Your fault is that you're a woman. That's it. Half of your problems exist because of that, and the other half, well, they're just ridiculous so shut up!
We live in a world that is forever ready to dictate what’s right and what’s wrong for a woman. Our society has these otherworldly codes of conduct for women, only to hold them against us if we don't prescribe to their rigid and baseless morals. As if the sole purpose of a woman's life is to live up to the societal expectations of an 'ideal' woman because 'log kya kahenge.'
Here is a list of completely normal things that society makes women feel guilty about because they believe 'Aurat ho toh aisi warna na hi ho!'
1. Having a job. How can you even think of having a career?
Welcome to our regressive world. We will make women with successful careers feel guilty if they are not prioritizing their 'womanly' domestic duties. We will also frown upon unmarried career-driven women since their only goal in life should be to get married and mass produce babies. You see? It's all about marriage, babies, and domestic life for women in our world.
2. Earning more than your partner because Abhimaan is not just a movie.
A woman should support her husband by dropping her dreams and ambitions. She must, at all costs, settle for less in her career because the burden of massaging the fragile male ego falls upon her shoulders.
3. Prioritising career over motherhood because a woman's life must be centred around her kids.
Turns out, if not for husbands, women are expected to give up careers for the sake of their children. Because, who will nurture the kids? Surely, a man cannot be expected to do so. The funny thing is that this unsaid responsibility magically falls upon women without much discussion. And when the woman, in her mid-life, tries to have a second go at life, she is made to feel awkward AF.
4. Not wanting to marry because a woman is incomplete without a man.
I do not understand the Indian obsession with marriages. Why do parents start forcing their kids into wedlock in their 20s? Why not wanting to marry is not even an option in most cases? Well, as Florynce Kennedy said, 'A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle,' which is to say that a woman does not NEED a man for anything.
5. Not wanting kids because who will take care of you when you grow old.
Why does society keep on pressurizing married couples to have babies? Soon after the marriage, a couple has to put up with all sorts of questions regarding their family planning. Suddenly, everybody is interested in their lives. And what if the woman doesn't even want to make a baby? Well, that's not even an option for them.
Haridwar, Uttarakhand | Parents move court against son&daughter-in-law, demand grandchildren/Rs 5 cr compensation.— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) May 11, 2022
They were wedded in 2016 in hopes of having grandchildren. We didn't care about gender, just wanted a grandchild: SR Prasad, Father pic.twitter.com/mVhk024RG3
6. Wearing a bikini, wearing a hijaab, wearing clothes, not wearing clothes, because you're sexually arousing those pervert men no matter what.
Isn't rape a woman's fault? Women sexually entice men just by existing, and men are predators. They will hunt no matter what. So, a decent woman would not step out of her house at night. If she does, she is probably wanting it. Yes, that's the world we live in.
7. Choosing to be a single parent after divorce because you're incapable of taking care of kids all by yourself.
Yes, these are the double standards. A woman is expected to give up everything for her kids, and even then, she is incapable of raising them herself. She needs that batch of honor and credibility, which will only come to her in the form of a husband.
8. Having male friends after marriage because 'ek ladka aur ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte!'
Chill! Not everyone is Rahul and Anjali. I honestly find this mentality nauseating. Why should a woman give up on her male friends after marriage? Why do we have to sexualize everything?
9. Wanting a divorce because 'thoda sa compromise toh karna hi padta hai.'
Society is always ready for all sorts of gyaan on adjustment and compromises one has to make for a long-lasting marriage. Getting a divorce for mental sanity is off the list because it's taboo, especially if you're a woman. Just gulp your misery in silence and grow immune to the pain.
10. Being sexually active because how dare you have sexual desires?
An Indian woman cannot even think of having sex before marriage. Her virginity is sacred. She is supposed to stay a virgin until her wedding with the man her parents choose for her. The same person would deflower her, and she shouldn't deny sex to her partner after marriage because all of a sudden, sex is now important.
11. Not being as interested in household chores because 'shaadi ke baad kya karogi.'
The daughter helping mom with food in the kitchen and the son chilling alongside dad watching television is a typical setting of every other Indian household with pre-defined gender roles. It is deeply disturbing how, right from the start, daughters are trained to do such stuff not because it is necessary to be independent, but because they have to become wives someday. And sons are not taught anything because their wives will be their servants one day.
12. Not wanting to have sex after marriage because what is consent anyway.
It's deeply disturbing how women are still fighting to criminalize marital rape in India. According to society, the concept of consent does not exist in marriages because the husband rightfully owns his wife's body, and he can do anything he pleases. Sex, once a taboo, is now a woman's moral duty to her husband post-marriage. She should give it to him, willingly or unwillingly.
13. Not wanting to change names after marriage because you're supposed to give your everything to your husband, even your identity.
Not just the house, the woman is supposed to give up her name and her identity after marriage and adopt her husband's identity. It's like she is supposed to be this new person and forget whoever TF she was before those seven pheras.
14. Being strong headed because no one likes a woman with opinions.
An opinionated woman is seen as too bold, vulgar, and not the ladylike person she should be. If you have authentic opinions, they would be considered useless and ignored because sexism runs deep in our world. And honestly, even if you are the leader, men would still prefer dealing with your immediate male subordinate.
15. Being too fat, too thin, dark skinned, having bodily hair because who TF will marry you.
Everything boils down to weddings in our society. You have to be beautiful and of the perfect shape and size for a man to honor you with the privilege of being his wife. The marriage certificate is a proof of woman's legitimacy in our world.
16. Not seeking permission from in-laws to do stuff b*tch because they own you now.
This is so messed up and it still happens by the way. Parents own you before marriage only to hand you over to your new owners, your in-laws, and husband. Marriage is transactional, and women will always be deprived of autonomy in their lives.
Tell me about it. It used to take me two days and sleepless nights to get the courage to ask MIL if I could visit my family. Now I look back and think why did I do that but I was very young at the time. Now I am an angry auntyjee so nobody dares say anything— Alia Waheed (@AliaWaheed) June 17, 2022
Yes. This common practice in India to control a daughter in law. I was not allowed to meet my friends or Sister living near my home.— Pratibha Singh (@Pratibha24singh) June 18, 2022
My father in law said, "Shadi k baad friendship nahi hoti hai".
17. Dating because 'ache ghar ki ladkiyan aise nahi karti'
Why is a woman's dating life equated with her character? I am super perplexed about what acche ghar ki ladkiyaan actually do because I don't think they are allowed to do anything at all. They are just puppets in the hands of a dictatorial society.
18. Worshipping during periods because a woman is 'apavitra' during those days.
The taboo around periods is ridiculous and yet another way to marginalize women for no apparent reason at all. Stigmatizing something very natural should be a taboo than the other way round.
19. Having a life after kids because 'bacchon ko kon sambhalega.'
After marriage, a woman's social life is restricted. You can't even think of seeing your buddies for years. And even if you do, you'll have to take your kids along because who else will take care of them.
20. Drinking because your character is a little dicy if you're that girl who drinks.
Our Dos and Don'ts are defined by the gender narrative that deems men to be superior beings. A good woman does not drink because it doesn't suit her modesty while men can drink because 'men will be men.' It's like being a man gives one the license to do anything on earth. And if you're a woman? Well, you better go to the kitchen and cook food.
Society graces women with the burden of upholding their hypocritical morality. Women are made to feel guilty for living their lives.
You'd come at me and say a lot has changed. Yes, it has. But, a lot still has to change. We have a long way to go and we're nowhere near our destination. We're nowhere near Gender Equality.