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Till Death, Do We Part?

Till Death, Do We Part?

June 26, 2010

What is making urban Indian women walk out on their husbands?



‘Till death do us part’ was a phrase which referred to the level of commitment involved in a marriage, that a man and his wife could only be parted by death. Now too, they are parted by death - the death of the marriage itself.

It is believed that Indians lead a more stable and contented married life. Compared to developed countries like UK, US, most of the European Union etc, the divorce rate in India is quite low. The US has an astounding 50% while India has a divorce rate of 11%. Britain’s divorce rate soared six-fold between 1961 and 1991. But from 1991 to 2001, India has seen a rise in divorce rate, especially in the urban areas. The rate has gone up from 7.4% to 11%. This gradual but steady increase in divorces makes one wonder, are we truly a contentedly married nation?

In recent times, women of India have gone through a major cultural shift. In response to the spurt in the economy, women are now more educated, out going and self reliant. It is also during this period that the divorce rate has risen. So, is the divorce rate directly related to women’s ‘awareness’ ratio?

About 15 years ago, most middle class women were brought up and moulded by society not to work but just take care of the home, the husband and the children. She was taught to have unquestioning faith in her spouse, trusting his every word. Hence, she never learned of the life her spouse led outside the realms of the home, so the concept of infidelity did not exist for her. She had witnessed other women of the family silently bearing abuse. If a man came home drunk, it was his right as he worked hard for the bread that the family ate. It was a part of life, nothing to complain about.

But this is the class in which the divorce ratio has increased the most.

At the time, if a woman came across her husband’s ‘mistake’, she would forgive him, or in most cases, continue the relationship ‘for the sake of the children’, tolerating a marriage that has lost its trust and meaning. Financial dependence on her husband, the social stigma associated with divorced women being considered of loose character or keeping her husband happy, added to her predicament. Hence, though a woman may have wanted to break off a relationship, she was not able to. Consequentl for decades we Indians believed we were a happily married nation.

Now shift to the present day. The rise in female literacy and employment has provided the financial independence that women were deprived of for long. Women have left the more traditional fields of employment such as teaching and clerical work to take on a more executive profile. Even women from lower middle class have started seeking employment in call centers and other jobs that do not require formal qualifications.

Moving out of the confines of the four walls of their homes, women are exposed to the work environment in which men spend the major part of their day. Their eyes have been opened to office relationships, platonic and otherwise. Women who were ignorant began to question their husbands, and those who knew and were silent, began to raise their voices. They had moved to a society where infidelity was a known phenomenon and broken marriages were better received. Financial independence also ensured that women did not have to worry about being a ‘burden’ on their parents in the post-divorce scenario.

In short, women now have a CHOICE.

Now women are divided into two sections. Firstly there are those who are willing to forgo trust, forgive their husband’s infidelities and to tolerate domestic abuse. To them the institution of marriage is worth sacrificing their happiness for a lifetime. It is their ‘dharam’. And then there are the women who refuse to be tied down in an unhappy alliance and are willing to take on the challenges that will arise after a divorce. It is not that they have not tried to make their marriage work. They have also taken their share of abuses, forgiven betrayals and made compromises. But once all attempts at reconciliation have failed, they are the ones who taken the necessary step towards the termination of the union. Some women who have had enough but cannot end the marriage for whatever reason, chose separation. None of these women are necessarily wrong, in fact, it is their right.

However, while a woman who stays married does not face criticism, a divorcee is often made to go through unnecessary and unjustified social stigma, treated almost as an outcast. They have trouble blending back into the community and are considered somewhat substandard. Sometimes their children are also treated the same way, which is honestly pathetic. A responsible society would not be judgmental about them.

There are many segments of society who lay the blame of broken marriages on ‘western influence’. Do they consider the system of being tied down in a marriage that has lost its happiness, trust and mutual respect that are the building blocks to it, fair to the woman who is being asked to compromise her integrity for the sake of everyone but her self? Why is this level of self-sacrifice expected only of a woman? Would a man forgive his wife and treat her with respect and love if he found her having an affair with another man?

Every woman has the right to live happily in a manner that she can look at herself with dignity. Every woman has the right to make her decisions and be allowed to move on with what is left of her life.

43 Comments

  • Gopal
    By
    Gopal
    13.06.12 04:37 PM
    Hello folks, Any infidelity by a man involves another woman.It is always 1 to 1 or 1man to many woman. Now statistically who is responsible man or woman? Do not arrive at simplistic conclusions If a woman has stepped out and knows about affairs ofher husband it is equally true that many woman have affairs .It is very sweet to say for women to say that man has affair but the dumbheaded simly forgat there is another woman in that.With all the empowerment I fail to understand why women wantnewere and newer laws to protect them? If as per the latest amendment coming the women will have 50% right in husband's property why she should not have 50% right in her father's property who brought her tothis world And why not in brother's property who is ablood relation of many years acquaintance. But 1 day's marriage with an unknown man and 50% right to his property Does this not sound odd? The new laws are in fact antiwoman Instead of giving right in father's brother's self earned property and house the poor woman is pushed legally in husband's house in case of a dispute wher she is in trouble is this logic ? Think when it happens to your brother and then you will realise.
  • Vijayraj
    By
    Vijayraj
    17.08.11 07:06 AM
    Let me put it this way. As much as the independence helps women who SHOULD have got out,but could not; it also gives a free hand to women who COULD have made it work, but did not. Exactly the same situation that was applicable to men earlier. Can a man be happy staying with a woman who has ended the marriage, but drags along only because she cannot get out?
  • Vijayraj
    By
    Vijayraj
    17.08.11 06:58 AM
    Good article. What I think we fail to understand is the preventing a divorce(due to. Social, financial pressures, lack of support etc) and saving a marriage(actually finding happiness, working on the relationship, on OURSELVES, agreeing to counselling) Once the marriage ends in our hearts...whether a divorce happens or not is a mere technicality on paper. Education, financial independence etc helps women get out of the LIMBO state in between. Which is good.
    But the real problem is why the marriage ENDED in the first place. Not all women are abused. Not all men are abusive. 'I tried hard' is a line used by both partners. Can we say for sure that both partners have really tried? Who is to be the judge? Every couple is unique. The rising divorce rate in urban areas are not indicative that all those cases are black and white cases where the woman tried a lot, but then chose to get out, becquse fortunately she could.
    Creating more options to BREAK a marriage has nothing to do with the options involved in MAKING a happy marriage. We try to relate the two, which is wrong.A rising or falling divorce rate says nothing about the quality of the marriage.
  • suba
    By
    suba
    28.05.11 09:44 PM
    Its a worthwhile reading the whole article and conversations. Hats off to afshan to give very valid points and support the women feelings..
  • Rohit
    By
    Rohit
    15.04.11 01:53 AM
    Hi ,
    I am 34 and a recent divorcee.After a lot of pain,trauma,emotional turmoil and deep thinking ,I think in marriage in my case both of us contributed to divorce.But it could really have been worked out if we would have given more mature thought to it and would have discussed about it more and more before jumping into separation.
    Well my wife was in no mood for any talk and this is where I feel it was her mistake more.No doubt she was a very good girl otherwise in all respects.
    Reasons are so many - different cultures,different upbringing,different socioeconomic status,unnecessary familial support from both sides to their respective child, family egoes etc etc .
    But nonetheless I would point out another difference -the horoscopic match.It does have a significant influence and it is a science less known and less studied.Well anybody can argue that even people with good horoscopic match divorce.Yes they do because its not the sole thing but a very important contributory factor.
    so many things to write .sometime later... bye
  • Gen
    By
    Gen
    28.03.11 11:23 AM
    Western society is full of gold diggers! Palimony is what women pay to men after the divorce (if the man earns less than the woman). There are single dads struggling to keep things running smoothely in their house. Right now, Americans are concerned with gay marriage because we know it is going to lead to gay divorce. Opening marriage to multiple definitions may potentially allow bigomists to legally marry multiple people. The issues are many and complex. There are plenty of women who still think someone is supposed to take care of them and even more that are delusional about how "open minded" they are about gender equality. There are abusive marriages, happy ones, people pick their partner and they still end up unhappy. The point is, you never know what is going to happen until it happens. Let people forge their own path so they are free to choose and free to bear the consequences of their own making.
  • Gen
    By
    Gen
    28.03.11 11:00 AM
    Thanks for all of the posts; I have really learned a lot about some of the conflicts in Indian culture. It is extremely hard for me to comprehend the intensity of the repression in the Indian society. Western women have been free to date openly and marry a partner of their choice for almost 100 years (depending, of course, on what socio-economic group they were from). My grandmother and even great-grandmother told me about fond memories of dates, and old boyfriends. No matter what, there will always be bad people in the world and no social system will prevent people from being hurt or betrayed. Whether people are married, divorced, dating...are they happy? A strange thought, but I actually know of a few couples who were able to be friends after getting divorced. Neither marriage nor divorce guarantees happiness or unhappiness. Financial stability does not guarantee personal independance. Freedom comes with a lot of responsibility. When couples have a conflict, no amount of help from very qualified people may save their relationship. I don't think divorce rates are a good indicator of happiness. The missing link in this string of comments (maybe I missed something?) is the need for better personal development. Well developed, well rounded, fulfilled individuals generally have the skills to build healthy interpersonal relationships. A selfish focus on the individual has to be counterbalanced by the individual's responsibility for self actualization - becoming who they truly are through life experience. This may go against some core beliefs for many by I don't believe that marriage, by itself, is inherently good and divorce is not always bad. When we break free of the stereotypes, the expectations, the blanket judgement statements, we create space to let things be as they would be with or without our preconceptions and clinging to fairy tales about good and evil.
  • kumar
    By
    kumar
    23.03.11 03:36 PM
    "Bijal, I agree Its not good too someone getting divorced."*
    *Bijal, I agree Its not good to see someone getting divorced.
  • kumar
    By
    kumar
    23.03.11 03:35 PM
    Bijal, I agree Its not good too someone getting divorced. Once Indian women start taking care of her things without expecting any money from her partner i am sure she will be successful and no more she will be an object like "pay and use". I am sure western women are more matured and dont rely on money of partner.They are independent.
  • Bijal
    By
    Bijal
    23.03.11 02:54 PM
    Kumar, It's not good to see anyone divorcing. Its good Indian women have found a voice, Indian men need to learn to respect women as equals and we wouldn't have high divorce rate. We need to move away from the aspect that women are properties of men.

    Any woman at the beginning of a relationship/dating likes to be chased, this shows that the man cares for her, and wants to keep seeing her.

    I'm an Indian woman and I don't expect my other half to pay for all our dates. Sometimes he'll pay other times I'll pay. Women have become more independent, we don't rely on a guy to pay for us.
  • Kumar
    By
    Kumar
    22.03.11 09:28 PM
    Its good to see more and more indian women being divorced.But why still indian women dont pay their share of bills for their consumed food/drinks/snacks during dating, relationships & marriage ?
  • uncle sam
    By
    uncle sam
    15.09.10 03:17 PM
    Please, a huge correction......divorce rate in India is 1.1 % (11 out of 1000 marriages) not 11%
  • Saro
    By
    Saro
    30.08.10 07:43 PM
    Hey, check this out, which will tell what women empowerment has done to our country:

    http://victims-of-law.blogspot.com/
  • Gurprriet Siingh
    By
    Gurprriet Siingh
    21.08.10 03:18 PM
    Rohan - Having travelled the world, it is clear to me that whether it is the US or UK or other parts of the world, the family structure and family values are deeply valued. I would actually rate the US as far higher in family values.

    Afshan - Education-wise, women have been empowered even in the past but, social taboos and financial dependence made it difficult for them to make this choice. The empowering variables today are:
    1. financial independence
    2. family support post-divorce. Once upon a time a girl's parents encouraged her to never break up. Now if there is such an eventuality, there is tremendous support from all sides of the family
    3. social values - it is now far more ok for a single woman to support herself than ever before in our country's history and this too helps break social taboos and empowers a woman to take such a decision

    I don't know how many of you are speaking from personal experience of having a separation in your family, but i am. And i know what it's like. And even though women are taking this step, their life is still difficult. A lot more social change is still needed for women to feel comfortable with themselves after having made this choice.
  • ROHAN
    By
    ROHAN
    05.08.10 08:34 PM
    Gurpreet Singh, the corporates, MNCs, Big businesses, the U.N. and the govt. apart from the feminists have been encouraging women to fight with the men and play a conflicting role instead of the earlier complementary role because IT MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE TO ALL THESE VESTED GROUPS. The breakdown of family and marriage means multiplication of goods, consumerism, apart from lining the pockets of lawyers, counsellors, and more taxes to the govt. Hence, they started hijacking the media in the 1960s and have completely dominated it now. Breakdown of family leads to breakdown of society as the family is the root and basis of society. India is getting westernised. The west cares a damn for family and marriage. This is exactly what these vested interests want. They want to expand their business by increasing the need for goods. They want to create an environment where people are individualistic and lead a crass materialistic, non-family kind of a life. Women's liberation is a catchy phrase that simply means liberating women from traditional roles while keeping the men as traditional as they were ever! If you claim that men can accept women in positions of power, why can't you simultaneously talk about the responsibilities that women need to share? Why do women have a choice to work or not to work while men don't? Why do men pay higher rate of taxes for the same salaries? Why higher discounts to women? The list goes on. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE BASIC ASSUMPTION THAT WOMEN ARE THE ONLY DISCRIMINATED GENDER IS WRONG! MEN ARE FAR MORE DISCRIMINATED THAN WOMEN ARE EXCEPT THAT MEN DON'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT IT.
  • ROHAN
    By
    ROHAN
    05.08.10 08:17 PM
    Taxed Men and Relaxed Women:-

    I dunno why I simply love this term, "Gender Equality", henceforth referred to as the term, so much. With the feminist movement gaining prominence, the term became more like a common parlance. However, I love it for a different reason. Ironically the term is the basis of the various anti-male women protection laws but there are some areas where this term is misnomer and does not fit in properly, given the existing dynamics.

    One such area is the taxation. Statistics tell that men in India are responsible for 82 % of the taxes paid. However, in the last 62 years not a single rupee has been spent for men welfare. And it is not that men do not have their share of problems. Almost every problem that women face, men are also victimized by it, either directly or indirectly, but where women are provided protection from the problems, men are not.

    Be it dowry, domestic abuse, suicides, rapes, sexual harassment, men are facing as much (far more serious and grave in some areas) as women are reported to face. However, the protection is biased and discriminated against men. Again the irony here is that the same protection that is given to women against men is funded from the money of the same men.

    If that was not enough, women at the same salary levels are made to pay less tax than men. Women start paying taxes at a higher salary levels than the level at which men start paying. When feminists are painting the town red with the term, why is that same concept of Gender Equality is not applied here? Moreover, it is also a tacit admission that women are weaker than men - a thought against the cardinal principles of Empowerment and Equality.

    As a result of this skewed concept of equality, men have now become the disempowered gender and yet there is no Men's Rights Movement being patronized by the Governments. The Taxed Men and the Relaxed Women have resulted in a gender obsessed and perverted social setup which considers killing men as Social Service and treats men as FREE ATM MACHINES considering it to be WOMEN EMPOWERMENT.

    I will end with another irony. As women enjoy state sponsored pamperment (read protection), it is very easy for them to trap men in false cases and then enjoy the state sponsored pamperment which in turn is sponsored by men. Hence its men's own money used against them, so while they are taxed, women are relaxed enjoying men sponsored state sponsored pamperment. And they call it a man's world.
  • ROHAN
    By
    ROHAN
    05.08.10 08:14 PM
    Marriage – A financial slavery for men

    It reminds me of Honorable Justice G Raghuram’s statement in a seminar, “Too much audio-visual input jeopardizes the cognitive ability of the brain” when I see the overwhelming amount of anti-male news and misandry in the media, perpetrated by women’s rights activists, popularly known as “Feminists” – though I prefer to call them as feminazis.

    Ever since I grew up, I have been overfed with a feeling that women have always had a raw deal and thus never challenged the rampant misandry in the society – until I realized truth the hard way – by falling victim to the same misandry. However, it led to me an ultimate realization – that in actuality it’s the men who have always had a raw deal in the name of women having it.

    One of the foremost social institutions where men get a raw deal and that too, a visible one, is MARRIAGE – wherein men have only responsibilities and punishments to deal with; no peace, no rights.

    It is fairly obvious with the fact that there is not only the expectation that a man will take care of the woman’s happiness, but there are umpteen unchallenged anti-male and unconstitutional laws to enforce the same, albeit against a man’s wish.

    Moreover, I fail to understand how one human being can ever be expected to take care of the happiness of another human being when happiness is a purely subjective and personalized feeling; what makes one human being happy may not make another human being equally happy or happy at all.

    But perverted social setups expect men to take care of the happiness of their wives and punish them if they fail to do so, making it very easy for any wife to rule upon her husband.

    Forget rights, men do not even have the basic right to peaceful existence – a man cannot even break the shackles of a tumultuous marriage without sufficient heartburn and financial rampage. Multitude of maintenance laws for the same alleged cause of action ensure that a man is grinned through the financial juggernaut of male-hatred before he gets that much deserved “Freedom” from his torturous and tumultuous wife.

    And one such law is the Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which is quintessentially the “No-Fault Maintenance Law” wherein a person can get money from a man merely on the basis of the whiff of an existence of a relationship with a man be it his spouse, parents or children. This fact itself shows how men are treated as FREE ATM MACHINES by the society.

    And now, “NCW – The hotbed of male hatred” has reinforced one of its earlier proposed highly anti-male recommendations – to award maintenance to a wife even if she is proven to be living in adultery. NCW stands for National Commission for Women and is considered to be an astute body championing the cause of women and it is the same body that seems to be telling the very women it is formed for – “Hey, go ahead and sleep with multiple partners, I will ensure you get payment from every man you sleep with along with social sympathy.”

    Is the NCW by any means trying to reduce the gap between “Housewives and Prostitutes” given the fact that the Supreme Court of India recommended legalizing prostitution and the Govt. of India clubbed the “Housewives, prostitutes and beggars” into the same category in the census 2011?

    Anyways, the NCW is free to do anything it wants to do with women, as long as it does not disturb men, I am least bothered. However, the current recommendation by the NCW in the article – “Lies and the Law in Indian Divorce Battles” does bother me as it intensifies the treatment of men as FREE ATM MACHINES.

    Interestingly, NCW claims that it has made this recommendation after it found that in “70% of maintenance cases under Section 125, men get away with the adultery clause which exempts reliefs to wives.

    When confronted with an RTI Application the NCW drew flak and reported that it had “no data at its disposal to back its claims”.

    Moreover, a quick glance through the RTI reply also tells us the judgments from various High Courts and the Supreme Court, based on which the NCW came up with the recommendations. It is ironical that 80% of the judgments refer to the lacunae in the law which make it difficult for old parents to seek maintenance from their sons and it is the same judgments referring which NCW makes this blasphemous recommendation of making adultery a reward winning act for women .

    These facts itself prove how unscrupulous the NCW is from an organization point of view. It goes ahead and makes a wild recommendation, based on hallucinated assumptions proliferating misandry which affects 33 million odd men in the country and a social factor that contributes to the skyrocketing suicides rates of married men!

    And, the Indian Govt. henpecked before a bunch of feminazi male haters bows down to every malicious and pernicious design by them and goes on creating either a new anti-male law or intensifies existing ones and almost all of them target towards systematic extortion of men – the easiest way being from husbands.

    The moot question that remains is, “Is not marriage a financial slavery for men?” Either toil like a slave or get ruined financially.
  • ROHAN
    By
    ROHAN
    05.08.10 08:12 PM
    Where is the male viewpoint?
    Your article is one-sided and shows only the female perspective. Do men ever have a choice? Men are much more oppressed by society than women are expect that men are not realising it. While women are being liberated, men are still in the medieval era protecting and providing women. Women were and are still held to be morally superior to men. Women are considered and sympathised while men are the disposable gender. Does anybody care to ask men what they feel about women's empowerment? Does anybody do any study about men's issues and problems? NO. Then, what kind of equality is this?
  • Preeti
    By
    Preeti
    10.07.10 06:20 PM
    Hi Afshan,

    That was a very insightful and compassionate post. As a woman who was formerly divorced, I could not agree more with your observations. If truth be told, a few years of living as a divorced woman in India convinced me that any marriage, however unfulfilling or unhappy, is better than the social isolation and stigma that a divorced woman faces in India. Men are, of course, the worst offenders. Most Indian men think that divorced women are fair game; and that its not necessary to treat her with respect, honesty or even consideration. I have never understood why Indian men think divorced women are sexually available. Or even that other corollary to this one -- a woman who appears to be "modern" in appearance or behavior is basically waiting for any man to invite her into his bed. Where do all these incomprehensible notions come from? It makes me wonder about what an Indian man's definition of modernity really is.
  • Afshan Mujawar
    By
    Afshan Mujawar
    10.07.10 11:29 AM
    BTW guys, I came across this really nice news article related to the empowerment of Indian women. Thought you might like to read it :)

    http://gulfnews.com/news/world/india/challenging-family-stereotypes-1.652318
  • Afshan Mujawar
    By
    Afshan Mujawar
    10.07.10 11:26 AM
    Hi Vasanth,

    I totally understand where you are coming from, just the way I understood Rajiv's stance. I have seen a lot of cases where men are victims of ill-intentioned women, similar things have happened within my family and to close friends. More over, a man sometimes doesnt get the emotional support he needs, just because he's a man, which is equally wrong.

    At the same time, I know a lot of women who are living on the verge of suicide but unwilling to go through a divorce for fear of being targeted. I fear for them. I feel sorry for them, because the life they are living is worse than dying once and for all. Thats the reason I wrote this article. This woman I talk about is young, beautiful, well educated and extremely soft natured. She has been married for nearly 7 years, all this time she has been trying to make her marriage work. Her husband is into drugs, alcoholism, does not support her financially, has had several extra-marital affairs, misses no opportunity to abuse her and hurl insults at her family and even after 7 years, does not think he is ready to have children. The girl has attempted suicide twice. The only thing stopping this girl from leaving him the doubt whether she will be accepted in the society after a divorce. Will someone agree to marry her? Will she be in an emotional state stable enough to get into another relationship?

    If she didn't have this fear of society, she would have left this guy a long time back. And this is what I want to work towards. Divorce is bad for a family, it is hell for the people involved and so on. But when someone does get a divorce, I think they should be left alone to tackle their pre-existing problems and not made to suffer more by being targeted. Thats all that I wanted to say.

    Thanks for responding again, I'm glad to read you last post :)
  • Bijal
    By
    Bijal
    08.07.10 01:37 PM
    Hi Afshan

    If you're on Facebook check out my group... it just highlights the current Human Rights issues in the world today.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=95838256097

    Thanks

    Bijal
  • Vasanth
    By
    Vasanth
    08.07.10 01:34 PM
    Dear Afshan,

    I recently lost my nephew who was 19 yrs old and healthy to cardiac arrest, I also know about another lady who around the same time lost her son of 19 yrs and in 3-4 months her husband. I have realized only one thing, life changes in seconds so make an effort to mend relations and never stop doing it. You never know when death will hit you or your loved ones. Also, I have a very close friend on mine from school who had a nasty wife, I have seen how cruel a woman can be and she was the queen of being bad. I have seen how much a man can suffer if he loves his spouse. If this lady calls me for help, I may still do help her as a human being. That is the reason I have said there is a man's view too. Off late there is a general trend of such marriages too. I have another friend who caught his wife cheating. So should I go on generalize women as bad? I think the society who target the divorced women are people without work, other have too busy a life to care about others. But yes, in rural areas things can be improved but I dont think the divorce rates are high in rural areas. I again say do not bring gender in a relation as both are humab beings with the same set of emotions but with varying intensity. Also there is no one text book on life. And all the self help books preach only one thing ultimately - open your mind. I personally feel we need these books only to awaken what is there within us. Another question, we only talk about a man getting drunk and hitting his wife, has anyone given a thought as to why he drinks (even at the lower strata)? may be he is trying to ease out his physical tiredness, may be he is feeling helpless that he is not able to provide a better future, may be he is living with a cruel wife but is drinking as he cant leave her. There are so many reasons that are still possbile. I dont say men are saints, they certainly are not there are some very bad men. But there are exeptions everywhere. I also have a very close friend (Woman) who is divorced and she has all the support from her friends. We love her as much now as when she was married. So again there is generalization. I am not pointing at you now, it is a human tendency to generalize, but we are educated people need to analyze the core issues. If we need to make a difference, I think we need to be unbiased first. It is not easy to change minds, but all the best to you, I appreciate your good intentions.
  • Afshan Mujawar
    By
    Afshan Mujawar
    08.07.10 12:34 AM
    Hi Bijal,

    Thanks for sharing this link here! I didn't know about this movement. I have signed up for their Facebook group, lets see where it goes from here.

    Thanks for your support and understanding, it is really appreciated :)
  • Bijal
    By
    Bijal
    07.07.10 07:38 PM
    Hey Guys...

    ...this has turned into a long discussion, which I think is good. I was doing some Human Rights work today Ashfan and I came across this site... I think it will interest you http://www.girleffect.org/

    Regards

    Bijal

    PS - keep writing you're making a difference in your own way x
  • Afshan Mujawar
    By
    Afshan Mujawar
    07.07.10 07:24 PM
    Hi Vasanth,

    This reply of yours is much more balanced than your initial post, which would, in all honesty, make anyone beleive that you are singling out women, just the way I singled out men in mine. The point of making a vehement post was to bring the point across that being targeted for your gender hurts, whether you are a man or a woman.

    Look at my response to Rajiv if you really want to see how I take negative comments. The reason why he got a positive reply was because, despite his abusive language, he atleast had the decency to admit that what the article discusses is partially true. And the kind of women he has a grudge against,well, I don't blame him.

    But you post did not refer to any particular section of women, so, it is fair to say that you were speaking of women in general. In my reply, I have first mentioned your own statements which were quite biased. If you have gotten branded here, it is because the views you expressed presented you that way. Now that you balance it out with a more moderate view, instead of education leads to egoism and arrogance, the perspective just MIGHT change.

    Its a good thing that you supported your wife and are FINE with her success. Power to you. But the article is about eradicating social stigma against divorced women. It is about respecting their decision and letting them go on with their lives and not be targetted.

    You know now, how it feels to be branded without consideration. Try to think of those women on the same terms, who face hell both before and after a divorce.

    Sorry if my words wounded your sentiments but it was necessary to get my point across, if not to you, then at least to other who would read this.
  • Vasanth
    By
    Vasanth
    07.07.10 04:19 PM
    Dear Ashfan,

    You have to read this book called "Freakonomics" if you still have not please do. Again, the subject is so vast and critical that there are many research being carried out. Lets also look at those carefully instead of individual blogs.

    You have expressed exactly what any normal women educated woman would have. You hardly know me and still you pass judgement on me, now that is "typical" of women. All of the other replies tended to agree with you and you were fine, I tried to tell you that there is another side to the story and you are offended. Again DO NOT generalize men as the supressors. In the world today, there is hardly any gender difference but still women talk as if they are the only one suffering. Education if it only gives you information and does not have intellectual growth is of no use. I suggest that there be a clear definitons (e.g sacrifice) and not only a one sided woman / women's view of it. I can go on about the subject, but I regret that I responed to your blog (I had to express atleast this much). I thought that people can express their views and not get branded. But sadly education is still to take effect. So again I request not to judge anyone and wish you all the best in what ever you do. But just to let you know it is (since you have judged be to be typical) because of my sacrifices and guidance and respect for my wife that she is in a more senior position than me. AND I am absolutely fine with it!!!. Lots of Luck.
  • Afshan Mujawar
    By
    Afshan Mujawar
    07.07.10 02:07 PM
    Tazz: Thats a novel way of putting it :D but you hit bullseye, the problem IS the choices we make. But wouldn't it be great if our choices were respected?

    Vasanth: Hmmm.. where do I begin..?

    1. If your read the article carefully, you'll note that I have mentioned time and again that it is about women who have made all sacrifices necessary to make a marriage work. So it is not a matter of being uncaring. Besides, there is a limit to which a person should be made to sacrifice their happiness. Would you prefer women committing suicide out of depression than getting a divorce?

    2. Education of women leading to Egoism and arrogance. Isn't that what has ben happening with men all this time? You wouldn't be saying what amounts to 'a woman's place is at home' is you didnt have such an ego yourself. Do you realise how many women in the lower strata of the society solely handle the earnings of the house, get beaten by drunk husbands in any case and are still blamed for not sacrificing enough if they leave the brute?

    3. Children. They ARE the ones that a whole lot of women have endured bad relationships for. I wish you could read the discussion we had on LinkedIn on this. But you know, children grow up and they don't remain oblivious to the troubled relationships of their parents. A bad parent relationship has as bad an effect on a child as a divorce. Atleast in case of a divorce, the child doesnt end up seeing one partner suffering all her life.

    4. just because xyz cannot stand their spouse does not give them the right to spoil their lives. So you are saying that women should stay on in abusive relationships, even if her man going on with his wayward ways. Really now.

    5. why dont we talk of emotions. That IS what is being spoken of here, the emotional happiness of a woman in a relationship. After saying all that you did about sacrificing and caring and all that, you realise that notonce have you considered what kind of an emotional impact it has on a woman trapped in a marriage where there is not love, care, respect for HER? how can anyone be so selfish as to demand this sacrifice of her? and why the heck should she listen? You may call it araogance or an ego, but heck, if a man can't keep his woman happy, he is as liable to be blamed so quit picking on a woman if she decides the bloke is not wasting her life on!

    Lastly

    6. arrogance that they can live alone and do things alone. We CAN. and thats what scares the society doesnt it? That if you mess up, your wife CAN and WILL dumo you? That you will not be forgiven for your 'mistakes'. That you will have not only have to bring in the money but show a little bit of respect to the chapati maker as well. That you will lose some of your importance in the household if your wife is also earning.

    Typical.
  • Vasanth
    By
    Vasanth
    05.07.10 03:59 PM
    Ladies (author) & Gents,

    First the article is one woman's generalization of a whole new generation. Each man, woman have their own mind and live in unique situations. Education has given more "information" to women in general and I do agree partially with Mr. Singh, but sadly in none of the posts I see the values - love, honesty, selflessness, caring, helping.....

    These were the fundamental building blocks of a relation in the previous generations (BTW i'm 35) I ask the question, has education improved women or has it made them more egoistic. It is good to be self reliant but that should not lead to arrogance that they can live alone and do things alone. Bring another dimension - children. What happens to their lives? just because xyz cannot stand their spouse does not give them the right to spoil their lives. Again, the values that are derived from holy books are lost. Why do we talk of man and woman, why dont we talk of emotions of human beings who are in a relationships? No because we are hypocrites and want to brand issues. People tarnish the meaning of sacrifice in the "neo" world. I am not trying to judge that the man is right or the woman is right, i'm just trying to there are 3 types of right, one where the husband is right according to him, in the same situation the wife is also right according to her, but above all there is another right for the same situation - which always is the most difficult to follow which is the actual right
  • Afshan Mujawar
    By
    Afshan Mujawar
    30.06.10 09:35 PM
    A Singh: Thank you for your support towards changing the society;s mindset towards divorced women in India.

    Bijal: You know, I wrote another article on forced marriages, you can find it at this link: http://www.chillibreeze.com/articles_various/forced-marriage.asp

    Female infanticide is one of the reasons why identifying the gender of a baby before birth is illegal in India. Although it is a good move to prevent female foetus abortions, it gets a little tough for people who simply want to know and be well prepared for the new arival:P

    Thats the nature of these social evils, they just lead to bigger problems.

    Thanks for replying again!
  • tazz
    By
    tazz
    29.06.10 07:59 PM
    We live in a Society that doesn't allow us to buy a vehicle without a test drive. Somewhere it was written " Marriage is public declaration of private Affairs " your intensions or declaration here could be physical, Mental or could be financial so and so forth. Setting expections (rather intensions) in the begining solve this problem. Need a rich Partner, wait for Mr or Ms Rich, Need a Aishwarya Rao, wait for Abhishek's death, Need John Abraham then Kill Bipasha ...! Problem here is the choice we make ..!
  • Bijal
    By
    Bijal
    29.06.10 04:44 PM
    Hi Afshan.

    Great article. Yes it is a shame...Socially no one supports a lonely indian woman. This is not just in India it exists in asian communities in the UK too. We have issues such as forced marriages, honour killings, domestic violence, as well as divorced women being shunned by their families and communities... the government are slowly becoming more aware of these in asian families and are educating themselves as to how best to deal with such problems. I think when Asian men and society start seeing women as equals these problems will decrease... but till then we need to make a stand, acknowledge the problem, educate people.

    Another issue that really angers me is female infanticide in India it's so sad... I have heard accounts where even the local police in rural areas accept killing girl babies as the norm. It's been happening for years, and needs to stop. It has consequnces for example the state of Bihar has a higher male population as a result of female infanticide therefore young men have no brides... females from Nepal are trafficked and sold to such states so men can have wives.
  • Afshan Mujawar
    By
    Afshan Mujawar
    29.06.10 04:09 PM
    Bijal: I hope and pray that rural Indian women get empowered sooner than later. This tigma against divorced women is still so prevelant even in cities that it is shocking. I posted a link to this article on LinkedIn and was surprised to see some of the reactions. I hope that society stops targeting divorced women (AND men). It is a tough phase to go through in any case, societal pressure does not help at all. There have been cases where, women in abusive realtionships did not get supports from their family or the society at large and having suffered all that they could, finally resorted to suicide (In some cases, killing the husband before killing self). Pushing anyone to this limit is not human.
  • Afshan Mujawar
    By
    Afshan Mujawar
    28.06.10 06:47 PM
    Rajiv: Oh My! I feel really bad that you feel this way because of what your brother is going through. There ARE several such cases where men are trapped as financial gold mines, not just outside India but within too.

    One look at the matrimonials and you can easily tell what people are REALLY looking for in a prospect. If they are particular about a boy being a 'green card holder', then it is obvious that they are more interested in your nationality than YOU.

    However, just as men are getting cheated into deceitful marriages, so are women. And like, A Singh and Bijal said, everyone is not the same. I do hope you agree to that.

    This article only covers the right of those women who find themselves in abusive relationships NOT to be targeted by society and be given a fair chance to move on.

    I hope your brother's marriage issue gets sorted so he can live happily.
  • Afshan Mujawar
    By
    Afshan Mujawar
    28.06.10 06:40 PM
    Gurprriet: Gurprriet: The point you have made about men expecting their wives to be more like their mothers is spot on. Sometimes I think men themselves don't realise that this, which is why they admire women colleagues yet cannot tolerate their wives behaving the same way, be it the way they dress or interact with the opposite gender. I also agree, that to make any relationship work, there needs to be a certain level of maturity and tolerance. However, the point that the article explores is, women are opting out of marriages they would have otherwise stayed on in, because they are more aware, more empowered. The aim is to change the mindset which targets divorced women and endangers their chances of a normal life after a divorce.

    Sonia/ Shweta: I'm glad you liked the article.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    28.06.10 06:23 PM
    Rajiv, as an Indian man I was very disappointed in your comments. There was potentially an interesting issue you could have raised which was worth analysing. I am an NRI and have observed a disproportionate number of horror stories concerning fellow NRIs marrying girls from India. In such cases the girls have exploited the men in very devious ways.

    However, by tarring ALL Indian girls in such a vulgar way, you have lost credibility in the view you have attempted to put forward. I am sure we both know of cases within our respective communities, of men physically (and mentally) abusing their spouses. You would not then be espousing that ALL men are wife beaters, would you?
  • Bijal
    By
    Bijal
    28.06.10 06:08 PM
    I agree with you Mr Singh.

    It's called equality, Indian women are no longer the weaker sex, they don't have to compromise their dignity and desired to make a marriage work... they are now an equal... if a indian husband doesn't realise that she now has the courage and support to walk out. The sooner the rural areas in India realise the strength and place of women the better...Women are no longer a liability... they can stand for themselves.

    Rajiv...don't paint all indian women with the same brush.
  • Sweta
    By
    Sweta
    28.06.10 09:55 AM
    Hi Afshan,

    I second everything you said.
    we have to change our thinking then only the society will change.

    well written...
  • Rajiv Sharma
    By
    Rajiv Sharma
    28.06.10 01:12 AM
    Well its partially true. But there are some moneysucking women out there. Trust me my brother is married to one.

    She sends alot of money back home to her parents instead of making her own home. Indian women are not even worth looking at anymore. Their all money hungry bitches who run off with white guys.
    Indian women discust me. Never have ive seen so twofaced bitches in my life.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    26.06.10 08:48 PM
    Gurprriet, your analysis has hit the nail squarely on the head.

    Have you been writing a thesis on this:)
  • Sonia
    By
    Sonia
    26.06.10 06:13 PM
    Well put Mr Singh, I could not agree with you more.
  • Gurprriet Siingh
    By
    Gurprriet Siingh
    26.06.10 04:31 PM
    Yes, the emancipation that comes from financial independence is the primary reason why Indian women are ABLE to walk away from marriages.

    However, the REASON so many marriages are breaking up is another issue altogether. And there are 2 players in this game, the man and the woman.

    The Indian male (of the present generation), while having become comfortable with women being treated as equals in the workplace (due to seeing the same equality play out in school, college and then at work). However, the role model in his mind, of a wife, is that of his mother, who in 80% of the cases has been a housewife and has treated her husband like God. Giving up her own desires for the greater good, being second to all.

    So while this Indian male can be quite equal with a working woman, the moment the scenario is shifted to home, he expects his wife to suddenly change her entire being, and behave like a woman from 30 years ago. Demonstrate the same self sacrificing attitude as his mother. While he, in the role image of his father, has the say on almost everything.

    Women on the other hand, thanks to the emancipation due to their financial status, have no need to "take this shit" for long, and often-times choose to walk out.

    Thanks to living alone (without the counselling, self-governance, social pressure of a joint family) these 2 are free to engage in conflict, there is little help. Peers are equally unskilled and have similar issues. As a result, in absence of tolerance, conflict resolution, shared understanding. Marriages are breaking up.

    We need to have more maturity. It takes a while for 2 individuals to learn to live together. And today's youth are far more individualistic than of 20 years ago. With nuclear families, single children never learn to share or co-exist. They haven't shared rooms/toys/clothes. They haven't learned vital social skills which are a key part of managing and sustaining relationships.

    This I think is the primary reason why marriages are breaking up. Financial independence is just a variable that allows the woman to make the exit easily.

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