Home > diary, family, feminism, indian, patriarchy, stereotypes > We don’t want to be ‘liberated’ – II

We don’t want to be ‘liberated’ – II

The parallel here is, of course, P & me. When we were to get married, P, like any normal, sensible, self-respecting man would, refused to accept any dowry (not that any was ever offered to him. Would be interesting for him to have tea with the Mad Hatter, who offers things that are not there. And P refuses things that are not offered). Obviously, in the traditional parochial community that he hails from, this was a radical move, and one that was held up with great pride + consternation. His family may be the less conventional sub-species, but it is still a radical move to not give/take dowry, and one that was much-whispered about. The only respectable way out, at times, was to cite my family’s inability to pay (“they’re in service, not in business, you see, and it would be such a burden on her parents”. Pshaw!!)

So now, after our wedding, there’ve recently been two other weddings in the immediate circle of relations. And both times, the men have been very alright with accepting with open hands all that has been given to them. P and others have tried to speak to them, to help set an example. And the only way the argument could’ve been made was by making P a hero, as someone who’s great and bold and special, a pioneer. “See, he’s not taken anything from the girl’s family”.

My way of looking at it is quite the opposite – the only way to get a long-term sustainable solution is to mark the opposite side as ‘odd’: “oh, they give/take dowry”. But to start off the solution, we’ll need to make the normal very special. So we put a red bow on P and market him.

Unfortunately, it didn’t really help.

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