Growing up in my family, I was taught that I was just not good enough. That I’d always be one step lower than my male counterparts: whether it was my brother, my father or my future husband. It took me a while to realize that all of these thoughts, were nothing more than society’s age-old ways finding its way into our lives today.
A family claims that they are modern and liberal, but a true test of this is to see how they treat their women; their sisters, friends, wife, and mother.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not been mistreated by my family, and I love the man that I’m about to marry. But no matter what happens in the world, society will find a way to keep reminding us that we aren’t equal. And this interfered in our lives sooner than I’d have liked it too.
After things started getting “real” with my husband and me, I began noticing that there were times when he became the superior one, and events used to be scheduled as per his availability, and not so much mine.
Some would wonder, that if I’ve married a kind and loving man who always cares about me, why then, am I negative about these tiny, trivial matters that affect our lives?
Let me give you a little background about myself and how I was brought up. Like most Indian families, I grew up in a joint family and eventually a nuclear family of four- my parents, my elder sister and I. My elder sister and I got engaged very recently, with almost just a week’s gap in between. And this is when things started getting chaotic. My parents have always thought of me as “the son of my family”, of course, I would rather be known as “the responsible daughter of the family” instead.
Almost overnight, my parents had none of their daughters staying with them. While we both had to live with and love the families that we were married into. Without a choice, both of us had to leave our home while our parents had to spend the rest of their lives alone, wondering when they’d get to meet us next- maybe this week, maybe the next?
How is it that we were asked to give up everything and marry someone, and suddenly all our duties and responsibilities have to change, otherwise we become the “bad, modern, daughter-in-law”.
Who defined these rules? Why has this not changed? Why can’t both the families be mutually understanding, and accept the newlyweds as their own kids, and not a son-in-law or a daughter-in-law?
We hear about feminism almost every day. Lately, it’s all over the news. Yet, we simply can’t seem to let this change begin from within our homes. It’s easy to tweet about these things, or to talk about it over a coffee with friends. But that’s it. We don’t talk about these changes being incorporated in our own lives.
And I’d like to even ask my dear husband:
No matter how much you love and support me, from letting me follow my career, my dreams, giving me all of this respect… I need you to support me by supporting and loving my family too.
A girl leaves her house to accept a new family as her own, but why can’t a boy learn to love and care for her family too? Especially if he knows that there isn’t a “son” to hold the fort down?
I don’t seek new parents, I already have the best ones. I don’t want to follow society’s rules only as per my convenience. I will make my own. I’m not asking you to leave your parents because I understand the pain of leaving mine, but why can’t we find a way to support them all, equally?
Or am I crossing the line here? Do you think I’m asking for too much?