If you're a woman in India, the rules are many.
"Don't wear a short skirt!"
"Don't come back home late at night!"
"If you don't know how to cook, who's going to marry you?"
"Why do you want to work when your husband is earning so well?"
Before you ask me, no, there are no such rules for men. Being sanskaari is apparently the sole responsibility of a woman because after all, she's the one who has to be 'shaadi material', right?
However, I, as a woman, have a major problem with the term 'shaadi material'. It's sexist and downright derogatory!
Because firstly, ONLY women are judged on these parameters.
There are no such questions raised for a man. He can do whatever he likes and he'd still be worth a thousand girls. He doesn't have to learn how to cook, come back home on time or wear a certain kind of clothes for him to get a match.
Also, it limits a woman's personality.
She can have a flourishing career, a great group of friends and a fabulous sense of self. But if she isn't making round rotis, she's not worth anyone, is it?
As per the definition of 'shaadi material', the only way a woman can be desirable is by conforming to the age-old notion of how a woman should be.
It's regressive and limiting. It doesn't allow women to flourish and be whoever they want to be!
Has the definition of 'shaadi material' kept up with changing times? Absolutely not!
Women have broken all sorts of stereotypes in our society. They work, run their homes and look fabulous while at it. There's more to their identity than someone's wife!
It also majorly objectifies a woman.
She's a person with thoughts, emotions, ambition and desires. Calling her 'material' is treating her like an accessory, one that fulfills a certain purpose for someone.
As if she's been prepped for years to become purposeful for the man she'll marry.
She can wear a sari or a skirt. She can run a home and her own business. She can sit at home, reading a book and also party the night away.
No matter what she looks like or does, she's fabulous.
She's a woman. And every woman is different. She doesn't have to become a stereotype to become desirable.
She doesn't have to become 'shaadi material'. She's fine just the way she is!
'Shaadi material' is a sexist generalization. And it's time we do away with it!