Our society’s obsession with a woman’s marital status is a never-ending crisis. Although a girl might be independent and successful, society never hails her as “settled” until she gets married. People see getting married and having kids as the only achievement and purpose of a woman’s life. Due to patriarchy, the societal pressure of getting married is always higher for women as everyone tries to seek a say in their life decisions.
The Indian society is incompetent in seeing women as humans, thanks to its misogynistic mindset. Besides, they see women as property or a burden that has to be passed from their fathers to their husbands with a valuable dowry for them to be accepted by their in-laws.
Why can’t Indian parents change their priorities?
Parents in India try to seek 100 percent control over their daughter’s life. They take almost every decision in her life until she is married off, then the authority to make decisions for her is passed to her in-laws, these include what she must wear, whether she can have a career or not and so much more. The problem lies with Indian parents’ tendency to prioritise appeasing society while completely neglecting the happiness of their daughters. They try to emotionally blackmail or lure their daughters to get married just to get praised by society for accomplishing what they think is their responsibility. As a result, daughters settle for unhappy marriages and compromise their ambitions for the sake of their parent’s social status and happiness, thus there is a profound need for parents to change their priorities and let their daughters determine their future.
Society’s faulty perception of a “good” woman
A woman needs to be educated but she should not think about having a full-time career. Knowing how to cook and clean is a must, but she shouldn’t be opinionated. And she needs to be fair, slim and tall just to be considered worthy of getting married while men can just claim to have a steady paycheck and still be considered a good match- these double standards were enforced to oppress women decades ago and are still being carried forward like a legacy. Women are forced to change their lifestyle after marriage while men can still live their life how they used to. Even if a woman tries to do anything she wishes for herself, she is bombarded with taunts and is labelled a “bad bahu.” Society needs to let a woman decide for herself how she wants to live or whom she wants to marry because ultimately she is the one who will endure any bad consequences of the decision.
Future plan for women needs to have more
Marriage is a beautiful bond between two people, but if not forged at the right time or with the right person, it can be a suffocating trap. Everybody needs to understand that marriage is not the ultimate aim of a woman’s life, but is merely a choice and therefore shouldn’t be forced upon them. Marriage is seen as the only plan a woman should think about and should not focus on building a career which is wrong in so many ways. Establishing a career and being financially independent should be prioritised over getting married for a woman. Every woman should be encouraged to earn an identity for herself besides being someone’s daughter or wife. The truth is that marriage is just a part of life and not the whole life itself.
This article has been published under SheThePeople’s Young Writers Training Program. Views expressed are the author’s own.