Recently I experienced the backwardness in Indian Society sort of first hand and it opened my eyes to the depth of social conditioning which exists in Indians. Yes, I am talking about the perennial issue of gender discrimination in India.
I realize that education and class does not affect the backwardness in thinking. I guess the society as a whole is conditioned to think of a girl child as a burden. People find it difficult to even think otherwise. At same time I also need to highlight the duality in social behavior in middle and high class society to pretend otherwise though. People pretend that they give equal opportunities to their daughters compared to sons, care equally for them. Then why is that the most important question a parent has for their daughter is about her marriage!?? I would like to challenge any one who wants to refute this to really think again; talk to their parents and ask this question. I can challenge that majority of parents are worried about marriage of their daughters more than anything else. The same concern is at a very small degree for their sons. The typical answer is "yes, my daughter can do anything she likes, study, work, travel as long she gets married at right age and then continues her likes and career with agreement with her husband".
Why is that? My opinion is that crux of problem does indeed come from the fact that the only major milestone in a daughter's life is considered to be marriage and her going to another house after an expensive wedding and followed by more expenses every festival etc. This thinking leads to another chain of thoughts which is daughters becoming the family's pride, which implies, the way marriage is conducted is a big ego booster for the family to show off its standing in the community. The further chain also ingrains the comparison in terms of beauty! The groom's family would like to get the most beautiful bride which gives them an ego boost showing off in the community!
Well in nut shell, objectifying a woman.
Why is indeed marriage so key to Indian Society? My take is that till that doesn't change, a lot of our backward thinking in terms of Gender issues, female infanticide, dowry, crime against women etc is not going to reduce ever.
5 years ago