#Opinion

Bitch Or Bechari: Why Do We Slot Single Women in Indian Society?

Sushmita Sen Aarya 2, Aarya 2 Sushmita Sen
Bitch or bechari: What is this obsession with tagging single women in Indian society for their decision of not having a partner. Why can’t women be on their own as independent individuals? Why does the society condition them to believe that they might not be good enough if they don’t have a partner beside them. Why don’t we recognise women’s strength and their capabilities of being their own person with their individual identities?

There are more than 30 million single women in Indian society yet we hardly seem to approve their personal choices as they are stereotyped time and again as a bitch or bechari. According to the society’s perception, a single woman is either to proud to have a relationship as a bitch, or needs to be sympathised as a bechari.

Dear society, we don’t need a partner to be happy or have stability in our lives. We are capable enough to be happy on our own while working towards a better future for ourselves, and certainly we don’t need a man to provide that for us.

Why is it so hard for the society to accept that a woman live her life on her own terms without needing a man to fill a ‘void’ in her life? Why are women conditioned to have a partner for a happy life? When is the society going to understand that being single and independent is much better than being subjected to toxicity?

Tell a man that you’re single and he won’t believe it because you’re either “too pretty” to be single or apparently can’t function without a man.

Society refuses to acknowledge a woman’s individuality to such an extent that her existence remains overlooked until she has a partner in her life. It has advocated the need of having a partner for a happy and successful life and anything other than that just makes her life ruined while she remains good for nothing.

Speaking to SheThePeople in the show Sisterhood With Shaili, single mom Pooja Dasgupta mentioned how the society had conditioned her to believe in the idea of a perfect family with two parents. When she decided to walk out of her unhappy marriage, she was stormed with questions by the society as she was going to raise her young child on her own. However, she kept going with her child being her biggest motivator through all odds.

“There were a lot of accusations on me. However, for me, none of it really mattered because my child was young, I knew that he would grow up in a healthy environment if I was in a healthy set of mind. So, I never really took all of those to the heart.” She said.

There were also people who were tagging me into that ‘bechari’ box and would tell me that, “She’s so young, her entire life is ruined. What will happen now?… The child needs a father,” a lot of other things. – Pooja Dasgupta

Thejwasvi Nayak, who lost her husband after eleven months of marriage while she was three-months pregnant, had been blamed of her husband’s death. While some blamed her horoscope for bringing bad luck into the family, others criticised her for being too career-oriented and not taking care of her husband.

I heard a lot of these comments and a lot of cooked up stories about what might have happened… that…this.. so a lot of these mean things are told to a widow and at some point they make you feel as if your life is nothing if you’re not married and your life is destroyed once you lose a partner, be it a widow or a divorcee.

They make you feel like your life is over. – Thejaswi Nayak

It’s high time that we teach our daughter to be independent not just financially and physically but also emotionally. It is time that we accept the fact that a woman can choose to be on her own if she wishes to and be just as happy as she can be with a partner. Single women should be supported for their personal choices rather than forcing them into unhappy and toxic relationships. If a man can provide for an entire family, so can a woman. She doesn’t need a man to fulfil a space in her life when she doesn’t want to.

Stop telling single women in Indian society that they are bechari when they walk out a toxic relationship. Stop telling them what to do next with their future once they are on their own. We don’t need or want to hear your unsolicited advices on how we can make our lives less miserable by having a male presence to look over us.

Your “Oh, you poor thing” doesn’t make us feel better, rather it only makes us realise that you look at us as weak and incompetent of dealing with the struggles of life on our own. But guess what? We are much stronger than you think and equally capable of making our own decisions.

How are single women in Indian society subjected to stereotypes around them? Watch here.