It is not enough to raise feminist daughters if we still expect women to shed that cloak of progressiveness at the altar of marriage and turn into demure submissive wives.
Are we afraid of baring the faultlines of our own relationships to them?
We still equate companionship solely with matrimony and sex outside of marriage remains a taboo. So a lot of people assume these elements to be missing from a single woman’s life.
When their wives begin earning well, it gives husbands a sort of existential crisis. Does my family even need me, if they can do well without me? What is my standing in a marriage, if not as a breadwinner?
Why must a woman change herself to fit in after marriage? Why is something as spontaneous and ordinary as laughter prone to stigmatisation for women in our country?
The gendering of duties which sends women picking after their husbands or put their needs first was never about love. It was always about establishing a hierarchy, in our society, in our homes and in our bedrooms.
We simply assume that men love to be the decision makers in all households, but is it gender which must give a person the agency to be the assertive one among a couple?
Must a daughter-in-law always appease her saas, for the sake of a harmonious matrimonial life? Or with changing times, it is valid for her to take a stand and let the mother-in-law tone down her expectations?
It is not about happiness or love, it is just about piling years upon years on your broken relationship, because people think that is what a successful marriage is, years spent together.
Even today, it is women’s task to work on their marriages and give them the fairy tale ending they have been bought up to believe in.
Lack of sexual agency could also mean getting little to no intimacy from your partner and having no say in it. How many women can say confidently that they can demand sex from their partner without any inhibition?
Going back isn’t the solution, adaptation is. Indian matrimony has to adapt itself to modern times, if it wants to stay relevant and functional. Which means, let a couple decide what kind of marriage and eventually family life they want for themselves.