#Opinion

Women Don’t Need To Marry To “Settle Down”

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“Without marriage, I can be well settled, right? I am well settled. I am doing work. I am earning and I am happy,” says the 29-year-old Indian actor, Kiara Advani. Playing as MS Dhoni’s wife in the sports biopic, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), her career advanced with Netflix’s 2018 Hindi-language Anurag Kashyap’s anthology film, Lust Stories. She also starred in films like Kabir Singh, Good Newz and 2022’s recent Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2.

The makers of Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 organised a star-studded screening of the film on Thursday. In a video shared online, Kiara Advani, who plays the lead in the film, was seen sharing a hug with her rumoured boyfriend Sidharth Malhotra.

The film also stars actors Kartik Aaryan, Tabu and Rajpal Yadav. Siddharth was also seen hugging Kartik in the video. Starring together in the 2021 film Shershaah,  Kiara and Sidharth are often seen together out and about in Mumbai. However, rumours about them parting ways surfaced on social media. Ever since social media is abuzz with her relationship rumours, Kiara was asked about her plans to “settle down” and “get married.”


Suggested Reading: Young Women In India Are Scared Of Marriages, Why?


Kiara Advani Marriage Statement

Why should “single” women “settle down” and what does “settling down” mean for women who are “single”? As women in general, we talk a lot about timelines and milestones – where you should be in your career when you should meet “The One,” how old you want to be when you get married, and the age at which it is “smart” to start having children. Contrary to all of this, however, women feel a lot pressured to get married and “settle down.”

In a survey conducted by Forbes’ The Everygirl, Delaney, 23, Claremont, California expresses that she feels a continuous sense of pressure toward marriage and motherhood.  She said, “I know I have so much going for me. I’m a college graduate and have a steady job, good friends and family, and opportunities to travel — but I still get in my head and frequently worry when I will meet my person and settle down.”

“This creates unnecessary anxiety in my life that sometimes carries into my relationships and work. Everyone’s journey looks different and I shouldn’t feel “less than” just because I am not married or don’t have marriage on the horizon. In reality, nobody is worried about my life timeline but me! It is entirely self-inflicted and I wish I didn’t spend so much time worrying about marriage when I have so much else going for me in my life, ” she added.

Women delay marriage, complete higher education, pursue high-status careers and have the right to de-centre the other-oriented roles of wife and mother in their lives. The expectations for women having a family, getting married and “settling down” stem from gendered and classed biases.

American sociologist from the University Of Wisconsin, Casey Stockstill, says in her work titled Socius: A Sociological Research For A Dynamic World, that “single” women rather than leveraging their financial and social resources establish their successful selves before getting the push to having a partner. Their friends and family police a woman’s behaviours, daily routines, and activities to scrutinise the degree to which she puts herself in contact with potential dates, examines Casey.

Be it Kiara Advani or anyone else, the pressure to get married is especially strong for women in their mid-20s and early 30s. From “it’s time to settle down already!” to a nosy relative saying “You’re too old to work,” and women in their relationships, hearing, “When are you going to tie the knot?” it is tiresome yet frequent when people think that marriage is the only yardstick of our worth.

Views expressed are the author’s own.

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