There are a lot of Unfair things that Society expects of women post marriage. Perhaps being the most resilient lot, they face the wrath of gender-discrimination at every possible level.
Having experienced those societal pressures as a Woman and Daughter in Law myself, I have a couple of insights to share with you on this Blog. Come, let me tell you what they are.
14 Unfair things that Society Expects of Women Post Marriage
Women’s Rights often take a hit with the Society setting numerous barriers to their independence. I have come up with a list of 14 such things that Society expects of Women after their marriage. Here it goes –
1. Married Women are Considered as Baby-Generators
First and foremost that the society expects from women, is for her to give that “special news” after the wedding.
Women are Pressured into Conception
Every time some friend or neighbor aunty visits home, she would ask my mother in law, “Isn’t there any occasion?”
Don’t women have feelings of their own?
Don’t they have preferences and priorities of their own to take care of?
Are they getting married just to conceive?
I believe it’s their life and they are supposed to deal with it.
In that case, who is society to expect them to become expectant after the wedding? Are women literally baby-generating machines?
Don’t you think this mindset should change?
2. Household Chores are Daughters in law’s Responsibilities
By default, society thinks that those new daughters in law should take care of the kitchen and every other household responsibility.
Cooking is Daughters in Law’s Job
Dear society, do you teach your daughters to cook?
Just Consider these cases I have seen these coming from my own circle.
“My daughter doesn’t have time. She is too pressurized in college to even think of cooking”
“My daughter has too much workload. She doesn’t have enough time”
Ask those same people of their expectations from their daughters in law. They would be like,
“She must know cooking”
“In case she is working, she should be able to cook for us before she leaves for work”
Now look at this closely – Their working daughters have no time for cooking. On the other hand, their working daughters in law should have time to do the cooking for them.
How biased, aren’t they?!
Daughters in Law easily become People’s Target
The other day, one of my neighbors casually asked me, “Is cooking done?”
Like seriously? Only do I have the responsibility in the family to do the cooking? Why, aren’t there other people at the house to take care of the same?
All these instances raised my own doubts!
Why? Is cooking just confined to daughters in law?
3. Daughters in Law should not Stand up for themselves
Society has its own set of protocols formulated for women especially when they are married.
Thumb- Rules for Women
|Women should not raise their voices|
|Women should not fight back.|
|Women should obey their in-laws.|
And the list just goes on.
Women should not Raise their Voice
In case, a woman speaks up to prove her stand and try explaining the unjust treatment meted out to her, she would be shamed for the very sake of standing up for herself.
Say a woman fights with the apartment secretary for not making an effort to fix the terrace’s parapet wall right, which she had requested to get done considering her child’s safety.
People in the apartment would be like, “Look at Padma’s daughter in law. How arrogant and disrespectful, she is“
Does that mean Women should take a vow of silence post their wedding? What’s wrong if they give their voice for a cause or speak up for themselves?
4. Married Women should Sport a Traditional Outlook
Once women get married, society expects them to wear clothes that cover them from tip to toe.
Women are Judged based on their Costumes
In case, a married woman is spotted wearing capri pants or trousers, she would be looked down at with whispers. “Look! She is married but she is wearing all these clothes as though she is a girl”
Oh, wait! When girls wear them, do you let them free as well? You would be like, “See how these girls these days dress like men. Aren’t they supposed to wear full-length skirts or sarees?! “
My point here is, shouldn’t women follow their individual interests in this aspect?
5. Married Women should not Visit their Parents Unnecessarily
In India, married men could stay with their parents while married women should “get due permission and approval” from their in-laws and spouse to even visit their parents.
In what way is this practice even justifiable?
Daughters in Law should maintain a safe distance their own Parents
My mother, who would sulk every time that her daughter in law announces that she would be visiting her parents, would murmur to me, “A daughter in law should not visit her parents often. What would society think?”
On the contrary, the same lady now asks her married daughter to visit her every now and then, as she, being the mother, duly misses her daughter.
Now, where did her mindless principles dissipate?
All these double-standard practices only lead to building up differences and frustration in the family. When will this situation change?
6. Women should Stay Away from their Parents after their Marriage
All these days, I had been thinking that marriage would establish relations between two people and their families. Not until I came across this narration from one of my friends.
Daughters should Forget their Parents after their Marriage
Being the eldest daughter of her parents, my friend emphasized how she had the responsibility of taking care of her parents and getting her younger sister married. In fact, she had this idea, to move her parents with her after her mother’s retirement.
Aren’t her thoughts appreciable and show how duty-bound she is as a daughter?
But take a look at her mother in law’s perspective. The following had been her response when they were discussing some other woman who was more or less facing the same issue as my friend.
“How could parents of women share the same roof as their sons-in-law and their family? How would that even work?”
Does that mean parents of daughters should be allowed to fend for themselves in their old age? Is that how daughters should show tribute to their parents who had raised them so well with good education and values?
Does that mean women should severe their ties with their families post their wedding? In what way is that even acceptable?
7. Women should Forget Shopping, Cinemas, and Vacations
Most of the women would love shopping because they set no limitation to their closet space. Most of the women would even love visiting theatres and enjoy taking adventurous trips.
But would Marriage allow them to follow their desires?
As marriage brings in with it a plethora of responsibilities, women’s shopping spree would reduce to mere window-shopping. And all their interest and love for vacations and theatres would stare at its staggering end.
Spend-Thrift Daughters in Law are tagged as being Irresponsible
Take my case, with an eye for clothes.
Every time that I would venture out for other shopping purposes, I’d end up buying clothes or a bunch of ear jewellery.
My mother in law, who undoubtedly does not appreciate the idea, once indirectly passed on a remark to my husband, “I know how you are irresponsibly wasting your money. Investing in clothes would fetch you literally nothing”
And the same happens with my mother who would crib every time that my sister in law returns back with the baggage of clothes. “Look at how she is wasting money. Why is she being so irresponsible?”
Why? Didn’t my mother or mother in law go through a similar phase in their lives?
Can’t these grumbling mothers in law instead advise their daughters in law how they need to become mindful of their spending habits considering the family responsibilities they are loaded with?
There is always a way to put across a point.
Like how responsibilities unfold gradually with age, changes would also happen in a similar manner. Everybody should be given the time to get over with their desires and understand the crux of leading a minimalist life.
When the time comes, women would indeed turn responsible. And the grousing society should understand that.
8. Married Women by default should be the Care-takers of their In-laws
While the society clearly thinks that parents are not the daughters’ responsibility, they are categorical about this as well; That daughters in law should take care of their in-laws at any cost.
What kind of apathy is this towards the parents of female children?
Women are forced to fail their Parents
During the initial matrimonial formalities, my in-laws rightfully stated to my parents, “The only expectation that we have from our future daughter in law is that she should take care of us”
Of course, it would not be morally right if women fail to look after their in-laws. But is it morally right if they ignore their parents?
Why is this sort of privilege given only to Women’s in-laws and not her parents? What forms the basis of all this societal stigma? Shouldn’t this change?
9. Women should always make Compromises and Sacrifices
Women are epitomized as the carrier of patience and love as much as they are associated with compromises and sacrifices.
But does that mean they are supposed to stifle their outflow of emotions in regards to every hogwash that they would encounter in their lives?
Women should be the Guardians of their Relationships
My mother would often advise me, “You have to adjust no matter what, in your In-Laws’ place. Don’t get into unnecessary quarrelling either with your in-laws or your husband. It will only affect your relationship with them”
Of course, I am not going to get into unnecessary fights with anybody for that matter. But why is this advice being given to women only?
Shouldn’t it be a common advice for all?
Why? Are Compromises just restricted to women?
10. Women should Wake up Early No matter what
From waking up early in the morning to finishing off household chores before time, all duties befall married women.
Unfortunately for them, Sleeping an extra hour during weekends would burn the eyes of people around. Why?
Women Should not Over-Sleep
The other day, my aunt who had called up casually asked me, “When did you wake up?”
“At 8.30 AM”
And she was taken aback, unable to process the fact. Why?
On the other hand, all those working-men who are seemingly experiencing work-induced fatigue would be allowed to enjoy the coziness of extra sleep and feast without any complaints at all. Is that even fair? (Luckily for me here, my own parents and In-Laws do not fuss over this factor. )
My argument here is not about Women waking up early, which is definitely a good practice. Rather why are they forced to practice it?
11. Women are Restricted to Make Decisions on Their Career
Just like how men decide their career, women have the right to choose theirs as well.
But is that the actual case?
Women with Children should not Work
“Look! She has a one-year-old daughter. How is she able to give priority to her work instead? Is her career that important considering her husband’s already elevated status?”
In-Laws choose to decide on their Daughters in Law’s Career in India
In India, in-laws are given the authority to choose whether their daughters in law should work or not. Is that not a breach of the basic rights of these women?
Take this case.
My friend was considered for the alliance by her in-laws only after she had accepted their condition to continue working even after marriage.
“We want our daughter in law to work, no matter what”, they had cautioned.
And she was literally forced into it against her desire of being a house-wife. Is that even fair?
Whether women want to work or not, they have to decide. IT’S THEIR RIGHT, after all.
Who is the Society to decide things for them?
The downside here is even if women are working, their domestic responsibilities do not come down. And that’s how unfair this society is to women.
12. Women Should be Socialising A lot
All women would have their own characteristics and traits. Having said that, is it fair to expect the reserved lot to socialize and mingle with everybody?
Chit-chatting Women are considered the Best
My mother once pointed out, “Look at Ravi’s daughter in law. How lovely that she talks and mixes so well. She seems so sweet.”
Okay, does that mean that those not-so-talkative lots belong to the bad category?
Why do people judge others BASELESSLY? When would this change for the better?
13. Women Should Limit Their Acquaintance with the Opposite Gender
Spotting any woman with a man would spark rumors within the society. And the case is no different for married women.
My mother would often warn me, “Don’t get along too much with the boys. We never know what their true intentions are”
Are we living in an age where male and female relationships are just considered NORMAL?
14. Women should Eat Only After Others in the Family Eat
God knows why there is this tacit rule that women should only eat after serving others at home.
Women should Serve Guests all the time
Say, there are guests at home. These men at home would order their wives duly to serve the food for them and the guests first. Why? Can’t these men take up the responsibility and serve the guests and their wives for a change?
Who framed such biased rules?
Is it not Society? When will this change for the better?
No matter what, Society finds ways to target women in some way or the other and that’s how sad the plight of married women is. Just that women should learn to shove them off or respond to them effectively to get themselves off the road of grousing untangled and sane!