Oh the Patriarchy! Bless my soul.

Today I happened to read an answer by a very popular guy on Quora. The question was this- “If separating a man from his parents is cruelty, what about when married women have to leave their parents after marriage? “

The answer begins like this –

“That’s the way Indian society is set up. Married women leave their house, go to their in laws house and little by little take over the responsibility of most of the things so that in laws, who are growing old, can retire and be free from major responsibilities.

This isn’t cruelty. This is how the institution of marriage is designed for India.”…. and goes on for about 580 other similar words of justification.

Let me identify the basic flaw here. The justification of that is how the society is, does not really fare well with me.  Let me tell you why. Society is made up of people like us. You and me. People who make the society what it is today, may or may not be alive tomorrow and definitely not in a hundred years time. What we witness today in the name of societal norms is just what our previous generation has been forced to follow by their parents. Have we changed at all from the set pattern? May be a little, but we would agree that there is definitely a long way to go.

This answer actually goes on to justify the separation of the girl after marriage as something very normal and acceptable while the same, if done to the son, is unacceptable. The author also goes on to say that if at all the girl is a single child, then she shall very well take care of her parents and yada yada. Well, the patriarchy is giving us permission, you see.

Taking care of ones parents is the duty of every son and daughter. They could be the only child or one in a dozen. Every child has the responsibility to take care of their parents irrespective of ones own marital status. I don’t think one would require the permission of anybody else to do this. Be it the husband or the in-laws.

To adopt a family as ones own immediately after marriage and to abandon ones parents because one is married is just abominable and to ask the bride/groom to do it is pathetic. More than power or authority, this move reflects ones insecurities and rather crass upbringing/growing up.

Many things which were once accepted in the society as a norm, have been driven away successfully. People fail to see this transition and go on to bestow the mankind with their pearls of wisdom.

It is shocking to see that even in my generation there are people who take the name of culture/society to justify something stupid and could actually get away with it. Yes, the girl who offered her unflinching support by highlighting the concession given to single girl child, I am looking at you.

Quora is becoming a recipient for such butt wads and I don’t have an idea why.

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Image credits- Google

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4 thoughts on “Oh the Patriarchy! Bless my soul.

Add yours

  1. Taking care does not come from rule. May I tell you one essence of life. “Life is like music. It has to be composed by feelings and instinct and not by rule.” When sons were assigned to take care of his parents. the sons inherited their wealth and performed their last rites. Take the case of Nair society when “Marumakka Thaayam” was in vogue the girls were not living in their in laws house after their marriage.

    I would suggest to care of elders whether it be parents, or in laws who ever it may be should be out of love and affection. Please do not take care of anyone for the sake of a rule.

  2. Hi Megha,

    Good evening!

    A blog post in reply would end up touching too many points. To reinterpret or understand my reply in CBC. “We are all fighting our own battles” — I will be 35 this year, over the past ten years we have tried to find a lady to marry me. Every single time over all these years the deal-breaker has been can you leave your mother and come for ‘thannikuduthanam’. How can I do this? I can’t send my mother to an old-age home. She is in no state to take care of herself.

    Asking a wife to leave her parents is also wrong. Nowhere do the scriptures dictate one to not take care of one’s own parents. The reason for many marriages not working out is the ‘sharing of finances’ and ‘not caring for each others parents’. One person in a wedding recently asked me, why aren’t you married yet? Are you gay? Another opined, that I have cancer and that’s why I am not getting married. Yet another person said, I have a wife and child hidden in the city whom no one knows of.. Well this is turning comical right?

    Be it son or daughter, married or unmarried we end up looking after our parents. I have lit the funeral pyres of elderly relatives, whose children were away abroad. They could not make it to the cremation ceremony on time. Such is the futility of life. Does all this make any sense at all??

    As I said earlier we are all fighting our own battles. Looking after an ailing parent, balancing life and still managing to smile, despite every ugly kick that I have received is tough, very tough.

    Regards,
    Mahesh

    1. Hi, thanks for reading the post. My post was my opinion for the comment that was there in that quora answer. I am surprised that you took it personally and ended up giving me a half baked and may be half irrelevant justification for the same. I was vying for equality whereas you ended up justifying your stand.

      Anyway thanks for reading and commenting.

      Good day

  3. Hi Megha,

    Thanks – lesson of the whole exercise — never let your personal problems crop into a comment on a blog post based on an opinion of one person. Thanks for reading and replying to the comment. ‘Half-baked’ and ‘half-irrelevant’ thankfully one half perhaps made sense.

    Thanks,
    Mahesh

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