Marriage, Family Dynamics and Economics
The paper lays out the far-flung issues existing in today’s society. I would like to focus on two issues the issue of working woman and domestic help, and marriage.
Marriage as an institution of patrilineal virilocality and the family as an institution is based on patriarchy are unequivocal. If we bring fundamental rights into a family and if every individual in the family is treated as free and equal citizens, then the family is destined to collapse!
Talking about marital rape and why it isn’t recognised, a number of marriages in India will collapse if this happens, as it points out at the violence in the family but family being a place for nurturance doesn’t have a place for violence, so recognition of marital rape is a threat to the foundational characteristic of a family. The state helps the capitalists and patriarchal men to impose their rules on other, family always has a hierarchy and power division, this power division is further linked to social class and gender identity. The worst sufferers of this system are women and homosexual (Queer people) as the patriarchy has a spectrum of intolerance of differences. They can’t tolerate unmarried woman, a woman who adopts a child, childless woman, same-sex couple, transgender: all these people who try to live a legitimate life and want to govern their own life aren’t accepted.
Another shocking thing which makes me hate marriage is that woman has to be dislocated from the parental family to make the marriage work, how are things equal between husband and wife then? Husband doesn’t make any sacrifice but the wife has to turn her world upside down to make the marriage work. In an arrange marriage, a woman will sacrifice all the conform of her life for a man who retains all the comfort of his life and a man who will also treat her like a worker and sex slave most probably, where is equality? And woman’s right?? I personally find this virilocality very problematic because if someday I want to get married then I will have to leave my mother behind and I will have no right to take care of my mother, my mother who has given her sweat and blood to bring me up from the scratch!! The in-laws’ family is new just for the wife. Why always woman has to make all the sacrifices? I find it ridiculous, I should have equal right to take care of my parents as my husband will have, why should a girl abandon her parents, her name, her friends, her comfort to get treated like a servant whose work is seen as duty rather than real labour.
Who says we live in 21st century when a PHD scholar commits suicide due to dowry. This reality is romanticized by the society. My mother tells me that whenever she used to think or tried to do something for herself then her father always used to say “do all this after marriage” but her marriage was just end of her individual life because she has to have children and take care of them and even then make food for the whole family and clean the house etc. I wonder, when will she ever get a chance to live? Marriage should be optional and free, I don’t see myself ever getting married, marriage sucks!!
Marriage doesn’t promote equality rather its end of woman’s dreams and desire.
Reference: Menon. N (2012), Seeing like a Feminist. Chapter 2: Family
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article is written by Prakriti Pandia, our intern.