Today we live in a country where a man is allowed to rape but a woman is not allowed to masturbate.
Yes, I'm starting off my post with this line. I have written enough posts about feminism, prejudice and female genocide. And yet I can go on and on. Because no matter what, there always will be something to write about regarding the trouble a woman has to face in our country. The reason I am writing about this again is that I heard two woman in my apartment talking about a third woman. They were talking about how the third lady dresses in modern clothes and is the perfect target for rape. A few days later I heard them talk about another woman, saying that she would never be able to get married as she is "black". It is so easy to blame a woman for everything. The saddest part is that more than men, it is the women who inflict such prejudices on well, women.
I did a little research on this topic among my friends, colleagues and neighbors and these are a few atrocities that I found. Daughters of a house are not expected to speak to their fathers. Every conversation should happen through the mother. This rule is more often than not imposed by the mother itself. And the mother chooses the clothes the daughter has to wear. She needs to be tamed you see, else she might spoil the family name. It is so irritating to listen to such things. A girl is expected to learn cooking and cleaning just so that she can please her husband and his family. And the onus of this lies on the mother who goes out of her way to make sure that her daughter lives up to her expectations. She is taught to behave properly and respect others irrespective of how terrible the others might be. I am so glad that my mother did not impose any such rules on me and I'm so proud of her for letting me be. No, she did not raise me like a son. She raised me as a daughter who was given the liberty to make her own choices.
The feedback I got from married women were splendid. Everyone has something to say and so did I. Mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws are never known to get along any way. But the various reasons that come with it are something to watch out for. The main problem that mother-in-laws have with her son's wives is that, their sons treat their wives the way they expected their husbands to treat them, but never got it. Today every man is mature enough to understand the good and bad. They even know how to respect women. But such men are considered hen-pecked by their mothers as they give their wives freedom, when their own husbands restricted theirs. It is the typical 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' logic you see. If I did not get freedom, why should you?
A girl who has lived in her parent's house for all her life is expected to move seamlessly into her husband's house. She leaves her parents and her whole life behind and walks into an unknown jungle. The least that she expects is to have her mother-in-law understand her as she too has gone through all this. But no, she is in for a surprise. Remember that dialogue from Queen where Rajkummar Rao's mother tells Kangana "Ek baar tum is ghar mein aajao, phir meri chutti", that is the concept all Indian mother-in-laws seem to follow. They expect to give away their rusty baton to their daughter-in-laws and then they want to rule them with an iron fist. For God's sake, this is 2015! When will these things change?
The blame game is apparent after marriage. If the girl wakes up late, it means her parents have not brought her up properly. Their sons can sleep till dusk, but if a woman does that then she needs to be tamed. If she can't cook then they blame her mother. If she can cook, then they blame her mother for not teaching her the right recipes. If the son wants to move out of the house with his wife, then she has brainwashed him. The fact that the girl left her house of many years to come live with this man is conveniently forgotten. But when the son chooses to do the same, they blame the wife. The son loses weight after marriage, blame the wife for not cooking food for him. If the son puts on weight after marriage, blame the wife for not cooking food for him due to which he has to eat outside food due to which he is putting on weight. Had they put so much thought on the fact that their daughter-in-law is actually some one's daughter, then this situation would not have arisen at all.
If the daughter-in-law is a working woman then all hell breaks loose. If the son understands the plight of his wife and chooses to help or support her, they should be proud that their sons are so understanding. But no. Curse the girl for influencing the mind of their son. If mothers think that their sons can so easily change their mind and opinions based on their wife's talk then that shows the trust that these women have on their sons. And it speaks oodles about their upbringing as well. They are just not able to believe that their own sons know how to respect women, inspite of both the parents not knowing the meaning of it. I feel so blessed to not have gone through any of such things as I'm married into a wonderful and supportive family. But my heart goes out to the women who have to undergo such torment everyday.
It is very easy to point fingers and blame the girl, but what people fail to realize is that with every finger pointed at her there are four fingers pointed back at them. For every question raised, there are a million answers that they are not capable of hearing. In this era where everyone is trying to blame the woman, the least a woman can do is stand by another woman instead of adding to her woes. But then again, who is listening?