#Art + Culture

Was The Viral Feminist Matrimonial Ad A Prank? Here’s The Story Behind It

feminist matrimonial ad
A feminist matrimonial advertisement in the newspaper caught the attention of thousands online earlier this month. It looked for a match for an “opinionated” woman with “short hair, piercings” with a man who was well-built, knew cooking and wasn’t a burper or farter.

“Did someone put out a matrimonial ad for me,” comedienne Aditi Mittal wrote on social media June 15, sharing a snippet of it, prompting a legion of women to appreciate the perfectly crafted anti-patriarchy notice. It was one quite literally, since the ad asked for potential rishtas to be sent on an id that read ‘curbyourpatriarchy’.

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But even as countless women cheered loud for it, this feminist matrimonial ad seemed too good to be true. How could it not, when the template for marriage ads is still as regressive as this?

BBC report has now revealed netizens’ suspicions to be true. The ad was apparently a prank between a woman, her brother, and a friend, to mark one of their 30th birthdays.

Viral Feminist Matrimonial Ad Turns Out To Be Fake, Yet Authentic

“Turning 30 is a milestone, especially because of all the conversation in our society around marriage. As you turn 30, your family and society start putting pressure on you to get married and settle down,” one of the persons behind the email id was quoted saying anonymously.

The amount of money they would have spent on gifts for birthday celebrations if there was no lockdown, they put instead in getting this ad printed for circulation across several North Indian newspapers.

This feminist matrimonial ad, they said, was a satirical take on what is a very real culture for many women, where they can only dream of looking for grooms after declaring they are “opinionated feminists.”

Families hunting for shy, docile, sanskaari brides are wary of those who know how to stand up for themselves.

After Mittal’s post went viral, the ‘curbyourpatriarchy’ joke id was inundated with emails – a mixed reaction to the ad. Where some men wrote in saying they would be happy to marry such a girl as mentioned, several others resorted to namecalling feminists, speculating the woman who posted the ad must be “fat” or a “gold digger.”

Men ask for tall, slim beautiful brides all the time, they brag about their wealth, but when the tables are turned, they can’t stomach it. How could a woman set such criteria?” the persons behind the ad said.