Marriage is one of the most important traditions in India. Since childhood we are told that men are supposed to study and work hard to support their (future) family and women are supposed to do all the supposedly womanly activities to raise a family. The definition of gender roles comes from one lie which we have been hearing since ages that our ultimate purpose in life is to get married and have a family and this is not only for women but also for men. The only difference between the ways this is carried out for different genders is that women are asked to marry at an early age than men are! But as with every other thing and tradition, in this case also, women suffer more. They have to bear more pressure, learn all kind of things, and live their life in a certain manner till the time they get married. And when they get married, the story goes on…They have to live their life according to their husband’s choice. But I have one question to ask. As it is very clear from above mentioned societal facts that a woman’s life is dictated throughout by outside parties, which are not, by the way, third parties, they are her own parents and husband, then where is her freedom to live? A woman is supposed to wear certain kind of clothes, get her priorities straight in which cooking and wearing a saree are the topmost. Her life is almost throughout dominated by those around her. Where is a woman in our free independent society given the freedom to wear what she wants, eat what she wants, cook or not cook, clean the house or not clean the house, have male friends or not have male friends, have that extra share of milk or not have that extra share of milk? Everything she does before her marriage (for almost 22 years) will somehow affect the fact whether she will get married or not. Not only that, it will also impact her married life and her roles as a wife and a daughter in-law. And I am not even talking about the problems we face outside our houses. In buses, in rails, on roads, in restaurants, in offices, in parties, in schools, in hospitals, everywhere we have to be a four eyed ultra energetic superhuman always ready to fight. Oh wait, we can’t even do that, because women are supposed to be silent and submissive. The problem lies not in the attitude of society, the problem lies at home.
Who makes the society?
Who brought about these notions of women having to get married to get contentment from their lives?
Why can’t women just be on their own?
When we bring a new human being into the world, we can move mountains. And if our society is still unsure about that, then we need to show them the change we are capable of bringing. By being on our own, by demanding the education we deserve, by demanding our rights and above all by demanding the respect and honor we deserve not only as human being but also as a woman.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Rashmi Bagri, our intern.