was sure I would get objections from a majority of men. What did come as a surprise was that, objections came also from women. Everyone is definitely entitled to their own thoughts. But the problem with a lot many of them is that they never raise their voice unless they are directly affected by an issue. Guys in this case are never affected by this, so they don’t want to change the system. Some women say sacrifices are to be accepted for a peaceful married life. All I could say to them, if you keep on adjusting yourself to the society(which may be in-laws, husbands or anyone in the society), one day you will lose your identity.

  10. Anonymous
    September 28
    Reply

    I completely agree with everything you have said here. It is so heart breaking to see strong, intelligent and amazing women being held back by the fetters of traditions which apparently are “necessary” to uphold the image of India. It’s time for a change, and the change begins by educating one ignorant mind at a time… and you’ve made a good start at that, Padhma!

    • padhs2k
      September 28
      Reply

      Thank you very much for your kind words. And yes, raising questions and awareness is the first step. How to bring about the change currently, now that’s a difficult step. If we change the minds of the current generation, I am hoping they will raise their kids to not follow any practice blindly..well, let’s all hope together 🙂

  11. Anonymous
    September 29
    Reply

    A Wonderful writeup!!!! u just wrote down wats on every woman’s mind !! cheers !!

  12. Anonymous
    September 29
    Reply

    hindu marriage system has been followed for many decades…few procedures changing according to the situations…so marraiage is not something to make female direspectful….v the only custom in the whole world celebrating females like god….es i agree there are black holes…our custom is not teaching us to bow ur husband its telling us to obey him….

    • padhs2k
      September 30
      Reply

      I agree Mr/Ms Anonymous (wish you had left your name) that our Hindu marriage system has been followed for decades. I never mentioned marriage rituals are disrespectful to women. I stated that some of the marriage rituals seem to convey the meaning that men are more important than women. Christianity also celebrates female as Goddess. And on the same subject, there are male and female Gods too in Hindu religion. Anyways, my point was that our custom has a lot of good things and bad things. But we follow everything blindly without questioning about it. All I am saying is, it’s high time we ask the reason behind something before following a tradition.

  13. Urvi
    September 29
    Reply

    Interesting article, but I will have to agree with Girish on this one. You can not blame our traditions and religious practices for male-centric society. It is actually largely due to the misinterpretations of people throughout the years that have caused inequality to women. There are so many traditions and religious practices we do as women largely because we are stronger than men. I feel your article was only looking at the cons of our society. The wedding rituals you mentioned–manglasutra is tied to the women by the men because he is showing his bond to her and vowing to protect her forever. And then there is the pheras..last one, women walks in front to show that she will lead the man to moksha. You also didn’t mention raksha-bandhan, when the women ties a rakhi to her brother to show her protection. I mean there are so many stories of women in our religion. We as women have to stand up for this and stop saying things are unequal..they are largely unequal because we are always trying to put the man down. If we continue to focus on the negatives of our society, we will never excel. It’s not about getting our rights..it’s actually about understanding, whether man or woman, that we both have equal roles and our religion shows this.

    • padhs2k
      September 30
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing your views Urvi. It’s difficult to make everyone understand that this is in fact a male-centric society and women are still trying to be considered equal as men. Be it in our offices, outside, at home..there are men and women everywhere, but in order to gain recognition a woman has to work twice as hard as men to show to the world that she has brains and needs be treated with the same amount of respect and importance as men.

      Nowhere in the article I have put men down. All I have done was show the various issues a married woman has to face after marriage, because society gives more importance to men than women. There are positives and negatives to everything. I am not saying the everything about a marriage is bad, I am saying there are many rituals we practice during and after marriage, that seem to put men on the pedestal and woman beneath him. Many people, including yourself, are offended because I questioned why a Mangalsutra has to be tied by only men. That was a question. IF you can give me a valid reason, instead of just “our traditions told us to do so” – I will be broad minded enough to rectify it. IF mangalsutra was tied to protect a woman, why are there many people divorcing so easily? I am saying a sacred thread isn’t everything. There has to be understanding between a man and woman, they need to be equal partners in life. Also, no body has given an answer as to why a woman has to leave her parents after marriage and a man hasn’t! Someone needs to question this. Else we will only be passing on this ritual to our newer generation blindly.

  14. Archana
    September 29
    Reply

    Hi Padhma, Very interesting article! Resonated a lot with me. You point out exactly all the issues that Indian women are facing today, and put them across so coherently. Please continue doing so. I was not a strong “feminist” till I got married, mostly because I naively assumed I will be treated like how my husband is treated. But it turned out I was wrong in every way.

    1. I had to fight with my husband just to even retain my last name after marriage. It’s only when his cousins (girls) told him that they did not change their names after marriage that my husband became okay with the idea of me keeping my name. Eventually, my husband understood my feelings, but it took him a long time. Even today, my father-in-law makes a big deal of me not changing my name!

    2.We had an inter-caste marriage and I always wondered why was I “have to” follow my husband’s family traditions and forsake my own. My in-laws literally have forced me to follow their customs and traditions, but my parents never force my husband to follow anything from my family.

    3. And then.. there is the issue of how my parents treat my husband versus how my in-laws treat me. If my husband does something nice while my parents are visiting like making them coffee, or cooking dinner or helping with the dishes (even just once or twice) then he is an amazing, caring, understanding husband (And I will get comments on how lucky I am to have such a nice hubby and how lucky they are to have a wonderful son-in-law)!! But when I cook and clean day-in and day-out for my in-laws, it’s just expected, and in fact i even get criticized for my cooking skills. I am very grateful that I have an warm, caring and helpful husband, but what pisses me off is that why is he getting praises for doing 1/10th the work that I do, and I get criticized?

    4. Of course there are all these pujas and vratas that you brought up — my MIL actually made me fall at my husband’s feet and pray for his long life yada yada. She says all married girls have to do this. Of course, I want my husband to live a long life and I want us to live happily, but isn’t an true expression of love and faith sufficient instead of being so sexist? Why can’t he do the puja and keep a vrata for me just once?

    I have taken a more active role in countering these harmful, sexist traditions. I was initially scared of what my in-laws might think of me if I voiced my true opinions, but I felt ashamed that I was hiding my true self behind a facade. I don’t care anymore if they think I am a “villainous” bahu. I have refrained from doing Gauri or Savthri puja — and if i want to do it in the future, then I will make sure it’s both my husband and me praying together for a happy life. I am not gonna change my name. Our kids will have both my last name (as middle name) and his last name. I will give equal important to both our family’s traditions, or not follow either one. It is not gonna be skewed in my husband’s favor. Yes, I know I need to fight, REALLY FIGHT, just to get these simple equal rights, but I am prepared to do it. And I guess it’s somewhat easier for me, living in the US, being away from families. I hope women in India too find the voice and courage to stand up against such practices. And HUGE thanks to women like you who give us the knowledge and strength to do so. Hats off to you!!

    • padhs2k
      September 30
      Reply

      Hi Archana,

      It was lovely to hear from you. First of all, I have to congratulate you for being strong and sticking to what you feel is correct. A friend once told me that there are 3 types of women. Type 1- who accepts rules as is without any thought ; Type 2- those who fight back and win what they want; Type 3-those who cannot accept rules but are also scared to fight back. Life is smooth for the first, difficult but fulfilling for the second but sucks for the third. Though life may be smooth for the type1 people, they would lose their individuality as time goes by. At some point of time, they might realize they are actually living a life that the husband/in-laws has dreamt “for” them — instead of living “their” dream life.

      I think you and many others currently (myself included) are Type 2 women. It definitely is a hard fight, but at least we will know we didn’t lose our identity after marriage. Marriage as I look at it, is a union of two souls, to offer companionship till eternity – and companionship is only possible when the 2 people concerned with it are equal partners. Every single problem you describe is what every married woman faces in our country! What’s difficult to digest is – everyone is fully aware that these practices don’t consider women’s feelings or her self-respect for that matter, but they ask us to follow them anyway! The only reason being – this is how it’s been done forever and as far as they are concerned there’s no other way to do it.

      I appreciate you for not giving up your family’s practices and taking up just your spouse’s. As for naming the kid, that’s exactly what I told my husband too. I used to think on the same lines – what if I spoke up, and everyone thinks I am a bad daughter-in-law? But then I realized, if I don’t stand up for myself, NO ONE else would. And when I started speaking out my mind, I felt lighter at heart and had one less of a problem to complain about. And so what if they think something about me? If not giving up my individuality – or – if doing what I feel is correct as opposed to what I’ve been “expected” to do – is what makes me a villainous person, well then so be it! What do you say 🙂

      Living abroad does have a lot of benefits, I agree as I live in US too. In fact many prefer to live in US mainly for avoiding unnecessary family politics. But then we still have to undergo these issues when going on a vacation or when others come down to US 🙂
      It’s not fair that their sons are always given more importance by in-laws. But I say, let’s voice it out when we know the treatment is not fair. That way some people would realize we are not mute anymore and might not try to bend us in every way possible 🙂
      Kudos to you for being a strong woman!! Let’s all derive strength from one another!

  15. JustAGuy
    September 30
    Reply

    Let me begin by saying that this was a nice article. Being someone who really cares and loves his mother, I do have some semblance of what women go through. Of’course, I can’t attest to this entirely being a guy. Further, the *general* plight of women in India is appalling. I am referring specifically to how women are ill-treated, especially physically. I personally feel that people who as much as lay a finger on a woman without her permission, should be dealt with strictly – what to speak of those that bring harm to her.

    Also, being someone from another part of India, a few of the things in your article were not relevant as things are done differently in the part of India I come from. Nevertheless, being a Hindu, a lot of these “rituals” are done in my house too.

    The suggestion I wanted to make here, since this is centered on a woman turning into a feminist post marriage, is why not “try” out the guy you want to marry before getting married. Like things happen in the west, have a live in relationship with the guy you are interested in marrying. Muster up the courage to speak with your family and tell them about the problems married women face and your desire to not want to be part of that bandwagon and therefore going on this journey of testing your potential groom. Test out the guy. Do the finances (for a new and separate home), test his skills and abilities of doing chores, test his ability to stand up in your favor (when his parents want something) etc. etc. If you think a month is too little, take 3-5 years in this live in relation. At least at the end, you’ll know you won’t have to suffer for the rest of your lives. If society does not permit such a relation, let your parents handle that. I am sure it is easier for you to deal with your parents compared to your would be parents-in-law fighting with them and trying to change them.

    If you’ve lost that opportunity, give it to your daughter/s. Give it to your sister, your friend or other women. If there are enough of you doing that, there will be lesser and lesser men not having the chance to mess up your life. Besides, if this seems too far fetched, think about this that you have to start somewhere.

    Another suggestion for the married ones, make alliances! Ally with your mother in law, with your sister in law and other women in your husband’s family. Look at it from the stand point of your husband – he is being bombarded from his family about following rituals. Simultaneously, his wife is kicking his butt about problems and how unhappy she is. By making alliances, you’ll not only help yourself, you’ll make your husband change as well.

    While I am sure you can punch multiple holes in my suggestions above, I feel it could be a starting point for some.

    At the end of the day – have a happy life. You have one, and so do the people you are living with. Also, part of the “traditions and rituals” are the legacy of India and Indians. While change is needed, let’s not loose who we are. There has got to be a +ve in these “rituals and traditions” – try thinking from that perspective as well.

    • padhs2k
      September 30
      Reply

      Hi ‘JustAGuy’! I liked your views. In fact it was one of the few refreshing views I have read so far. Well first of all, let me begin by saying I am not there to punch holes to every view expressed to my article 🙂 Everyone is entitled to have opinions. But I want to discuss about the changes you are proposing. When people discuss, so many new perspectives come out, and it may change a person’s mind too, in some cases.

      I agree. The general plight of women in India is not that great. The sad fact is many educated, women in good positions in office too are facing these kind of everyday fights for their equality. Few speak their mind out and make their point across. But there are many who don’t know how to fight this. Like I said, we are fighting with a faceless enemy here.

      You mentioned you lived in another part of India and so few of the practices are different. Can you tell me which of those practices (followed “after” marriage) are different? I am interested to know because I could then site examples to others that there are places which treat married people as equal partners.

      A live-in relationship is wonderful to get to know the guy. For that matter falling in love would be equally good as well. But the problem never lies with the guy for most of the married women. If it is so, then what you say might work. I think the problem lies mainly with the elderly people who a married woman gets to meet after marriage. They could be her parents who believe that she “has” to be a proper housewife, or in-laws who expect her to do chores in their home or any stranger she meets who gives more importance to her husband than her. She meets these people, or a different face of these people only after marriage. A live-in relationship is good for knowing the guy but not for letting her know what kind of problems she would encounter post marriage in the name of rituals and traditions. The problems that I cite may differ from woman to woman, but many rituals (like falling at a husband’s feet and stuff like that) pertain only to married woman and cannot be seen in a live-in relationship where the woman remains still single.

      As fas as alliances goes, it may sound easy from a guy’s point of view, but it is never that simple for reasons that cannot be explained in few words! It may require a post by itself 🙂 That said, what you said is what many married women who don’t want to get into any arguments do. Life may seem simpler for them. But for that an in-law has to be ready to allow them as part of their family. Give and take should exist for this to work. But the problem is, even then, they would expect married women to follow practices which put their husband on a pedestal and them definitely below that. Few woman do this without flinching, but many find this difficult and rightly so.

      At the end of the day, yes the point is to lead a happy life. And my point is live it per your wish and not as per what others expect you to live.
      Oh and I am not asking everyone to give up rituals or traditions entirely, I saying if there is a practice which doesn’t seem to give you equal importance, raise questions on why that needs to be followed. 🙂

      Again, thanks for your suggestions. A criticism with suggestion is always welcomed!

      • JustAGuy
        October 1
        Reply

        Thanks for the appreciation! I’m glad to hear that my thoughts were refreshing and taken positively.

        The difference due to my location, are more for the “marriage ceremony”. I have to agree that in general the rest of the things are similar. Having said that, I can tell you that the men in my family know how to cook full meals (and do so often – maybe not regularly), equally partake in household chores, and have atleast offered that their wives need not change her name, and have the name of the wife and husband on the sale deed of the house (wife first).

        To your comment on living in: I agree that a married relation is different from a live in, and likely the expectations from a married couple would be different compared to those from an unmarried one so the girl might not be privy to all of these whilst in a live in relation. However, I feel that what the girl would get to know is the true character of the guy and also about his relation with his parents. If, to begin with, he has a distant (not in terms of miles) relation with his parents – then best of luck to the girl. However, if he is on good terms with his parents, it might give the girl a chance to be party to it as well. Get a relation with the family, before getting married.

        Here is another thought:

        Working in the world of business, it’s all about the relation: people to people. Anything is possible, so long as people are willing. You want to make a deal, take your customer out to dinner and some drinks. You want a promotion – go talk to your boss’s boss and start getting friendly with him so he pays attention to your work and makes it easier for your boss to give you a promotion. You want to get a colleague to do some work, talk to her/him at the water fountain and build even a 2 minute relation and there you’ll have it. Spend some time on a relation, and you can get what you want.

        It’s the people that follow traditions, and like religion, these are deeply rooted in people. For Hindus, we were taught these traditions by our parents (Smriti) verbally and not by some third person or through a book. As a result, apart from being a tradition, it is something told to us by the two people who mattered dearly to us at least for the initial part of our life. It’s these same people we all credit our success to for educating us and sacrificing so much to help us get to where we are. By asking to change a tradition, we are asking to change people – probably the toughest thing to do. Businesses spend fortunes on change management. One SAP implementation can last months, only because you are still trying to get people to change their habbits about seeing a report differently because it is now generated from another system.

        Take the time to first build that relation with your parents in law. Also give your to be husband the chance and time to build a relation with his parents in law. It will go a long way in allowing everyone to be flexible and acceptable to change and new ideas. On what basis can one expect to walk into a house (even if it is your own) and expect that people will change what they have been doing or expecting of you just because you think it’s unfair. By asking someone to change that ritual, it’s almost like asking them to disobey their parents. While you might be able to get your friend to disobey his parents, you definitely won’t get a stranger to do that.

        I feel instead, if you have a strong relation with the family – best case a friendship, then not only will the families be willing to change, the girl herself might not need to become a feminist. We love seeing goddess Durga in all her beauty, talking about the good that she does and the nurturer that she is. At the same time, we fear her turning into Goddess Kali. It just leads to a lot of destruction. Hopefully the average daughter in law does not have to turn into Kali. 🙂

        Cheers….

  16. Subha Nair
    September 30
    Reply

    Ohh Girl !!! how well you have penned down these crazy notions !!! Im sure every woman must have questioned atleast one of these rituals in their lifetime. But if you notice, most of these so called “socio-religious” practices are imposed on women by women. If atleast one woman puts her foot down and says “No, my daughter will not follow this and belittle her own identity” , I think it would be a step forward to break the shackles for women. Im married, but I didnt adopt my husband’s name, and honestly there is no lack of love between us.Also, my mother , who has labelled me as the rebel” , never imposed this “good value” on me. Her advice is to adopt trust, love and respect in the marriage.

    • padhs2k
      October 1
      Reply

      Thanks Subha! I agree, these rituals are mostly imposed on women by women. Even if you question these rituals – we are considered feminists or a rebel 🙂 A mother’s interference can exist before marriage, but after that, I think only the married women have to put their foot down and refuse to follow practices if it doesn’t give them or their parents equal importance. She needs to let herself be heard. But how open are in-laws to take a daughter-in-laws’ views on things? And during those times perhaps a husband could take a stance, put himself in his wife’s shoes and see whether it makes any sense in doing these practices, instead of just remaining mute.

  17. Anonymous
    September 30
    Reply

    I read your article as well as all the comments (rare thing to do). No doubt the points you have shared are thought provoking and genuine as well but here are few things I want to share:

    1. The tone of your article and the tone in the comment aren’t same. You can say that this article was written as a satire or any sense of humor but believe me it ain’t that cool. Ask any old person to read it from tone’s perspective.

    2. As far as I have heard off the definition of “Feminism”, it shows equal compassion for all. Sadly, your article portrays radical feminism about challenging without providing facts. Few have been shared by some.

    3. Changes which are questioned and answered peacefully have better results. Again, I wish your article had the tone you used in comments. Also, changes which occur slowly have a better impact on the society. History is a proof that revolts have caused severe damage. I read a comment from a lady who wants to challenge a lot of things in a go. I feel this will be a trouble-maker.

    4. No doubt customs you questioned are mind-boggling and totally worth it but it would have been better if you have done some research work on it like Urvi & Girish have stated. If this article has reached me, I am sure this article will cause a rapid fire. But I wonder how many will go down and read those comments? Remember, we are the generation of 2-minute noodles topped with sensation.

    Lastly, I read couple of other short stories of yours as well. You seem to be a good writer with a wise head but your readers may not be that wise. Sadly our generation is a prey of twenty-twenty while life is a long test match.

    Hope post reading this article people will take it in a positive stride.

    • padhs2k
      October 1
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing your views and also for reading all the comments. I do that too, when I come across an article I am interested to know what everyone thinks 🙂

      That said, yes, the tone I used was sarcasm. This article brings about the unfair treatment meted out by society to a married woman. The society wants two people to marry to be equal partners in life, but then it treats one person different from the other! It expects the married woman to follow lots of practices because its “tradition” even though it perfectly knows it is unfair. This is a double standard society and ‘sarcasm’ is the only way to look at it. And I wasn’t trying to be funny there, just pointing out the points as it rose in my mind. As for comments, it’s a one-on-one basis.
      Anyways, the tone of the article reflects the state of the mind of many married women. I am not a preachy person, but I do have a questioning mind. And if I were to re-write this article, it still would have the same tone 🙂

      2) As to your second point, I am challenging the rituals and their meaning. I am asking people why should we practice a ritual of leaving a wife’s parents and only care about a husband’s? No one has given the answer to that. People who want to argue mainly point out that wedding rituals are there for a reason. I did read about every ritual performed in a Hindu wedding before writing this article. I chose to point out rituals that gives more importance to men than women. If a ritual like Saptapadi gives equal importance to the partners, then I am all for it. It was pointed out to me that even ethics like Ramayana or Kanagi-kovalan story didn’t have the concept of Mangalsutra. I have to dig in further before writing about it. It is hard for people to challenge and change a ritual that’s been followed for centuries together. And that’s why they seem to think it’s a “radical” change I am proposing. We have people exchanging rings so why can’t we do that for Mangalsutra? I see no harm in questioning this. Shouldn’t we be more open to a change that looks at people as equal partners? If Mangalsutra is considered as the “holiest” of all, so why not have this considered holy by two instead of just one?

      3) There are two types of people. Type 1 – who are open to any changes to bring about equality in society; Type 2- who are open to changes only IF it benefits them and Type 3-those who are close minded to any change that questions traditions followed for centuries together. The way I see it, Type 1 would only look at the content and if’s beneficial for the society, will encourage the change. Type 1 will not bother about the tone, they only look at the content. Type 3 looks at content, never bothers with the tone and shut the ideas down with harsh words(you should look at the tone used when they do this!). Type 2 people tend to look at the tone sometimes. It’s the content which matters. People who want to change will change. I leave it at that.

      4) I did research about it just as Urvi and Girish did theirs. A question for you – why is that you think they did their research better than me? Is it because I questioned about Mangalsutra and the dream sloka? 🙂 I am all for following rituals IF they think of men and women as equal partners. If a ritual doesn’t(any ritual), I think it needs to be questioned. After all marriage is the ceremony which unites two souls, shouldn’t it make sense that the rituals followed in that treats them both as equal? Also, I don’t understand what you mean when you say, “If this article has reached me, I am sure this article will cause a rapid fire”. Can you please elaborate?

      I raised questions that exists in many of the married women’s mind. My intention was not to preach, but to ask people to question a practice before following it blindly. I will add few statements at the end of the article to let people know the intention, if you think that wasn’t clear. I am open to suggestions, I just wish the society is.

      And thank you for reading my short stories. Again I am a little confused when you say my readers may not that wise. There are people who think if a problem doesn’t occur to them, it doesn’t exist at all anywhere. In case you missed my comment to a person earlier – There is a term called S.E.P. which refers to “Someone Else’s Problem”. If you aren’t aware of it, here’s a definition what Wiki gives to it – “Somebody Else’s Problem (also known as Someone Else’s Problem or SEP) is a psychological effect where individuals/populations of individuals choose to dissociate themselves from an issue that may be in critical need of recognition. Such issues may be of large concern to the population as a whole but can easily be a choice of ignorance by an individual. ”

      And it is difficult to make those people change. Others – there is at least a chance.

  18. Raghu
    September 30
    Reply

    Hi,I think your whole article is very confusing. Are you trying to bring out Inequality for women in a particular community/Religion/Caste/Country?Because I felt you took one community/religion in India and generalized it. To be really Frank I feel you are a bit dumb if you still keep talking about inequality. Women and Men are never equal. That is the Ultimate Truth. Check History and you can see that Women are always superior to Men. Please don’t blindly believe HISTORY because at end of day it’s HIS-STORY. I feel very bad that women still try to earn the tag of EQUALITY when we all know women are far more superior that men. Anything Men do, women can definitely do it in more efficient, quick and better way. Society is made up of Men and Women so everyone is equally responsible for whatever happens. Why do you expect Men to give you equal stature when it is not even in his capability to give. Whey is there an unwanted expectation from Men to make sure equality is met. Now let me take through the points which you highlighted inaccurately since I belong to that religion/community. (I shall put a section as “Our Case in each segment to show how me and my wife live”)

    1) Wedding rituals – everything begins here! –> Both myself and my wife were not aware of the significance of even 1% of the rituals. Along with us there were hundreds of relatives and friends who were really happy to see us together. Are you really aware of the significance of every ritual or did you just take some ones randomly to prove your point. I guess its the latter. In any case, the core issue here is not equality but religion which is altogether a different topic. I feel as humans we can never have equality in our blood leave alone gender equality. Our ancestors, as in Monkeys are also like that and I am not sure whom to blame for that 🙂
    We live in a world where every community puts men ahead of women and I am very sure there is a world in this galaxy where the reverse is taking place right now. But if there are a human race that had come from Monkeys, then am sure we do not believe in equality of any kind.

    Our Case :- If she bowed down to me to get a mangalsutra on her neck, then I too Bowed down and caught her leg. She does not wear mangalsutra (even though all seniors are dead against it :D) and I am Ok with it because It is not my decision to Make. Her Neck. Her Choice.

    2) The dream home –> There are several communities where they live in girls house(even in the God’s Own Country–Kerala). Maybe You are not aware. Please Don’t Generalize. Go to Vietnam, most of the guys have way less salary that their spouses and they depend on their wives and in-laws for everything.

    Our Case :- We did not go to my house immediately. Both the house had elaborate rituals to welcome Us. Both are not our houses. They are our parents house and we will build our own.

    3) What’s in a name? –> Again you are generalizing. I can give you at least 100 references based on people around me who have not changed their Name post marriage.

    Our Case :- No change in any ones name.

    4) His Royal Highness! –> Partially Agree with you. Then again, I feel women prefer making food because they are better at it and everyone wants better for their whole family.

    Our Case :- We both are treated royally at our respective In-Law Houses. Most often we fight with our In-laws because we will be working when they expect us to take rest!!

    5) Questioning in-laws –> That is completely an Indian way of Up-bringing and nothing to do with Inequality. From childhood we are always told to repsect and do what seniors say and never question. It does not suddenly start at the day of wedding. One of the main culprit of that is Religion because most Indians are “God-Fearing” and Not “God-Loving”.

    Our Case :- We try to be utmost polite but never shy away from telling what we feel with our in-laws. But we definitely do no try to judge who is correct and who is wrong. It’s always every individuals choice.

    6) Buying a first home –> Except for the ultra rich, I don’t think anyone can afford to buy a home on his own without his wife’s contribution in home loans 🙂

    Our Case :- We are not there yet but we are definitely going to have it together.

    7) Kid-o-kid –> Kid’s Name– I agree with you, its high time we change that. But no one names their kid after fathers because they think women are not equal. They are just blind.

    Our Case :- Our kid will definitely have both our names.

    8) Swahaa! –> Again you brought just one religion to show inequality. yes there are lots of slokas that pati recite for the well-being of his wife.

    Our Case :- We are borderline Atheist with only love towards god and not fear. we do not follow anything.

    I do hope I have not been rude with you. If you felt, Then I apologize. But if you believe in god, then I will ask that god to give some gyan to you to realize that Women are far far more superior that Men!!!!. You don’t need to change everyone’s perception. Just change it for people close to you because end of the day we Modern age monkey are still not believing in equality. We still our family, our wife, our husband, our kids, our grand kids to be best than anyone else!!!!!

    • padhs2k
      October 1
      Reply

      Hi Raghu,

      First off, don’t call a person dumb and expect him/her to say you weren’t rude! But I do accept your apology. Second off, I wish you had gyan to realize you were talking about just yourself and NOT everyone else in society. I was speaking about the problems that a MAJORITY of Indian married women face and you bring your story into the picture and say that nope, it doesn’t happen to you, so it’s not the case everywhere!

      That’s the problem with the society now. IF a problem doesn’t affect them, then they believe there is NO problem at all!! There is a term called S.E.P. which refers to “Someone Else’s Problem”. If you aren’t aware of it, here’s a definition what Wiki gives to it – “Somebody Else’s Problem (also known as Someone Else’s Problem or SEP) is a psychological effect where individuals/populations of individuals choose to dissociate themselves from an issue that may be in critical need of recognition. Such issues may be of large concern to the population as a whole but can easily be a choice of ignorance by an individual. ”

      And you my friend belong to this category.

      Since you took a case by case rebuttal, I don’t mind discussing your points on a case-by-case analysis as well.

      1) Wedding rituals – You just said that you weren’t aware of the meanings of a single ritual but were just following it because that’s what our tradition/religion/culture, call it what you may, ask us to do. That’s exactly what I am questioning. EVERYONE, including myself should understand what the rituals signify and decide whether it is really necessary to follow it. But the matter is not in our hands. The bride and groom are just sitting ducks at that time, obeying every single thing that the Purohit ask us to do.
      You think that I perhaps took some acts randomly to point out holes in the ritual? First off, please don’t think for myself, I am perfectly capable of doing that. I did not my friend. I did read about the rituals and what it signifies. It looks like Mangalsutra or Thaali was not even present in the ethics – none of the versions of Ramayana speak about Rama tying a knot to Sita. And there is nothing to show the existence of Mangalsutra in Kanagi book too. I was pointed these out by a well read person who has read these ethics. That made me question how it got into existence suddenly. Many of the traditions in wedding or after wedding were originally started many centuries ago, at a time when it was mainly a male dominated society. I am saying let’s understand the rituals’ significance before following it blindly! If a ritual treats men and women as equal partners, then I am all for it. Saptapadi does it in the wedding. I am not against all rituals, please remember that.

      2) Dream home – I am aware of the customs in Kerala. And yes I did generalize about this fact because a majority of people in South India have this practice. I am glad that in Kerala you go to both parents home after a marriage. I only wish this practice occurs everywhere! Why not follow a practice that makes sense and gives importance to both partners! I am all for following this practice followed in Kerala and I’m sure many others would as well!

      3) Changing name after a marriage – You misunderstand me. I am not saying a woman or man SHOULD change their name after marriage. I am saying why is it easily accepted by society IF and WHEN a married woman changes her last name but looks down upon a married man IF he wants to do the same! Society will only ridicule him instead of thinking it’s a romantic thing to do but when a woman does this, she is considered a romantic.

      4) Royalty treatment at in-laws place – I can speak for sure for every married woman when I say that this holds true. When you are at in-laws place do you also go to the kitchen and ask if any help is required? IF you do, then I appreciate it. Else, never say this doesn’t happen to many.

      5) Questioning in-laws – Sigh, again you are speaking about yourself alone. And no, it’s not an Indian way of upbringing! A single woman stands up for herself in front of her parents, but when she does hesitate before standing up to her in-laws. And unlike you I am not speaking about myself here, but for majority of others.

      6) Home buying – True wife’s loans are needed. But most of the married men don’t register the house in their wife’s name.

      7) Naming a kid – Good for you!

      8) Swahaa! – If there are slokas that a man does for longevity of a wife, please let me know. I am speaking about the Hindu religion because I belong to it. I don’t practice anything either, but then I would like for all men to at least be aware that there are slokas, pujas that he can do! Do let me know IF it exists.

      I only wish to say people don’t think about a problem IF it doesn’t affect them in person. They think if it doesn’t happen to them, it doesn’t happen to anyone. Wake up and see how many women are facing these issues! I am not trying to question every single age-old practice. I am saying if a practice gives equal importance to both partners, then a married woman would be happy to follow it. Else she SHOULD question it without following it mutely.

  19. Archana
    September 30
    Reply

    Padhma, I like what you said in your comment – “Marriage as I look at it, is a union of two souls, to offer companionship till eternity – and companionship is only possible when the 2 people concerned with it are equal partners”

    I read some of the comments by others and I am going to take the liberty to jump in and say a few things…

    1. There was a suggestion about having a “live-in” relationship before marriage. Yes, I am all for it and would be a great way to test out a relationship. But how many Indian parents are open minded to accept that? If parents have problems with small things that go against tradition (such as not changing name after marriage or not wearing mangalsutra), then how in the world do you expect to accept a drastic step like a live-in relationship?? When my husband and I fell in love, we were in a long distance relationship for a few years traveling from east to west coast (in the US). We used to visit each other and stay with each other BEFORE MARRIAGE – my parents did not have a problem with this, so I was open with them. But my husband’s father was dead against it. So my husband avoided telling them that he was visiting me or I was visiting him. Now, if parents have a problem with just visiting and staying together for a few days, how in the world are you supposed to do a live-in? And I am talking about living in the US, where we are thousands of miles away. Imagine trying to go against your parents and doing a live-in in India!! If a couple decides to live together, against all odds, then it just is just as likely to lead to more fights, bitterness and an even more strained relationship with parents / in-laws. Society needs to change in order to accept live-ins…and it’s a slow social change. It may take a few generations to make that change .. and as per the suggestion in the comment, I am sure we can bring about that change by giving our sons and daughters the opportunity.

    2. Another comment about forming an alliance. Yes, I am sure women are more than happy to form alliances … no sensible girl wants to fight! But we need to remember alliances are formed for mutual benefit. It can only happen when both parties respect each other and listen to each other. Hardly anyone listens to the daughter-in-law, especially if she questions unfair practices. More often than not, the guy’s family imposing their superiority and rules on the woman is not gonna help her form an alliance. And the bigger question is — why is it the woman is bombarded to follow some outdated rituals, and then advised to “get-along” when things seem wrong to her.. see how the blame game goes?. For once, I would like to see the son-in-law being bombarded by the wife’s family to wear a mangalya or do a four week long Gauri puja for the wife or follow the the wife’s family rituals– then I am sure he can deal with it by forming an alliance with his in-laws for peace and harmony.

    3. There was another comment that calls this article “radical feminism” and says it “does not provide facts”. Yes, this is an opinion article, but every point that Padhma makes is based in fact. A MAJORITY of women change their name after marriage is a fact. That A MAJORITY of men do not change their names to their wife’s names is a fact. The girl has to work in her in-laws house while the guy can relax at his in-laws place is a fact. The ritual of gruhapravesh where a girl leaves her family and goes to her husband’s house is a fact. Yes, in today’s modern world many couples have their own homes, but many couples also don’t. And couple who cannot yet afford to buy their own homes invariable end up in the guy’s house. Isn’t it fair that they live with both sets of parents? Why are the guy’s parents more important? Why can’t there is a reciprocal tradition where the guy also enters the girl’s parents’ house in the ceremony of gruhapravesh (I agree there is a tradition of doing an aarathi to welcome daughter and son-in-law into the girl’s parents house, but it is not equal to a gruhapravesh where the girl is supposed to go in accepting the husband’s house as her own). How many Indian guys will be ready to stay with their in-laws? I know hundreds of girls who stay with theirs….

    4. The comment also calls women who want an equal footing as “trouble-makers.” My serious question is : what makes this radical or troubling?? Is it so troubling for men (and society) to accept that a woman’s last name is as important as her husband’s? Is it so troubling that a wife asks her husband to join her as an EQUAL in a gauri vrat to pray “together” for a long and harmonious life? Or is it really troubling for men to accept that their kids will follow their family traditions as well as their wife’s? I sure would like to know! All we ask for is to be fair and just, just give us what is our right… the right to make our own decisions, the right to wear what we feel like wearing, the right to just keep our names and the right to self-respect as individuals in society.

    One last point I would like to bring up is that outdated gender stereotypes and sexist practices hurt men as much as they do women. Let me give you some examples– For one, men are not given the chance for healthy emotional growth.. always being told that “boys don’t cry” or to “man-up.” Research has shown that men have similar emotional needs as women, just that society is ruthless when it comes to nurturing them in a healthy way. When not properly nurtured, the lack of emotional expression turns into unhealthy detachment or aggression. Men are more pressured to earn and provide.. and what if a man is interested in a career that doesn’t pay really well? Is he doomed? Why does society look down upon a man who doesn’t earn well, while it’s okay with a woman not to work and earn? Women are always thought of as better care-givers for children, but I have seen examples of fathers can be wonderful primary caregivers, as amazing as mothers (if not more). Men can have an amazing emotional closeness with kids if only they are given the opportunity and mindset. I know many workplaces in US that give fathers 3-4 months of paternity leave.. just so they can bond with their babies… how many companies in India do that? Aren’t we depriving men of their wonderful precious time with their babies, subconsciously perpetuating the idea that mothers are more important than fathers?

    Padhma is just drawing attention to unfair practices and calling for a social change. Just because we challenge certain practices doesn’t make us any less Indian. If anything at all, we need to sum up the courage to make tradition and culture more acceptable and fair to both sexes. If we don’t change and adapt according to times, traditions will just die out. All rituals and traditions (including religion) are human-made constructs. Outdated sexist practices are followed in India because they were probably applicable to an older society at some point. It’s time we move on. When Galileo said that earth goes around the sun, the Catholic Church imprisoned him and told him his ideas were radical and he did not deserve to live. But he stood strong enough to fight for what he believed in, making him the one the founding fathers of modern science. It is just an example to show that just because 100 people believe in some religion-based tradition doesn’t mean it’s right!

    • padhs2k
      October 1
      Reply

      Archana, the only thing I wish to add on to what you said was – You basically spoke my mind! In fact I had responded with almost the same statements to comments I received regarding forming an alliance, calling it a radical change, or calling for equality. The point I wish to convey through this is, a majority of married women, wherever they are, however they may be, are facing the same issues and have the same questions and views on equality after marriage. Life’s full of choices. We can choose either to mute our feelings and bend down whenever required – or question practices now and change them at least for our future generation.

  20. santosh
    September 30
    Reply

    well, agreed with the questions, but not sure what answers you are looking for. And also, if you have the answers, are you (and other girls) ready to follow them

  21. October 1
    Reply

    I think one should first understand feminism before writing a such articles. And it’s not your fault, because this is not the first such post, that I’ve come across.

    The problem of gender inequality doesn’t start at the time of marriage, it starts right after your birth. I’ll not go into details, but I could give you another side of the story with this : http://perhapsss.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/being-an-indian-man/

    • padhs2k
      October 1
      Reply

      I think one should live a life being a married woman before criticizing on why a post like this needs to be written down.
      I only wish to state that here.

      • October 1
        Reply

        Well I agree to some of the points, but I see the culture changing very fast. Girls are not in that bad situation these days. May be it’ll need some more surveys and study for you to realize that.

        And switching roles is really not the way to go about it. Think about it. Thankfully you didn’t say why can’t guys carry a baby. Instead of switching roles, men and women need to work together to make a great couple and family.

        • padhs2k
          October 2
          Reply

          Rakhanna, I never said switching roles. Please read the last few paragraphs in my post again. I stated, IF the roles were switched in the mentioned scenarios, women would have been considered superior. That point was to drive home the idea that all those scenarios together give men higher importance than women after marriage.

          I am striving towards equality. I want society to treat men and women as equal partners. I don’t want society to expect things out of a married woman that they never expect from a man. They both need to be treated equally. I never stated anything about men carrying a baby or switching roles. Please read the last few paragraphs and then let me know what you really think.

          • October 14

            I think it is not just marriage that makes a women feminist. There are lot many things that you haven’t mentioned. Also, there are some things that women need to give up. I’d request you to just go through this post once. And let me know how you feel after that.

            http://perhapsss.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/being-an-indian-man/

          • October 14

            Very true Rakhanna. You clearly highlighted the points which the p-Feminists won’t look at. But the problem is today’s p-Feminists think only about themselves and never think of holistic picture. Without much analysis simply they try to compete with men in every sphere even though some of them may say “Both are equally strong in their own realms”.

            The author of this article advises men to live the life of a married woman before criticizing this post. I request her to do to same as a married man and see how difficult it is to handle the whole family as explained in the post by Rakhanna.

          • October 15

            Just to correct you: Not just as a married man, Ratnadeep. Be born as a man in India and live the full life.

            But I strongly believe in team-work. I don’t believe that women will feel empowered if they start doing everything a man does and I don’t believe equality will be established, if men start doing women’s work (except giving birth to a baby). I feel these two genders were desgined to co-exist and live together as a team in harmony. Somehow, thanks to those men who mistreated and disrespected women for doing household work, it has turned into a gender war.

            I ask every girl who hates these customs and bashes Indian Men, to look at their father and blame them for this. Because they didn’t treat her mother well, that’s why she stopped believing in team work.

          • October 15

            Yes Rakhanna, I totally agree with you that there must be team work. But unfortunately today the team work (marriage) is breaking (read divorce) are happening. As I mentioned in other comments, eagle and peacock both have their own place and they should not try to exchange their roles.

            We should always go to justice rather than equality. Our motherland India is known for civilization, legends etc. There is a famous Mark Twain quote also regarding the same. Hence everything was in proper place in our system. As you pointed out, due to a few wrong men and also the Western influence the system got corrupted. But there is scientific reason behind every norm we follow in our civilization.

            This is why I always maintain we should go for justice instead of equality.

          • padhs2k
            October 16

            Rakhanna,
            I believe you posted your link here earlier as I remember reading it. First of all, my post NEVER speaks ill about a husband. Many people don’t understand this. It’s about the traditions that’s been followed forever which gives men higher importance than women. A husband (just like the wife) is just a pawn that the society uses to play this game. Men and women were designed to exist in harmony, but society(which comprises of elderly women and men doused in traditions) give one sex higher importance than the other. And my post is to get this to change.

            That said, your statement on a girl hating some customs has something to do with the father figure never can hold up. A woman hates the customs I have mentioned because those customs don’t give the same importance to them as given to their husband. That is as simple as that.

          • October 16

            I have given many differences b/w men (husband) and women (wife). Hence don’t expect them to get the same importance. It’s not a blind belief. It is fully scientific and logical as I have explained the same in other comments. Please accept the fact.

            Your objection is against the Indian society. If you don’t like then please stay out of the Indian society, nobody is forcing you. But we don’t encourage the uncivilized Western system which focuses only on sensual pleasures and nothing else.

          • padhs2k
            October 16

            Ratnadeep,

            Again, read my post and please point to me where I advise men to live the life of a married woman. My post is not against men. If you understood my article it is clearly against traditions that has been followed for years together which gives one sex higher importance than the other.

          • padhs2k
            October 16

            Replied to your most recent comment regarding this.

  22. Anushree
    October 1
    Reply

    Very well written! I just felt someone poured my heart out. We cant change the older generations is what I have now realized and trying to come at peace with .I am still trying. I still get pissed off at somethings or the other when I see this discrimination happening every other day. It is so hard to even make my parents realize that my husband should not be treated like a king , forget about my in-laws. I am the only child of my parents (my husband being 3 siblings- 1 son and 2 sisters) and still it was an accepted ritual for me to leave my parents after marriage. All we need to care according to this society is about my in-laws because my husband is the only son. I am not sure when will we do away with this ritual .But, I don’t see it happening in near future. But yes, we can change the future generations if we want to. I haven’t changed my name after marriage and I am happy that my husband accepted this easily. And I even plan to raise my kid/s with my name instead of my husband’s . That’s what I can start with to be the change. I really don’t care if I am being given the “Bad Daughter-in-law” title. I am sure i would be having one in my kitty till now.

    • padhs2k
      October 1
      Reply

      Thank you Anushree for sharing your views! Like you said it’s very difficult to change an elderly person’s views. But it’s equally difficult to let ourselves be treated unfair. I share your feelings, why does an in-law look at a gender and decide how they need to be treated? The problem is the more we remain mute to unfair practices, the more people think this is how it should be. If a daughter-in-law starts questioning a particular practice, I think only then people would know they can’t just make her do things because it is “expected” of her.

      When people living abroad go for vacations to India, they tend to automatically go to husband’s home after arrival. And they visit the wife’s parents later on. At least many I know whose parents live in the same city, tend to face this problem. To all those I say, we can try doing this differently. In the first visit, they can go to the husband’s parents’ home and in the second visit, they can go the wife’s parents’ home, immediately on arrival to India. Why not give equal importance to everyones’s feelings?

      And as for leaving our parents behind after marriage, I wish women can raise this question before marriage itself – Let the guy know that after marriage they need to follow practices (be it taking care of parents, or send money to parents) that gives equal importance to a woman and her home as given to a man and his home. For those who aren’t married could try that, they would be labelled feminists, but so what? As for those who are married, we can still question practices that treat men differently than women. At least let our voice be heard. If someone considers us to be a bad daughter-in-law for speaking out, then we can consider them to be a bad m/f/s-in-law too and just carry on living our life as we want to live. What do you say 🙂 ?

  23. Sneha
    October 1
    Reply

    That was one heck of a write up! It was just as if someone wrote up my thoughts and you know what kudos to you for the courage and boldness to come out and make a point. Not many women would dare to do that even after being felt humiliated by one or other aspects in life. Well, personally I take pride in calling myself as feminist but the society mocked me numerous times for endorsing feminism, it is now a tabooed word for many….! Do listen to a speech by emma Watson(harry potter fame) , her discourse at UN was on similar lines. However…its important that all the sasuma’s in the world be reminded that “KYUNKI SAAS BHI KABHI BAHU THI!”

    P.S – I hope ur mother in law didn’t happen to read it 
    Cheers to feminism!

    • padhs2k
      October 2
      Reply

      🙂 Sneha, thank you! I wrote the thoughts of what’s running in all our married women’s minds, yes. We are hurt by this, but we don’t know what to do, because these practices have been followed for generations together. That is the problem. I hope women speak against a practice that they don’t like either to their husband or their in-laws. Husbands are better as they belong to our generation, so then they can decide together whether they both want to follow a particular practice/ritual or just not follow it at all. That might be the first step we can take!

      And yes, I did listen to Emma’s speech, but only after I posted this. Every woman has their own battle to fight. Be it when they are single or when they are married. At least when we are single we know who we are up against. But when married, we have to fight against so many people to speak our mind.

      And I actually don’t know whether my mil read this..But even if she did, I think she might realize why I fought against some stuff earlier 😉

  24. Anonymous
    October 1
    Reply

    ok.. I read all the comments and I really think every current generation women faces all the questions/changes/information. blindly following stuff.. First of all it is not in one’s capacity to understand or research fully of all the traditions .. anyways I don’t want to get into any of those..

    My only opinion is There is nothing called equality.. i know one of the previous commenter touched on this….but want to emphasize on this.. there are no equality between two brothers and two sisters….even though they are biologically similar.. Same things with elders etc…

    To be confined to your problem.. If you really want some answers rather than change.. Please start doing research in the direction of “Characteristics of Male Harmones” and Characteristics of Female Harmones”.. then Try to put the role reversal in all the above mentioned situations and other situations and try imagining what will happen on a society on a whole… You probably may get answers for many of your questions.. but In my humber opinion.. the change cannot and will not happen on a society level…entire world operates the same way…

    I hail from south india.. at least all the customs that women i had including my mother, my grand mother, my sister followed was for their own personal mental and health benefits..eventhough some say for the husbands.. .. So i don’t see any problem with the rituals or the system.. Only problem is when one male or female tries to take advantage of the system.. that issue is there in any kind of system.

    • padhs2k
      October 2
      Reply

      Hi Anonymous (wish you had given your name), yes, you are right all women face this problem. From centuries together we have been following this. Nobody had questioned the system and just went along with it, accepting that probably this is the way of life.
      But now we, by that I mean both men and women question everything. IF we buy a new phone we look at features, compare stuff, raise lots of questions and go for it. We don’t buy a phone just because another person bought it. So why should we accept practices that hurt us, just because a person before us did the same?

      There is something called equality and that is what we are fighting for. I don’t want my kid to grow up and leave his future wife’s parents alone and just take care of us! In fact I don’t want to be taken care at all, we all need to be independent and raise our kids to think independently instead of just following practices blindly.

      Doing a research on characteristics of male and female hormones will not benefit this topic at all! How is that related to why a guy has to live with his parents and a woman has to leave her parents? How is that related to why a guy’s initials are given to a kid’s? How is that related to why there exists pujas and slokas for men’s longevity and not women’s? Women love their husband. That’s universally accepted. But husbands love their wife too. So all I am saying is the society,( by that, I mean elderly people both men and women) treats a husband with more importance than his wife. The change can happen if the wife says “I don’t want to leave my parents, you are not leaving your’s right”. The change can happen if she stresses that her kid has her name as the initial too. And so on, for all points. I saw a post on a forum from a husband on what he should give his wife for “Karva chauth”. Most of the women answered fast with her IF she is fasting. That’s all we want. If we are expected to follow a practice, it should be followed by husbands as well. IF not let’s not have that at all.

  25. TypicalGuy
    October 1
    Reply

    Well, the article was more biased towards one gender, though you tried to fit in the equality mantra.
    I still don’t understand why do women do so much hue n cry n for every trivial issue. The She4He aka Emma Watson emphasized on gender equality than radical feminism ideology.
    I come from Bangalore n I have come across a lot of rules bent towards one gender in the name of upliftment. To name a few
    1) seat reserved for women in bus
    2) quota for women in colleges n universities
    3) Line break in queues at every govt offices
    4) job reservation in Govt firms
    5) Promotions, perks n leaves relaxation in private companies
    6) Amount of work relaxation in IT field
    7) Domestic violence prevention act and other illogical laws in india

    This might sound trivial to you and you might call as significant step for elevating the status of women. But have you come across any guy speaking foul about it.
    The main problem with you radical females is complaining,fighting and throwing tantrums at every act of a man instead of enjoying life.

    • padhs2k
      October 2
      Reply

      The main problem for men like you is that you don’t want people to grow. I believe you belong to the category that would also hate reservation system.
      The reason why government has allocated some privileges for women is because they were stepped upon for so many centuries, that many have lost their voice. There are a lot many who have risen up since then to fight for women, and got all those privileges you mention above. Govt. wants more women to study work, so by allocating job reservation for them or quota in colleges, they encourage them to study and work. A woman has more physical problems than men, and that’s why she is given higher number of leave. Domestic violence hah I don’t even want to talk about it.

      The problem is guys like you close your eyes and just argue for argument sake. Why are you even bothered if women fight for getting equal treatment? Does it frighten you? For enjoying life, we have to fight our way through our system. For men its easy, you were born for it. And btw, I did see Emma’s speech. You agree to what she says but not what I say. What I propose is getting equal treatment after marriage. And IT is not radical only practical.

    • Anonymous
      January 23
      Reply

      It’s not her fault. Nature is very cruel sometimes. I feel sorry for her. Actually the main problem with the author is that she is very ugly and low SMV (sexual market value). I find most ugly women turn into feminist. I love beautiful women though.

  26. Archana
    October 2
    Reply

    It feels kind of nice to see there are other women who think similarly — Padhma, Sneha and Anushree — I guess we are all in the same boat! Thanks Padhma, for pointing out that we are the type of women who will stand strong against injustice. Yes, we will be mocked, ridiculed, labeled as disrespectful women and far worse. But I keep thinking that we would not have have modern physics or women’s liberation if those few forward-thinking revolutionaries from the previous generations had worried about being ridiculed. For them, their principles held more value than even their lives. What courage! Hats off to all you courageous women for standing up for your rights.

    Padhma, I read your comment on people living abroad going on vacations to India, and staying with the guy’s parents. I 100% agree with you. (it’s like you read my mind LOL). I used to wonder why no one ever questions such practices .. practices like these are harmful because in the name of “tradition and culture” they very sneakily and subtly enforce sexism. I like the idea of switching each time you visit! When we go to India, my husband and I spend time apart – for a majority of time I am with my parents and he is with his. We do stay for short periods with our respective in-laws. With mild opposition, it has worked so far… let’s see how it turns out in the future (especially with kids)… LOL

    Rakhanna, response to your comment: “Girls are not in that bad situation these days.” One- this means girls are still in a bad situation, a majority of them definitely treated worse than men. Two — the reason why it is “not that bad” is because women (like Padhma) and few enlightened men have stood up for women’s rights in the past and worked towards changing things. If it wasn’t for them, then women would still be trampled upon. A majority of people will think it’s not “that bad” and be happy with the status-quo, but it is only a small minority that will change things. I agree there is gender bias that affects men too (as I pointed out in my previous comment), but equality means fighting to eliminate those biases.

    • padhs2k
      October 4
      Reply

      Loved your comeback to Rakhanna! I wish you had replied to his comment instead of posting a new comment, so that he could have seen your reply!

      And yes, it feels nice that there are women who want to stand up and speak against these, and in a strange way, it feels sad that how many women are affected by these practices but still couldn’t do anything..some of them like you rightly said, are okay with the current system and don’t want to rock the boat. And some are afraid to rock to boat, because it touches “culture”. To those we can ask, the definition of culture. I replied to another person regarding this, so if you read it, it may seem a repetition to you 🙂 But thousands of years ago, culture was to always wear a saree and dhoti; culture was a woman dying if her man dies; culture was women not speaking in front of husbands. And so on! But as time went on, all these changed. And people accepted it. So people shouldn’t bring culture into the picture while defending the current system, right? 🙂

      And I liked your statement “practices like these are harmful because in the name of “tradition and culture” they very sneakily and subtly enforce sexism.”. VERY TRUE!! Loved reading your comment!

  27. RespectEachOther
    October 2
    Reply

    Hello Author.. I am the same person who replied before typicalguy..You seem to be a very sensible person, but I feel in the direction you are going you may not get anywhere except fights like this..
    You accept that women and men are physiologically different in many levels…… My humble request…….Dont ask for equal treatment…try something different that may get you , me and all the readers somewhere.. 🙂

    Also do research on male and female basic characteristics that will give you some clarity…I assume that you too agree, that its always best to focus each gender’s strength… for that matter anyone should focus on their strengths first…

    However from your latest comment..
    You said ” YOU DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO GROW”:
    I see there is a big misunderstanding with majority of the population on What is Growth??..
    In my opinion.. The highest possible growth for human kind is a “Happy and Healthy Life first for SELF and immediate dependents”……I am not talking about artificial complacent life…that has to be foremost important measure for civilized growth ..rest follows.. 🙂

    • padhs2k
      October 4
      Reply

      Hi RespectEachOther(why don’t you leave your name?),

      Fights ALWAYS arise when someone rocks a boat, to stir something that everyone has been blindly been following for centuries together. I am ready to fight for this, and so are thousands of married women. We are not fighting for higher rights btw, just equal treatment after marriage.

      And why do you have to bring “physiological” differences into the picture? “Physiological” from the web means “the study of the function of living things, including processes such as nutrition, movement, and reproduction”. Now tell me, how does physiological differences play a role in getting a husband the royal treatment vs wife to slog on?? That is just plain chauvinism, hitting below the belt and expecting it to mean everything!!

      I request you to do research on male and female characteristics and give me clarity on why husbands need to be treated better and wives!! If you can find something good, let me backtrack my words. And btw, I should say nothing what you said now makes sense. Focusing on each gender’s strengths is better, yes. This may be applicable for lifting a piece of machinery, but NOT for getting privileges in marriage!! That doesn’t make sense at all!

      I agree, we are all striving towards a happy and peaceful life. You as a Guy can be happy because you have all the privileges!! But WE WOMEN, are deprived of those and that’s why we fight for it! Once we get it, together we can lead a happy life.

  28. TypicalGuy
    October 3
    Reply

    I am ridiculed by your opinion on Reservation system. You are right. I am totally against reservation system. When the Govt says no to disparity based on caste, religion, race, color and gender, why do we need to introduce this special privilege. In my opinion reservation should be provided only for physically challenged and financially downtrodden people.
    Well, I am not frightened or any sensible person would be, since it is a wrong way of approaching a process which will not result in a solution since it itself is not a problem.
    Just to be inline with the discussion, this is my opinion on few of the points which needs more justification:

    1) The Kanyadaan which you have referred here, also addresses the bride as goddess Lakshmi. The couples are treated as noble and patronized as deities. The ritual also requires the husband to insert a toe ring for the wife.

    2) This doesn’t imply gender inequality but blind interpretation of western culture. It’s fine for western folks since the old parents get the social security allowance which is not practical in India.

    6) I don’t think how it really hurts under whose name the property is registered as the Husband and wife will live together in it. Touch basing on my previous post comment on Divorce cases, properties not just been partially funded by the wife, but even the ones completely financed by the husband and on top of this, he has to do away with the ancestral property during separation.

    7) I do understand that the trauma and pain undergone by the mother is too much which eclipses the father’s agony and support, but a careful study published from a well-known Physiological magazine narrates the very reason behind this idea as below.
    <>

    8) Well, it’s not something which the husband imposes on the wife to do it. It’s up to each person’s belief to do it or not for their loved one.

    The illogical, impractical and radical analogy you have put forward would ruin any peaceful wed lock. A most benefiting approach would be to have a Prenup bond which definitely helps both the couples to live together as they wish to.
    The above statement might sound harsh (since its diplomatic and straight forward tone) but that’s the true voice echoed by every man.

    • padhs2k
      October 4
      Reply

      I am sorry to say everything you stated above was pure rubbish. Sorry to be so brusque, but you needed to hear it said.

      I am not even going to start on your points on reservation system. That will take me far from my current issue. In one statement, you need to study a lot of books to understand socio-economic growth and then argue.

      Coming to my post and your arguments-
      1. Kanyadan doesn’t refer to bride as Goddess Lakshmi. In Kanyadaan, Groom will be considered as personification of Vishnu and pooja performed to him as is performed to the almighty. This is performed by the father of the bride.
      The father of the bride offers his daughter who is bedecked in gold to the groom considering him as embodiment of Vishnu, the almighty with a belief that he and his past seven generations is blessed to abode in Brama Loka. The father of the bride also tells groom that the decorated bride, offered to the groom so that he can get children through her and do all his prescribed religious duties. [source -http://suravajhala.hubpages.com/hub/Hindu-marriage-secrets-behind-the-tradition]
      Toe-ring is a completely different ritual. Like I said, we should all know the meaning of the rituals before we do it.

      My point was, if there is Kanyadaan, why there doesn’t exist something called Putradaan? I’m just pointing out what’s missing here, my friend.

      2. 2nd point was about leaving wife’s parents and going to husband’s home, right? You accept it is not practical to leave a husband’s parents as (per your words) they don’t get social security, so isn’t the SAME applicable to the wife’s parents?!! Why should a wife leave her parents alone? They wouldn’t get social security benefits too!! Why don’t you take care of BOTH the parents instead of choosing just one side, preferably the husband’s??
      Answer me pls!!

      6) That’s for property name. Right, both husband and wife are going to live in it. So IF it doesn’t hurt at all, why don’t you register the property under your wife? It is hard for a guy’s ego, that’s what. If you did register in your wife’s name, then let me know.

      7) So the study you are referring to says the initial is kept because men want to make sure their kid is definitely theirs? I do understand your point of view. But don’t you think a husband should know his wife enough, to be sure the child is definitely theirs? Does keeping HIS initial alone help in giving him the confidence that his kid is his own? Please let me know. Why not keep both the wife and husband’s initial together? I know few who have done that in earlier days as well. But it is not well spread. I want it to happen, so a mom and dad are given equal importance. I think you might agree in this. IF you still say only a dad’s initial is required, then you may be considered a chauvinist, but I think you are not. I think you like most others are afraid of a change.

      8) This is about last name change. I agree that in some cases husbands don’t impose this on wife, in some others they do. My point is that, if it is normal for a society to accept a wife changing her last name to her husband’s, shouldn’t the society be okay with a husband changing a last name too? Let’s say for argument sake a guy you know does that after marriage. Will the society encourage him or ridicule him? You got the answer right? I want the society to encourage such behavior from both gender.

      And NOtHING I stated was a radical change. When something people have been following for years together is questioned, people always argue and fight to keep it the same way. But it’s high time we question things so that everyone can lead a happy life. Currently marriage is biased towards a husband. WE want that to change and get equal treatment. It’s not harsh, it’s just a change needed so that your wife, your daughter, your grand-daughter can also benefit from it.

    • Anonymous
      October 9
      Reply

      You are an idiot!! I really feel sorry for the wife/ mother/ sister/ daughters. You think domestic violence prevention is illogical? Men like you is the reason why our country is so backward. I seriously hope you are not domestically abusing the women in your life. You should be behind bars!

  29. TYPICALGUY
    October 3
    Reply

    FYI !! The Point 7 was unexpectedly not printed. here you go.

    7) I do understand that the trauma and pain undergone by the mother is too much which eclipses the father’s agony and support, but a careful study published from a well-known Physiological magazine narrates the very reason behind this idea as below :
    Paternity uncertainty is a significant adaptive problem for mammalian males who make extensive parental investment in their offspring (as men do). How can men ever be sure that the children that their wives have given birth to are genetically theirs? Men who are cuckolded, and invest in the genetic offspring of another man, lose both the resources they invest in the children and an opportunity to pass on their genes to their own genetic offspring.

  30. preetidutta
    October 3
    Reply

    Hey , first of all let me congratulate you for writing a very well balanced and logical article . I could have said things much harshly . People pounced on you and even then you answered them with patience.

    I do not belong to hindu religion , but being a north Indian except for Mangala sutra and some rituals , other things imply to us as well . Sikhism in books is based on equality , in practice we are stil far from it .

    Why woman can’t have allies ? Because a mother let her daughter be independent and live her life at least till she is unmarried ,some continue to support and encourage them after marriage as well . On the other hand for DIL , its more like ” I also did all this for family , why is she being spared from all the rituals and trouble “. She is trying to tell everyone about her sacrifices and also want to get sadist pleasure by making DIL suffer . only few question , most of the girls just toe the line , and some clever ones manipulate husbands to leave and stay away from family to avoid all this drama .

    sister in laws are pitched against each other , they try to out do each other ..who earns more , who is more beautiful , who bought in more dowry, who cooks better and who is more obedient . Now no one compares on the qualities that don’t directly benefit family like ” who is more intelligent and smart in getting ranks or promotions or is an amazing driver or can sing and dance and be life of party , speaks 4 languages , cook 5 kind of cuisines and make cocktails :):)

    Have you heard of the blessings
    guys are blessed for long life ( jug jug jiyo )progress at work etc, women are blessed long life of husband ( sada suhagan raho )
    women are blessed for sons and sisters for brothers , i have never seen a relative telling a boy kid , bas ab teri ek behan ho jaye to family complete.

    I have seen 2 year old girls praying for brother , while parents are perfectly happy with a girl child .

    My mom says , situation will never change till we stop treating sons better than daughter-n-laws and son-in laws better than daughters .

    And these problems are faced by us , very privileged educated , self reliant middle class people.

    All of those who are bringing in reservation in bus and metro to this discussion need to first observe behavior of men in busses and metros when they are crowded and men touch women inappropriately and then come here and comment. They do not understand while 4 seats are reserved for women , 30 others are reserved for them , not by law but by social and cultural upbringing.

    Lastly, all of your who do not practice any of the rituals mentioned in the post ..congrats , you were either born to feminist parents or are strong feminist yourself to see the absurdity of the practices.

    Marriage may not make women feminist , but it does open our eyes to inequalities and feminist in us become bitter with the daily struggles.

    • padhs2k
      October 4
      Reply

      Hi Preeti,

      Thank you for your kind words!
      And you have put across everything a married woman thinks and goes through in her married life. You are right, every married woman feels that mil is making her do stuff because she(mil) had gone through the same treatment in her married years. If the treatment is carried on and on for generations to generations, won’t it ever stop? I guess we need to put a foot down sometimes and let them know when equal treatment is required. It is not easy to change the minds of elderly people, but we can speak to our husbands and get them to understand that we deserve the same treatment as they are given in our place. And when a smart wife who wants to avoid these unnecessary arguments want to live a separate life with her husband, she is considered as “dividing the family”. If that is right,then the husband also has divided the wife’s family as she has to leave her parents too, right? Life is unfair on so many levels for these poor women, they are stuck between the rock and a hard place!

      And you are right about what you stated on sil too. But it’s difficult or rather impossible to make a guy understand what you stated. They are blind to these happenings and think everything is smooth always. Only women can relate to this. They always think it’s easy to make allies if we try!

      That’s a very good point you said about blessings! I am not aware of the “jug jug jiyo” as I’m from the south, but I am aware of wife being blessed for a long Mangalyam 🙂 In south some people resort to do the Mangalyam blessing, and some resort to do another one which blesses the couple to get 16 different boons in their married life. But when they go for a blessing separately, what you said is applicable to the south as well.

      And yes, the hard part is, well-educated, women in good positions are facing these problems! Everyone just keeps passing on the baton of unequal treatment to the next generation women. So now, let’s choose to not accept it! Let’s question a practice and ask for equal treatment.

      Your last statement was 100% true. I have nothing to add to it 🙂

  31. how intelligently a one sided story is written.. so u want to talk Gender equality ? lets begin with a ministry for Men empowerment.. National Commission for men.. International Men days ..!

    • padhs2k
      October 4
      Reply

      Why bring a totally irrelevant topic in here?!! This post is for arguing why a wife is not given the “same” privileges as the husband after marriage.
      Gender equality should exist during and after marriage is my point.

      I request you to go back and read my post and then argue. And if you think it is one-sided anywhere, let me know.

  32. Archana
    October 3
    Reply

    OSM is jus the word…. evry single word should be nailed in da hearts of our so called society.. bestest article of all..exactly my sentiments.. thank u vry mich for coming up wid this.. makes me feel that iam not the oly one to undergo this..

    • padhs2k
      October 4
      Reply

      Thanks Archana! Every married woman goes through this hurt, but we don’t know who to fight with..believe me, you are not alone! I wish this changes and we bring the change! 🙂

  33. Robocop
    October 3
    Reply

    Fun fact : In parts of Kerala like Thalassery in Kannur dist in Muslim families.. The guy after the wedding is brought to the Gal’s place.. And that’s where they stay. So when the gal comes to visit her in laws.. she is treated like a queen and not even allowed in the kitchen.. She is treated royally coz she isn’t there to stay. The guy on the other hand is treated like normally in the gal’s house . I know a person who does this and he told me once.. I will never give my daughter away to guy’s house meaning that the guy will have to come and stay with them and he will give his daughter to such a guy only.. 😀

    • padhs2k
      October 4
      Reply

      That’s great to know! I wasn’t aware of such a custom! We as a society of educated people, who are broad-minded to imbibe changes we desire from the Western culture, should be broad-minded enough to imbibe changes we desire from other parts of India too!
      I am not even requesting a couple be allowed to stay in the wife’s parent’s place. I am requesting let both the parents be given “Equal” importance. Both sides parents are old people, they both need equal importance in terms of care. So why leave one and take the other just based on gender..was my point 🙂

      But thanks for letting me know about the custom in Kerala! 🙂

  34. RespectEachOther
    October 3
    Reply

    .. For some reason.. I did not see this comment before.. ..I rightly said in my next comment as you are a very sensible person.. because this really is a very sensible response to my post… Let me put forth my OPINIONS on your points..

    Hi Anonymous (wish you had given your name), yes, you are right all women face this problem. From centuries together we have been following this. Nobody had questioned the system and just went along with it, accepting that probably this is the way of life.
    But now we, by that I mean both men and women question everything. IF we buy a new phone we look at features, compare stuff, raise lots of questions and go for it. We don’t buy a phone just because another person bought it. So why should we accept practices that hurt us, just because a person before us did the same?
    *****—–*****I did not say all women faces these “problems”……, A custom is followed for centuries only because it works for major part of the population. There has always been people in all centuries questioning criticizing things.. not all women accepted it..Major part may have believed that this is a better option than the other…Buying a phone or a thing is different because you can easily throw your phone or pretend that you lost it and get a new one :).. life is not like that or should not be like that..and interesting thing is… i have seen many people buying phone, car, camera just because another person bought it :)..Anyways coming to your question.. You are not doing the practice of a person before you.. you are practicing a culture..Have you really thought why those practices hurt ?

    There is something called equality and that is what we are fighting for. I don’t want my kid to grow up and leave his future wife’s parents alone and just take care of us! In fact I don’t want to be taken care at all, we all need to be independent and raise our kids to think independently instead of just following practices blindly.
    *****—–*****Yes there is something called equality in a family. both male and female have equal rights for the money that comes in to family no matter who earns, children education, good deeds and behavior, fame etc etc etc..Leaving future wife/husbands parents alone to suffer is a basic humanity issue not a gender/culture issue.. If a man is stopping a woman or woman is stopping a man from taking care of their parents is a big issue any long followed well developed culture will not support or allow that….

    Doing a research on characteristics of male and female hormones will not benefit this topic at all! How is that related to why a guy has to live with his parents and a woman has to leave her parents? How is that related to why a guy’s initials are given to a kid’s? How is that related to why there exists pujas and slokas for men’s longevity and not women’s? Women love their husband. That’s universally accepted. But husbands love their wife too. So all I am saying is the society,( by that, I mean elderly people both men and women) treats a husband with more importance than his wife. The change can happen if the wife says “I don’t want to leave my parents, you are not leaving your’s right”. The change can happen if she stresses that her kid has her name as the initial too. And so on, for all points. I saw a post on a forum from a husband on what he should give his wife for “Karva chauth”. Most of the women answered fast with her IF she is fasting. That’s all we want. If we are expected to follow a practice, it should be followed by husbands as well. IF not let’s not have that at all.
    *****—–***** My Opinion.. Yes the research really does..I did not want to elaborate on all the chemical reactions that happens in men and women.. that changes every day in a month to an year..as that will be long topic .. that is why i wanted to let you do the reasearch.. who know you may find more than i know.. just because you asked this question.. let me tell you and am trying to be as short as possible..
    Male Harmones –> Tendency to pickup physical fight, Tendency to compete, Aggression, Domineering etc etc
    Female Harmones –> High Resistance to Mental/Physical pain, Caring..Patience, Receptiveness, connection to children’s requirements etc etc
    Socio and psycho factors matter more than this.. and its a really complex topic..Point here is two totally different species good at totally opposite stuffs why should they compete with what the other species has.. rather than asking what is really needed for each others happiness..thats not to say that both harmones are present in both but the levels change.. Ideal for problem less family siva and shakthi should be balanced :)).. anyways we are getting into a different territory now and its not possible for a majority of population.. 🙂

    Anyways to answer your questions on why its related..These are all the things that gets around male’s basic attributes/behavior which in turn makes males surrender to the female and family completely…If you really think back…. Was the man really independent?.. he cannot exist without the help of woman..no man can say that outside because thats who a man is.. think one generation above yours..compare with your friends generation… Now more and more men are becoming independent 🙂

    After marriage one has to live either of the parents.. Do you see problems with men and their in laws when they dont live together..Imagine if they live together?..which will certainly leads to physical fights..which one is better?..Again.. I am not saying its the best option …but a better option is to woman live at men’s place..the problem is not solved if both live outside from parents .. but i think i will leave it you to understand that…Again there are many aspects to it.

    Guy’s initials –> Giving importance to guy boosts his basic characteristics of domineering, protecting the family..etc. these things are more important for men than women and boosts mean sense of responsibility towards his family..Anyways one has to be chosen.. this is a better option…

    Puja’s Slokas, Religious practices, Food practices –> These are designed in such a way that it gives great benefits to the person who does that.. there are scientific proofs that how some practices including religious practices are needs only for women and designed specifically for women’s mental and health benefits.. and most of them women needs it very importantly.. So doing those for men is just namesake and gives a fake feeling for men that he is still dominating..(more aspects to this trying keep it short)

    Not all women love their husband.. not all husbands love their wives.. 99% dont love their better half unconditionally.. .how can we expect two individuals love each other?. I reserved that 1%.. Yes there is something called true love..thats only 0.5% again those are based on the images and memory registered between two individuals…Dont want to get into that because not everyone wins lottery..:)…Even all parents dont love their kids unconditionally… You certainly might have seen people saying that they are not their kids….Another 0.5% they will love anyone and everyone ..or even everything unconditionally…I am not talking about godly men.. they are common people among us like that…99% of the population where most belong to.. you have satisfy many requirement to get love or give love.. Some will give love and see if they get back.. if not just ignore.. some will give love only when they are loved..

    I think i have responded with my opinions to all of your queries..This is really a healthy discussion and I did learn things in this quest..

    • padhs2k
      October 4
      Reply

      Hmmm..I just replied to your previous comment and now I am seeing this 🙂

      Firs off, yes I agree, discussions are always good. When something new is brought forth to a stage, it’s not easy to accept it. And it’s not easy to give up practices that we have been following forever.

      To your statement –
      “You are not doing the practice of a person before you.. you are practicing a culture..Have you really thought why those practices hurt ?”
      Yes I have thought about it. And millions of married Indian women have thought about it. Even our mothers, grandmothers would have thought about it.
      Wouldn’t it hurt you IF you had to leave your parents and live along with your wife in her parent’s home? Please tell me honestly.

      What is culture btw? Thousands of years ago, culture stated that a wife had to die along with her husband; culture stated that a woman is not allowed to come out of her house; culture stated that she should not speak in front of her husband; culture stated that widows shouldn’t enter a temple; culture stated that men has to wear dhoti and women saree! I can go on. But didn’t we change all those so-called culture as years went by and give up practices that we don’t want??

      Culture is not something written in stone. We change it, and tune it, as life goes on. If we keep sticking to old practices in the name of culture, we will be backwards in our thoughts and actions. I am not fighting for myself. I am fighting for your wife, your daughter, your grand daughter as well. Every single married woman goes through these practices and don’t know who to fight against!

      You state living with both in-laws is difficult so a couple HAS to choose a side to live with. And that side HAS to be that of a husband’s!Why not hey both pick a place that is equi-distant from both their parents? That might be a fair (though impractical to find such a house) suggestion.

      Male and female were both dependent on their family when they were brought up. Daughters are raised in the SAME way sons are raised. It is equally difficult for a daughter to leave her parents. Please understand that!

      Guy’s initials – Sigh. Again you say, if one has to be chosen, it has to be dad’s! Think in terms of why should just one be chosen – why couldn’t two initials be given to a child? I know families that have given their kids initials of their mom and dad. That is giving equal importance.

      Regarding what you said on Pujas,slokas – tell me why fasting has to be done just by a woman? And more importantly, going by your logic, IF it gives “great” benefits, why not a husband do it along with his wife? Please tell me which practice is designed especially for women’s mental and health benefits, and NOT for a man’s.

      I agree completely with your last paragraph. I am not bringing husband into the picture here at all. Because in all the scenarios mentioned in my post, he is also a pawn in the game that society plays. He doesn’t say treat me royally, they treat him royally and he accepts it. Similarly a wife doesn’t say give me chores in your home, they give her chores, and she accepts it. Perhaps this new generation husband and wife should speak up for each other and say they both need equal treatment in their homes.

  35. Merlin
    October 3
    Reply

    Well written Paddy! After all it may be good to ape the west in certain things 🙂 …. Well I hope I don’t end up being one of those old guardians of the tradition and teach my little ones real equality 🙂

    • padhs2k
      October 4
      Reply

      Thanks Merl! Wherever there’s good, I guess we should take it in! 🙂 And knowing you in college, I’m sure you will be a new-age mom 🙂 Sometimes I feel even if we teach a lot at home, they pick up a lot from the society (in their case school/college/outside world) as well..that’s where I am scared!

  36. Anonymous
    October 4
    Reply

    Hi… im sorry to say that i don’t fully accept ur article… u said that there will be a lot of work dumped on a female at her in-laws n y not male… let me ask u one thing, who does the chores or cooking etc in ur house(most of it)im sure it’ll be ur mom and if ur dad is a helping kind of person he will help… and it is common all over the world that females do most of the chores at home not just in India. Only because they r good at it.
    Im not saying that men are superior or any other such trash… the reason ppl have more expectations from female is only because we have more capacities, adaptability, patience and all such extra qualities in every female makes her dependable for everyone.. n its not wrong. If u r talented n u r recognised for that will u say it is wrong… it is all the same way just the way u r seeing it or showing it is different.
    I know many women being ill treated in their homes. That is not in the system… system says that a female should make her home. Thats it. And mainly y do u mention inlaw home as inlaw home not Ur home. It is ur home too… the best part of all this is a girl gets 2 homes after marriage which she can call as hers n a guy is treated as a guest in the girls place that means he cant feel free there. Its not his home he is just a guest. There r few educated guys these days(like my husband) who treat both as their homes.
    U said vratas are only for female not male. Any girl in true love gives her everything to her husband by herself and no one needs to tell that to her. Because a man leads the home monitarily and supports the home in every way the well being for a man is crucial.. it also has an inner meaning that if he is fine, he will take care of everyone and everyone will be fine. can u show me a single female who wishes her husband to get ill or die.. it is their belief to do the vratas coz a woman worries about everyone’s well being and primarily her husband’s. now dont think that im a kind of a person who does all those vratas i dint do a single n im not even expected to do…
    Saying all this coz i felt ur post might guide someone in a wrong way and make them fight for silly reasons… an unmarried girl may even think against marriage… so plz when u write on sensitive topics like these which may influence life be sure they make a positive impact on life not negative.

    Meena madala

    • padhs2k
      October 6
      Reply

      Hi Meena Madala,

      Women like you are the reason why our society is filled with crappy ideas on how a woman is expected to behave and such.
      That was harsh, but this needs to be driven across to you that ideas that you have are not good for this century. Please grow up along with the world. When you can imbibe new practices like opting to wear a salwar vs saree, going to malls instead of shops, using make up instead of turmeric – you should be open enough to embrace new ideas that are good for the growth of women!!!

      EVERYTHING that you said is NEVER beneficial for the growth of women, just plain nonsense!! Women have good cleaning capabilities and that’s why they clean??!!! What utter rubbish!! I wanted to be polite, but you got me so enraged just by that!! What a mind you have!!

      Which system says men shouldn’t have two homes?? And what nonsense about true love and vratas?!! So are you saying those who don’t practice those don’t love their husbands enough!!!

      People like you blindly follow practices and make others follow them too. My post is for women who can think and act for themselves. My post is to bring out the power woman hidden within you. My wish for you is to look within you and if you can find it bring it out. Good luck to you.

  37. Jayanth Chikatur
    October 4
    Reply

    Very nicely written! I strongly agree with you on most of the things. Personally, I would be more than happy to not follow these rituals. But abolishing them is like taking a decision for the whole society, which obviously you despise for dumping all the stupid rules on women. I mean, let others do what they want, if they want to be enslaved by the rules, let them be. They are to be blamed, not the society. And blaming the society for everything is not the solution anyway. You can’t change the society for the simple reason that, society itself has no mind of its own! There are voices, of the people in it, which collectively gives the impression of an intimidating being, but actually it is nothing, it can’t do anything!. All you need to do is disregard these voices and tread the path you want. I can assure you there are also a lot of men, who want to tread that path.
    A few more points I want to add. First, you mentioned about the name change, most of the cases women do it voluntarily, they want to show off that their life has changed. Do you blame the “society” for their name change on social media. I mean come on, even if her husband, in laws and the whole world force her to change her name officially, why change it on Facebook? Do these “old people” following obsolete rules care about Facebook at all?
    Second, house. Again in case you are not aware, there are rising cases of married guys abandoning his old parents, and living separately, coz… Yes you guessed it, his wife is not comfortable with his mother!! Now tell me about the frustration and anger a man has to suffer, where he is “caught” in between.
    Third, about the special pujas. I will tell you honestly, men don’t care about them! All the pujas done for longeteviety and stuff. Its the married women who want to do it! Its actually a torture for men to go through with it! 😛 I mean when I get married, I would forbid any such pujas being done for my sake. 😛
    And the first home, I agree with what you say, though it happens that people need to take loans to buy a home, site and as I have seen its the guy who takes the loan in his name, and he doesn’t even think about putting his wife’s name anywhere on the application for loan! How misogynistic right! I mean he wants to take the burden of having the whole loan in his name, without giving a share to his wife! Though the wife is ready to part with a portion her salary towards repayment of the loan! And thats the reason the house is in his name, so that he can put that house itself as collateral and get loan on it!
    I have nothing to say about the kid! I myself would have loved to have my mother’s surname! Damn the society.. I can’t have it!

    Anyway great article. Loved reading it! 🙂

    • padhs2k
      October 6
      Reply

      Thanks Jayanth. Nice to hear from you.
      I agree to everything you said about us treading our own path and not following the rules. That my friend, is what I want people to do after reading the article. I want them to think before following practices that were created thousands of years ago.

      And reg name change, perhaps I should do an edit to the post and make my point more clear. Yes, some women change their names after marriage due to their own wish and some due to compulsion. But my point was, if a woman does change her name after marriage, the society doesn’t bat an eye. It thinks it is romantic and accepts it just like that. But let’s say that a man wants to do this, how will he be treated, or looked at? Won’t he be ridiculed? That is what I am trying to get at. Why does society think changing a last name is an action that only married woman is expected to take? Why can’t a married man change his name IF he wants to, and NOT be ridiculed?

      And yes, I am aware of married men leaving their parents because of various reasons, but come on man, why don’t you think about the frustration and anger that she went through prior to that, when she was made to leave her parent’s house and he was not allowed to do that?? Why leave that part? Don’t you think that a woman’s feelings are not as important as that of a man’s?

      And first home, if a wife is ready to give off her savings it means she is a working individual. That goes without saying she is ready to take part in loan process. Loan is new to both a man and woman. There are many women who are working people who would love to repay loans. Oh btw, many single women have already bought houses and are repaying loans. So don’t you think you are doing any favor by taking care of the loan process! That is just an excuse 🙂 If there are women who are ready to take the loan and all that comes with it, why not let them do it and register the land in their name?

      And about mom’s initials – well, you can do that for your kid. Be the change 🙂

  38. Raj M
    October 5
    Reply

    Women make up half the society that is being blamed for all social ills. Granted its been male dominated for a long long time and it continues to be and unfortunately it will be a male dominated Indian society for a few more generations. However, things are changing. Women have more opportunities, power and avenues to make changes at least in the urban areas. We should encourage at least these educated, urban women to team up with their sisters, mothers, sister-in-laws, mother-in-laws to become a voice of reason to treat each other with mutual respect, kindness and equality. Educated, well-informed mothers and sisters of a man, should take the first step in eradicating the indifference shown to women by imbibing in their sons and brothers on the need to treat their wives and daughters-in-law fairly.

    You talk about men facing the ire of their wives feminism, but most of the complaints that husbands receive are about the women in his family. Women of India unite and help each other out rather than blaming the man and the society for all your problems. Your well-informed husbands will be support you wholeheartedly.

    • padhs2k
      October 6
      Reply

      Raj,
      Read my post again. Nowhere in my post have I blamed men. I blamed the society, which consists of elderly men and women. I agree times are changing. But not everyone is changing when the aspect of after marriage rituals arise. Think about it, how many families do you know are different in this matter?
      I hope the society changes.

      And by the way both husbands and wives are pawns in this game that society plays. They move the husband pawn two places in front and then wife 1 place in front, that’s how they work. And these pawns just keep rolling with it, because that’s how the game worked so far. I say let’s resist the play and start thinking ourselves.

  39. Anonymous
    October 5
    Reply

    WELL SAID!!!!

    • padhs2k
      October 5
      Reply

      Thank you!

  40. RespectEachOther
    October 6
    Reply

    Hello Author..
    Response time 🙂
    ME:
    Wanted to clarify on you first comment on Physiology.. It came out very harsh.. but its fine.. you can’t be sure where internet takes you 🙂 Here is they Physiology Definition: that i intended you to mean..
    1) a branch of biology that deals with the functions and activities of life or of living matter (as organs, tissues, or cells) and of the PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL phenomena involved — compare anatomy
    2)
    : the organic processes and phenomena of an organism or any of its parts or of a particular bodily process
    I think, i explained my position in detail in my next comment..Let me know if you don’t think the same.
    __________
    YOU:
    Wouldn’t it hurt you IF you had to leave your parents and live along with your wife in her parent’s home? Please tell me honestly.
    __________
    ME:
    It does not hurt as much for MEN.. because of the basic nature of man.. that i described in my last comment. Have you noticed your brother.. or ask your friend if they have a brother.. Do they stay with their parents as much as men..?. :).. i know this can be shocking, Men stop spending time with their parents once they become “MEN” you know after puberty.. women are not like that.. I understand..you are tamilian.. You should understand the meaning of tamil word for daughter in law (marumagal) another daughter.. which is what it is supposed to be.. the practice original meaning is to fill the void for created by men by the new woman that enters the family…
    On another perspective.. that applies to current generation.. if leaving the house is the only problem why more and more woman are ready to leave their families for job related reasons?..Just want to know the woman perspective..that makes one think that leaving is not the problem.. is something else..i think its more appropriate to fight against that something else..

    Also to my question of the practices.. you took one thing that leaving out of house..but i think i responded with that taking others into consideration.. If not.. Pls do let me know.
    ____________
    You:
    What is culture btw? Thousands of years ago, culture stated that a wife had to die along with her husband; culture stated that a woman is not allowed to come out of her house; culture stated that she should not speak in front of her husband; culture stated that widows shouldn’t enter a temple; culture stated that men has to wear dhoti and women saree! I can go on. But didn’t we change all those so-called culture as years went by and give up practices that we don’t want??

    Culture is not something written in stone. We change it, and tune it, as life goes on. If we keep sticking to old practices in the name of culture, we will be backwards in our thoughts and actions. I am not fighting for myself. I am fighting for your wife, your daughter, your grand daughter as well. Every single married woman goes through these practices and don’t know who to fight against!
    ________________
    ME:
    I think you misunderstood the original meaning of “practicing a culture”.. 🙂
    Instead of copying the definition from internet let me tell you this. Culture evolves from time to time. Stupidity gets withered overtime from a culture and new stupidity gets introduced into a culture.. So when i say you are practicing a culture.. you are practicing something that is being practiced by a group of people or by major part of the world….some practices work for certain periods only.. some practices work for certain group of people only.. ..So we are in the same page till now.
    Ok.. Here is where we differ..We gave up some practices certainly ..there are some practices that has been there since long long time just did not change and still being practiced by major part of population in the world. you are basically going after those kinds of practices which i think are not really the cause for the problems.. For e.g. another currrent thing which i believe will not last even one generation is calling their husbands raara poraa(telugu)…vaada poda(tamil) .. Why one generation.. even in this current generation it will be stopped once they start having kids… 🙂
    ___________________
    You:
    Guy’s initials – Sigh. Again you say, if one has to be chosen, it has to be dad’s! Think in terms of why should just one be chosen – why couldn’t two initials be given to a child? I know families that have given their kids initials of their mom and dad. That is giving equal importance.
    __________________

    ME: I thought you understood my point for this… let me tell you another perspective but if you read my comment again you will … Should there be someone called Head of household?.. Why can’t there be two Heads of household?..When i say heads of household.. Does not mean dominating.. while some may do.. but the original intention is not that… this not only applies to south indian culture.. it applies across the world.. Heads of the household close meaning need not be leadership by domination.. Serving/Working for the family
    You asking for two initials is like asking for two heads of family…Anyways, I think you missed my first part of original comment on this issue.
    __________________
    YOU:
    Regarding what you said on Pujas,slokas – tell me why fasting has to be done just by a woman? And more importantly, going by your logic, IF it gives “great” benefits, why not a husband do it along with his wife? Please tell me which practice is designed especially for women’s mental and health benefits, and NOT for a man’s.
    ___________________
    ME:
    First of all..your question is like.. Why Should I only brush my teeth everyday in the morning..?… If you believe fasting is not good for health.. let me know there are plenty of things that proves.. one american islamic medicine student did a whole scientific research on how fasting is good for each and every part of the body.. That is just one small things compared to all available proof.. there are many spiritual reasons too.. It is upto you believe that or not.. but my point is,
    If you believe something is good.. Why should women wait for men to do?..

    As for your next question..Most practices in south india originated from Siddha medicine..I am sure north india also has some….There are reasons from siddhars( Source from a qualified siddha doctor).. There is scientific reason behind style of wearing a saree.. oil bath..maintaining the hair, bindi.. etc..etc.. more ask your mom or grandma.. what they did to themselves and how they took care of them.. because of many things that required only by a woman….and it seems mostly revolved around woman’s health because of the mood fluctuations that happens during the month which can cause repercussions…General spiritual process.. which many cannot understand or explain but the original involved people…

    Final note: You always say that men get royal treatment…I have said this in my previous comment.. that these are the small things that you do for men to get him surrendered to the family by satisfying his basic male characteristics and requirements.. these are not important for woman as much as it matters for men for physiological reasons.. it will only do good for woman and their children…Some males may openly say that these don’t matter to us.. but truth is.. it really matters to them when the situation comes…only few realizes and tries to control themselves most males just fight it out with their partners..

    For that matter, these are not THE most important things in one human life..I should not sound male chauvinistic if you understood my point..

    Think about it.. Just split you life may be like 10 years each.. What was/is/will be the most important in your life during those period. Also keep in mind first 25 years before marriage and 50 after marriage…. What will be your most important things that plays important role in keeping you happy for major part of your life??….Just think about what will give you a content life in the end..then you think what will take you there and what will not…..

    My opinions may be really shocking for you understand now.. but i am sure you will understand better as time pass by if you just keep these in mind.. Thanks very much again !!

    • padhs2k
      October 6
      Reply

      No. Everything you have written down just shows that you think men are superior, have been superior and will be superior, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. And you have not said it in plain words, you have said it very subtly but the underlying meaning is there for all to clearly see.

      I hate to do a point by point rebuttal again, but the points that you have mentioned are begging for it.
      1.Reg. leaving home
      First of all, your understanding of marumagal is completely WRONG. Marumagal means “another” daughter. And FYI, son-in-laws are called “Marumagan” which means another son. They are given that so that in-laws would consider them as another daughter and another son. And definitely not to fill the void left by a son or daughter. That was a total ridiculous definition you gave! And by the way, a son-in-law or a daughter-in-law can NEVER be a son or a daughter. It’s not the same.
      That said, what you said about men spending time with parents after puberty applies the same to women too. I know because I am a woman. We have a life and friends too that take precedent during that time. And what you said about why women are ok with leaving parents for work but not after marriage applies to men too.
      Instead of just pointing fingers at women, ask YOURSELF and ALL MEN the same question. And btw, you are completely missing my point!! I am saying WHY SHOULD WE LEAVE OUR PARENTS WHEN YOU DON’T LEAVE YOURS? We want equality, and we will be happy to do the same IF men do it. You speak about the basic nature of men and then you hesitate so much to leave your parents when you say you don’t spend time with them??? It’s so infuriating!

      2. I mentioned culture because you stated culture in your previous comment sir. In my original post I am speaking about practices. Look at my post and see if any of the practices mentioned after marriage falls under a “culture” category. People do it just because many before them did it. Vaada poda is not a culture btw. And why are so you afraid of it and think people will not call each other this? It just shows that you hate to be called vaada poda. That’s all.

      3. Head of the household is all old-age. Come out of it!! In the current system both men and women are earning equal money!! No one head of household exists!!

      4. Again, just from what you said, if you believe fasting is good, why don’t you men fast as well on those days?? Why didn’t you say anything to that? You keep arguing as if you want women to have all benefits while in reality you are scared to join them and fast on those days or offer pujas and stuff. Again you keep bringing physiological factors into this speaking about hair care, oil care, body care, face care…all that we women know. We know how to take care of ourselves in that way. That has nothing to do with why society has given a day as ‘Karva Chauth’ or “Gauri vratam’ where ONLY a woman has to fast? Believe me, there are few educated, nice men who fast along with their wife IF they believe in it.

      And btw, what you have written in “Final Note” just shows how a male brain works. You think that parents of your wife treat you royally to get you to “surrender” yourself to the family?!! How cruel is that!! Get that bull shit idea out of your head!! They treat you such because they know you are going to be with their daughter, and they want YOU bOTH to lead a happy life. That is why they treat you such.

      Come on, if you think what you said was the real reason, then wouldn’t the daughter-in-laws be treated royally in her in-laws place as well?? I mean, they can as well give her the royal treatment and get her to surrender herself to the family, if what you said held true!! The truth is in in-laws place, the daughter-in-law is looked inferior to her son. That is JUST plain truth.

      My views may come across as rude to you, but it is the truth.

    • padhs2k
      October 6
      Reply

      Thank you Kritesh! Will meet you at yours!

  41. Archana
    October 6
    Reply

    I see that lot has been going on here in the discussion.. And wow! You have been patient enough to handle them all so nicely. I LOVED your point-by-point rebuttal to Respecteachother (and your responses to people like Meena and many others).

    Seriously, it’s unbelievable the number of people who literally spew bullshit in their comments (Please excuse the language, it has to be said). They imagine stuff, make false assumptions, close their mind and make crappy one-sided arguments without even reading the article properly. Yes, I am all for a calm, inclusive talk where everyone’s opinions and values are taken into account, but I guess that’s only possible in an ideal world where people read with an open mind, talk rationally and think critically! When we do not teach our kids to think for themselves and be true critical thinkers, this is what ends up happening – they just ape the rest of world and it just carries on into adulthood… they remain blissfully ignorant of anything that’s wrong and refuse to see and accept social evils. Sheesh!!! Kudos to you for being so patient 🙂 Continue fighting back knowing that women like me are always with you.

  42. RespectEachOther
    October 6
    Reply

    Hello Author.. Again..Response time 🙂
    I kinda expected this kind of response..as most of the ideas that i put out were shocking truth not many can handle it.. thats exactly why i said just keep these in mind in the end.. 🙂 I am not disappointed at all…but i also thought there is a chance that you may get it..but for sure.. you will understand in future at least in some parts…:)

    Ok.. Now.. your entire first paragraph is complete misunderstanding and you just brought up for attack reasons..I never said men are superior or women are superior.. you completely interpreted that because of your original article.. and may be you believe that they are superior somewhere inside..
    All i was saying is.. The needs are different for men and women….Men need somethings most and women need something most…that does not conclude that i meant who is superior…both genders are superior in their own ways.. Infact I believe most common day problems women are superior…

    On your second paragraph.. again you were just being defensive and in attack mode on men.. not answering the real question which had a possibility for healthy discussion..
    I am willing to correct myself if really the woman feels and behaves exactly the same way about their parents. I am not talking about the care just the behaviours attachment etc. I am fortunate to have friends from diverse cultures , villages, cities, different countries etc etc…In all places, some reason woman seem to have more attachment to the families.correct me if i am wrong.. even after marriage for some reason men parents talk only to the wife..not to the men directly..I am talking about working marriages…I am really curious if you believe that is not case…

    Also regarding the definition of marumagal.. 😀 Attack! …:) .. I completely agree that THEY CAN NEVER BE SAME.. that is why they are marumagal and marumagan..not magal or magan.
    also the in laws are not called mom and dad as you may know…..
    Regarding your opinion about the ridiculous idea 🙂 of filling the empty space….I believe thats exactly one should do.. it applies for both marumagal and marumagan.. dint mean to be one sided there…. Most importantly both the side, In laws are supposed to treat as if they are treating their sons and daughters.. If you fighting against ill treatment of daughter in laws or son in laws…I 100% support you.. but I dont think you are fighting against that.. .. 🙂

    Moreover.. If i remember i did not point fingers at woman.. I was just curious to understand if you had some feeling when you left for the job related reasons..
    For your main point..I think i have answered this before… Are you saying that you want men to understand the difficulties the women go through ?.. or against people staying with any side of parents?.
    All i understand is, You just want every family in the world to be a nuclear family and you think that will solve the problem.
    My point again. Staying with some side of parents is good for any family.. nuclear family is not the best option in my opinion..

    Regarding your culture issue attack!… I am repeating this again.. You said.. somebody did before.. i am saying many are still doing along with you in current times…Not sure if you agree this not.
    Agaun,, if enough people doing the vaada poda thing.. it is a culture if you accept or not.. and Where did you get the idea that I am afraid of it..? 🙂 Who am i to be afraid?..I have seen people from both the sides..
    Few men begging their wife to call tham vaada poda.. Few called their husbands and stopped after few initial years.. Few stopped after kids.. all in all.. many after few years they stopped calling that way…Dont say that they did because of social issues or MEN like me.. 🙂

    Head of the household ..Dont exists!! :).. This is funny but I respect your opinion..It may not exist in your part of your world.. In my part of world.. Yes it still does.. :).. I am not talking about only south india..I am talking about United States/United Kingdom.. It is still very current information :)…I would like to know which information lets you believe that it does not exist.. One of my source, Few weeks ago in an american mainstream radio channel they were discussing about the same “HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD” thing…. May be you hate the word “Head” because that shows somebody is superior and you dont like it..
    Please understand or make me understand…. You need one identity for a family for many reasons.. not two identities..it just proves that two individuals are not able to come up with one..that is many part of the world women start using husbands last name.. It does not mean that husbands are superior…

    I am again repeating here.. I have said in my previous comment as well…Head of household meaning one person responsible for the entire family..I strongly think that person should not be a dominating one.. He/She must be a servant leadership..this is exactly what they were discussing in the radio.. More information.. They were also talking about jewish culture etc etc.. which is somewhat close to what ours was.

    Next point.. How did you come to conclusion that MEN are scared from fasting?.. You also come to conclusion that Men are nice if they fast along with women… You are distracting my original intention of the question.. ANyways just because you asked me the question.. Why men dont fast?.. I cannot talk for everything that men cannot do that women do…I have made my point very clear..The information/experience that i bumped into in my life made me believe that women needs it more than men and you dont want to believe it and you think i am being male chauvistic in my idea…. It is fine.. I respect that you have your opinion…Also As i mentioned already the spiritual reasons behind those are unexplainable even if it is explained the so called ..analytical brain dont believe for the most part…

    On the final note.. yes its cruel.. thats why many men are able to live without their wives even for a single day…but all in all the family did very good.. they had raised good kids.. SO i guess its fine all in all they ended up doing great at the end of their life with no regrets..
    Again to make my point clear.. I am not for male superiority.. All I am saying is.. the things that you are opposing dont help major part of the human population..
    I am absolutely against suppressing woman… against denying opportunity if she has any special talents..I am also against disturbing a satisfied man or woman by putting ideas into her mind to make her who she is really not …
    and I absolute dont think men are superior to women… They are just different species..

    Thanks very much again for having this discussion!

    • Archana
      October 6
      Reply

      Hi respecteachother — I am Padhma’s friend, scientist (biologist), and an educator… and I have some background in gender studies… so I am gonna take the liberty to jump in and talk about some of the points you have raised.

      1. You said: most of the ideas that i put out were shocking truth not many can handle it

      Response: Please provide evidence and studies from social science, neuroscience, biology and psychology that show this so called “shocking truth” that you talk about. And in the name of evidence, please don’t refer me to opinion websites and articles that do not have empirical data in them. We are rational people and contrary to your opinion, we think critically and we can “handle” good evidence-based studies. What we cannot handle is people claiming something as “true” with only half -baked knowledge.. So called “truths” change all the time based on circumstances. Philosophers have long argued what truth is and a lot of it is just perception.. absolute truth may or may not even exist.
      ___________________

      2. You said: Men need somethings most and women need something most…

      Response: Please don’t generalize what men and women need. That is based on your false assumption that all men are similar and all women are similar. Each man and woman is an individual with individual needs and wants. You don’t know what ALL men want and ALL women want. Yes, men and women have anatomical and physiological differences, but that generalization is not enough justification to treat either sex unfairly. Those hormonal differences you speak about – they apply to individuals as well, not just genders as a whole. Some women have more testosterone, some women have less. Some men have higher estrogen than others. But it doesn’t make any of them less of a “man” or less of a “woman.” Just because 10 women want to be home-makers doesn’t mean that all women do. One woman may want to stay home and take care of her kids, another woman may want to work and earn and be the bread-winner. Give equal respect and importance to both types of women. Try to remember that man or woman, each individual is different, and each person’s needs and wants are different.
      ——————————

      3. You said: In all places, some reason woman seem to have more attachment to the families. Correct me if I am wrong.. even after marriage for some reason men parents talk only to the wife..not to the men directly.. I am talking about working marriages…I am really curious if you believe that is not case…

      Response: If you feel a lot of men are not close to their families, it may be their unfortunate upbringing or their circumstances. Socially we bring up men to think that they should not be emotionally close to their families, “be a man,” “boys don’t cry, ” it is “sissy to express emotions” etc. Attachment to families is perceived as weakness in man. By the same standards, attachment is perceived as strength to women. This is not innately biological –it is social enculturation, and IT IS WRONG. Each man and woman has the right to develop strong emotional bonds with their families. It is wrong to deny men of it. Sorry to say this, but I know MANY men that are close to their parents. They love them and respect them, talk to them daily, care for them when they are sick, spend time with them taking vacations and so forth. Men and women can be equally attached to their parents (or not)… it really depends on the individual and the circumstances they were brought up in. Again this has NOTHING to do with hormonal or biological difference between men and women. It has everything to do with the individual’s family values, how they were brought up, and love for their parents. All that this article is saying is that men and women BOTH can love their parents equally; so why is a woman expected to leave her parents uncared for and emotionally alone, while a man gets to be home with his parents and take care of them (in addition to having extra help from his wife to take care of them).

      ———————————

      4. You said: You just want every family in the world to be a nuclear family and you think that will solve the problem. My point again. Staying with some side of parents is good for any family.. nuclear family is not the best option in my opinion..

      Response: Okay, let’s assume for a moment that a married couple has to stay with one set of parents. Women like me are arguing why does it always have to default to staying the guy’s parents? Why not default to the girl’s parents? Or why doesn’t the couple make the decision based on what the individual family circumstances, instead of quoting tradition and saying “the girl has to live with the guy’s parents.” Your argument that it is in the innate nature of men to be aggressive and fight with the women’s parents is completely moot because that’s not a long-term solution. That means for generations together we will leave women’s parents uncared for!! For generations together should we subject girls’ parents to the emotional trauma by separating from their daughters? Which is what has been happening in society BTW. It gives rise to so many social evils like preference for a male child, female foeticide, infanticide etc. All because parents think girls will have to leave them whereas boys can stay. If you think men may in general be more aggressive, then question social norms and conditioning that make them aggressive. Let’s work towards changing the unproductive, lowly, aggressive behavior. And the underlying point being, if a man is so low as to sink to being aggressive with his wife’s parents then shouldn’t she question why she is with an abusive man to begin with. Don’t you think that’s wrong?
      ________________________

      5. You said: Please understand or make me understand…. You need one identity for a family for many reasons.. not two identities.

      Response: So, as a man, you quote biological reasons. And you say that the one identity for the family, by default, should be the man’s identity? And you don’t find that one bit sexist? Considering that the woman carries each baby for 10 long months, hours of painful labor, one or two years of breast-feeding, and years and years of cooking, feeding and cleaning for the child to bring them up? And do you fear that a man who does not have his identity attached to the family will be less protective of his? I completely disagree. I know a few men who don’t care about having identities or names attached to their kids and are really amazing fathers! Are you that kind of man who is so egoistic that he needs his name attached to his kids to actually protect them and care for them? Then by the same logic, why not attach the wife’s identity too? Then she will also be protective and yayy double-protection!! Yes, head of household exists, even in the UK and US and so many other cultures. Historically most middle and modern world societies are very sexist and patriarchial societies and that’s why these practices exist (if you want details as to why in the evolution of humans we evolved to give higher importance to men’s jobs and identities, I can provide you with some). Just because such a practice exists doesn’t mean it’s applicable in today’s world! And that’s why women are voicing their opinions against it.

      ____________________________

      6. You said: I have made my point very clear..The information/experience that i bumped into in my life made me believe that women needs it more than men and you dont want to believe it and you think i am being male chauvistic in my idea…. It is fine.

      Response: Yes, this is utterly chauvinistic! Women need it more than men? Seriously??? Maybe you have come across more women than men who WANT to do it. And that maybe because a majority of girls are brought up and socially conditioned from a very young age to believe that they should do it for the welfare of their families!! Boys and men are usually not conditioned to do that. But I am absolutely sure that women don’t NEED to do it. No empirical evidence has ever shown that women need to fast more than men or they should stick to absurd rituals they don’t believe in. It is up to each woman and each man’s individual wants and personalities.

  43. RespectEachOther
    October 6
    Reply

    Another humble request with respect to your response for Ms.Meena Madala post.
    I will appreciate if you give more clarification on this just two questions..
    1) Growth of woman – I see you have used this many times. What do you mean by this?. I am willing to support 100% if it really leads to her personal happiness in long term. I don’t care if that so called growth helps the company that she works for.. improves the economy.. she gets lots of money to the family… improves the country’s economy etc.
    2) How does a power woman look like?.
    Seriously i am not asking these question to counter you..I just want to know your point.. I really appreciate you taking time in responding to all these stuff..

  44. October 6
    Reply

    Men and women are not made equal and absolutely equality is not really a good thing. The balance should keep changing between 60-40 to 40-60 depending on what is the task. Most of the points you have wrote here are completely irrelevant in today’s world and seems to be coming out of frustration. I mean, the issue is there, but you are trying to find a solution in terms of Ego.

    Stick to the real issue of those women who lack the strength and courage to fight against the system when it is unfair to them. Instead you are fueling unnecessary ego of those who might even be genuinely happy with their married life.

  45. Raghu
    October 7
    Reply

    Padhma,

    Thanks for your response. I again want to apologise profusely for using any untoward words which was definitely not my intention. In These times of SMS/Whatsapp days, majority of us have lost the hold of vocabulary and have lost the ability to distinguish between kind and unkind words.
    Regarding your response, Of course yes I was relating your comments based on my experience. But to be really frank I took not only my personal life but that of at least 15 couples I know. Maybe all of us are really fortunate to be not stuck by these issues.
    Could you please explain on what basis you have come to conclusion that Majority of Indian Married woman face these issues. Is there any statistics that you used to come to that conclusion. I believe at end of the day when you try to bring out such topics, you need to be able to come up with some points as to what can be done to improve or change this. Or at least give a glimpse of things that you did which you felt brings a balance in your life. for example I know couple of people both Men and Women who have changed their name to have both their mothers and fathers name as surnames. I know a close friend of mine who does not follow any rituals because they don’t believe the significance of it.
    I really wish you take up some courage to change things and share the happiness with everyone who read it. Else it will feel like the only intention of this article was to vent out anger and do some timepass now that you are not working 🙂

  46. Anonymous
    October 7
    Reply

    1

  47. Anonymous
    October 7
    Reply

    hello..
    first of all i expect some politeness from a person when i be polite to them. in my comment i nowhere said anything rude to u and u did. wow!! u put up a post and ask ppl to tell what they think and this is how u spk to them.. nice.. anyways. the reason im back here is that u have failed to read my comment properly.
    1. i mentioned that i dont do any vratas or such rituals n im not even expected to do. u have taken it all the way wrong and u say that this society is like this because of ppl like me.. what the hell!!
    How much do u kno abt me to say all that??? infact im not even a god believer. i hate the so-called god rama for the injustice he did to his wife. and if u have turned into a feminist due to the marriage rituals im so sorry thats silly. there r many other things apart from the marriage rituals that needs female n male equality.
    i was trying to tell u the reason y ppl do vratas.. if u want to solve a problem u need to know how it got created. these so called vratas are created by females not males. i gave an example of true love coz those ppl who follow them still now are mostly those who think that its a way to prove their love… it is their blind belief. u cant change it.
    2. i donno y u r so annoyed and y u emphasise on the house hold chores… i dont understand whats ur problem in that… male or female its not a matter of the gender… no one should be annoyed to keep their home clean. this time let me mention in detail that i dont support anyone who is annoyed for such a basic thing. and surely it has noting to do with the “gender equality”.
    3. in the matter of women having 2 homes i was trying to show u the positivity in it coz u seem to have problem with everything. and there also i mentioned that ppl like my husband are different.
    mainly what i want to tell u is the only person u can change in this society is urself. if u can influence ppl in a positive way its good but u need to know where the change should start.
    if u want an equal society first make ur home an example.
    im proud to say that i come from 2 families which give more imp to females than males. my husband’s grand mother is still the chairperson of all our companies. my father inlaw dint come to see my child coz its a boy. we all wanted a girl. my mother in law, myself, my sister inlaw everyone has equal shares in all the properties. its been 5yrs of my marriage n no one from my inlaws ever asked what my parents gave me…. n by saying all this i can show u that i have made a change in my surroundings already. and i made change in many girls lives in many ways which is not necessary to mention here
    if u want to make a change dig to the problem and post its solution on the blog and ill be the first person to appreciate. if u comment on rituals half of the society stops listening to u coz they are blind believers. as i mentioned in my early post, make a positive impact not negative. if u comment on everything as a problem and inequality it shows that u r pointless.
    now i tell u again… stop being rude to ppl who are polite to u. thats nowhere acceptable.
    when u r writing on a public domain u should be ready for all the kinds of replies…. if u r not ready… stop writing.
    Meena madala

    • padhs2k
      October 7
      Reply

      Hi Meena,

      First of all, IF you think my comment was in any way rude to you, didn’t you realize that it was your comment which prompted it?

      In your original comment you stated –
      “..it is common all over the world that females do most of the chores at home not just in India. Only because they r good at it.”
      So now tell me, am I wrong in stating that women like you are the reason why our society expects such and such a thing from women alone??!! Tell me now.

      What you said was SUCH a sexist comment and you are being rude to the entire world of women! Please be aware of it if it didn’t know it already.
      If a man had said the same statement, many women would have pounced on him for being such a sexist person! And you being a woman, had said the same statement! Man or woman, the meaning implied in your statement is clear, women do the chores because they good at it! That is such a backwards notion. A woman isn’t born with cleaning capabilities, as you very well know, so refrain from using such statements in future. It doesn’t put women in good light.

      And by the way, I’m totally against sexist comments, whether it comes from a man or woman. Since what you said was rude, I have to be rude back.

      And tell me what have I understood wrong? In fact my response to your first comment was actually in few lines.
      Reg what you said about vratas –
      “Because a man leads the home monetarily and supports the home in every way the well being for a man is crucial.. it also has an inner meaning that if he is fine, he will take care of everyone and everyone will be fine. it is their belief to do the vratas coz a woman worries about everyone’s well being and primarily her husband’s. ”

      I understand that you are trying to find a reason why women do vratas, but you should do some research more and find the real reason for the vratas. Your first statement itself is incorrect Meena. There are many homes where men and women both work and they both support the home. Your statements seem to convey as if the world of the wife revolves around the husband. You should infact be boldly stating that a husband and wife are so important to each other! If a wife is not fine, the family can’t be fine too. My post was to say IF a vrata has to be done, let the husband and wife both decide to take it together. We should encourage the women to think like I said earlier! Not just blindly follow everything.

      And regarding household chores, it doesn’t matter who does it, as long as there is understanding between husband and wife. You know, you have totally misunderstood my post as a post against males!! Read my post again and nowhere in it would I have said that husbands are at fault!! I was blaming the society – a society is filled with both women and men!! Please understand what I am trying to say before stating that I am wrong.

      As for wife to consider inlaws’ home as their own home, again I have no problem in that. I am just stating the husband need to consider that as well.

      Like I said in my post Meena, ONLY if the society stops giving higher importance to males than females, then we can see a change. It doesn’t matter if a wife thinks of an inlaws’ place as hers. Can she rest her legs and rest like she does at her home? Think practically and see how it is possible.

      And by the way, you always get what you paid for. When you are polite, people will be polite. When you are rude, others would be rude. And by the way, If anyone is going to leave sexist remark, bold women will be rude to you!!

  48. RespectEachOther
    October 7
    Reply

    Hello Archana 🙂 First of all thanks for the responses and I have to tell you that i have great respect for educators….
    ___________________________

    You: Please provide evidence and studies from social science, neuroscience, biology and psychology that show this so called “shocking truth” that you talk about. And in the name of evidence, please don’t refer me to opinion websites and articles that do not have empirical data in them. We are rational people and contrary to your opinion, we think critically and we can “handle” good evidence-based studies. What we cannot handle is people claiming something as “true” with only half -baked knowledge.. So called “truths” change all the time based on circumstances. Philosophers have long argued what truth is and a lot of it is just perception.. absolute truth may or may not even exist.
    ___________________
    ME: I agree with you. Anything can be proved wrong or right in due course. But My belief is one has to believe what they believe currently as correct. Without belief.. one cannot do anything or proceed that said one should also respect other people beliefs
    Anyways keeping that aside..
    To your point.. While i hope you understand its not in my capability to give all the scientific evidence or do new studies.. but just because you asked for it.. Let me give you just ONE shocking(atleast for me) empirical evidence based studies which may be relevant to this discussion… I am not sure if you already know this..
    During the course of one month, Woman feels deeply attracted to highly masculine men during certain days and same women feel attracted to less masculine men during certain days. This has nothing to do with the character of woman it is just the internal chemical fluctuations are such way in women… Dont call me one sided. there are similar studies on men too….
    Now I think we all have general idea on what are masculine characters and feminine characters for the major part, you may disagree on some.
    But My point is as per this evidence bases study.. the same men that you are saying nice/good/soft natured/amazing may not be attractive to the same woman… ANyways please see my below response before the attack on this point alone 🙂
    ___________________

    YOU : Response: Please don’t generalize what men and women need. That is based on your false assumption that all men are similar and all women are similar. Each man and woman is an individual with individual needs and wants. You don’t know what ALL men want and ALL women want. Yes, men and women have anatomical and physiological differences, but that generalization is not enough justification to treat either sex unfairly. Those hormonal differences you speak about – they apply to individuals as well, not just genders as a whole. Some women have more testosterone, some women have less. Some men have higher estrogen than others. But it doesn’t make any of them less of a “man” or less of a “woman.” Just because 10 women want to be home-makers doesn’t mean that all women do. One woman may want to stay home and take care of her kids, another woman may want to work and earn and be the bread-winner. Give equal respect and importance to both types of women. Try to remember that man or woman, each individual is different, and each person’s needs and wants are different.
    ——————————
    ME : Being a biologist, thanks very much for agreeing with me.. with this comment I think you endorsed and approved my whole point of anatomical and physiological differences..
    I never said all men and women.. I talked only about majority of the population… I agree with you 100% that some women have more testosterone and some women less, same with men etc..but again those are minority of the population..I even said the same in one of my comments before.. Being a scientist, you may also know about other chemicals in the body that are responsible for one’s behaviour. I agree this imbalance does not make any less of more of a man or women.. I am against people mocking men who behave more like women or women who behave more like men…these kinds of things are not because of their characters…I even said in one comment shiva(man) and shakthi(woman) should be balanced in both gender to have a problem less life ..but we are created that way.. our realized human ancestors identified this problem and have designed some yogic principles to make this balanced and help humans live a balance life but unfortunately those techniques are not reachable to ever common man.. so we should talk about only what will work for majority of the population..
    .I dont expect you to agree with all these yoga,spritual and so called religious stuff but atleast I expect you to respect some ancestors’ knowledge, and respect the ones that have different opinions about spiritual/religious practices… especially when you havent experienced what others have, we can atleast not say all are BS.(i seriously did not want to use this last word)
    Anyways we are drifting to a whole new problem
    My point here.. Please leave that 10 women who want to be home-makers..you can do whatever you want..whatever you are trying to do is to force that 10 women to do something else..I am all for giving equal respect for anyone no matter what they are doing….
    _________

    YOU: Response: If you feel a lot of men are not close to their families, it may be their unfortunate upbringing or their circumstances. Socially we bring up men to think that they should not be emotionally close to their families, “be a man,” “boys don’t cry, ” it is “sissy to express emotions” etc. Attachment to families is perceived as weakness in man. By the same standards, attachment is perceived as strength to women. This is not innately biological –it is social enculturation, and IT IS WRONG. Each man and woman has the right to develop strong emotional bonds with their families. It is wrong to deny men of it. Sorry to say this, but I know MANY men that are close to their parents. They love them and respect them, talk to them daily, care for them when they are sick, spend time with them taking vacations and so forth. Men and women can be equally attached to their parents (or not)… it really depends on the individual and the circumstances they were brought up in. Again this has NOTHING to do with hormonal or biological difference between men and women. It has everything to do with the individual’s family values, how they were brought up, and love for their parents. All that this article is saying is that men and women BOTH can love their parents equally; so why is a woman expected to leave her parents uncared for and emotionally alone, while a man gets to be home with his parents and take care of them (in addition to having extra help from his wife to take care of them).

    ———————————
    ME: I agree social/psychological factors play more importance in how a man or woman behaves..thats why i respect your thought process and you are not the only one having this thought process
    It is not the perception of weakness, i want you to understand the attachment is in different ways with respect to men and women…Thats why i strongly believe they are supposed to complement each other in a family and its good for their future and their kids future.
    Yes.. there is clearly a difference between being a man and woman…I know one woman one of the reasons that she hated her divorced husband was because he was afraid of snakes,insects etc and he was not man enough to be bold and face it…..
    I strongly believe that any difference or overlaps in these should NOT be a subject of mockery and one should have common courtesy to accept few things in life and people as they are. but there is a reality why MAJORITY of men like certain things most and women like certain things and do certain things in certain way…
    I dont disagree there are some social/commercial issues that take advantage of this differences.. eg. excessive commercialization for women which makes them believe that they are good only for beauty and make up..and prepare them for being only as an object of attraction and make them believe that is their number one priority.. anyways that is whole different topic..Yes.. family values..all important..All i am saying is love is expressed differently by men and woman, towards parents/partner/kids/society/pets/any other things.
    ___________

    YOU: Response: Okay, let’s assume for a moment that a married couple has to stay with one set of parents. Women like me are arguing why does it always have to default to staying the guy’s parents? Why not default to the girl’s parents? Or why doesn’t the couple make the decision based on what the individual family circumstances, instead of quoting tradition and saying “the girl has to live with the guy’s parents.” Your argument that it is in the innate nature of men to be aggressive and fight with the women’s parents is completely moot because that’s not a long-term solution. That means for generations together we will leave women’s parents uncared for!! For generations together should we subject girls’ parents to the emotional trauma by separating from their daughters? Which is what has been happening in society BTW. It gives rise to so many social evils like preference for a male child, female foeticide, infanticide etc. All because parents think girls will have to leave them whereas boys can stay. If you think men may in general be more aggressive, then question social norms and conditioning that make them aggressive. Let’s work towards changing the unproductive, lowly, aggressive behavior. And the underlying point being, if a man is so low as to sink to being aggressive with his wife’s parents then shouldn’t she question why she is with an abusive man to begin with. Don’t you think that’s wrong?
    ________________________
    ME: I respect your opinion because you personally feel that is not convincing enough for you. but this has been the long term solution for many centuries with majority of the population.. you can see reference of such practice from ancient days… I said.. that it could be one of the reasons why it did not happen the other way for majority.
    Again I am repeating the same that i said before.. leaving anyside of parents uncared for, putting them into emotional trauma is totally wrong both marumagal and marumagan are responsible in such cases…Those cases arise when parents have all only male kids or all only female kids..in that case both marumgal(Daughter In Law) and marumagan(Son in law) should take enough measures collectively to solve the issue and make sure they are fine…
    As I said leaving the parents has not been the real issue..I know its a sensitive topic, yours and the authors responses are highly justified… but when the priorities changes in due course you may understand..
    _________________________
    Response: So, as a man, you quote biological reasons. And you say that the one identity for the family, by default, should be the man’s identity? And you don’t find that one bit sexist? Considering that the woman carries each baby for 10 long months, hours of painful labor, one or two years of breast-feeding, and years and years of cooking, feeding and cleaning for the child to bring them up? And do you fear that a man who does not have his identity attached to the family will be less protective of his? I completely disagree. I know a few men who don’t care about having identities or names attached to their kids and are really amazing fathers! Are you that kind of man who is so egoistic that he needs his name attached to his kids to actually protect them and care for them? Then by the same logic, why not attach the wife’s identity too? Then she will also be protective and yayy double-protection!! Yes, head of household exists, even in the UK and US and so many other cultures. Historically most middle and modern world societies are very sexist and patriarchial societies and that’s why these practices exist (if you want details as to why in the evolution of humans we evolved to give higher importance to men’s jobs and identities, I can provide you with some). Just because such a practice exists doesn’t mean it’s applicable in today’s world! And that’s why women are voicing their opinions against it.
    ___________________________
    ME:
    Nope.. I dont see that to be sexist. This reminds me of one woman who said when asked when asked about the experiences that are unique only to women on bearing a child.. When in pain she was smiling.. when asked are you not feeling the pain.. she said some thing like as follows.. most amazing thing ever…The creation of life is happened inside my body and that wonderful creation is going to come out of my body which is also part of me.. this pain is nothing compared to what is happening in me or what is going to happen to me….. While I dont expect all women to share the same experience but i see some truth in that.. Anyways men cannot experience what woman goes through.. All I am saying is.. Agreed that they are going through all the pain during labor as well as every month..why do you want to pressurize them more by asking them to be more like how a man is.. you should.. do that.. do this..Let her relax and take a breath and let her follow what she feels right for her..
    Coming to your original point.. if a woman strongly feels and that is the most important thing for her to have her name as identity..let her have it.. dont ask all other woman who is perfectly happy to do the same..I am not sure if you understand or not.. having two identities is an unnecessary confusion..there cant be two project leaders, two prime minister, two chief minister..again country politics is totally different from family I am bringing that example just to prove the confusion of having two identities..Dont compare for anything else..country is different that family…for majority of the population having men’s identity works better.. few men is fine.. whatever works for their family.. I cannot and dont have a say on how they should lead their family…just because there are so many variables in any one family and one should not commment about somebody’s upbringing or anything related to that because the intentions of all parents are same in those cases….
    That’s all i was saying.

    With respect to your response about UK/US.. I think you are saying that majority of the world is wrong..Its fine but i respectfully disagree with your idea being a them being a sexist and patriarchial societies and I was talking about today’s world. Yes you can provide the information and I am open for any information as my intention always was to have a good discussion.
    ___________________________
    You: Response: Yes, this is utterly chauvinistic! Women need it more than men? Seriously??? Maybe you have come across more women than men who WANT to do it. And that maybe because a majority of girls are brought up and socially conditioned from a very young age to believe that they should do it for the welfare of their families!! Boys and men are usually not conditioned to do that. But I am absolutely sure that women don’t NEED to do it. No empirical evidence has ever shown that women need to fast more than men or they should stick to absurd rituals they don’t believe in. It is up to each woman and each man’s individual wants and personalities.
    _____________________________
    ME:
    I already indicated that it is fine. if you think you need to disagree with this. Every man is also meant to do the welfare of the families….our culture and few other international cultures atleast till this generation is focussed only on families and families well beings.. not their personal wellbeing…. when i say this.. every man and woman takes care of families meaning.. husbands and wife takes care of each other after marriage and they both take care of kids once they have kids…even till this generation we have not given importance to personal time personal interests etc.. and we are not alone.. there are many cultures exactly like us.. All in all we may feel that we are not enjoying our life.. but if you add up all the years that you were happy and years that you were unhappy. Certainly at the end of life people who follow cultures like ours had spent significantly more number of years happily compared to others that you may see currently..

    Thanks again.

    • Archana
      October 8
      Reply

      Thank you for having an open, honest and respectful discussion.

      1. You seem to be under the impression that I am forcing or pressurizing women to do change things. Please DO NOT misquote or misinterpret what I or the author say. Please READ what we say properly before you make statements telling us not to force women or pressurize women. The pressure is the other way around. Society is pressuring women to change their name or give the husbands last name to kids. It is society that is pressuring women to do household chores when she wants to have a career. Show me one place in the comments or article where we force or pressurize women to do anything. We are just encouraging women and men to work their brains a little and to think critically, question practices instead of following blindly and stand up to those unfair pressures and expectations. Society benefits from critical thinking. Why should anyone in society be afraid if women start thinking critically? Are they afraid of women who change? If people don’t want to think critically and blindly follow customs, we are fine with that. If they think critically and then follow those customs, we are fine with that too. We just ask not to impose those customs blindly on people who think the customs are sexist and don’t want to follow them.

      2. Thank you for giving an example of a study on female attraction to masculinity. I am aware of hundreds of such studies on biological differences in gender and I see the point you are trying to make (one reference — http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/272697.php). But that is not news to me at all, nor is it news to anyone else in the world. In fact, it is expected… because even common sense tells us that boys and girls are biologically, physiologically different. If we just talk to people who have two kids – a boy and a girl – they will tell us how different the two are.

      I am looking for studies that support the idea that because of these biological differences we should treat one gender as more important than the other. Now, I know that you did not directly say that male is more important than female. But by saying that women should follow rituals, traditions and customs that give more importance to men, you are subconsciously perpetuating the sexist belief that men are superior. I agree 100% that biological differences exist. But my point is to look beyond those differences and look at individuals.. not to generalize that just because women and men are biologically made in a certain way, they will all want the same thing. We need to think rationally, and come up with traditions that give each couple the freedom to choose what what works for them, instead of imposing rules and traditions blindly.

      You think that innate biological differences between sexes is why many of these rituals, traditions and social rules are followed. And as an example you talked about women being attracted to men on certain days. I think Padhma already pointed this out, but I will restate it: What does a woman’s attraction to a masculine man during certain days (or not) have to do with whose initials or last name their child gets? Or with a man being expected to relax at his in-laws’ place while a woman is forced to slog at her in-laws’ place? Or with a woman having to leave her parents’ home while the guy gets to stay with his? Or with forcing a woman to wear mangalsutra or do a fast against her wishes? You see, there is no correlation!! And again, I am not talking about women who do whatever they do out of free will… I am talking about women who are forced to make certain choices against their wishes because of social expectations, NOT because of biological difference.

      I believe it is not the innate biological differences that contribute to the oppression of women; it is the unequal balance of power between men and women in today’s world. Although there are hundreds of scientific studies that show gender differences, we do not have is sufficiently rigorous evidence to tell us how Indian (or Western) society should handle differences between men and women productively! Historical and contemporary sociology studies have shown that when there is an unequal distribution of power between two groups, the group with the more power calls the shots. Historically, that’s what happened to women (as with all other oppressed groups). Men became more powerful and dominant (one factor being their biology), and then they consciously or subconsciously instituted social rules that worked in their own favor. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean it is conducive to today’s society. In the past society, it was not biological differences that instituted certain rules such as sati, dowry, polygamy etc. It was slow domination of men over women. Today, the rules are not so inhumanly sexist, but many still exist to oppress women, not to support them. Women are changing, and so are men. Why is it that so many women rose up against injustice and stood up for their rights? Why do we see so many women who are financially independent and contributing to the workforce and economy in today’s world? Today women are continuing to fight for what they deserve – be it equal pay, equal respect or equal footing.

      My final point being: For men and women who are happy with this status quo and want to live their lives by the older rules, that’s fine! But they cannot impose on others to follow the same. FOR the women (and men) who are treated unfairly by society, we cannot use biological and physiological differences as an excuse to do so.

    • Archana
      October 8
      Reply

      3. About parents staying with sons, you said that “this has been the long term solution for many centuries with majority of the population.” Something that is solution for a many centuries is not a reason to follow it blindly. History is fraught with hundreds of examples where something was followed for centuries and it turned out to be wrong. Let me point you to two examples from different walks of history: One example from science /religion/ tradition: The catholic church, for hundreds of years, held the traditional religious belief that the Earth was the center of the universe and the sun and all planets went around it. People like Copernicus and Galileo proved them wrong while laying the foundation for scientific thought. Second example from sociology: for many centuries and decades Sati and polygamy were followed in Indian Hindu society. Today they are seen as inhuman, horrible practices that are detrimental to society.

      The changes happened only because a few people were bold enough to challenge the status quo and question wrong beliefs and practices ….even through these were followed for many centuries.
      ___________________________

      4. You said: “I dont expect you to agree with all these yoga,spritual and so called religious stuff but atleast I expect you to respect some ancestors’ knowledge, and respect the ones that have different opinions about spiritual/religious practices… especially when you havent experienced what others have, we can atleast not say all are BS.(i seriously did not want to use this last word)”

      Okay, please don’t make assumptions. You are making a generalization that because I am scientist, and a feminist, I wont believe in yoga and spirituality. FYI: I have been practicing yoga, meditation and mindfulness for many years now. I follow tenets of Hinduism and Buddhism and I know a bit about other world religions too. I have a lot of respect for ancient knowledge and wisdom. I have read up on various world cultures and traditions. By no means I claim to be an expert on any of these. I was brought up a Hindu, but more recently also incorporated certain Buddhist philosophies and principles. The deeper aspects of Buddhism and Hinduism allow me to constantly question, and critically examine ideas, traditions and beliefs and NOT accept them blindly. Even within Buddhism and Hinduism I can see and social and gender inequality.. All I ask for is fair treatment without marginalizing people by gender, race or sexual orientation. I am spiritual and very well-connected with my inner self, and content with my life. But who says spiritual people cannot question beliefs? Don’t confuse spirituality with religion. Spirituality is connectedness to your inner self. Religion is a human-made construct which is a set of ideas and beliefs and practices followed by group of people. True spirituality and yoga allows you to be aware of injustice and unfairness in the world when you see it, and gives you the courage to question principles of religion and tradition when they are wrong. A person who truly understands and respects ancient wisdom and knowledge will have an open mind to question things that’s are harmful without accepting and following everything blindly.
      ___________________________

      5. And to your point on childbearing — as a woman and a mother, I KNOW that childbearing and birth is one of the most life-changing experiences in a positive, enlightening way. And the process is absolutely biological, something only women can experience. A man cannot experience it. Similarly, a woman cannot experience various physiological functions of being a man. But naming a child is not biological – it is a social custom and construct – a custom that can potentially change over time. A woman can experience giving a child her last name. Let women have freedom to choose what they want. One again, we are NOT pressurizing women to attach their last names to their kids. All we are saying is that don’t make life difficult for women who WANT to give their last names to their child.
      __________________________

      6. On a wife doing vratas for the husband, you talk about husband and wife taking care of each other, being focused on family’s well being, and that’s fine. But that still doesn’t answer my question on why you think only a woman NEEDS to do sexist rituals and vratas in order to take care of her husband. Is it not sufficient that she loves him and cares for him, and expresses her love and care in a way that is comfortable for her? Some women may like expressing their love by doing pujas, but not all women do. And according to you, if doing these rituals and pujas means taking care, why isn’t the husband doing them to take care of his wife? Why one-sided? Why do you think that only women “need” to do it? Again, please do not misinterpret: I am not against women who want to do it. The underlying reason for why women want to do it may be many – ranging from keeping husband and in-laws happy, to following norms and traditions, to seeing it as a way of expressing love, to just being conditioned to do it. That’s a whole different discussion. But there are many women that don’t want to do it, but they may be forced to do it because of social expectations and norms and tradition and blah blah. At the least, we need to question that.
      ___________________________________________

      7. I respectfully disagree with your statement — “Certainly at the end of life people who follow cultures like ours had spent significantly more number of years happily compared to others that you may see currently.”

      Maybe that’s your perception, but there is no evidence to show that this is true. Survival or existence of culture does not automatically mean it is a culture where people are / were happy. For example, let’s take women in Indian society (who make up close to half the population). There is no way for us to know how happy women were in the past. At best, we can only guess from extremely sparse records and texts, most of which were written by male members of the community. And even with those available, it is close to impossible to get a psychological profile of womens’ happiness in the past. How do you know how happy women were while having to bear inhuman customs like Sati and polygamy? On the contrary, cultural norms can make people unhappy under the wrong social context and we have studies from modern society to support that. But that’s a discussion best left for another day.

      Have a good day!

  49. nikhil
    October 7
    Reply

    Nice article and good read. It is very long but a few things stood out.
    – First you generalize way too much. Everybody’s personal experiences are different; people shape the system not the other way around. I have seen many families in the same religion, same ‘system’ as you and having none of these problems. So the first thing is to separate people from the rituals/customs/beliefs/religion. There are large parts of India where the system is entirely different and different customs and rituals are followed and different religion even and women still get the wrong end of the stick. Looking at our own history for example, it has been a swing of ups and downs, from the enormous rights women had in India maybe two thousand years back to the sad practice of sati. These things usually tend to correlate with prevalent socio-politico-economic conditions at that time. This is common the world over. Europe is another prime example, especially the ups and downs it has had with respect to womens rights. That being said, we are right now in a down slump and need to find a way out and you would be happy to know that a vast majoirty of India is on your side. India is a young, very young country and even the popular so called religious leaders are advocating and reforming the system. These things happen in cycles , but change is imminent.

    – The other issues you touch upon, again the root cause is that there is a massive disconnect between our traditions and past and the present. For instance, we cannot even converse about our traditions in its own language, be it sanskrit, hindi, tamil etc. As far as I can recall, in my family the naming convention followed the region/place where one was born. Since people usually married within the same place, a common surname was prevalent. When and how this changed to be male-centric I don’t know; we have lost touch with our past. Ideally we should come together and analyze these issues methodically and cherry pick the parts that make sense and throw the trash in the dustbin or reform it and move forward. However, again you would be happy to know that large swaths of India is moving in the right direction. It is a slow change but it is happening.

    – The west is not a good example of equality or womens rights. Just putting a ring on each others fingers does not mean jack. Mutual love and respect towards each other is a human trait and is present the world over even in India, in rich and poor communities. Again it comes down to people. There might be women who would like it if the guy does something to make them feel special or wanted; the mangalsutra can be symbolic of that: “I will make sure you are happy, please trust me with your happiness” and vice versa. On the flip side, there might be women who are extremely against such concepts and want to completely independent to the point of not believing in sharing any personal stuff with their life partner. This is again so based on the person’s individual choice. You are right that in general society is against the latter, but that is shaped by the people and again is slowly changing. Regarding the actual ritual of the wedding ceremony….again nobody has any clue including the priests who mindlessly chant stuff. I am sure if we dig deep enough, there will be something for everyone. Recently, poonal kalyanam for girls has picked up a lot in south and west india given that parents wanted their daughters to not be left out and research showed that such practices existed in ancient times.

    – Periyar is another bad example of womens rights. He basically hated brahmins but he favored having hordes of brahmin girls as multiple wives something karunanidhi follows to this day. Just because brahmins during periyars time were bad, does not imply that the root philosphy was anti women. This is similar to saying all muslims are bad coz a few bad apples.

    – Finally, feminism applies to the west where society is geared towards men achieving things and women being trophies.. And western feminism has basically boiled down to women being like men. Which makes no sense as natural selection and biology dictates that intrinsically each gender has strengths and weakness. So true equality is achieved when the system encourages each person’s strengths. I dont see any system anywhere in the world like this and least of all the west.

    Okay, I think I have written enough. Please don’t take my comments in a negative light. I am on your side and feel bad that you have had to go through negative experiences and I am for a society where all people are equal, men or women or the third gender. We all have different roles to play which is basically an individual choice. But I must point out that your writing reflects a tendency of saying ‘this is a pile of mess, I am happy I am away from this garbage in USA’. This is an individual choice based on individual circumstances. Different experiences obviously impact a person’s outlook. Disentangling the people from the system is important. Well that is all and hope for a good future!

    • padhs2k
      October 7
      Reply

      Hi Nikil,

      Thanks for your views. You know, what made you generalize that I was facing such a problem in the first place? Nowhere in my post did I mention it, did I? 🙂 Somehow when you came to know a woman wrote this post, you assumed I had faced such problems and came to the conclusion I’m happy now because I am away from all this in US. So..tell me honestly, IF you thought this post was written by a man, would you have said the same statements?

      The reason I’m stating this is – many, not only you, think IF a woman speaks about changes, she is speaking about some bad thing in her life, and she needs a change for herself. And when it comes from a man, they think, oh, how broad-minded he is to think such for women 🙂
      Just shows how the world thinks.
      In fact, my experience with marriage is a happy one as I always speak out what is in mind. I don’t have to vent it out in a post as that wouldn’t actually solve a purpose for me..But I wanted to write for many women, many friends and what a majority of them are going through. Everybody’s experiences are different, you are right. But whatever practice I have mentioned in my post applies to a majority of them.

      Practices like these subtly send out messages to women that men have to be given a little more importance than women. I’m not saying we should exchange rings like the west, I’m saying why not make marriage a mutual importance ground for both husband and wife, instead of putting one on pedestal and another a few steps down. Change is happening, like I said to the first commenter to my post, but we need to keep it going. We cannot stop saying yes, we have attained enough, let’s stop with it now. And this post is to make people think, think before following a practice blindly.

      I like what you stated about how naming convention keeps changing. Somehow from place, we stand at last name of a dad’s. Few parents are keeping both mom and dad’s initials to their kid. As for the home loan, they have to decide amongst themselves to figure it out. But they have to ask instead of blindly putting husband’s name first.

      As for Periyar, I have to read more about him to argue whether he was against Brahmin or not. I can’t talk about him personally, but I do value his views on feminism. Even if read now, his book would tell you how a woman should be and why is she not treated equally as men. I agree true equality is where system encourages strength from both, and I never stated anything about the west being good in this. And by the way, I may be living in US, I still am an Indian at heart, so please don’t think I like the West better. Always an Indian.

      Anyways, I didn’t take your comment in a negative light. The problem is that I wanted to convey a lot in my post, but that would make it even longer than it is now, so I try to avoid it. I think I shall go back and make some additions on HOW we can change in every aspect.

      • nikhil
        October 8
        Reply

        Hi thanks for replying to me….completely my fault I assumed something incorrect. That is my mistake and I apologize. Sincerely. Yes I would have done the same if it was a man or a woman ….as I said it was long and it read like you were talking from personal experiences, and yes it could have been your friends experiences and what you witnessed and I assumed it was you. My fault. Sorry. But the point stands that you did generalize these issues and conflate them beyond region, upbringing, culture etc that is so dependent on the people living there and prevalent socio-economic conditions. Religion and rituals have nothing to do with it. The answer really is in proper education from an early age…as long as free and smart thinkers like you exist, reform will happen. Till then, it is next to impossible to force and change people’s mindsets especially if they have been one way for decades. Which is why change will happen as India is very young. Good luck and will follow your blog!

  50. RespectEachOther
    October 7
    Reply

    Hello Author. One small thing about your response to Ms.Meena Madala. If the same comment is passed by a man then it makes sense to pound on him.. if a woman is expressing the opinion.. it is because she takes pride for it. Nobody can deny there are certain expectations from both men and women.. ..Also i think you indicate that it doesn’t put women in good light. I will have to disagree on that strongly because you statement sounds like belittling all the most important efforts done by moms and few dads used to do, and still do for their kids starting from preparing breakfast in the morning, preparing lunch in afternoon going to schools feeding them by their hands.. preparing a drink and fixing a healthy snack for kids as soon as they come from school..preparing feeding them in the night.. forcing them to drink milk or some kind of drink before sleep.. along with this they help with their homework. also maintain the house…etc etc etc… These are all only few and few aspects of the household chores done by woman and few men…As Ms.Meena Madala rightly said.. out of all these cleaning is just a small simple thing.. …..Please don’t belittle household chores, those are the most important thing than anything in the world..
    At any levels..Outward society At least in my part of the world.. Does not disrespect any homemaker at any case.A teacher’s wife is respected as much as the teacher himself .in fact they are respected more people and they create more cherishable memories with/for the kids.. If they fail in that .. there are high chances that entire families life may be in suffering for major part of their life….

    • padhs2k
      October 7
      Reply

      Hello Mr REO,
      Stop conveying something that I NEVER once mentioned. I never belittled household chores. I am saying the chores are not reserved to be done by women. First read, understand and then argue. And by the way, my article mainly speaks about expecting certain things from women and not men. I really wonder whether you even understood the article and got anything out of it.

  51. RespectEachOther
    October 7
    Reply

    My previous comment is purely on your below two paragraph attack on Ms.Meena Madala for one statement. 🙂 ..I am just expressing my disagreement. thats all..

    I think we have discussed lot about your original article already and thanks again for starting all this.
    ________________________________________________________________
    In your original comment you stated –
    “..it is common all over the world that females do most of the chores at home not just in India. Only because they r good at it.”
    So now tell me, am I wrong in stating that women like you are the reason why our society expects such and such a thing from women alone??!! Tell me now.

    What you said was SUCH a sexist comment and you are being rude to the entire world of women! Please be aware of it if it didn’t know it already.
    If a man had said the same statement, many women would have pounced on him for being such a sexist person! And you being a woman, had said the same statement! Man or woman, the meaning implied in your statement is clear, women do the chores because they good at it! That is such a backwards notion. A woman isn’t born with cleaning capabilities, as you very well know, so refrain from using such statements in future. It doesn’t put women in good light.

    • padhs2k
      October 7
      Reply

      There is no attack anywhere. Sexist statements of ANY origin is not welcome in here.

  52. RespectEachOther
    October 7
    Reply

    I also do understand.. nobody can belittle household chores if they realize they are a product of all those chores mostly done by their moms at least in the previous generation. So you would not have intended directly but actually it ended up conveying little harsh in that way.. 🙂

    All good if you agree that you respect women who are good at household chores and agree its just not cleaning that they are doing.. 🙂

    • padhs2k
      October 7
      Reply

      All good if you agree that you respect women AND men who are BOTH CAPABLE of doing household chores. And let’s stop at that. Actually, to you, this is my dot.

  53. October 7
    Reply

    back 300 years ago, men were expected to go to wars every decade, so the pooja for long live hushband made sense perhaps

  54. October 7
    Reply

    these are invalid now, but think from a historical perspective to understand why, even the name change part.
    modern laws make sure you can do whatever you want.

  55. Shreeja
    October 8
    Reply

    Hello there,
    Good views! Just couple of things bother me.

    I’m sure thousands of women can relate. I don’t like the title though – “feminist” comes across as a bad thing – I know it’s seen as a bad thing by the traditional society but in order to bring the change it’s so important that all women & men turn feminist. Feminism or equal rights need not be achieved in a negative, aggressive manner. We just have to consistently & truly stand by what we want & men just have to stand by what’s right

    I’m a twin – born with a twin boy – my parents are the most broad minded, well educated, middle class Indians from one of the biggest metropolitan cities in India. Most of my girl friends have expressed their envy for the amount of freedom I got as a girl. Even then I have fought at every point as a kid where I saw things looked unfair. So I am a born feminist who never even had to face a fraction of injustice that most women have dealt with.

    Now I have been married for over two years. I live abroad with my husband- he’s also a feminist. Most evolved creature I have ever come across. There’s not even a fraction of injustice here too.

    You provided alternatives to all scenarios except a mojor most important one. At my wedding both Thali & Mangalsutra were tied I guess no one really knows how else to complete a Hindu wedding, I don’t wear them. We both just have our wedding bands. Nobody expects me to wear it. Some ask when I visit India I smile & say it’s at home. Many of my friends don’t. I haven’t changed my name as a south Indian I had my dad’s name as surname & would love to have my husbands name (not his surname) attached to mine. But the tedious paperwork has stopped us so far. Nobody has asked. Most people don’t do it to either. Leaving houses- we both left the country,coming back we both would prefer living as a nuclear family. Joint families rarely live together they just strive to exist with each other. I believe as Indians we would never leave or not take care of our parents. My mom’s mother & father lived with us during their final years (when I was a kid) My dad went a lived with his dad in Kerala to take care of him during his last months. And our house was in my mom’s name! All these are comparatively minor issues atleast in today’s educated generation and will surely fade away sooner or later.

    What about the cooking & doing chores at in-laws place? And husbands getting royal treatment by their in-laws? Something that nobody really can do anything about? Only if all men & women truly be feminist to the core can this be achieved.

    Where I live, Australia – a developed country- most women are feminist too. Most of these cases don’t even exist. Some who are nudists even fight to the extent that they want freedom for women to be topless if men can – is it wrong? Absolutely no. Can we as Indians even remotely try to process the idea? Hehe

  56. culinarycultureblog
    October 8
    Reply

    Wonderful article. Very complicated issues told in a very simplistic manner. Agree with every point that you said, and i think the only way to counter any of these is to reintroduce conversation in a man-woman relationship. A conversation that is free from external influences. I know of a lot of friends, who went through a traditional marriage, but removed sections which they had objections on. I find that a beautiful way of asserting one’s right and still somehow partake in the cultural heritage we have.

    As far as other post wedding decisions are concerned, it can be resolved only by first unlearning what has been fed to us throughout our lives either directly or indirectly and talk to one’s partner. I find the problems big but the solutions quite simple. But to reach these solutions, conversation is a must, and has to be reintroduced; an equal balanced discussion.

  57. nbhavs
    October 8
    Reply

    Hey .. . I just wanted to add that I am fortunate in a few things here . Firstly , after marriage we went to my house (as per the tradition). Secondly, when we bought a house it happened to be in my name… though we do believe both of us have equal rights on it.. however legally its in my name.. so was the first car 🙂 Regarding the last name .. I still am on my maiden name.. did not need to change that.. Regarding kids, we both dislike our surnames, so we used a totally different one for our kid. Luckily, its allowed in the UK to name the child whatever we wish 🙂 Also, my husband does at times cook for everyone.. including my parents.. he is not a great cook.. so would be something like a bread + omelette 🙂

  58. Meena Madala
    October 8
    Reply

    hi padma,
    i want to give u a suggeston to take up some more time n try n understand what ppl say rather than jumping into an argument right away… i see that u expected all the women to support u for ur article but it dint happen… y r u trying to search for some particular sentences which may SEEM LIKE SUPPORTING male superiority whereas i dint say anything such??!! when i told u particularly that IT IS THE THOUGHT OF THOSE WOMEN who do the vratas that the husband is the superior of the family. Educated and earning women dont perform the vratas with no meaning. if an educated person is also following these rituals blindly do u think u can still educate her about her equality???
    u told me to do some more research on vratas right… i dont need to actually. u tell me is there no vrata that both the husband and wife do together??? THERE ARE. these extra vratas like the ones u mentioned are done by wife and they were made because the women of the olden days asked sages to suggest some vratas for ‘women exclusively’ which will assure them the well being and longevity of their husband. now i bet u to prove me wrong. so u do the research now.
    ill ask u a simple question… what is the difference between ‘most of’ and ‘all’?? i said in my first comment “..it is common all over the world that females do most of the chores at home not just in india. only because they are good at it.” i dint say women do all the work at home. i dint even say that men should not do. “only because” in my sentence means that there is no inequality about it and the only reason y women do most chores is that they do it better. (im 100% right that women do chores in a better way than men)even my husband helps me in chores. i also said that “if a husband is understanding, he will help.” it all depends on an individual either u can make ur husband understanding enough to help u… u r reacting as if i said women are born to clean!! did i?? nope!!
    in my earlier post i also said “the reason ppl have more expectaions from female is only because we have more capacities, abilites, patience…..” dint u read it?? IS THIS A SEXIST COMMENT?? do u even understand the meaning of my words?? u seem to be frustrated on everything n u r trying to show that u r the only one fighting for right causes and all the other ppl in this world are still living in backward centuries… in fact i doubt tht u r living in a locality with backward thoughts coz things in my locality and the place i live are much forward than all these things that u r saying…
    u said u r blaming the society not the husbands. thats fine but, when a husband is giving equal importance to his wife, she need not bother about what the society thinks. that also means, if u r blaming the society coz the family is not giving equal importance, it means that the husband is not understanding… coz any understanding husband will ask his parents to treat his wife equally. its not the fault of the society. think over it again.
    u said “it doesn’t matter if a wife thinks of an inlaws’ place as hers. can she rest her legs and rest like she does at her home?” i have to wake u up in certain issues here.
    1. the differnce starts when u think ur inlaws place as “inlaws place” not ur “home” and ur mother’s place as home. wake up baby.. u r supposed to live all ur life in this “inlaws place” which u dont even mention as home. now i know that u will start to question “y should a woman leave her parents and y not a man?” i can explain it to u well if u wish to listen..
    2. y cant a woman rest in her inlaw home?? i do. many do.. cant u?? is that ur problem?? then u r surely living between ppl with orthadox thoughts and u r blaming everything u find. i wake up between 8 to 9 am and no one in my house has any problem with that. moreover my MIL asks me to take some rest when kids r sleeping. (i have 2 kids 4yrs n 11mnths old) i sit however i want and where ever i want. not only me the ppl i know are also free at their home. and this freeness comes when u start to “feel urself at home”.
    when u r asking ppl to be broad minded.. first u be broad minded. u make ur “inlaws place” ur “home”. if u want to change the way u r treated by anyone, first change the way u treat urself.
    u said u r rude to me coz i was rude!! wow. show me a single rude word that i used. when u misunderstand the entire thing and u be rude n u say that im rude… and u also state that u r a BOLD WOMAN and u r being rude… its all meaningless. u r misleading the topic and giving an impression that bold women will be rude. being bold is not being rude.
    being bold is standing up for what u think is wrong and changing it. if this is ur boldness… keep it for urself. such statements will make real bold women be misunderstood.
    i have a doubt.. u r trying to point out silly things n saying that im a sexist… dint u read that i said i dont support the god Rama for what he did to his wife…??? y dint u say anything about it??? let me tell u y… coz u dint find anythig to argue up on. u r a frustrated person n u r saying meaningless pointless statements. im also a feminist but i dont support u because u r misleading the whole concept of gender equality with silly issues like waking up in the morning, doing the chores, doing vratas etc. u r still in those backward days. u need to get more outlook towards this topic. go on… good luck for u padhma…

    Meena Madala

    • Archana
      October 8
      Reply

      Hi Meena,

      I have to agree with the author in saying that you are quite sexist…..

      1. Your argument: u said that there will be a lot of work dumped on a female at her in-laws n y not male… let me ask u one thing, who does the chores or cooking etc in ur house (most of it)im sure it’ll be ur mom and if ur dad is a helping kind of person he will help… and it is common all over the world that females do most of the chores at home not just in India. Only because they r good at it.

      – No one said that a girl’s mom doing the housework at her home is any more acceptable than a girl doing the housework in her in-laws place. Just because a mom does housework doesn’t mean her daughter also should do the same thing. And just because it is so in most of the world doesn’t mean it’s right. Your point is irrelevant and is not justification enough for a woman to be burdened with most of the mundane housework if she doesn’t want to.
      – And you see that’s the problem. Some women like doing housework. Others don’t. But in general social expectations make people think women have to do housework (and men can “help” if they are the helping types, so they have the option). I think housework is important — So why don’t expectations go the other way — “Men have to do housework” and women can help. Or that men and women have to share housework?
      – Also understand that the reason why women are “good at it” is because they are socialized to do it from a very young age. They may start to do housework, cooking etc. from a very young age OR just watch moms and other females in the house do it.. so consciously and subconsciously they also fall into the pattern of doing it. We need to socialize young boys and men to do it as well.. and by doing it meaning.. SHARE EQUALLY in housework. Who says men cannot be good at it. It is sexist (and demeaning to men) to say that women are good at it and men are not. I know men who cook amazingly well and who can keep a house spot clean. It’s just that a majority boys and men are coddled at home (by their mothers etc.) not trained for doing any housework; so they may not have the experience. That’s doesn’t mean that only women are good at it. Sheesh!!

      2. Your argument: Im not saying that men are superior or any other such trash… the reason ppl have more expectations from female is only because we have more capacities, adaptability, patience and all such extra qualities in every female makes her dependable for everyone.. n its not wrong. If u r talented n u r recognised for that will u say it is wrong… it is all the same way just the way u r seeing it or showing it is different.

      Men can have these qualities too. Please do not generalize men and women. You are putting-down men by saying females have more adaptability, patience etc. Sexism is not just discrimination against just women – in a broader sense, it is discriminating against a gender or sex (Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender). It is applicable to men too. Saying that men are not good enough at something or have less patience and adaptability is also sexism. We need to teach young boys that they can be (and should be) patient, caring, adaptable and dependable too. Instead, from a very young age, we teach boys to “man up” and “not cry” and not show or express emotions. How do you think that will affect boys’ nature? As an educator and I have worked with many boys and girls. I know there are biological differences, but what you talk about are social differences.

      3. Your argument: I know many women being ill treated in their homes. That is not in the system… system says that a female should make her home. Thats it. And mainly y do u mention inlaw home as inlaw home not Ur home. It is ur home too… the best part of all this is a girl gets 2 homes after marriage which she can call as hers n a guy is treated as a guest in the girls place that means he cant feel free there. Its not his home he is just a guest. There r few educated guys these days(like my husband) who treat both as their homes.

      Yeah, it’s great if your husband thinks of his in-laws house of his house too!! What we are questioning is– why should that be limited to only a few educated guys? Shouldn’t all men think of both homes as theirs, just the way a daughter thinks both homes are hers? Yeah, that’s gonna take a LOT of social change because majorty of men don’t think that way. Why the inequality in social expectations? You want girls to think of the in-laws home as her home; but you don’t have the same expectations of a guy. Don’t you want guys to have two homes too?? How sad that he gets only one…. What is that if not sexist?

      4. Your argument: Any girl in true love gives her everything to her husband by herself and no one needs to tell that to her. Because a man leads the home monitarily and supports the home in every way the well being for a man is crucial.. it also has an inner meaning that if he is fine, he will take care of everyone and everyone will be fine. can u show me a single female who wishes her husband to get ill or die.. it is their belief to do the vratas coz a woman worries about everyone’s well being and primarily her husband’s. now dont think that im a kind of a person who does all those vratas i dint do a single n im not even expected to do…

      Jeez, for a moment try to understand that there are women who can express their love for their husbands without doing any vratas (you said are one of them). And women like me can go a step further — we have every right to question the meaning of these sexist rituals. You don’t want to accept that they are sexist, that’s fine with us. And grow up! Just because a woman doesn’t want to do vratas doesn’t mean she wishes her husband to get ill and die. Your argument is wrong on two levels:
      – As Padhma pointed out, nowadays, both men and women earn and support the family monetarily. So according to YOUR logic, why not both husband and wife do the pujas for each other’s happiness? Why only the woman?
      – Even if the Husband is the one earning, it doesn’t mean the wife’s work as a homemaker and caregiver is any less important. You yourself are degrading the importance of a woman in the family by saying that these pujas of crucial for a man because he leads monetarily. A woman is every bit as crucial for the family because she is the caregiver. So your point stands moot.

      5. Your argument: Saying all this coz i felt ur post might guide someone in a wrong way and make them fight for silly reasons… an unmarried girl may even think against marriage… so plz when u write on sensitive topics like these which may influence life be sure they make a positive impact on life not negative.

      Yes, pointing out inequalities will highlight negatives. Why are you so afraid of drawing attention to what’s wrong in society? We can only bring about true social change when we first recognize the negatives and then stand up against them. Women like Padhma (and me) will encourage young girls and older women to think critically for themselves. Unlike the society, we are not forcing women to do anything, or guiding them to do anything wrong. In fact, the society puts undue pressure on women, and we are just standing up to it. The points that Padhma brings up are just the tip of the iceberg. We can tell you 100s of other things that are lead to serious inequality and gender discrimination in our society. It’s the thought process that is so deeply engrained in our heads. We are just highlighting that sexist thought process. Just because traditions are followed for centuries doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s time young men and women started questioning them without accepting them blindly.

      And lastly, don’t just automatically assume that people who are writing about such issues are backward or frustrated. We are people who have good lives and are the least bit frustrated. We just have the decency to recognize problems that various social groups face in society and we don’t turn a blind eye towards them. Unlike most of the people, we don’t discard it as someone else’s problem. We stand up and voice our opinions. I am sorry if people like you are not open-minded enough to accept that. .

  59. Anonymous
    October 8
    Reply

    well said… i agree with u 100%

  60. Shankar Narayanan
    October 8
    Reply

    Excellent article ! As you had mentioned in the comments (and not probably emphasized in the article or maybe I missed it), the real issue is the continued use of customs/traditions without understanding their original intent and its relevance to the current world. Wish you had emphasized that part more. Apart from it, couldn’t agree more on your article. Personally I always felt sorry for my parents-in-law since they had a single daughter (whom I married). They are past their 60s and retired. They are struggling to make their ends meet. I try my level best to support them though(My wife left her job due to too much work pressure).

    A few more solutions to this societal problem from my perspective:
    Personally, I feel if women can become more and more independent (and ready to break away from a life in case they don’t like it) would also greatly influence the society going forward, which fortunately I believe is happening in our country though still a long way to go. Also, I would appreciate if media and movies stop degrading women and stop showing them as some show objects (but I believe it has to start from the actresses themselves rejecting such character proposals and not succumb to pressure of entering stardom).

  61. CN
    October 8
    Reply

    1. Wedding rituals!
    • Let me ask you one question – If you are married, did you refuse to participate in the “Kanyadaan” act? Did you tell that your parents that you do not want them to do Kanyadaan. Did you protest at all? If your answer is No – do not even bother writing in here. If Yes, I want to know what was your parents reaction and if you were able to convince them? If you want the system to be changed, you have to be the change. Secondly, as a man, I honestly did not care if the Kanyadaan takes place or not. I was even ok with getting married in a court too. All I cared was I am getting married to someone I loved. Of all things that happen during the marriage ceremony (which typically leave both Bride and Groom exhausted), practically this would be the last thing I would protest on. On top of that, if you want to add “Putradaan” feel free to do so. People will end up following that too.
    • I have never asked my wife to put Mangalsutra on and she never does. We don’t even wear our rings. We have left it upon the individual to decide what he wants to wear and what not. If you think of it, Mangalsutra is a type of necklace. Who buys it? Oh.. the Groom’s side? Why would you accept Mangalsutra made of gold, paid by Groom? Oh because the rituals say so. Is this some form of dowry being accepted by the bride? (And, to answer your question in advance – I do not support Dowry system). On the flip side, if you want to keep Mangalsutra, I am ok with accepting a gold chain during the marriage too. The bride can happily tie it around my neck. And, for some reason I am getting a feeling that you are playing with the words to exaggerate the situation. I fail to understand what “sit meekly with his head bent down” is supposed to signify? This is never expected of the bride. Most of the times the Groom is shy too for being the center of attention. And finally, did you fight for this during your wedding? Would like to know.
    • I can’t believe you would really chop and slaughter a sloka to just to brainwash people. You know what I see in that sloka? – “O maiden of many auspicious attributes, may you live happily for a hundred years”. It means respect!! Go figure out what it means. And thanks for adding “with me” at the end of translation to prove your point – but it is NOT the part of sloka! No wonder, my eyes rolled up after reading this.
    • No, I don’t think it is weird to have a woman priest. Women are absolutely welcome in this business.

    It is your thinking that men are considered more important than women in a wedding. There are different ways to look at the same thing. Someone would say the glass is half-empty, someone would say the glass is half-full and someone with logical thinking would say that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. Seems you have picked your side and refuse to accept that others may be right from their perspective!
    2. I think most of the couples move out to their new home after marriage (if they are financially stable). We are getting there. Traditions are hard to change and take more than a generation to change. What if the Groom moves to Brides’ home after marriage? I am sure of all the people who find it weird, it would be women gossiping about it all the time and making it national news. Not that we won’t like women commenting on us, but for this reason – it would just add undue stress, you know? What did you do? Did you ask your husband to move with you to your parents’ house?
    3. I am with you on this! I am assuming you are from south part of India, because in northern part, wife’s last name is replaced by husband’s last name. Well, like someone has already mentioned in the comments above, there is already a trend going on to keep the same maiden name. Will take few generations – have patience!
    4. You see, if the husband is working and wife is a home maker, it makes sense to divvy up the work – don’t you think? Let me ask you, ever seen a gal switch off her favorite saas-bahu show on TV and go out to do an oil change on the car? Well, why would she – it’s a guy’s job! Do you want me to start counting things that men do because it is considered a guy’s job? Talk about maintenance work around house, managing financials etc. and wait what? – thinking too? Because, the Royal Princess wants to stay home, watch her favorite TV shows and create a mess around the house. To tell you the fact, my wife and I are both working, but I do all the groceries, car maintenance, house maintenance, managing financials, keeping the house organized, laundry, vacuuming, bathroom cleaning and sometimes cooking. When I ask her to do groceries, she says she is tired. When I ask her to do car or house maintenance – I hear, “I don’t know how to do it. Can you please do it? Love ya!”. Well, I never raised a question of inequality. All I am trying to do is make her independent. It is your family, try to work out what works best for your family. Divide the work in whichever way it makes sense. I am not saying the thing you mentioned above does not happen, but it is wrong to generalize the situation and blame it on all men. It depends on household to household.
    5. Seriously, which world or generation do you live in? Actually, I have a living example of a daughter-in-law who refuses to let her in-laws stay for even a single day at her (and her husband’s) place. Her in-laws are poor farmers from a small village and want to visit to see their grandchildren. Once they travelled all the way from their village, but only to be thrown out of the door by your so called humble daughter-in-law. They later came to my house to take shelter for a night. Where is your equality police here? Why wouldn’t you raise these concerns in your blog? Hatred between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law has been going for generations and I fail to understand the reason. I try to be fair to both of them, but I know both of them commit mistakes. My in-laws did a thorough investigation about me like I was a criminal. I did not take any offense and did not raise any question about inequality.
    6. I did and most of them do. Well, there are certain people who think if the loan is in only husband’s name then it would be better to register the house in his name. Reason being, if anything happens to the guy, his wife shouldn’t be responsible for paying the loan. Or do you want to inherit the debt as well? And btw, I have my wife as a beneficiary too, in case something happens to me.
    7. Not sure why you have to bring the point of Mother going through 10 long months of pregnancy? What has that got to do with kids’ name having father’s name? Again, how did you name your child? Did you bring any change or just like to yap about it?
    8. Gal, tell me how many men force their wife to do these puja’s? Let me tell you this – Women do not want to change. Some because they are God fearing and some because they don’t care if they have to perform these puja’s.

    I am feminist as well. I encouraged my wife to work, I help her in Kitchen and we together run a happy family! Not all married women are frustrated. Some like you may be and are trying to brain wash the remaining. I am not arguing with you just because you are a woman who wrote this article – but because you are exaggerating things and not taking balanced and independent approach to feminism.

    • Anonymous
      October 9
      Reply

      You are an idiot if you call yourself a feminist. Do you even know what feminism is about? All you are is a patronizing man who sings his own praises about being helpful in the kitchen and encouraging your wife to work. The fact that you are saying that you “help” in kitchen means that you think it’s a woman’s job and you only are meant to help. And what’s that… “you encouraged your wife to work”???? What you think your women need men’s “encouragement” to work? You are soooo patronizing!! Why are you whining about your wife not managing finances, or changing oil?? You want the writer to do something about her problems, to being about change, right? Here is a suggestion: why don’t you do something about your issues and teach your wife how to manage finances and change oil? There are hundreds of women who are independent enough to do it. How do you think single women are surviving, you moron?? If you want to break that pattern, then teach your daughter how to do these things.

  62. Ankur
    October 9
    Reply

    Very Well responded CN, I got so annoyed to see the half baked knowledge of the author and the biase these so called feminists are creating in the society, leading to unfair advantage being taken, eventually chaos.
    I have lived my life being a strong feminist, all my FEMALE friends recognize and appreciate that, all because of my awesome up-bringing; but reading such one sided arguments urge me today to switch over to Chauvinism.
    (Mind you Chauvinism by literal meaning in the dictionary is excessive prejudice in one’s own group or sex; so don’t misconstrue it to be ‘masculinism’ which I don’t approve of).

    “”All I am trying to do is make her independent. It is your family, try to work out what works best for your family. Divide the work in whichever way it makes sense. “”
    Loved this, only an evolved thinker of the subject would be able to reach this conclusion. Or a person who really thinks about equality.

    To Author: I have lots and lots of points which can prove that you wont be able to digest the equality that I will ask of you.
    For starters, I’d like to see you topless at all beaches and post your pictures on social media. (call me a pervert if you will)

    Even the west has similar traditions, I would leave it for your perusal.
    Our Hindu culture is very rich and always respected women.
    We worship our daughters, if the husband is matched with Vishnu, the women of the house are always called Lakshmi in all roles unlike the man who is Vishnu only at the time of marriage.
    We worship the girl child twice a year on Ashtmi pooja during navratri.
    All the daan/shagun that happens in the house is given to the women of the house.
    (Growing up as a boy, I always felt left out when my sister was given all gifts and money as shagun to the girl child, nobody ever complained of inequality)
    So many more I can list which makes our Hindu culture beautiful, and comprehensive.

    What I fail to understand is, why don’t preachers like you appreciate the fact that God made the two different, and the roles of each are separate. Accept them and perform them to your best. If you don’t, you create frustration and disharmony in the house. Will again quote CN “It is your family (too), try to work out what works best for your family.”

    Mind you, you have no idea what pressure today’s husbands are facing. Research a bit, and have an open mind to accept the horrors women inflict on husbands.
    Given Indian laws, priviledged Indian women really take undue advantage of this subject.

  63. Meena Madala
    October 9
    Reply

    my appreciation for CN and ANKUR to take their time out and reply to this meaningless article. let me tell u both and not to forget Mr RESPECTEACHOTHER that it is a waste of time to try n explain adamant people who think only they are right… sorry to say this such rudely coz padhma is one of that kind.

  64. Richa
    October 9
    Reply

    Its a perfect article, aptly voices what Indian women think of our marriage rituals, if you want to have a wedding have it because you want it, not because the society wants you to have it!!

  65. Anonymous
    October 9
    Reply

    Point #5 Bang on!
    Point #4 .. I wonder if its only post-marriage thing.. could you imagine a time in your childhood when you were watching cricket/or your favorite TV series and suddenly some guests showed up.. and your brother was called to help mom in kitchen?

  66. Preeti
    October 9
    Reply

    Took me close to an hour of interrupted reading to finish this. I’m actually surprised there weren’t more idiots like RespectEachOther (irony hits you at this point, like nothing else!) and Meena having shouting matches that lack logic and common sense, contradicting their own statements in subsequent comments because the convoluted arguments finally get to them! They mask of modernism that they try to pass off as their true demeanor ill-fits them. I’ve come across a few and have never managed to handle them with the patience of the writer. I’ve started to believe that arguing with this kind is an utter waste of time, though sometimes one still is so completely outraged that using choice curses (mostly under your breath), turning away and actively avoiding them just doesn’t do it and you find yourself in the middle of another futile argument. These morons were ‘caught young’ and influenced well. Maybe ‘catching them young’ is the only way to go about it. But am I glad, there are women who are voicing this and talking about issues openly inspite of all the taboo about being obedient and all the crap! Someone out there, I don’t remember which of the two above mentioned idiots, said ‘your tone is wrong’. My two cents – Sod off! You don’t like the tone, get out of here. It’s the writer’s space anyway! Why should she not be sarcastic if she wishes to? See, this is exactly the kind of policing people try to do with women and in most cases, get away with.

    @CN – If someone did not speak out as and when an act of stupidity happened, should that mean they never can? Your rebuttal to every argument seems to be ‘Did you protest during your marriage?’. There is no logic in your argument. I hardly assume an affirmation from the writer would shut you up for good. A lot of these might feel trivial for you but try to understand that for the girl getting married, they are a constant reminder that she is not going to have all the privileges the guy sitting next to her will have. Good that you ‘want to make your wife independent’ and ‘help her in the kitchen’. Try not to make a big deal out of helping your wife in the kitchen. Both of you eat, or do you not eat any food? Also, as difficult as it may sound, try to look beyond your family. This is about the women out there who may not be exactly like your wife/ mother and have not had helpful-albeit-patronizing men in their lives. Yes, it is a generalization because when you talk about the majority, you have to generalize. Nobody is denying the exceptions. For every example of ‘your so-called humble daughter-in-law’, I can cite 10 chauvinistic pigs/ wife-beaters. What have you to say to that? Don’t dismiss people who dare to voice concern as ‘frustrated married women’ who are looking to kill time by writing blogs about things they cannot voice. Just because it has been written about does not mean we are not talking about it or trying to change things in this abysmal patriarchy that is called ‘culture’ and ‘society’. Please don’t call yourself a feminist if you don’t understand equality is about freedom, the opportunity to behave and do as one wishes, without being tied down by random expectations driven by ‘tradition’. Man or woman, let each decide what they wish to do and what they do not.

    • Archana
      October 9
      Reply

      Well said, Preeti! Someone had to say it the way it is! Gender discrimination is so deeply rooted and ingrained in people like Respecteachother and Meena Madala that they don’t even recognize it. As long as people like them exist in society, it’s always gonna be a fight.

  67. Anonymous
    October 9
    Reply

    Hi,
    Good article. Go to know lot of things, but with a small confusion with below line.

    I wish a bold Indian guy would do the honors and create history by adding his wife’s name after his first name. (Er..don’t forget to mention my name while doing so)

    So who wrote this article? I am thinking the author is a female,let me know if I have overlooked something…

  68. Meena Madala
    October 9
    Reply

    HI both,
    I was in-fact hoping to hear from u… and here u r… both u n Padhma are circulating over the same silly topics either trying to show everything I say as a sexist statement or to argue with your half knowledge… and what do u expect from me… to open my mind??? How??? In the way u both r trying to open up everyone’s mind??
    Let me help u analyse the whole thing: Padhma has putup an article saying that “women are becoming feminists due to the marriage system” she showed up silly issues like doing household chores and vratas as gender inequality. Infact i found many inappropriate things in her article but i chose to point out these to tell her that she needs to rethink. She gets personal with me and say that this society is like this because of ppl like me… that way so very rude. She also claims that she is a bold woman and she is being rude. Fine. Now u come to explain to me that im a “sexist”.
    U both are deviating from the main topic and making this argument personal with me which i don’t encourage.
    1. Padhma misinterpreted the whole meaning of the sacred mantra. I can prove it. Can she prove she is not wrong? I wouldn’t put it as an argument if she asks “y a bride should touch the feet of her husband to take blessings when they both are in an equal relation?” this is a clear sign of male superiority and im against it. I would appreciate such view.
    2. There are vratas that should be done only by couple not by any individual. She is not aware of this and she said vaguely that vratas are done only by females. Can she prove me wrong??
    3. Padhma said that every woman is fighting with the faceless enemy “the Indian marriage system” and she complains about the everyday chores being expected only from women not men. I said that women do the chores not only in india but all over the world and the reason being that we are good at it… u come up saying that im a sexist and im “putting down men” saying that women have some abilities and men don’t have them. funny!! Now if i say that men don’t have the ability to bare a child(to be pregnant) will u say that im a sexist for that?? Maybe u will even… when talking of abilities… only a painter can paint well and only a singer can sing well though others try to do it they will not matchup to the mark coz its not their skill. The same way women have more patience and adaptability than male. If u say im wrong in this… PROVE IT!!!
    Let me come to ur suggestions n show u y i was asking u to RETHINK before saying something
    1. “Ideal solution would be to take a new home, close to BOTH their parents’ home or live together as one big joint family. Both sides’ parents are old, so it is not fair to leave one and pick the other by doing inky, pinky,ponky.” Good suggestion. But, let me apply this. My parents are in Hyderabad and im in Guntur(inlaw) city. How can i ask any of the family to shift their whole living by leaving their house n business??? Let us somehow assume they r in one city and we can be as a happy big family. I have a brother. So according to u, his wife n her parents should also come to live with us if she has any siblings they and their inlaws also coz as u suggested(parents of both the wife n husband should move in with them). That will be a minimum number of 10 on my side. My husband has a brother n a sis. So including their spouses and their inlaws and their siblings… ur suggested sum adds up to 32 for my family which is a rather BIIIIIIG not just BIG. Is this a practical solution u r suggesting??? 32 ppl living in one house???
    2. U suggested to add both the parents initials to the kids. Fine. If my son has 2 initials, his kids will have 4 and the next generation 8 the next 16 INITIALS. Is this practical??? Have u done this calculation before suggesting?? Even Tamilians are not carrying their father’s name in their name anymore. And u r suggesting a more complex multiplying theory. Answer me on this.
    U said that u r not saying husbands are wrong.
    U r asking y only some educated husbands are being understanding and treating inlaws place as theirs. This means husbands should be more understanding right… and also, when u mean the “system” who comes in the system?? Firstly the husband is the one who makes the life easier or harder for the wife. If all husbands start being understanding… no wife will complain about the system.
    Understand one thing: every system in the society is under gradual change always. A system is made by analysing many possibilities (not just vaguely) and seeing the pros n cons. Every system has a deficit in some or the other way… with changing time we should change the system if it is not being practically applicable. System is never wrong it grows old by the changing world then the people who were following it till then will stop following. Many meaningless customs have been removed even from our marriage system from centuries. If u don’t like something, don’t follow. If u like something, follow. Simple. As an example: mehendi and sangeet functions are of northern india. Now they are doing such functions in south india also. This is positive adaption. Most of the ladies are not wearing mangalsutra these days. Change is already there. Recognise the change. Its good for everyone.
    Stop trying to jump into arguments to hide ur own flaws!!! Prove me wrong and u will not c me here again.
    Meena Madala

    • padhs2k
      October 9
      Reply

      Hi Meena,

      I do not need to prove you wrong.
      If you think everyone is against you, I hope you can understand this is a public forum and everyone is entitled to their opinions.
      As you can freely express yours, so can anyone else.

      1. As for the ideal solution – it is only applicable where it can be applied. I have also stated it is not fair to pick one and leave the other. And I still stand by it, all parents are equally important. Every human being on this earth needs love.

      2. As for the meaning of the sacred mantra – again I have used my research before writing this. You are entitled to fight this research in your blog.

      3. As for initials, I don’t know how you are doing your multiplication theory, I just suggested keeping the father’s and mother’s initials to the kid. I have no idea how that can come to 16 later on!

      And of course a change can only happen slowly, you and I agree on that one point. I don’t need to argue with you on the rest. I still stand by saying that we have to think what practices/traditions we are following, why we are doing it and whether we need to do it. This is my post, the views expressed are solely mine and you are entitled to keep yours.

      • Meena Madala
        October 9
        Reply

        Hi Padhma,
        I cant say how glad i am to c ur reply which is so polite.
        U asked how i got the number 16… if giving 2 initials becomes the method, my son will have 2. His wife will have 2. Their kids should have both parents initials coz they will have these 2+2=4. When they marry.. they will be marrying another person with 4 initials right. Then it adds to 8 for their kids and next to 16. So… it is a multiplication and endless.
        U agreed on a point that ppl need to think on which tradition is good to follow and which is a blind belief… i think that itself is a big step to take for many ppl even in our generation.
        I had a class mate in my engineering who dint attend her exam coz she had her monthly periods. I was shocked to know that she stays in her balcony all the 5 days. U might be knowing that there was such custom in olden days… even my grandmother dint follow it and an educated girl today is following it. So it depends on the individual fr whichever generation they are. Even today many ppl dont go to temple on those days(i dont follow any such customs)… our ancestors are well known for their intellect they dint give a wrong custom… even in those old days understanding men made this custom so that the woman gets some rest. the reason that custom was made is totally mistook by these blind followers. This is actually happening with every custom n ritual and the original meaning of it is buried away….
        Leaving that aside… u should agree on one thing that society starts from our very home. Encouraging nuclear families is not a good option but to speaking to the inlaws openly is the solution. There are many inlaws as i know who supported their daughter-inlaw against their son when he is being wrong to her. Before an arranged marriage, girl should be able so convey to her would-be what she is expecting from him… if that man turns out to be unfit for her level of understanding, she should be bold enough to deny him. Which will anyhow save her from a bad marriage and also will open the eyes of that man a bit..
        So dear lets wish that we will be able to guide our next generation towards a better living environment… like my home

    • Archana
      October 9
      Reply

      Hi Meena

      1. No we are not trying open your mind; we don’t really care whether you have an open mind, or closed mind. As Padhma said, we are just stating our opinions, just the way you state yours. Neither do we have an obligation to prove anything to you.

      2. Second, please read what I write before you make statements like “Now if i say that men don’t have the ability to bare a child(to be pregnant) will u say that im a sexist for that??” I never said there are no biological differences between men and women. I never said you are sexist because men can’t get pregnant. Don’t make assumptions. In fact, I am a biologist and in my comments to you and (REO) I fully well acknowledge biological differences. I said you are sexist because you made the statement that women are more adaptable and patient. That is demeaning to men. When anyone says men have less adaptability and patience etc, it is sexist. These characteristics are more influenced by social enculturation and upbringing than biology. Please do your research before making such statements. And it’s wrong to generalize all men and women negatively based on biology. That is gender discrimination.

      3. Third, I took your entire original comment and gave you a point-by-point critical analysis of subconscious sexism that exists in it. You are free to refute any of them, with critical analysis. Don’t jump into conclusions. And I did not do this with you so called “half-knowledge.” I have a pretty strong background in gender studies and how it relates to culture, and I feel I have freedom to provide that perspective to the public in a public forum.

      I think Padhma addressed your other questions.

      I am not willing to argue with you anymore on this. You are entitled to have your opinion, no one is stopping you. You are free to write a blog, book, articles..and comments.. to voice your ideas. So am I. In my final statement to you I am going to re-state what I said before:

      Don’t just automatically assume that women who write such articles are frustrated. We have fought against injustice and stood up; we are happy with our lives, just the way you are happy with yours. The difference is that we don’t just stay in our own cocoons, just because we are happy. We just have the decency to recognize problems that other women face, and we don’t turn a blind eye towards them. These may seem small and trivial issues but they are the root cause of gender discriminatory cultures that are so deeply rooted in our society (both Indian and Western cultures). Unlike most of the people, we don’t discard it as someone else’s problem. One way to address these issues is to write about them, and that’s exactly what we do. We stand up against discriminatory practices and voice our support to those oppressed women.

  69. Anonymous
    October 9
    Reply

    I feel some of the things mentioned are little more exaggerated than reality. I don’t think most of the men think like this anymore.

  70. RespectEachOther
    October 9
    Reply

    First of all, I appreciate the detailed latest response from Ms.Meena Madala even though she decided to stop..

    I thought i have discussed enough in this blog but I have the responsibility to respond as it is directly addressed,
    Hi Ms.Preeti.. ( if thats your real name)

    I dont think me or anyone that you addressed contradicted any of our statements. Please point out if I have contradicted, I am willing to correct myself or clarify.

    See the number of offensive words that author, her friend used before for every comment that we posted and compare that with our response. Everyone will understand the tone is wrong even though i did not mention the word. because we are learnt to respect that each and everyone is entitled for their opinions. author seemed to have understood this and her latest comment is the way it should have since beginning. If you disagree with this, again we respect your opinion and agree to disagree.

    Yes Actually we are proud that were ‘caught young’ and ‘TAUGHT’ well. because we know a civilized way of communication. To respect that everyone can have their own opinion and we are entitled have agreements and disagreements.

    YOU SAID: “This is exactly the kind of policing people try to do with women and in most cases, get away with.”

    I am 100% sure that none of us including CN/ANKUR/Meena M would have thought of framing as a sexist only woman thing, but It looks like, you are making your anger and your language as an excuse because somebody tried moral policing against woman. We strongly believe that it is not appropriate for MEN or WOMEN to talk like this, especially in a public forum. Thanks to whoever CAUGHT US YOUNG and TAUGHT US WELL to be courteous/obedient

    YOU SAID: Try not to make a big deal out of helping your wife in the kitchen. Both of you eat, or do you not eat any food?

    I dont think CN made a big deal, you may be doing that now. He was trying to make a point that there are chores that men do that women will not be comfortable doing it. I think you should express your disagreement if you disagree instead twisting it against him. I also express my strong disagreement on your question and I will express more disagreement if a working MAN says to his homemaker wife, that she is eating food from his money. Family is more than that.. if we start seeing like this only misery will remain.. I have already mentioned what should be equal among husband and wife.. traditionally, culturally and society we were like that.. any aberration is purely because of few individuals trying to take advantage of situations…Again that is my opinion, Opinions can be changed in a healthy discussion and that was my original intention of this whole thing.

    I also understand, author/her friends/your response , It is common for many both MEN and WOMEN both respond harshly if they see something drastically different opinions that they have or trying to push for…. .. ..I wished it would have been a healthier discussion if it was otherwise.. :)…

    I hope this is my final response to this blog.To conclude. I am repeating this actually..

    We are not saying that all is well for women, that’s exactly the reason there are many feminist rising and thats exactly reason, ME/Meena/CN/Ankur spent our valuable time in responding to all these. As i have indicated in my first comment, these are very sensible questions that most woman faces and can face in real life. The problems men faces because of these questions is totally another topic and author also acknowledges through several comments. I already appreciated the author for starting all these as these are valid problems.
    The disagreement is only how to address these questions and what the author/ perceives are not real problems infact very trivial that can backfire at women herself and her personal happiness in long term. Women already goes through several difficulties in her life every month, that too after a child is a big task physiologically. I am not saying that MEN cannot do.. I have personally seen the connection a woman has with their kids, that is something always amazes me. For eg: However a woman was, once she bears a child She goes through a transformation, men does too but not as much as woman.. She knows instinctively when she needs to feed her kid, what needs to be done to her kid etc.. few analytical/critical knowledge may hinder for some women..Men can do the same thing probably following the instructions or keeping alarms on the phone to take care of the kid.. but that instinct i believe is something that is in women only..I can see the emotional trauma when her kid skips food.. We are worried that you may be pressurizing or disturb these women by asking them to do whatever men is doing and think whatever men doing is the most superior thing..

    Again these are our opinions based on what we saw and what we experienced, we respect your opinions again and no hard feelings. We all can Agree or Agree to disagree.

    Thats all!.. Happy Diwali/Christmas/Thanksgiving/Halloween etc etc.. To all!!.. Happy days are coming.. lets all celebrate and have fun with our happy families!!! 🙂

    • Meena Madala
      October 9
      Reply

      Hi Respecteachother,
      I have gone thru the opinions of Ms.preethi and felt that its waste to try n make her understand what we mean but u took that job… it took a good while for us to cool down Padhma and i have no hopes at all for preeti

  71. Archana
    October 9
    Reply

    Hi Padhma,

    Like I said before, your article was very thought-provoking. A lot of my friends and family related to what you said here. I also got feedback from some of my friends in India that this is exactly what they face (and sometimes far far worse).

    Your article also seems to have provoked some intense discussions (for myself included)!

    I am not going to waste any more time trying to argue with people like Meena Madala, CN or REO. I gave them a detailed account of why they were sexist and they seem to have no logical responses. They don’t read what we write or think rationally, they make assumptions and misconstrue the basic premise and meaning behind your article. It’s not worth arguing with people who can’t think critically, rationally or logically, and who get all upset when anyone makes a bold statement against their precious culture and tradition. They are indeed examples of sexist and discriminatory attitudes — not just against women, but also men.

    Your article deeply explores some “everyday instances of gender discrimination” that are so deeply rooted in our society (both Indian and Western cultures). We are often told to brush aside these “small things” and move on but I am glad you argue against them!! Everyday gender discrimination is the root cause of so many bigger problems and social evils that plague society today. These seemingly small, but they are notorious for creating a feeling of superiority in men, where they feel entitled to sexually harass, rape, moral police and “own” the women in their lives. A few modern, critically-thinking women are are privileged enough not to be a victim, but sadly is not the case for the majority. The fact that “not being a victim” it is a privilege to women (and not a right) is shameful. Thank you are standing up for that majority that faces this oppression!

    I would like to end my comments with a quote from a powerful article that openly explores why Indian culture is so discriminatory:

    “Everyday instances of gender discrimination – such as not paying enough attention to girls’ sports teams and belittling boys for crying – can easily go unnoticed, because we think of certain gender roles as normal. Additionally, the fear of being stigmatized and ridiculed often keeps us from talking about our experiences. We are told to “not make a big deal and move on”. We remain silent because we think we are the only ones, or because we write off the problem as “trivial” and “not serious”.

    If we keep ignoring everyday instances of gender-based discrimination, we feed a culture based on gender-segregation and gender-based oppression.”

    Ref: 15 SHOCKING CONFESSIONS THAT PROVE INDIA IS NO COUNTRY FOR WOMEN, Mangojoos and NCFW, http://mangojoos.com/no-country-for-women-1/?fb_action_ids=10152794800403115&fb_action_types=og.likes)

  72. Prachi
    October 9
    Reply

    Wonderful to read your words ….Its really nice how you have put this article. It clearly says what women like me (termed as feminist ) have on their minds. I don’t care about the objections ..its a never ending ….those who understand will understand..and those who don’t want to would get thousand reasons for not.

  73. Ankit
    October 9
    Reply

    It was

  74. Ankit
    October 9
    Reply

    Well this is the most interesting things i have read on the internet in a while… However I wish to ask the author a couple of questions

    1. What are your opinion on the responsibility of a woman? – Should she be doing house hold chores/ be the bread-winner of the family/ take care of the family members/none? Just asking for your personal opinion.

    2. What do you think of men staying with the wife in her parent’s home? Do you feel it should be encouraged or not?

    3. When you grow old..and have your kids married…would you expect them to return the care and love or would you opt to stay in the old age home and not with any of your kids?

    4. Do you think the society and the lives of people in the western countries better than India?

  75. Zak
    October 9
    Reply

    The article is interesting, but the comments are even better. Well, being a guy, one thing which came to my mind is :”What the fuss is all about?”

    Are you complaining about certain rituals which you have to undergo after marriage? If yes, then talk to your spouse and sort it out. If it doesn’t work out then walk out of the marriage. After all divorce is the new fad these days for the Y generation.

    Someone has rightly said that no two individuals are same. Some men may be hard-core chauvinist, some may be liberal and some metro-sexual. On the other hand some women may be hard-core feminist (ready to rock the boat at every opportunity they get), while some will be understanding and ready to adjust for the happiness and well being of the family. Now its up to the individual to figure out which category s/he belongs to. An alliance between a chauvinist and a feminist would be a perfect recipe for disaster. So figure out who you are, what your beliefs are and accordingly chose your life partner. Having said that I am not saying that any one category is better than the other. You are free to have your own beliefs as long as you don’t impose on others who are not willing to do so.

    As per the rituals are considered, tell your children not to follow them. But don’t tell others who want to preserve these traditions that they are baseless and derogatory for women. If you don’t like it, just don’t do it.

  76. Maya
    October 9
    Reply

    Please write about Muslim women Hijab practice & also other wrong doing of Muslim community towards Women.. My Hindu friends are in extremely better shape and have all the power..

  77. Hemmie
    October 9
    Reply

    I am European and wondering what the hell is going on in this article. Logical reason why children get last name of father is because, we, the women can give birth to as many kids from different sperm of different fathers.. The last name of father identifies the kid.. Well – additionally, there are so many other serious problems in the world to deal with/help with, rather then putting your head into such small issues. People dying from hunger and we still have terrorism in this world. If you are not happy with your married life, just get divorce & work towards helping the world. Good luck

  78. Shweta Iyer
    October 10
    Reply

    “does-our-marriage-system-turn-a-woman-into-a-feminist/” – Beautifulllllllllllllll article. Hats down to the writer. Its gives me a feeling that this is my very own article…!Kudos to the writer…!! Feel like kissing the feet of the writer!! Hats down to you !! Wherever you are..long live “Ms.writer buddy”…!….You have just poured out the feelings of most of the Indian Woman of this generation…!!

    • padhs2k
      October 14
      Reply

      🙂 Your comment made my day..no year 🙂 Thank you!

  79. Anonymous
    October 10
    Reply

    Besides all this Female child is unwanted…only due to social or tradition coming from years

  80. mohit
    October 10
    Reply

    I have just read the ritual part of your article…
    So I will try to reply to just those specific points:

    1. Kanyadaan might interpret the bride as a gift to the groom but is it bad? children are also considered as gifts…its not in any way demeaning rather it glorifies the feminity

    2. When the groom ties the mangalsutra, he says (in form of shlok) that this is essential for my long life…it also means that his life is being tied to the bride’s life. If he loses his wife, his life is gone.
    that’s how important a wife is to a husband. May be because a woman is strong enough to life by herself but a man will require a woman’s support to thrive.

    The point is that the traditions are very ancient and we hardly understand the logic behind all the religious intricacies. therefore it’s not the tradition which are to be blamed but our interpretation (which is subjective in nature).

    While your perception of the rituals might make the people think that the wedding rituals give too much importance to men while my views might make them think differently. But the point is that its all about one’s perception.

    Since you believe that women become feminist (whatever that may mean:P ) after marriage you have come up with a justification. There might be a lot of people who think otherwise.

  81. shantashastri
    October 11
    Reply

    Great article. I totally agree women become more aware of gender inequalities after marriage. In so many situations I am a boiling volcano ready to erupt!

    Before marriage girls do know the inequalities exist, but its not part of their life they have to deal with.

    Whats worse, we are propagating the same in subtle ways, because we are tired of confronting each and every minute, each and every ritual.

    So my suggestion is stop pretending that you are okay with it and speak out your mind in every situation. when you make it known that you are a person with opinions, forcing you to do something is not easy. Why timidly accept and internalize the struggle?

    • padhs2k
      October 14
      Reply

      So true Shanta. Rightly put, the society had subtly given men higher importance in so many different ways. We have to speak out our mind when we know it’s not fair. More women should raise up to the challenge, it’s not a fair fight, with so many elders to stand up against, but we have to make this change happen slowly at least. Slow and steady, hopefully might win at some time.

  82. TypicalGuy
    October 11
    Reply

    I did mention the reason for the Father’s initial in my previous comment n thanks for pointing it out Hemmie.
    @CN/Meena/Ankur/RespectEachOther, the author n her friend has totally misinterpret the real facts. I had given up long time back convincing them, but had to revisit to check their heights of frustration.
    U do it, if you like it. If not, don’t do it. No man would ask you to touch his feet, fast for him, repair his car, help him in his job or give him a royal treatment.
    This might sound rude, but to conclude, what a man needs is Food, Sex n Sleep.
    So stop all this fuss and concentrate on more productive things as Hemmie mentioned.

    Cheers

    • padhs2k
      October 14
      Reply

      It’s funny why you think we need to convince you. This post and Archana’s response is only to make people think. And never intended for people who don’t want to do that.

  83. Anonymous
    October 12
    Reply

    Food SEX and Sleep.. Well said.. Thats what its all about in marriage for a real MEN.. SEX is the most important on top of all..

  84. An Indian family man
    October 12
    Reply

    “Yes, go on, tell me what you think!” — lol…think that you are a frustrated 2nd or 3rd time divorcee trying to make sure the same happens to all the families you can reach…..

    • padhs2k
      October 14
      Reply

      LOL! Since we are playing the guessing game, I am guessing you are a dumb male chauvinistic moron who wants everyone to be the same.

      • October 15
        Reply

        If someone is being rude and immature, you don’t have to stoop to their level Padma. It somewhere put a doubt in the other reader’s mind about your own standards.

        • padhs2k
          October 16
          Reply

          Thanks Rakhanna. I never stoop to a rude person’s level, but I will definitely not mute my voice down when someone puts a stamp on women whenever they raise something a little close to feminism. Many have this idea, if a person speaks about feminism, they have to lead a bad life. This needs to be changed. And I’m sure a reader will understand the true intention behind the words.

          • October 16

            Silence doens’t alway mean agreement. Sometimes you need to be silent to not dignify something senseless with a response.

  85. Anonymous
    October 12
    Reply

    We were extremely good and my wife was okay till she read this article in the Facebook. Now, she started behaving very bad with my parents.. At least two – three quarrel in home every day..

    • padhs2k
      October 14
      Reply

      You know Mr.Anonymous, I can’t say in few words of what I’m feeling reading your comment right now! Well, first, if you are looking for advice, speak to her and get to know what happened…a post can’t induce a quarrel, words spoken between people can induce a quarrel, so first understand your people.
      Btw, be reasonable and then you can expect your other half to be reasonable.

  86. October 13
    Reply

    The points are thought provoking.

    You are questing the system which has been there since ages and now feel it is time to change. Now let me give my inputs on these.

    Point 1: You want equality. Please note equality can be there only if all are equal. Do you really think men and women are equal? Seeing from surface, the feminists may claim “yes”. But if you thoroughly analyze, the answer is “no”. Please read the book “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” by John Gray. That lists all the differences in the mindset of men and women. So please don’t expect men and women to react/behave in the same way.
    If you go to olden days, you would find it was men who would take the onus to protect the family from the external dangers as men was “physically” the stronger sex. I think all will accept this fact even today. If you see, today most of the fields which demands lots of physical efforts, have mostly men in charge. Hence men have been given the extra power wrt marriage also. But that doesn’t mean that men are a step ahead of women at every sphere. For example, women can nourish a child better than men. That’s why in the olden days, mother was the one who used to stay with the child even after delivery.

    Point 2: Tell me what will be obtained by giving women more power than men? I feel in that day lots of broken marriages will be found. Consider US or any Western nations which don’t follow these points you objected. Are they really having a proper “marriage”? Women there hardly follow any values after getting so called empowerment. Ditto will happen in India too. Already we are finding too many divorces now and most of the today’s children are getting spoiled due to lack of love/nourishment from their mothers.

    But this doesn’t mean, men should exploit the women. Men should protect the women and women should stay in men’s care. See God or the higher being whoever has designed men and women, made many differences b/w them which we cannot destroy. The book “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus” lists those and advises us to respect those differences.

    Hence I would request you to go for “Justice” rather than “Equality”.

    • padhs2k
      October 14
      Reply

      Ratna,

      I read that book long back. That said, the book has nothing to do with my post. Men and women are biologically different and they do think differently, because their brains are different. That is universally accepted.

      But that can never be given as a reason as to why a man has to be given more importance than a woman! And btw, physically stronger doesn’t qualify you to get more benefits. You may be strong physically, but a woman may be strong mentally. Both are equally strong in their own realms. And btw, never say US and Western nations have a lot of broken marriages. Do you know for sure that is true? And do you know how many broken marriages are there in India? And do you know how many people are getting married for their parents sake and end up in divorce in India? Take that all into account before jumping to conclusions about the West.

      Men should not exploit women, that is the only point I agree with you. As for your thought on women staying in men’s care – I can only advise you to read more and expand your views. Women staying in someone’s care has ended many years ago. Please grow with the world.

      • October 14
        Reply

        You mentioned “Both are equally strong in their own realms.” Totally agree. But unfortunately today’s women are trying to match men in every realm. They are even neglecting their children’s upbringing/nourishment in order to earn money and match the men. So please ask the women to be a better mother than better luxury earner. If women learn to be strong in their realms and remain satisfied, then I am sure happiness will prevail.

        As you said, men and women are different which is universally accepted then please don’t expect same status for them in the society. See eagle has a certain role while peacock has got another. None of them can take each others place. Hope today’s people understand this.

        Forget about broken marriages in West, I doubt if they really understand the meaning of marriage. For them it’s sex and sensory pleasures alone. Once they are fed up, they leave each other and ultimately give rise to hippies, drug addicts, homos etc. Sadly today even our culture is getting polluted by them.

        Who told you women staying in men’s care has ended. Imagine any pregnant woman, whether she can stay independent or not? Or if a man has ditched his pregnant wife, then what kind of condition she would go through. In the night time, if any woman can go to any lonely area alone or not.

        And which world you want me to grow up with? That world which is destroying the nature, polluting the environment and destroying all the ethics by doing abortion, consuming drugs, different types sex etc? Or that world which is slowly becoming filled with worries, tensions, corruptions etc?

  87. October 13
    Reply

    Another point I want to tell. Today a few husbands do stay in wives’ house. We call them “ghar-damaad” in Hindi. Please note such cases occur only if the husband is financially much weaker compared to wife. In the olden days such tradition existed mainly because husband/groom used to have lots of powers be it financial, physical, etc. Hence such rules existed.

    Regarding the question about last name. Please note this system prevail even in West also. So why are you only blaming the Indian marriages alone?

    • padhs2k
      October 14
      Reply

      Hi Ratna,

      I am not “blaming” the Indian marriages alone. I am aware of the Indian marriage system and hence I am writing about how many fringe benefits a husband gets after getting married. I spoke of a lot of stuff that are related to Indian marriages. And you pick one that is common to both and argue it is prevalent in the West as well…anyways, don’t you think your argument should be this practice should never exist anywhere in the world?

      • October 14
        Reply

        Let me remind you the points which I wrote previously. See in the olden days and even now for that matter, man is the physically stronger sex. Even financially you will find most of the richest/powerful people are men. Hence it has been a duty of man/groom to protect woman/bride. That’s why women kept getting her husbands’ identity. Today may be the number of rich/powerful women increased but still it is very much behind that of men. So unless women totally outdo the men in every aspect, I don’t think the practice will go.

        Again let me tell, men and women are different in nature (which a few women won’t be ready to accept). Hence don’t go for “Equality” rather go for “Justice”.

  88. Anonymous
    October 14
    Reply

    The mantras and rituals have been tuned and given an incorrect meaning by many, where in the real fact is its for both. The external invasions on India made a drastic change in the social forms, which lead to safe guard women & new practices started to follow. Later things took over wrong path…. Now its time for women to come out, why do you change once you get married, why do you make the same mistake, did you ever thought of making your son do all the household chores, do you warn/ punish him when he makes a mistake…when you get the daughter in law, do you treat her the same as your son…… so women you have all in your hands, go for it and make change.

    Btw on the name change, adding husband name…..we did not had this practice at all…. just had the Parental house name for reference, and suddenly somewhere we have picked this up….. and stating father’s name…. at-least Bangalore University has stopped asking for Father’s name in their applications and instead asking to fill for Mother’s name….. so definitely good move.

  89. October 14
    Reply

    I have a problem with your title, and somehow fails your entire analysis and argument that follows it. A very well written essay….however, marriage doesn’t ‘turn’ women into feminists. I have always been a feminist but I still got married in the same traditional manner…with all the reservations stated above. I just chose to ignore it. In India…the young people have no say in family matters…and marriage between two individuals is considered a “family” matter. So all the doddering old codgers from great grand uncles to maamis want to have their say. The men should turn feminists…the women have always questioned these traditions but chose not to say it out loud for the fear to losing out on a prospect, and gaining the reputation as outspoken.

    • padhs2k
      October 16
      Reply

      Hi Deepa/Donatella,
      Thank you. There are women who don’t turn into feminists until after marriage. And there are women where feminism always exists but are triggered more after marriage. There are different kinds of women I guess. Ignoring the reservations even though we are affected by it – is what we all have been doing for years together. I think it is time for us to question this, or make the youngsters question this and do things differently. That is the only way we can get some change to happen.

  90. Anonymous
    October 14
    Reply

    Empty vessels make more noise..that’s the case with you!! If none from your family has ever tried to change this system then I guess all men from your family including your father and your husband must be dumb male chauvinistic morons. You must inform them about their recent tags!

  91. Manasa
    October 15
    Reply

    I feel all the age old traditionals should be stopped. Marriage should be fun, not dictated by elders. Also I feel mother-in-laws are more dangerous than men. When I become mother-in-law I would not repeat the same.

    • padhs2k
      October 16
      Reply

      Yep, a couple should first find out whether it makes sense to follow some traditions before agreeing to do so blindly! And yes married life should be fun 🙂 Yayyy for you for stating that you won’t do the same when you become a mil 🙂 !

    • October 16
      Reply

      You said when you become a mother in law, you won’t repeat the same. What if your daughter-in-law tries to run over you? Will you simply surrender to keep your words or will fight against her to keep your status (which may again put you in the same league of today’s mothers-in-law)?

  92. Mansi
    October 15
    Reply

    I agree to what all you put….such a good article!! n yes add mother in laws in the the twist n you have recipe of a nightmare for married indian women!

    • October 15
      Reply

      I am so happy to see girls bashing mother-in-laws. The mother-in-laws of next generation (i.e. you), and sister-in-laws of this generation are going to be so great 🙂 Cheers 🙂

      • padhs2k
        October 16
        Reply

        It is sad to see this kind of behavior and attitude in men. Ah well, there are all kinds of people.

  93. Misra
    October 16
    Reply

    Ok Indian Marriage System marries brides and bride grooms. The system has given success over ages and is very strong, bold and with silent confidence like a massive ocean, even today. Bride grooms by large are not asking to change the system. Brides also, not all have problem with it. Few brides that have problem with it choose other weaker ‘modern’ systems or remain unmarried through this system or learn to live in harmony with this system.

    For those who have already entered into marriage through this system and failed to be in harmony with such strong system, first know that Indian Marriage System promises equality in goal and not in process. Goal being dharmic well-being. This darmic well-being then becomes the process also for higher stages of life. Unsaid, that doesn’t support men dominating women and the home she comes from in whatever name or vice-versa. You need not blame the system for this – speak to your spouse and resolve your feelings.

    Raising ego over-time turns any human (male/female) into random and arrogant partners that loads and over-burdens the spouse inducing unpredictability, distress etc – resulting in bitter life experiences. Our marriage system has enough checks and balances to keep the raising egos of both the partners in limits and direct them towards harmonious and loving relationships by doing dharmic (non-selfish) activities together like serving poor, praying for societal well-being (bhootha-daya) and engaging in such non-selfish pleasures. With repeated practise in this path, the couple realizes slowly that they are one with each-other beyond the play of ego and sanskaras. Being among believers of the system, I question your authority to question it. Living it with purer mind (lesser ego) shall make you think differently about this great ‘kalyanam’. It is a viscous cycle – live it to reduce egos for harmonious relationships and with more ego you can’t live it. One should have learnt how deterrent is arrogance and ego for relations from the troubles they have had in their relations. That’s how the system attacks the roots of the human relations problem and takes the sanskaras towards happiness, harmony and dharmic well-being.

  94. Deepasmiles!
    October 16
    Reply

    Hi Padma, very nice write up indeed. This is exactly my state of mind right from the day one of my marriage too. And I am pretty sure that it goes with more 80% ( the figure could be even more higher )of the married females of India. Feels very good that I am not alone in thinking out of the box.

    Recently had been to a counsellor for a post pregnancy depression. But what came out to be the result is that it was not a depression but a difference in the value system of me and my in laws , which I am unable to accept. I voice it. I question it. I am a great believer of god – but can’t do things out of fear or compulsion which do not fit into my logic. My point is if you like it , you do it- but please don’t force me to follow it blindly. Further after marriage,females have to typically ” act ” to be successfully tagged as a good- Wife , DIL, SIL and many new roles which they are expected to perform. I strongly refrain from this. Just let me be a good human being for all without any masks.

    If I will have more good time, I will share more thoughts and go through each comment. Padma, I encourage and share your spirit. It’s not being disrespecting to anyone in the society .It is to find a good equation of the female-male equation for a good life ahead.

    • padhs2k
      October 18
      Reply

      Hi Deepa,

      Thank you for voicing your views. And you are right, you are not alone, a majority of women go through this state after marriage where society, in the name of traditions, burden us with rules on what to do and what not to do. Around 7000 people have liked this post, which means around 7000 people understand this situation..but the problem as you very well know is, most of us don’t know how to fight this out. Voicing it out, questioning it like you stated is the first step. That’s exactly what I do as well.
      It is hard to accept and follow everything just because a particular custom/action/ritual was followed thousands of years back. And you are right, to be tagged as “good” wife/dil we have to do some particular set of actions..but then, if you ask me, I am what I am. I know I am good, my husband knows I am good, I can do stuff which I feel needs to be done. But I cannot play a part that is not me. Wearing a mask may work for some people, but the mask has to come off at some time. It’s better to be without a mask and be yourself all the time. After all, we were raised the same way by our parents. In no way are we inferior to another person and in no way superior to another person. So why shouldn’t men and women be treated the same way?

      Society may give us a name of “feminist” if we speak out our mind, but I don’t think we should care. I think the only way to be happy is to be yourself and not act for the society.

      And if you did read many comments here, there are many women who have gone through similar situations, so we should all speak up whenever it is required. And we should bring up our kids with a broader mentality than what exists currently. I am working on that 🙂

  95. Kaushik
    October 16
    Reply

    I question shallow claims like ‘80% and more’. I question your authority to change the system. System insists on reducing ‘me me me and my my my’ for good relationships. Acting is for shallow human beings – same person is a daughter, mother, wife, dil, sil etc etc….being so responsibilities are many-fold. It is same with other sex. Those complain are escapists.

  96. Vasanth
    October 16
    Reply

    ROFFL.. u r below average.. u got to better.. got to learn a lot.. don stop keep learning.. these r same women who won accept their sister in laws do d same at their parental home.. 😀 😀 😀

  97. Vasanth
    October 16
    Reply

    1st those MIL-DIL war sagas on TVs should b stopped.. 1 r those kind selling fiction n d other r these kind turning fictions to fact.. 😀 😀 😀

  98. Vasanth
    October 16
    Reply

    talking of tradition.. ur complaint is against wrong beliefs.. our tradition is regarded as d most scientific till date.. better get d knowledge of vrats n y it should be done.. u hold a superior value wch u r not aware of.. kanyadaan is d superior daan.. try to know what it is all abt.. read some veda books n acquire knowledge not some stupid twilight.. hamlet.. othello.. 5 point somone.. 2 states.. OMG u r more hilarious than Kapil Sharma.. 😀 😀 😀

  99. Anonymous
    October 16
    Reply

    I feel sorry for this lady’s husband. He must be fuked up and will get fuked up all his life including the children, who will live miserable life because the mother is so confused and fighting for something which is non-sense.. Ask the universe creator who is more powerful, egg first or the chicken? Without women, there is no men and without men, there is no women/men.. Author is so narrow minded creature and same with her family..

  100. Kaushik
    October 16
    Reply

    Yes Vasanth, she’s a fool who thinks only feminists can decide the system – that way, even naxals should decide how civilian Govt should work. Comedians are very useful for society, fools are burden.

    • padhs2k
      October 18
      Reply

      Lol.

  101. Aarthi
    October 18
    Reply

    Very amateurish look into the way of life I would say.. I am a young married woman and have done all that is said above and never felt the other way.. For I dont believe my rights as a women has in any way been compromised by doing these things.. There are so many cusions of life we do enjoy as girls, which again in no way makes me feel am powerful too.. So, at the end of the day, Its just about coexistance, making your partner understand that it needs the both of you to run a family no matter whom you are with.. I feel, Feminism is too big a word for us to even be talking on a platform like this.. 😀

    • Misra
      October 18
      Reply

      Respects to your words Aarthi

    • padhs2k
      October 18
      Reply

      Thank you Aarthi. I don’t think it is amateurish way of looking at life, I think it is the practical way of looking at it. Each one has their own view.
      That said, I am glad you don’t feel your rights as a woman was compromised while you left your home and your husband doesn’t have to. Not every woman would agree with you, but I guess each woman have their own thoughts, so you have all rights to feel what you feel.
      But feminism is not a big word for this. Feminism is fighting for equal rights and this post is asking for society to treat women and men the same way – and this comes under feminism. 😀

      • Aarthi
        October 19
        Reply

        Haha, u ve got this entirely wrong.. For God’s sake, dont tell me again that this post is on feminism and its practical :P, the real feminists would wage a war against you 😀 We are just surfing over some superficial stuff and making a foul cry out of it, forgetting what really the Women of our country need.. Just bcos your article echos the feeling of a few hundred women on the social networking, doesnt mean they speak for the majority.. We are a country who is still dealing with basic issues like female infanticide and you talk about some random mantra which irks you? If you really are a feminist, pls dont propagate such false things in the name of a feminism and spread hatred.. Thanks..

        • padhs2k
          October 21
          Reply

          Thank you Aarthi. I can only ask you to read about feminism and what actually it means.

  102. An Indian family man
    October 18
    Reply

    Dear neither did I write an article glorifying male chauvinism nor do I support any sort of dominance….when it comes to moron stuff, you have claimed it already with you article which is so naive and is clear example of use of good prose, but without proper knowledge of the Indian Marriage System.

    Your effort in breaking the one of the most important pillar of Indian societal fabric will not be neglected the One.

    Anyhow its not my duty to educate you as your parents should have done it before they got u married or u should have learnt it before u got married.

    Nevertheless, if u really wish to post articles that will help build a better society, try reading this to start with:

    http://archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/india-denial

  103. hpliebekraft
    October 18
    Reply

    I can’t speak for Indian culture, as I am an American and do not know much about it. However, I can say that many people misconstrue feminism as being “a bunch of man hatin’ dykes,” which actually has nothing to do with anything. Many women are quick to say “I want equality for women, but I’m not a feminist.”
    If you want equality for women, then you are a feminist. There is no shame in the term, in fact, one should embrace it. Until we do achieve true equality for women the world over, feminism is necessary.

    • padhs2k
      October 23
      Reply

      Loved your words. And yes, I agree many hate to be called a feminist. My guess is that they don’t want to stand out in the crowd and attract attention to them. In fact there are lots of men out there, who proudly state they are feminists and understand gender equality is a must, for a country to grow.

  104. Anonymous
    October 19
    Reply

    LoL.. Equal rights? How did I get in touch with this freaking article? Facebook sometimes sucks. Stupid educated / uneducated idiots keep sharing bcoz they suffer bad marriages with crapy shtty people within family. Her husband is either gay or unable to try her wife understand about equality sht she is fighting for. This is all crap. This lady gaga is a racist making her family life tougher. Man and Woman have their own strengths and weaknesses, you can never be equal. For me, my wife is my power when I am very weak in some aspects of life and I am her power when she is weak in some aspects of life. Marriage bonding is togetherness of different job duties towards success and happiness with so much of understanding and love. I can not ask my wife to lift 100 pounds of weight on her shoulder but she can ask me to find a way because I am a man with strong physics required. I would not even let my wife do it if I am around. 100 pounds lifting on shoulder can damage her body. Bullsht to your equality. You freking narrowminded person. Think about your children, they will be living horrible life if you act like dkhead..

  105. Kaushik
    October 19
    Reply

    She’s a confused piece of drama destined to ruin her own family and others…

    • padhs2k
      October 23
      Reply

      Thank you Kaushik. I hope you don’t ruin your family with your ideas. Good luck.

  106. Kaushik
    October 24
    Reply

    My ideas are that of great and successful for ages – The Indian Marriage System. So, you should be worried about your un-tested new weak and modern regressive selfish ideas and realx about mine. thx

    • padhs2k
      October 24
      Reply

      Regressive selfish ideas – I’m sure you are writing about yours and not mine. Modern yes, definitely based on gender equality yes, but mine isn’t weak or regressive. It’s crazy why many people think gender equality is selfish. Treating one gender superior is selfish. I guess one has to be broad minded to understand that.

      • Kaushik
        October 24
        Reply

        As you are writing “my system”, I challenge u to write a blog on
        ‘ur system with concept and definition having gender-equality as basis’
        ‘which authority defines and approves your system’
        ‘which authority approves gender-equality coming out from ur system’
        ‘what kind of compliance norms shall ur system have’
        ‘how is it going to be scalable’
        ‘what is ur systems view on sex, divorce, after-life and pregnancy, polygomy, homosexuality and hetro-sexuality etc.’
        ‘what will be the interface of transition from current system to modern PDHS2K system’

        In case you are able to attempt the challenge, dare to welcome me there and I’ll prove u wrong again.

        ur statement of not weak has no basis: un-proven and untested…

  107. A
    October 25
    Reply

    I have seen property getting registered on the wife’s name as registration fee is less for females!

  108. Nishanth
    October 26
    Reply

    What abt feminist in other religion who doesn’t follow these marriage system? Even if husband accepts to wife on every point mentioned in this blog some women are still feminist who find fault in every aspect of life. If we start blaming we should first blame every religion in this world which has some kind of discriminations( Lower Caste-Higher Caste, Men-Women, religious tolerance…). Most of the questions mentioned in the blog are funny. Why should women wear mangalsutra is like asking why not men have bindi…! Because it looks good on women. Second, which women doesn’t want long life for husband and what is wrong with praying god for that?. Most of these functions are about networking in olden days. Third, on changing name, if they are so serious about name change why didn’t they fight with there father to include their mother’s maiden name also in there name. Women should discuss these concerns before marriage. My point is that we should not look at each of practices in any kind of religion one at a time but look at all the practices as a whole and try to see beauty of it. For example, gotras are used to check the suitability while marriage which is only possible if father’s surname is used for his child. My take is that it is about people’s mind set than about how strong the system is. This change is already taking place. The responsibility lies both with Men and Women. The same women when she is in the role of Mother-in-Law or Sister-in-Law should start behaving good with the new person in there family

  109. Nani
    October 26
    Reply

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx7PIIA60XQ

    See the above link and it makes us understand the reason most of the women doesn’t want them to be associated with feminism. Also feminist in west are turning out to be extremists with strong belief with women supremacy than gender equality. Women in western world, which has already embarrassed gender equality to the fullest extent, are now distancing away from feminists as these feminist do propaganda with wrong facts. Instead they want them to be identified as an Independent, and straight-forward women. Feminists are extremists of its kind. Obviously very few want them to be called feminists. Though dictionary meaning is very cool, unfortunately media made it feel like feminist equals, false propaganda, female superiority, strong opposition to patriarchy, anti-man, anti-sex, lesbianism etc.

  110. Veda
    October 27
    Reply

    Very well written! I am unmarried but seeing the traditions and Indian culture I had already questioned lots of my relatives about it. This blog exactly says my words!
    For me i have decided long back that i will not change my name, my children will have my name along with my husband’s name, I will proudly let my mother watch me get married (with reference to the below paragraph) and good for me that i say abroad so i dont have to take the inlaws pressure.

    I wish all the women who are going through this injustice have tge basic right to be treated equally!

    Regarding the marriage rituals, I being a maharashtrian, in my culture, brides mother is not allowed to watch her daughter get married. So while everybody is enjoying the marriage the mother is inside the changing room. And when asked the illogical logic behind it is that it will result into “nazar lagti hai” thing.
    1. How will a mother wish bad for her daughter.
    2. The most important event for a girl and also for her mother and she is forced not to watch it.
    3. Because of this very stupid tradition out of fear she follows not to watch the marriage.

    Also there is a ritual of washing the groom’s feet with milk,water etc which is to be done by the bride’s mother!!
    Come on!! First thing she is older than him so she should technically be not allowed to touch his feet. Secondly why cant he simply go and wash is own feet with his own hand or ask his own mother to do it if he’s such a child. And surprisingly this tradition is followed shamelessly by the groom and his parents.

    Also I would like to add a point as hormones and characteristics etc is discussed somewhere, that there are a few girls like me who dont like to cook or do household work. People should not generalise that, by nature women like to do house work or cook or whatever and thats why it is supposed to be done by her. The harmones abd gender charachetristics are always in percentage which is never says 100% women. Because they never asked me atleast. No one can just assume someone’s nature or likes. If she likes to do it she will do the house work orelse she wont. Dont assume!

    What I also want to add is that today women are working and earning money. Plus they are expected to do house work. Why? Both are equally tired then why just women should work more? Because of the biological difference women are physically weak compared to men. So she’s comparitively weak, works outside and earns money equally as men do plus she’s expected to work at home! Why? I can only call it inhuman. And reading a few opposing posts above, i know a few will say then don’t work outside home. But by saying this they are just showing how rigid and narrow minded they are who want women to be dependent on them. Killing someone’s ambition and growth is not the way to make your life easy.

    • padhs2k
      October 28
      Reply

      Hi Veda,
      Nice to see you here. Yeah we are made to follow so many practices in and after marriage that makes no sense. If only people stopped to think. And wow, a mother shouldn’t be there during a daughter’s marriage in your tradition?? That sucks! I hope we stand up and refuse to follow some practices if it affects us..but during that “marriage” period, most of the brides/grooms would be in a dream state, and they just blindly follow what they are being told.. 🙁 One way to stop such practices would be to state beforehand what you both feel needs to happen in and after a marriage.
      And we too have this ritual of washing groom’s feet, I asked why it needs to be done during my wedding but was asked to be quiet. Sucks right?!

      Some people’s comments in here were totally backwards and they refused to budge, so I ignored them after a point. They tend to bring up biological factors to argue stuff, which totally nonsense. There may be lot of such people in the world, so it’s to up to us to keep going forward with our head held high and never giving up on what we believe is right, what do you say Veda? 🙂

  111. Rita
    November 1
    Reply

    I feel all women should learn and try to be like Deepika Padukone. She is bold and has strong character. She lives the life she wants.

    • padhs2k
      November 7
      Reply

      I did like her twitter response 🙂

  112. Ameet Joshi
    November 4
    Reply

    Well, being a brahmin myself, I strongly feel connected to each and every word (not as a woman though). I’ve seen my sister go through the same. It’s very heart-breaking that knowing the fact that our parents care for us, the relatives don’t give a damn. And, those relatives and neighbours form the major part of our society. Our parents, who are part of the same society, tend to blend in with such flagrant minds. In the whole process of such mindless coalition, we get dragged in, unnecessarily. We are forced to be part of the same freaking society. The society (as they say) is made up of individuals and everyone has their individuality. If that is not given enough respect, it purely backlashes on the society that has deprived us of it. So, whatever you have written, is a sheer bombarding reaction to such disrespect.
    We can’t change the society unless it wishes to change. In that case, we need to file a petition for mass euthanasia of such people. I hope I didn’t disrespect your thoughts in any way. I too just made a point that how the traditions are exploited by our elders. Most of the rituals have mythological significance, and some have scientific significance. But most of all, our (sensible) elders who know why they are performing those rituals, tend to be open-minded and accept the bride as their daughter and provide equal love as their sons. But the elders who don’t know why the rituals are performed as herd-mentality people and get offended if you question even on a single act. That’s why they backfire senselessly and behave like gorillas out of the zoo.

    • padhs2k
      November 7
      Reply

      I respect every word of what you said. I wish people would think and act rather than have the sheep mentality. These traditions have been in place for over centuries now, and it’s up to us youngsters to change this. Guys should speak up if they see any gender inequality and women should speak for themselves when they hate something. Only then this mentality could change.

      • Ameet Joshi
        November 7
        Reply

        Right! As the torchbearers of next generation, our parents always expect us to carry forward the traditions and culture which has been imbibed in us. But, most of the time, it is imposed on us, rather than handed over. We need to be sure ourselves, whether we are capable and willing to carry forward the legacy. We can improvise on it and make it more sensible with help of our elders who understand culture, instead going behind those who follow blind superstitions. One thing I take from this entire article is, women are still objectified, more in a traditional context, and most in the modern. It’s the Khaps and Fatwa blasters who stop women from growing and being equal. The Alpha Males will never co-exist with the opposite gender, even if it means they have to become gay.

        • padhs2k
          November 12
          Reply

          Yeah, a lot of stuff is imposed on us. If they are not affected by those traditions imposed, a majority of them just remain mute and flow with the crowd. I guess everyone needs to stop and think before blindly accepting to follow a particular ritual or tradition. I mean, yes, it’s not correct to give up our culture. But we need to differentiate what is culture/tradition and what is age-old practice. Only then we can put our points across for others to understand I guess. Well, a long way to go, but at least we can do our little part!

  113. Shailu
    November 4
    Reply

    Why should only brahmins or just men perform the so called rituals. I think everyone have equal rights. I feel women should be given reservations in temples and such organizations. Why should we deprived of such oppurtunities?

    • padhs2k
      November 7
      Reply

      I know. You are absolutely right. I was just speaking about this to my friend yesterday. I wish everyone would be taught these poojas and everyone can perform them. Caste discrimination is an entirely different subject, and I will be writing a post on it sometime. Hope to see you then too! 🙂

  114. Ameet Joshi
    November 5
    Reply

    On a lighter note, women are lucky to be discriminated in temples. Because men have to take off their clothes, flaunt their thread and wear nothing else but a panche…

    • padhs2k
      November 7
      Reply

      Haha. But not all temples have this practice in place. And jokes apart, no discrimination is lucky..

      • Ameet Joshi
        November 7
        Reply

        Discrimination in a right sense, is always good and lucky. Not arguing on the sexist part though, but there is a celestial reason men and women are made opposites and I do not dare to question that part of discrimination. We have always had separate treatments right from our birth. Sometimes, it’s intentional, sometimes it’s what’s supposed to happen. It’s again a very philosophically intricate subject to dwell into, but we have our places juxtaposed perfectly.

        • padhs2k
          November 12
          Reply

          Discrimination is good and lucky? Do let me know when it is good and when it is lucky, because I guess I don’t understand.

          And yes, right from birth, many people tend to favor the male child. The elderly people in the family do that, not the parents of the newly born. Because to them, at least a majority of them, a baby is a blessing, be it boy or girl. In this generation they try to raise their girls to be brave and bold to defend herself, and a boy to be righteous to not cause harm to the opposite sex. Apart from that, I hope and pray no intentional discrimination occurs. If so, it needs to be stopped.

          • Ameet Joshi
            November 12

            Well, I am not completely denying the fact that discrimination majorly is a pain in the wrong places. But, when it comes to marriage, (especially Hindu weddings) there is always a higher godly position for women. If you look back at the Hindu mythology, we have female gods whom we worship when it comes to wealth and wisdom. Isn’t that a good (and/or lucky) part of discrimination? I surely do pray hard every day to get both (I mean, wealth and wisdom) but it doesn’t mean I care less about what’s happening with women today.As far as favouring the male child is concerned, I was totally in the opposite scenario at my house. It doesn’t allow me to lampoon against women, but I have another point of view which says, in some families female children are given more importance because they are considered to be, so called, “Paraya Dhan” and pampered lavishly. Whereas male children begin to get their attention when they start earning and when it comes to taking life’s biggest decisions, such as marriage, they are imposed with opinions and shit that, we don’t know to choose wisely (as if we were given a chance to do so in the first place).

  115. Divya
    November 6
    Reply

    Just yesterday, I was telling someone how the things listed by the “20 scientific reasons behind traditions” that is making rounds on facebook are sexist, and how there are still so many men in my generation (meaning those who are getting married/have gotten married recently) agree with the concept, but don’t really do anything about it. I got a very simple response that made sense. “It’s easier for us men to leave it the way it is”. Its all about going the extra mile, some do it and some don’t.

    • padhs2k
      November 7
      Reply

      Agreed. But going the extra mile is necessary for women to make sure they get what they rightfully deserve. As for men, it is easier for them of course.

  116. Anonymous
    November 7
    Reply

    HAHAHA … The article itself seams written by a male. I feel the basic idea behind this article is to prove that male are superior and for gender equality females must be allowed to do what males are doing. There are many things that males are not allowed like long hairs, makeups, heavy jewelery, for getting married a male must have a job etc etc. If in family both female & male are not working then this society tells the male to do the job not the female. So where is equality ??
    The ideal way is to be satisfied by what you are allowed and what you are now allowed.

    • padhs2k
      November 12
      Reply

      Hi Anonymous,
      I am not against the male gender. Many think this article is against men and women are trying to “play the role of men”. First off, men and women are biologically different. So let’s not get into the long hair part and confuse the entire scene!

      That said, yes why should men always work in a family? I agree as well. Put your foot down and get your girlfriend/wife to find a job she likes if she wants to.I think it’s all in the mind. There are some men who are stay at home dads. They are trying to take the role of homemaker while the wife goes to work. After all, home making and taking care of kids is a job as well. So let your mind be at ease and see if you can handle the job of home making if you were given it. 🙂

  117. Red_Tsar
    November 7
    Reply

    This bit-ch is retarded & retired// having crappy mind// husband got f-kked up & children will see quarrel all their lives seeing parents fightin,, happy wife happy life so man may surrender but this bit-ch needs to come out of box//

    • Ameet Joshi
      November 8
      Reply

      Dear Red_Tsar (or whatever-f*ck-your-name-is, because you are a coward to reveal your identity). First and foremost, learn to respect an individual’s opinion. I am sure you have not fallen like an apple from a tree. You were born off your father’s loins and your mother’s ovules. That must be hell of a decision they might have made coming together. But if there are people who don’t see the spiritual bond that exists between two people or two families or two souls, those people (like you) are already born f*cked up. So, I don’t blame you. It’s the surroundings in which you are raised. May be that’s why you are being so hypocritical about this. Anyways, you have your opinion and we have ours. And I am no different when it comes to expressing my views. So, this is what I do. This is what we do. Express opinions in good spirit. And lampoon those who don’t. So, if you are not sport enough to consider this opinion, better shut the f*ck up and mind your own f*cking business. This lady is trying to make a difference to the society and a$$holes like you don’t even deserve to be a part of this revolution.

  118. sameer
    November 9
    Reply

    Hiee thr…it was a nice article tat u wrote…i agree to most of it…but now the things are beginning change(a little bit),thnks to d growing corporate culture in india whr both husband n wife r working n sharing responsibilites n other thing equally..but its a minority …m not a pessimist but I think it will take a long time to have a widespread effect..as these values and traditions are deeply rooted in our country dear…but I would like to add one more point …i guess u will accept it…i think when we talk about men-women equality during a marriage or a relationship, y is it tat girls n also her family chooses a guy who is better than her in financial status..u will always see tat a girl or her family will always go for a boy whose package(salary) is greater than her..i agree that money is important but y always a guys financial status has to b more than g gal’s..even when choosing a boyfriend gals want a guy who will have a better financial future..how about a would b groom or boyfriend who is not better than u financially but may be very loving n caring and very good at heart..y r parents like ” the highest bidder( in terms of package) will get our daughter”..m not saying they should handover their daughter to some very poor man..for example a frnd of mine just shared a incident . A guy in her office had a major crush on her ,she herself told me tat he was a very gud guy indeed…prob is he earns 35k pr mnth she 60k,.her parents offcourse rejected him for this..she agreed with her parents ,she said she had marriage proposals from guys who earns twice as him even thrice..so y wud I consider him..m waiting for d day when thr is equality in this aspect also..like d gal n her parents wud have no problem even if a grooms salry is equal to or even a little bit less..dont u think so

    • padhs2k
      November 12
      Reply

      Hey Sameer!
      Welcome to my blog,and thanks for your comments! Well, things may look that its changing, but no..not a lot..at least in the marriage aspect, none at all. The problem isn’t with the prospective groom or bride, its with their parents and all the elders associated with them. If the decision lies solely with the young couples, I guess, in this corporate culture, they would just speak about it and come to a mutual understanding of what they both want from each other, in their married life. But marriage is an aspect where not just the couples are involved, the family is involved right from the beginning, so yes there lies the problem.

      Regarding the financial status, if a girl refuses a guy, with just the financial aspect in mind, then that just means she is not in love with that guy. Because when you are in true love, a girl wouldn’t look at a man’s salary. Same as how a guy wouldn’t mind the girl’s caste or her financial stature.
      That is when love exists or in other words, in a love marriage.
      But when an “arranged” marriage occurs, parents come into the picture. And yes, to find a suitable groom for their daughter, they try to find a guy who earns higher than her. The reason they do that is so that in future the guy doesn’t fight with her stating her financial status as an excuse for her speaking up. But if the guys truly loves the girl, he could try convincing the parents and the girl that he would never bring that point up in their future life. It all lies in the hands of the guy at this point, because in arranged marriage, parents of a girl wouldn’t like to push their daughter into an area where they are not sure about. It is same as how the parents of the guys would only look for brides who are lower or equal in educational degree as their son. They wouldn’t look for prospective brides who earn better than their son, or who is educationally and professionally in a higher position than their son. Again this could change if the girl really likes the guy and convinces the parents that he is the one for her.

      So to put it short, in arranged marriage, decisions are mainly taken by elders. IF this needs to be changed, the youngsters need to butt in and change it. Has to be done!

  119. sameer
    November 9
    Reply

    U have written many times in ur article about role reversals like let d guy do things which gals do then they will understand how it feels…but when will time come when gals accept the guys who r slightly less or equal to them financially..because if u observe , in 9 out of 10 arrange marriages the salry or financial status of a guy is more than that of a gal..dont u think it is a sort of hypocrisy that women talk about equality everywhere but when it comes to marrying a guy she and her parents will never choose a guy who is equal to her…they will always go for better…n I m talking about the majority mentality..some exceptions may b there..

  120. November 10
    Reply

    I say then why marry and destroy men’s life. Let men be at peace. Live and let live.

    • padhs2k
      November 12
      Reply

      Wow, true, this could apply to the guys as well, why marry and destroy a woman’s life? Let women be at peace. Live and let live. The end.

      • November 13
        Reply

        Its women like you who are having problems with marriages and not men therefore women should stop marrying. It is women like you who think that marriages turn women into feminists then same marriages should turn men into MRAs and fight against feminists who are destroying our country. And it is not the case that women do not know such things before marriage, they are quite aware of marriage and rituals in India. If you disagree with marriage rituals, I am sure you will also disagree with those rituals where men take vows to take care of wife, children and house and dedicate his life for the welfare of his family.

  121. Karthik
    November 10
    Reply

    The article poses some interesting facts. One should know the meaning of the customs that they are implementing it during the marriage. The people who are getting married should know the meaning of the mantra’s and the customs prior to their marriage.

    Regarding the gender equality, I do accept that y should working women has to take the burden of house hold work even though she is working like husband. Everyone (wife) should have right to express their views either in her own house or in their in laws house. One should respect his wife and strive for her comforts irrespective of their stay in the house.

    Always should try for the betterment without destroying the freedom and comforts of others even before or after the marriage.

    • padhs2k
      November 12
      Reply

      I respect your views Karthik. Men and women are going to be partners for life, so we should let them make their decisions on their own. Let not others, (by that I mean, society) have a say in their life. After all, happiness is what every person wants in life! 🙂

  122. November 11
    Reply

    When parents marry off daughters, practically transfer responsibility, care, expenses on husband. The least they can do is treat son-in-law with adar/respect. The others like sirname etc are silly, its just a matter of choice, no enforcement !

    • padhs2k
      November 12
      Reply

      Wow, so you think parents marry their daughters off just to “transfer” responsibility of their daughter to the husband? Oh and do you think taking care of the wife is an expense? Come on, please grow up. Husband and wife is a life-long relationship, they are both partners in life, so do look at a wife an equal, never undermine her!

      • November 12
        Reply

        Hahaha… it seems you are losing it now … y getting so caught-up into words….
        1. Look at the diff… when parents marry off daughters, (comma) practically transfer responsiblity of care expense etc. Now how you took it.. parents marry off daughters to transfer responsiblity….

        Huge diff.. hope u understand it…. plus . .. i take my cost of living as expense… so wats the issue of considering same of my wife…

        Hence my point… such articles do little good to subject of women empowerment or gender equality… honestly now i thnk its nothing more than male bashing . …

        Through out your article and comments… you think of gender equality by either pulling men down to same levels (by asking ro do things women themselves dont like) or wanting to take of unnecessary power of men… if you think about it honestly both arent cases of women empowerment….

        And isnt it sad you actually have to ask/hope support from men to empower you or equal you… lady to each is own… as long i dont oppress you, your freedom or put you down… dat support is sufficient enough… y expect us to pull you up (not that i am against it.. i myslf wld lke to do it.. but you dont expect it… let me do it on my terms)… fight get your place stand equal… i am proud now… i will be proud den….

  123. November 11
    Reply

    It is the same marriage that converts husband into MRA (Men Rights Activists). Time has changed and same women have started filing false dowry cases/domestic violence cases against men . I have met lot of people who are suffering because of false cases against them. It actually destroys their life altogether both mentally, and financially. I feel pity on the parents of such females who failed to imbibe right culture and values into their daughters. For more details you can check
    http://lifenstory.com/domestic_violence_on_men/

    Feminists are nothing but leading this country on a path to destruction. It is said if 2 feminists commit suicide, who wins? Society wins!
    As I said in my previous comment, women already know these things before hand, then why are they so eager to marry? Why do they marry and make men’s life miserable? Let men be at peace. Live and let live!

    • Ameet Joshi
      November 11
      Reply

      Very insightful perspective! But the truth still stands. Though women might have misandrous agenda, men too (on a larger scale) objectify women. Whatever the case may be, in the end, we complete each other. That is a universal balance we have to maintain without ruling out or taking over each other’s place in the society. We might have the urge to dominate the world, be the kings or queens, in the end, we become an example to our future generation. And I am sure none of us want our children to continue with the same war we are into. This has to end, and it has to end with us.

  124. November 11
    Reply

    Hey Padma,

    I like the article.. tough honestly more for the flow and use of apt sarcasm 😛

    However not very sure of the content.
    Firstly because arent we all fight superstition togather.. men and women..? So then y take such harsh stand by asking/hoping men to do the same (naming a child or wearing mangalsutra etc) i suppose if its been bad/offensive experiance for women i don think it would be a great one for us.(now i dont think you want that for we men.. but hasnt it been highlighted one too many times in the article.. reading the comments i do think this cld be reason for finding it tad bit offensive towards men)

    Second, wouldnt the argument be much more compelling if we take todays scenario… jus my observation.. cuz we hav moved forward leaps and bounds.. so the idea of taking us 100 yrs back & basing our arguments (both urs and mine) for a better future seems little off. (considering we are looking for ultimate form of gender equality and not just men bashing :P)

    Thirdly, i think if we view these rituals (not that i support it) as just a legacy system of doing things it wld offer better prespective rather than a total disruptive.. futuristic and rite now approach… way of looking at it… for example naming a child after grooms family.. my view for the same is just a simpler way to trace origins… gotra in hindi.. you might be aware that it is scientifically proven that 2 ppl marrying wid same gotra or nadi might lead compliaction in pregnancy etc. (Now i am not saying its the best way to do it..) but a much simpler way.. and havent we moved away from name thing… where in we have khan marrying hindu delhiite. Men with feminine names e.g. kiran, rupal, sonal etc. or vice a versa… seemed very regressive of pointing that out.
    today at an era wer age is just a number wouldnt treating naming as just a system be simpler way of coping identity crisis ( if any). cuz naming sme1 krishna or ram doesnt make him like 1 so wats the big deal.

    Regarding the moving in house thing.. i don think its is possible or advisable to spend 30k/pm rent for a half decent house or buying property for husband and wife combined … so basically its just a choice… plus as per law.. everything owned in husbands name is divided equally amongs husband and wife… in case of divorce or if the couple decides to live apart.. so then how does it matter… lets not fixate on name part of it.

    All i am trying ro say is… there is certain increse in such articles where under the umbrella of gender equality or women empowerment… male basing is done… and i do think ur a great writer and you certainly would make lasting impact on your readers.. so write with care… 🙂

    wld like to quote a phare i read couple of days back

    “Freedom is human right… but freedom without sense of responsiblities and ethics can easily prove disaster for everyone concerned.”

  125. soontobeawife
    November 12
    Reply

    I’m getting married next month n totally get your points. My mother in law said some days back ….. Omg you would return home after work by 8. How are u two gonna manage. I said look at your son. he comes by 9 or even 10 and she says it’s ok for them. but u gotta manage the house kitchen etc. Poor girl. I saw less sympathy and more bullshit there. … Now you’re ok with his lifestyle right now and even mine individually but suddenly have a prob with my timings. Yet you love a daughter in law to be equally capable like your son who earns well !! Where is the equality ? In fact I’ve seen my father in law cook sometimes when MIL is tired and stuff. now that’s equality dude !! Not talking just about cooking. That’s so petty!! it’s about giving each other equal space in all walks of life and sharing stuff. no one is superior or inferior. that should be the practice.!!

    • Anonymous
      November 12
      Reply

      Madam, simple solution dont get married, if you there are so many problems. You seems to be an Independent women, why do u need a men in your life. i dont know any gal in india who manage kitchen….all educated and working/non working women have maids/cooks.And i guess if she wants you to come back soon….the reason behind that could be your safety….coz of crime against women 🙂

  126. November 12
    Reply

    Here the fact in above case… a women asking women shitty things…. so wer does gender equality come into play..? I think its more of a personal mind place your mom in law is trapped in. If she does the same to her daughter as well… then i think its just the way she is… if not stand your place .. shell get used to it…eventually . ..

    Congratulations & Best of luck.. 😛

    • soontobeawife
      November 12
      Reply

      And thanks. !!! 🙂

  127. soontobeawife
    November 12
    Reply

    It’s not about a woman doing it to another. it’s the older generation’s perceptions that are inherited….and have to be borne by our generation.

  128. Anonymous
    November 12
    Reply

    Simple solution if there are so many problems…. Don’t marry…. Indian women is independent now…. And don’t need this discussion….

    • November 12
      Reply

      Chill buddy… its ok…
      Not all come from same place… wid population of 1.2 billion.. there is a faint possiblity of 1.2 billion waus of doin things right & wrong… lets respect diff in opinion… negotiate . .. win some.. give sme… and nake better of both worlds… makes me thnk of the situation..

      The young always think they r smarter . .. while the old claim to be wiser… 😛

      Peace out…!!!

  129. Anonymous
    November 13
    Reply

    Hi padma, you really are brave to express what you feel…… I feel all your points are perfect…. Its all male ego which gets hurt every time.. If you ask a women to change her name its tradition… if a women asks a man the same it becomes “RUDE”. If a Women is forced to wear jewelry (mangalsutra), she is well cultured, if a man is asked it comes to their “MALE EGO” … If a women stays at Men’s Home it is Tradition, If a man stay’s at wife’s Home He is a “Ghar Jamai” a man might dare to do so but the society will call him “Low self esteemed” If a son-in-law asks for a BMW he will get it with full respect (so that he does not torture their daughter) While if a women shops/ spends any amount for her basic needs, “Her parents have transferred responsibility”. If a girl friend questions the authorities she is bold, If a wife questions any one she is “Rude”. If a man registers a property he can flaunt “I am earning”
    If a women is asks to transfer the name “This women has bad intentions”.. A man if he speaks in front of community he is well educated, if a women does that “she has no manners.” The list goes on

  130. Anonymous
    November 13
    Reply

    I agree, traditions bound the women to do a lot for the family. And I am also with all the feminists to do away with the traditions and live the life freely without any bondage and with simple understanding with your partner. If possible both should share household work. Both should be given equal respect at the in-laws. Property should be bought in wife’s name at least when she is earning and contributing.

    Now, the problem is that it all looks “civilized” and “rational” when you look it from one (women’s) side. Can you point me to an article which talks about the hardships taken up by men to run their families. The same tradition which tells a housewife to cook food for the family and take care of household work bounds the husband to earn and feed the family, educate the children and pay for expenses for old parents. Why is it that the men farmers commit suicide when they are not able to feed their families properly. It is because of the same tradition which imparts the sense of responsibility into the men to take care of parents, wife, children and connect socially as well. Doesn’t everyone’s father looks after the needs of the family first before buying anything for himself. Isnt he a man. Isnt a brother taught to share all his belongings, help and protects his sister in all situations.

    Do you see the group of men who continuously work for the betterment of their family (which is the case most of the times) coming out and talking about the what they go through to feed their family? Isnt it common in our society that men even go to the extend of migrating to big cities alone and living in inhuman conditions just to send some money back to support their families (Laborers from Bihar and UP flocking other states, Guys surviving in middle east in inhuman, intolerable conditions just to send back money to their families).

    The problem with modern day feminism is that they do not believe in equality. On one hand they want to live life unbounded and on equal terms with men(no problem), but on the other hand they would ask for reservations and pro-women laws. One hand they want to forgo the traditions and see no bad in shaking a leg with all in Pubs as men do (no problem) but on the other hand they point to the traditional image of a women to ask for courtesy seats in buses, rebate in taxes, property share to which they have contributed nothing, first right to child etc. If the women of today want to be independent and unbounded by any unsaid social rules and regulations, then they should behave as confident, self sufficient creatures and should not ask for special treatment just because of being a woman (As is the case with men). And if they choose to be traditional housewives supporting the family then they should not complaint of household cores and responsibility towards in-laws. In return she should get love and affection from them as well.

    This is becoming a common practice to show the gloomy side of women in this country. Their is no point in talking from just one perspective. Neither women are bad nor are men. But their are a few bad men and bad women.
    We have to understand that both men and women are equally important for the human race. Heeding only to one side of the problems will always lead to a biased and inefficient society.
    Women empowerment in true sense will come only when the women would be willing to stand up to their responsibilities and would be self sufficient rather than shying away from responsibilities and asking for special treatment in everything.

  131. Shantanu
    November 13
    Reply

    I completely agree with the author. I would like to add some more points to it so that society and both genders gets benefited. …. why remove only few, it would be good to remove all the rituals, jewelry, expensive cloths, gold, silver, etc. It will be more fruitful to society to just donate that money for good cause, which you want to waste on lavish wedding. I would also say that feeding the hungry on the day of your wedding will earn a person more love, good wishes than having a big party. I think marriages should be as simple as taking vows around agni and sticking with it. Going to a step forward, It would be logical to add pre-nup to every marriage :). Break the contract and you are free :).

    Frankly speaking I haven’t come across a guy who actually dreams about getting married :P.

    • padhs2k
      November 19
      Reply

      Haha..Shantanu, well, some guys don’t dream about getting married. But almost all guys dream about living their life with their love, aren’t I right? 🙂

      And I respect your views, that marriage shouldn’t be a lavish affair. I did make mine a less lavish one, I hope you can try with yours as well! As for pre-nups, marriages based on love, never are interested in the money. A “good” marriage is never about the money 🙂

  132. November 14
    Reply

    Very nicely written Padma. Not just me, I think evry1 has to agree.
    Since now women are emotionally independent they are realizing n speaking up but society is still the same, male dominating……

    • padhs2k
      November 19
      Reply

      Thanks Sonal. Change is happening..but it is a slow process…we need more changes to occur. And the only way to do it is to speak up and be the change we want to see. What do you say? 🙂

  133. Vishal
    November 14
    Reply

    Firstly, many thanks for letting us know that these are your views. I am quite astounded and enlightened with your blog. My question is then, if you find this is the case (which I think has been over-generalized), why engage with such system at the first place? I have female friends and colleagues who have stood up for their choice of freedom and opinion; to live their life they want to, even after marriage (those who got married). Surprisingly, their partners were looking for those better-halves who have that kind of mindset. The point is this: its about how you’re indoctrinated.

    Another quote directly from the blog, “the woman isn’t angry with every man in the world, she is angry with the system – the system that expects her to get up and do chores in her in-laws place while guys can happily rest their legs in their in-laws’ place”. I mean really? If you feel things ought to be changed, then be the change. Being a feminist because the system is such is like saying that I am corrupt because the system itself is corrupt.

    I am not raising flags against women/feminism. As someone rightly mentioned earlier, feminism has got many shades, however, it shouldn’t be a scientific activity of picking one shade. Are we really talking about empowering women or we are talking about how women should take a stand? If you are talking about the former, then I am sorry to say but you have already defied the very purpose.

    Lastly, it’s sad to see we’re still creating a divide between men and women by calling it a male or female dominated society. I see women are being treated equally and considered independent. If someone feels that it’s not, then I am sorry to say that you have chosen to be suppressed than being suppressed

    PS: Apologies if it came across strong but again, these are my views.

    • padhs2k
      November 19
      Reply

      Hey Vishal,

      No apologies required, each one are entitled to have their own views. And you raised good questions, but you did misunderstand the purpose of the article or the words in the article. There are women everywhere who are going through every single issue that I have mentioned and many more. That doesn’t mean we hate marriage! We love our guy and of course we love our families as well, just like every other normal person in the world. Just because we speak about an issue that arises out of a third party meddling in our marriage, why should we disengage with the marriage system entirely? So I object to your statement on why we should even engage with the system in the first place. If you face an unfair problem in your job, of course you would complain about it, and think about steps on changing it, wouldn’t you? That’s exactly the situation I am trying to raise here.

      And of course, we, the current generation women, are the change, we want to see. Who said we are not the change 🙂 The article is to bring forward to everyone the happenings in the society and what they could do to be different. I hope you read the notes that I put in in the article, which shows how we can do things differently, instead of following what’s been done for centuries together.

      And since I was the one who stated feminism has many shades, I know I am speaking of one such shade. We are talking about not following unfair traditions that doesn’t require to be followed in this current day. I am not speaking of empowering women, women are already empowered. The post is to make both genders to think before following a so-called ritual/tradition blindly, just because their elders have done it.

      The gender inequality is not as high as it was before. But it still is present..in work place- in terms of salary or job position, in a bus, in society everywhere. Just because you don’t see it, it doesn’t mean it’s been wiped out. The article is to present few points of unfairness that occurs after marriage, and how this could be done differently. And btw, women cannot be suppressed, same as how men cannot be suppressed. Do get this!

  134. Another of your kind
    November 18
    Reply

    Hi Padma, I do agree with a lot of points that you have mentioned in your article. I went through many of the comments, however, since the list is huge, I stopped mid-way. I would like to mention one point of view which you and many other women on those forum do realize – often its not the husband who does stuff such as not registering the property in your name. He is “emotionally pressurized” by his parents.

    Someone suggested in one of the post that we should form alliances with the mother and sister-in law, however what they don’t realize is that THEY see us as their enemies. Even though their son/ brother is our husband now, they still see him as their son/ brother and are not ready to accept that you have an equal right to the guy too. When we get married into a new family, we too want to feel part of the new family. After all, they are part of my universe too and not as acquaintances but as extremely important part of life. However, if you don’t even get basic acceptance and respect from the guy’s family then how is it right for them to expect that we should forget our parents and treat them as our “sole” parents from now on since now I am married to their son!!!! Yeah and I don’t even begin to understand this – ever so often I am told by my in-laws that after marriage a girl is reborn and her in-laws are her parents and that she is no longer part of her parents’…. Tell me, is that even possible!!!!! As much as the boy is part of his parent’s body and their value system, so am I.

    Having said this, while most of the women I speak with suffer at the hands of their in-laws, I do come across a very rare few whose in-laws absolutely and in all honesty treat their daughter in laws as they would their own daughter and son. To them I say that they should give as much respect and care and more in return.

    Everyday of my life I pray and hope than when its time for me to be a parent-in-law to another person’s daughter I am able to remember this pain and hurt of the ill-treatment and not do the same to the girl.

    Apologies for such a long post. I didn’t intend it to say so much, it just came out.

    • padhs2k
      November 19
      Reply

      Hi friend!

      I do understand. And nope, your apologies are never required here, your comments, however long or short is welcome. And btw, you should read the names some people have called me and my family, and never thought of apologizing 🙂

      And yes, husbands are stuck in this game as well. Mils, fils, everyone were youngsters, newly married once. I don’t get it why they wish to inflict the pain they went through to their dils! I guess their thought is, if they had to go through a particular aspect in life, however painful it may be, it should be carried forward to their dils too! It sucks, yes. And no, a daughter-in-law is always a daughter-in-law. She can never become a daughter to the in-laws. It may be easy to just say its possible, perhaps in the movies, but in reality it never is. Same as how a son-in-law can never be a son to the in-laws. I think the only way to change their behavior is to show that we women are bold and independent thinkers. It’s hard to fight against them, to make them realize their mistake, so the best way is to ignore whatever they say to hurt us, and just move on with our head held high. Since the husband belongs to our generation, it may help in speaking out to him, and joking about it as a friend. But to complain to husband won’t help.

      All we can do is, just like you said, raise our boys to be bold and treat his woman right. And we, when we grow old, never turn into the person we hated when we were young. I am sure we can do it 🙂

  135. Anonymous
    November 19
    Reply

    Great article! I too have been asking the same question all the time – why me & not him and vise versa. Its very noble of you to pen such instances down. Thanks a lot! Also to add to your article, please dont belittle the word ‘feminists’ as it is for a noble cause too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9SUAcNlVQ4

    • padhs2k
      November 19
      Reply

      Hey Thank you for your comments! Loved to hear your feedback. And I was not belittling feminists, never would I even dream of it as I am one! Feminism can be of many shades. Each person exhibits their feminism in different points of time. It is a character trait which makes them speak up when they see and feel there is unfair gender inequality going on around them. I was just pointing out some few instances which trigger this after marriage. Women everywhere need to speak up to be heard.

  136. Abhijeet
    November 19
    Reply

    Hi Padhma

    I found your blog quite interesting. However I feel you have mixed together a lot of dissimilar concepts to highlight your view that “women do not have the place they deserve”. For instance, you forcefully compare the ideas from Hinduism and Vedas with the post-marriage practices in India.

    Let me discuss why women take the family name (not the husband’s first name) after marriage. Ever wondered why anyone has a surname/family name? It is not to identify you from your namesake – your SSN or PAN card does that for you; rather it is to identify and track the male lineage. Now you ask why “male” lineage? It has a very scientific explanation. Humans have 23 chromosome pairs. One of them is the sex chromosome. A XX chromosome pair is for the female child and XY for the male child. If you look closely, the Y chromosome determines the sex of the child – and only the father can pass it on; not the mother. Also, if the father passes on the X chromosome then naturally the child would be a female. The rishis knew this fact and hence they use the gothra system which identifies the lineage of a person. The child adopts the father’s gothra because it is the father who passes on either X or Y chromosome. Similarly, women take on the husband’s family name simply because her chromosome does not participate is selecting the sex of the child.

    And when you give examples of married couples from other countries I’m sure you are speaking of some very powerful women like Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton or Margaret Thatcher or Marie Curie or Martha Stewart or even the ideal American wife and mother, Marge Simpson. They see no shame in adopting their husband’s family name.

    Your concern is that Hindu religion is male dominated? You cannot be more mistaken!! Let me make a list:

    1. Ramayana was fought for Sita
    2. Mahabharat was fought for Draupadi.
    3. Vishnu is the supreme God in Hinduism. Yet, when Bhrigu kicked Vishnu on his chest, Laxmi took offense and Vishnu had to ask for her forgiveness.
    4. Point 3 applies to Shiva-Parvati as well.
    5. When no man or God could defeat Bhasmasur, Vishnu had to take the form of Mohini to destroy him.
    6. The most powerful deity in the Hindu literature is female – Kali, not a male. She had to step on her own husband, Shiva to calm herself after a war.
    7. There are millions of stories about worshiping mothers in the Hindu literature. How many do you know about worshiping fathers?
    … and the list goes on!

    I do not have the time to discuss every point you mentioned in your post – but I would recommend you do a thorough research before lashing out at deep-root concepts in the Hindu literature. As for the post-marriage practices, the ones you mention are mostly outdated. Nowadays, wives have as much say in the marriage as the husband.Nowadays people have nuclear families, it is the parents who come stay with their children when they need support.

    Thousands of generations have gone into the writing of the Hindu literature. So before you find flaws with a sloka or compare it to a movie, please read about them in the Vedas – not the internet. Just like you wouldn’t use webmd for MBBS or Wikipedia for a BE degree. A billion people wouldn’t follow it if it were that ridiculous.

    In conclusion, I understand you are entitled to your opinion. But what hurts me is that in the process of expressing your opinions you condescend upon thousands of years of knowledge and beliefs.

    Abhijeet

    • padhs2k
      November 27
      Reply

      Hi Abhijeet,

      That’s a long response, but I appreciate your feedback. Well first off, let me say, I was not condescending thousands of years of knowledge or belief, I was just stating the facts that is present. If that seemed condescending to you…it means it really is condescending, right?

      And I want to respectfully state, I am a Biology student as well, I’m well aware of the chromosome concept. But you forget, both chromosomes are equally important to get a child! A man cannot give birth to a child on his own, neither can a woman do it by herself. Since they play an equal part in the child birth process, why not keep the initials of both to the child? Some are doing this, but this needs to be widely adopted. Anyways, the chromosomal reason is never an excuse to keep just the father’s initials to the child.

      Btw, I never said there is shame in a wife taking her husband’s name or her father’s name. I am saying, why is it easily accepted by society when a wife takes the name of her husband, but IF a guy takes his wife’s name, they ridicule him. This is unfair, don’t you think?

      And all that you have stated about Hindu religion..I don’t want to get into each of those, I can but I won’t 🙂 Merely because, I am not bringing religion into the picture here. IF you just mean the translation of the marriage sloka, please feel free to let me know if any of my translation is incorrect. But I am sure it is not. Anyways, all I am saying society is treating men in a different way and women in a different way after they are married. In other words, it expects some things out of women but never from men. They both are equal partners in life, and they need to be treated the same way. There is no concept of religion or Hindu literature coming into play here.

    • padhs2k
      November 27
      Reply

      Want my honest opinion? I don’t feel the same way as the author of that article. Every person is different. Not every woman has to think alike, just like not every man thinks alike.
      In my article, I am not speaking about clothes. I am speaking about daughter-in-laws getting equal respect from in-laws, just like the son-in-laws. No biological factor comes into play here.

  137. Sarita Tomar
    January 5
    Reply

    Dear Author,
    I appreciate you for bringing out these points on behalf of most of the woman. It is a great description of our Indian wedding rituals.
    Now let us focus on some real facts. According to your article both the couple should say bye-bye to their family, guy should also wear manglasutra or something.

    Kanyadaan is a ritual that means that the “girl is now part of her new family” that does not mean that boy is not a part of her family too. Coming to your “Bye-Bye” concept. Do not you think that it’s been exaggerated? I mean common let us think about both the parents. If every couple will just go and settle alone what about the parents? Who will look after them? I will go to my husband’s house and my sister-in-law will come to our house. But that does not mean I or my sister-in-law will lose all rights to see and care our respective families or it binds my husband not to look after my family? Again it depends on individual. So point is that man should treat her wife family equally.
    Now let’s us consider this one. Before marriage, cooking and cleaning is just a help for our moms. But I wonder why it becomes such a big task or assignment if we do it after marriage? By the way I like your idea of living with both of the parents. We can work on that.

    So “manglasutra” now! Well I do not think that wearing a manglasutra is a big deal. But can you imagine your husband wearing “a manglasutra and a bindi for that sake? HHMMMMM…..
    Now if in-laws ask their daughter-in-law about her whereabouts and office work than it is very positive that her in-laws are concerned about her safety as she is living with them and they are responsible for her security and health too. I am sure if man will start living with their in-laws than they would be asked same questions. Not to forget that our parent ask us these questions too. So why to take it so negatively? It is just because they are in-laws not our parents? Point is that parents should ask their son about his whereabouts also.

    I am a woman. I am proud to be a woman. But I think we should not to hype such small issues. We are much stronger and eligible to speak and raise our voice on big issues such as crime against woman, child and old-age. 🙂 🙂

    • pallavi
      January 5
      Reply

      1. Man should treat her wife family equally? like how exactly? doing the chores at her place or by giving a monthly maintenance fee to the family ?
      2. Men looking after the parents is the reason behind female foeticide in india… And what about families having only girl child? is it destined for those parents to live alone just because system dictate living with husband’s parents. Kaanyadaan.
      3. what about women who never did cooking and cleaning before marriage? or if they hate doing it ? then is it ok to treat it as an assignment… and why is it a womens’ job , is the real question?
      4. Its not about husband wearing mangalsutra. its about women who are made to wear it but don’t want to. why the fuss?
      5. Just because a girl is living with a family, she shouldn’t be treated as anybody’s liability or agenda. Nobody is responsible for an anybody’s security & health. Its individual responsibility. Or you have a spouse for the same to take care of each other. why rest of the world is so curious is the question? and the problem most of the time is not question but interrogation.
      6. Living with both the parents. Like how again?
      See the system needs to be flexible with changing times. It can’t be always according to convenience and fancy of men. And marriage in india is all about it. Society deciding the pattern of living rather than two people who are married.

      • Sarita Tomar
        January 5
        Reply

        1. Only money or doing the chores cannot justify equal treatment. We all are adult and mature to choose the right way to treat our in-laws as our parents. A genuine care and small efforts can make a huge difference.
        2. Now just to clarify the point of “Kanyadaan”. Kanyadaan never forced a girl to stop caring and meet her parents. Coming to “Only girl child” point? Yeah that is the point of concern. That’s where a Man should take stand to support his wife’s family. But can you answer for those “sons” who has to leave their parents because of his wife just on the name of privacy? Is it justified?
        3. Cooking and cleaning is not at all woman’s job. But how about creating an environment where both husband & wife contribute to all these works? Point is why most of women are sometimes only concerned about their husband and themselves? If it is right for woman than why a man who cares for his family is wrong?
        4. Forcing woman to wear “mangalsutra” is not at all correct. We should fight for it. But the point is why we want to force man to wear mangalsutra? What will be difference between old dominated people and us? Why cannot we fight for us only without involving man-woman discrimination?
        5. Well caring for someone and treating someone as a liability are totally opposite things. And it’s only in-laws I wrote about, not the whole world. If woman treat their in-laws as rest world in the name of feminism, than I guess they should read the definition of feminism. Also if a woman can answer her parent for her whereabout than what’s a big deal in telling her in-laws? The point is Man should be asked too by his parents. Also why are we getting so rigid about few things sometime? Why cannot we see other aspects of it?
        6. Living with both the parents!! Yes of course. Why cannot both the parents share that bond where they can enjoy and spend a jolly time together? Why cannot we have more transparency between both the families? Why to blame rituals for that?
        Believe you me I will follow all rituals after my marriage. Also if I have to fight against any ritual, than I will specifically fight against it rather than dragging a specific gender into the same mess. And that’s my major concern. All women are not same, so all men are not same. We should respect both the genders rather than blaming a specific gender for all wrong things.

        • padhs2k
          January 6
          Reply

          Well first of all, no one is forcing a man to wear a mangal sutra. 🙂 Btw, even if they wear it, why not?? I mean, in weddings, we just do what the pundit says. At least, a majority of us. If there was a ritual that stated that guys should wear it, I think we would follow it. My point is, we are following rituals just because we are told to do so, or- because someone before us have done that, we are made to follow that. So I say, we should start asking questions.

          And btw, nowhere has a specific gender been blamed 🙂 I have blamed the marriage system, and by that I mean, many elderly people, women and men both, who have been following rituals, who impart the same to their children. That said, after marriage, there are so many rituals Sarita. Each person is different. Best wishes for a happy married life!

          • Misra
            January 6

            Padma, you are basically questioning the existing set of rules saying they are made by others. Disregarding them, you are also putting your own set of rules like swimming the tide or fashion or remove mangalasutra. Every generation thought just like you and imaging a reformer in them. However, you are no different than those – infact by utilizing powerful social platforms, you are worse than them. The current rules that ‘suffered’ you are set by people same as you who are arrogantly stubborn on their own ideas. Whoever put the existing rules – if you say, it was right then and it is rational to say, for now you are feeling your set of ideas are right – but can you assure that your set of ideas will keep both the sexes with contempt, satisfaction and happiness?

            Knowing this I think you should stop attempting to polarize people.You may be imagining credit for reforming society thru ur ideas and blog. You are just grouping and de-grouping people with certain predispositions – some like and some dislike. I mean to say this blog is nothing but organized junk of data failing it’s agenda of reforming.

            If you want to live in certain way, do it and try reforming yourself, to be and share happiness and not hatred to anything even the marriage system that has proven it’s strength over ages. Again, you are worse than your earlier generation – they set their rules that suffered u now, and you are setting ur rules to suffer upcoming generations. If your opinion is that ‘rules should not be there’, let me know, I will resign arguing with you considering you as a school going kid….thx

      • padhs2k
        January 6
        Reply

        I agree that everyone needs to flow with the current changing system. I mean we want to be wearing the latest clothes, be with the current trend..so why not do a mental make over as well, right? 🙂

    • padhs2k
      January 6
      Reply

      Hi Sarita,

      Nice to know your views. Well first, every woman should be proud to be born as a woman, and every woman deserves equal importance — AND — equal respect as a man. As for what you state as “small” issues – how do you even define which issue is small and which is not?? Everything that is wrong is wrong. Period. There is no small issue or big issue. Each person might be experiencing a variation of intensity in each of these issues. So what may seem “small” to you, may not be to someone else.

      There are so many rituals in a wedding. I picked Kanyadaan and explained the history behind it. That is all. My point was that the reasoning behind Kanyadaan can be accepted if there is similar ritual for the girl’s side. Do you know that a ritual exists where the bride’s parents have to wash the feet of the groom? Nobody can accept their parent doing this, but still a woman goes through this, because “it is one of the rituals in a wedding”. My point is question the rituals first. And decide whether to follow it or not.

      And as for parents, I NEVER stated to leave the parents alone. If you read my post again, I believe I have stated, what is applicable to groom’s parents is applicable to bride’s parents as well. In other words, parents are parents. They are elderly people who would need care in their old age. So why leave the bride’s parents alone and live with the groom’s parents? Will a groom accept to do that? A majority of them wouldn’t. I am saying treat both side parents with equal importance.

      As for mangal sutra, why not? In the olden days, as per our mythology books, Mangal sutra was worn by guys as well. As were the anklets. And bindi. And necklaces. Of course you would know that as well. For some reason, this practice slowly faded away. Mangal sutra is not worn by ladies too. But it is still present in a wedding ritual. I am not saying we do not need this ritual, I am saying, can you imagine your guy bending his head down while you tie the thread? Nope it can’t be done. Because that is the society we live in. We expect men to be masculine and powerful and women to be feminine and adjusting. I am saying we should shred this.

      As for in-laws, would the same in-laws question their son about his salary? Why are some subjects off-limits for a guy but not off-limits for a woman?

      There is no negativity here. I am just pointing out the facts present in the society. If every woman accepts to everything just because it is how it has been forever, there won’t be any growth. By growth I mean, a woman needs to be aware that she is as dignified, as powerful, as equal as a man. She is not physically strong compared to men, agreed, but that doesn’t mean she should agree to everything that is not equal in the society.

  138. January 22
    Reply

    Dear author,

    This is a well-written article. I appreciate and very much respect your views. I also agree with most of them. I am using your blog as a forum to voice some of my personal opinion regarding the whole issue around feminism.

    First of all, I disagree with the title of your blog. I don’t think our social system changes women into feminists, I feel it changes women into man-haters. Your title actually connotes that feminism is bad. This is also corroborated by your saying that bold women are labeled feminists. There is nothing wrong with being a feminist. We should all believe and strive for gender equality. It is education that lets people — both men and women — appreciate equality, and I believe most educated (I don’t mean having a college degree, but I use the word educated in its real sense) people in contemporary world do realize the need for gender equality. However, even the educated and independent women often fail to understand the difference between feminism and man-hate. I personally know a number of women who consider themselves feminists, but their words and actions are pretty much anti-men, as if they want to get back at men to the extent of trying to control, suppress, and even sometimes abuse them. This is so much against the very spirit of feminism.

    We have to realize that it is not just Indian society and marriage system, it has been the human society that has assigned gender roles — “Man earns the bread, and woman takes care of the household and bears children!”. Only recently has the roles started to change. Women have started to rightly want equality. We must give time to the society to evolve and adapt, and we must be an active part for the change.

    Religion may justify mangalsutra in whatever way it wants, but anthropologically, such things have been used to demonstrate a man’s claim over (his) women. Yes, it should change; I do not believe it should persist. Yet, I see so many women who, while at one side dislike the tradition, also invest so much thought and energy into buying the most fashionable mangalsutra available. Do I sense hypocrisy here?

    The same applies to changing the name. Things have changed. Most people now leave it as a choice to women whether they want to do it or not. With the name comes one’s identity, and no one should be made to give up their identity after marriage. Yet, many women happily decide to change the names. I have heard the argument that they do not want to have a different last name than their partner and their kids. Fail enough. One’s name, one’s choice.

    That brings to point why the kids should bear father’s name. Well, unfortunately, human society has evolved patriarchally, where property has passed from father to son(s); hence, the children must bear father’s name. You should note that society’s experiments with matriarchy have all failed, and almost all such societies have ceased to exist. You think there might be a deeper social/biological reason? (Look up some examples to study why they failed). My point is — This patriarchal structure has evolved over tens of thousands of years, and the whole notion of gender equality is still infant at best — 60 years, you’d say? We need to give it some time to find a natural balance, rather than hating men or indian traditions as such. We need to identify the real problem rather than calling out for its manifestations.

    Regarding naming the property, since you asked, I will tell you; in my family, my house is registered in my mother’s name. My sister’s house is registered jointly in her and her husband brother-in-law’s name. When I buy my house, I will have it jointly in my and my wife’s name. I cannot go around asking people about this as it is a very private matter, but I am very positive that many of my friends have joint registrations.

    Equality starts at home. Each guy should do things for his partner to make her status equal to his. Let’s not belittle anyone. No one expects you to call your partner “asp”, or touch his feet, or cook for him, etc. I believe in a much simpler balance in marriage. You do what you do best, and I do what I do best. If you are a better cook that I am, then you be the chef in the kitchen, and I will do the dishes, and I will cut the veggies. That does not mean I am assigning you a gender role. If I manage finances better than you, then I will file your taxes as well. (and vice versa). Once again, it doesn’t mean this is a gender role.

    My objection goes out to those “feminist” women who do not understand the notion of equality and yet expect it. “These women, when they were single, tend to be bold, confident ones, who question authority if required”. Quoting you, (most) such women also want to be with a man who can take care of them. Many gender roles are hardwired into the genes. If you are a working independent woman who is equal to your man, why should you expect your partner to earn more than you? Why won’t you respect a man who earns less than you? If you are equal, then why is chivalry still appreciated? Why is opening doors still considered a sign of a “gentleman”? If man and woman have the same strengths and responsibilities, why can’t they have same vulnerabilities? Why does a man in touch of his emotions considered weak? Women often complain about sexual harassment at work, but I can bet my ass that still a good number of educated women don’t mind dressing up nicely and go out with a client/superior with ulterior motives — a raise, a promotion, an onsite opportunity? I feel the moment you do so, you give up your right to cry foul. If you as a woman would not like to be asked questions about your sexual life from a potential partner, what gives you a right to ask such things from him? If a man abuses a woman, it is violence, it is wrong in so many worldly ways, but a woman does the same, then she must have been brought to that situation? She must have had to suffer so much that she had to do that? There are so many things wrong about the world from the other perspective as well. A woman is equal to a man! She should never ever try to push a man down either. I can go on and give more examples, but I must stop here.

    All I would like to summarize is that let’s all be feminists. Let’s all try to find equality. But let’s not be man haters. I personally know so many wonderful guys out there who are more than willing to give you your freedom and equality. Find one and make sure you work with him day by day on fixing things!

    And to men, I would say that in no possible way can you ever consider yourselves to be the better gender. You should stand for equality, and hope you can deserve that, because a woman does so many things for you that you may never be able to return the favor for. So appreciate the woman in your life and do your best to make her feel that you do.

  139. January 22
    Reply

    The women in India is definitely discriminated, but I dont think the marriage system is responsible for that. We are moving from a culture oriented society to money oriented. In fact , today earning money is became more important than following the best practices of our culture. Many things in the indian culture are taught to us as gods words or wishes. But there is science, psychology and social science behind those practices. Today we are failing to understand those. That is the reason why we started questioning our fundamentals.

  140. February 9
    Reply

    Forget about the traditions, ‘husband’ who speaks about treating his wife so equally should understand this. He should think that treating his wife’s parents the same way as wife treats his parents IS important. And husband doing chores in in-law house is no shame or crime. If HE breaks the barrier to mingle with his in-laws as his wife does she will never have any problem sitting in front of the agni heads down. The tradition has been changed over centuries and now we are in a male chavanized world. It is men and MOTHER of those men who has to think about it.

    • padhs2k
      February 10
      Reply

      Yes. All women folk should try to bring up their sons to understand they are equal to women and not superior beings. That would reduce most of the issues in marriages. At least in our generation I hope this changes. For now, women should stay strong and speak up, that would be the only solution!

  141. It s a feminist post agreed. But this has serious tones of aping the west. For starters you can change to christianity. But unfortunately even in the west, everything is done as the guy wishes(last name and stuff) and there is not as much equality as you dream of. FYI this I learnt during my present stay in Wien. Two, I wish to remain single 😀 Since, I dont want to create more feminists 😀

    • padhs2k
      February 10
      Reply

      Ahh! Another post which truly misconstrues what the post’s intent is for. It is difficult to change people who never want to change. It is those people who speak about something that is never really the issue here. Not that it would be your concern, but I wish to say I love being a Hindu, and would stay a Hindu. So nope, I am propagating any religion here. That said, again, we are not aiming to ape the West, the West is not so awesome as India, as you might think. I and so many other women just want to be treated as equals before and after marriage. Well…good luck on your single life!

    • Jitu K
      April 1
      Reply

      Completely agree with you, but not on not creating feminists. For me, they are nature’s best creation and it’s very funny watching them behave completely stupid & disoriented, irritating the elders. Like a small kid playing in mud in his just washed white school uniform on a sunday 😀

  142. Sandhya Rajasekhar
    February 12
    Reply

    I just keyed this in and was feeling ‘guilty’, when i stumbled upon your page!
    This is what i wrote in my personal word file:

    Last night when my niece reminded me that she was travelling the next morning by the 6 am Shatabdi to Bangalore, there was consternation at home. Why? Because she had booked a taxi for the early morning hour . Not that she is not capable of going on her own. She booked her own tickets from her workplace, packed her things, called the taxi service to book a cab. She has travelled alone by train and bus any number of times. The problem was the man in the street at the wee hours of the morning and after Uber, the man in the taxi who would drive her to the station.
    Most women don’t act independently not because they are not capable, but because of the man in the street. One act of ‘independence’ (something that is routine for a man) and women are worried about causing tension to the man in the house and attracting the attention of the man in the street.
    Today Indian women are akin to the domestic lizards and rats that hide at the sight of a human or a cat. Strangely, women belong to the same species as men! The roads, the vehicles, the buildings, why, this civilization itself, belong to both women and men. Is that so difficult to understand?
    The great poet Rabindranath Tagore prayed to God:
    Where the mind is without fear/ and the head is held high…
    …Into this heaven of freedom my father/ let my country awake

  143. Jitu K
    April 1
    Reply

    Pehli baar padne se bilkul agyaat “naari morcha” ke vichaar lage. But then I know, it actually is ignorance of what you see everyday being followed but have never asked or been answered or if did asked and ansered, never understood. Thank god there are still many Indians who actually know why we do things in our culture.

    BTW, I too am like you. Just 28 and wonder why, of all the eternal wisdom my ancestors had, did they start doing this. But I’ve started to search the answers, rather than abuse one of most beautiful rituals known to mankind, they are at least in my opinion.

    I too used to get mad at my mother for ritauls she followed but wont be able to justify to me. But found couple of articles online like “why we offer milk to Shiva on shivratri” .. why sindoor is put on by women. And believe me I was awed by the reasons/answers, I mean that really show how great the people who formed our culture were. And after that I never got mad at rituals, now I only try to find why we do this cause I’m sure it isn’t for nothing.

    Today, ignorant people abuse the things they dont know instead of trying to find the answers themselves and other ignorants just “go girl” them … Indians, today, have become THE MOST DISORIENTED people, thanks to people like you, who are so delighted with the English ways of life, as they still think them to be better than ours even after being ruled in worst ever way for 200 years, that they dont put in efforts to understand their own glorious culture. I’d agree to the point that we dont explain the culture to younger generation which I think is actually what RSS / VHP should be doing instead of their brute force ways.

    It’s like saying “it’s stupid that I fall down after I jumped” because you dont know about gravity. Next time instead of wasting your time on abusing your own “not at all known” culture, why not try to find out that “why” yourself ?

    How much efforts have you put in to knowing the things about your culture that you’ve given up on it ?!

    • Misra
      April 1
      Reply

      Feminist Leader Deepika Padukone said, mychoice for sex out of marriage etc etc…

      it is clearly evident that author has similar line of thought like things told in “mychoice video”…if this author told 99 things, deepika padukone told the 100th thing also to go and have extra-marital sex.

      it is evident that “any women with character (not just Indian)” should ignore these line of thoughts expressed in the blog and be the great “Indian Woman” who is world’s No.1 for centuries and shun the western promiscuous ‘line of thoughts’ expressed in the blog …..

      • padhs2k
        April 5
        Reply

        What’s western about this? 🙂

        • Misra
          April 6
          Reply

          having promiscuous mindset is labelled as western….

    • padhs2k
      April 5
      Reply

      There are no “English ways” in anything I said. Btw, I never mentioned abut Sindoor or Shiva, so why muddle things up? If you can bring up good arguments about why a guy shouldn’t give up his parents, and why only a woman should — or — if you can say why he can sit back and relax in his inlaws home, whereas a woman is expected to work – then go on, please bring up points from “our culture”. Come on, nowhere in our “culture” are those mentioned. Only people who are scared for changes go hide behind the name of Indian culture. Indian culture is beautiful, just don’t make up rituals of your own and call it Indian culture.

  144. Jitu K
    April 1
    Reply

    I hope you wont ask us men, to give birth to children in name of equality, will you ? And do we need to wear saree / backless chanya-choli / salwaar kurta to show our support for gender inequality ?
    And I actually request my girlfriend to wax regularly. Does that come under gender inequality ?!

    • padhs2k
      April 5
      Reply

      You know the answer to all your questions. If you are strong enough to handle being a woman, which I doubt, good luck with everything.

  145. First of all kudos to your effort to really come out & talk about it.

    I share your thoughts as well. I’ve seen in my own family how things change for both women & men after marriage. I’ve questioned many times why things should work the way it is.

    I think the answer lies in how every family operates. Let me give you a different perspective to solve this problem.

    Almost all the families raise their Son & Daughter the same way, but when they marry their son the mother-in-law expect all the things from their daughter-in-law that once she/her daughter complains about.

    The frustrating thing for me is, most of the mother-in-law’s forgets that she is once a daughter-in-law. To solve this epidemic, I think every daughter should educate/remember their dad & Mom how she/he treats their daughter-in-law. Who else she can be more comfortable to discuss about this topic other than their own parents !

    This is how we can hope to see change with the system….

  146. Anonymous
    July 23
    Reply

    heyyy.thats something I too had in my mind always. I always wondered ,what happened to me after marriage? Why all of a sudden I started hating boys, when I had many boys as friends, two brothers and lots of cousins whom I am close to.
    Later I realized that is because I couldn’t find anything supporting me when everything was common between a man and woman. Many stories were there and happened after that. But nowhere I found anyone supporting me or my wishes.

    • padhs2k
      July 24
      Reply

      Story of our every woman’s life, right? But don’t worry, every woman is behind you..we all feel the same way. The best way to get support is through friends. If you talk to a woman friend about your problems, you would be surprised at how much your life is similar to her’s. Every body is stuck in this stage not knowing what to do..the only way we can get out of it is to realize it’s our life that we are living, not someone else’s, and we have to do things that makes us happy.

Yes, go on, tell me what you think!