Tame Her, Else Blame Her

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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?

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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?

24 comments:

  1. Soumya you nailed it. This hypocrisy when it comes to women by men and women, I don't get it at all. Khana acha se pakaye nahin the woman fault, the husband forgetting to bring kids to the park, he must be tired. I have always believed when a couple get married they should stay separately no matter how good parents are. It matters a lot.

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  2. What a brilliant post Soumya!! Every word is so true about the plight of Indian women.
    These groups of ladies can be found everywhere,whose business is just talking about other women's attire and judging them.
    I have even seen mothers-in-laws who talk so highly about their working sons but don't care a damn about their working dils (who by the way manage job, home, kids and everything else in between)
    I have only 3 words to such women : SHAME ON YOU!

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    1. It is so irritating to meet such people. But when will these things change?

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  3. You know, like you said, I am also lucky enough to have married into a supportive family. My mother in law has never been spiteful to me, ever, and I am glad.
    But these issues that you have highlighted exist, and yes, it is always women who propagate hate against other women. Don't know if it's envy or senseless overpossessiveness over the son or what.
    I have faced instances where women contemptuously make this remark about me "You don't look married." Help me understand, how does a person "look" married? Do they look battered and tortured? And why the contempt?
    I could go on... but zipping it.

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    1. Envy, overpossessiveness and insecurity mostly.

      Even I get that "You don't look married" more often than not. I don't understand what that is supposed to mean.

      Women have problems with other women. Period.

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  4. It is always the Indian women's fault. It's not just MILs who blame their DILs, but vice versa too. The FIL, hubby and BIL can throw a tantrum an hour, but it is all accepted and forgiven, because "they are men". Oh but if the MIL or SIL does something old-fashioned or weird or just plain bad, that's the story that's repeated to the wife's own mom and her girl friends!
    If there is a female divorcee living in the building, it's the females of the society who talk bad about her behind her back.
    God, I could go on and on!

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    1. If only women came together to accept other women as they are.

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  5. When women don't stand up for other women, I don't know what to say. Perhaps they have nothing better to do or their minds are really empty, either way I would like to steer clear of such people with swollen heads and only rubbish on their tongues.

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  6. I agree Soumya. Women often are the ones who brings about such prejudices and injustice to other women. Men are becoming more supportive but his mother can ruin things for his wife. Have seen many instances . I have faced
    a few such insults for being dark , for not knowing to cook like a master chef and stuff. But as they were strangers whom I didn't respect or love, I was able to ignore them. But I can imagine the pain that would come if family members resort to such discriminations and taunts. Daughter in laws are sometimes treated as shrews who needs to be tamed. It is pathetic.
    Very well written.

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    1. Thank you Preethi for reading.

      I don't know why some women just cannot accept other women the way they are. Live and let live. This would have made things so simple.

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  7. We have spoken so much about this topic, time and again, but it never ends, does it? It's a very pathetic state of affairs that more than men, women are more into this blaming game. How could they be so callous? Next time, when you see those 2 women in your apartment discussing such things, give them a piece of your mind, I say.

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    1. Never shall, never will. I might give them a piece of my shoe as well :P

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  8. While I agree with everything what you have written I want to bring to your notice another side of the picture where woman harasses another woman and in my case it's opposite when a lady in my acquaintance uses the feminist arguments to harass and use her elderly mother-in-law!! When she spend the whole day lying lazily in her room gossiping with her kins and let her MIL do all the house chores and when she complains being older than her, she starts fighting and cursing her in laws for ruining her life. And that makes me wonder if feminism is failing to reach the correct audience!! and instead becoming a weapon of hatred in the hands of wrong people.

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    1. I do understand that the other side very much exists. Either ways it is woman vs woman.

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  9. Nice post Soumya.:) Irrespective of gender, no one has right to mock at others. Every has their own life and reasons. In contrast, ignorance is bliss, as some people never change.

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    1. Being ignorant will not help in this case. This needs to be spoken about.

      Thanks Rashmi :)

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  10. It is very difficult to live and let live.. the couple should get together with each other and be there for each other.. once they realize that their priority in life is them and not anybody else... things will be better.. ofcourse this requires maturity from both...

    also its human nature to find faults with others... the trick is how to ignore :)

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    1. It is all up to the couple as to who they want to handle. If you master the art of ignoring, then that is the best.

      Thank you Art for reading :)

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  11. I agree that women hamper the growth of other women! Maybe it is jealousy.

    Well written! :)

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    1. Jealousy is definitely one of the factors. Thanks Pooja :)

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  12. The post is perfect and there is so much more to it that happens around with all of us. The quote that you have put up, it's lovely and that's exactly what my MIL is..! and I love her to the core, because she loves me the way I am and encourages to be me :)

    Cheers

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