Being ‘A Respectable Married Woman’ contd…

I have tried to live my life on my terms, with whatever limited agency we all have. I have always told people off, when they were moronish enough to comment on what I consider ‘none of your business’.Why am I starting this blog so soon after marriage… it’s because I am seeing the scary side of how society can dictate the terms of my life and how it is slowly encroaching upon my space and sanity, in a never before seen manner.

Because somehow people associate marriage with respectability and married love/lust has always been paraded and lauded over other forms of love/lust. [An aside : In a place like India, we are truly the first generation when live – in – relationships and pre – marital sex have become a not so common but  accepted aspect of society, even if not seen as the norm( at least among the youth in metro cities).]

So, the moment you are married your status and responsibilities dramatically changes in the eyes of society. Your love and commitment towards your spouse becomes secondary and your roles as a wife and eventually mother becomes more important.Because with respectability also comes responsibilities and duties, not what you feel as duty but rather what is acceptable as duty in the eyes of society. It tells you that as a respectable married woman, only some ways of loving and living are acceptable, only a few ways in which a respectable married woman can express herself, only a limited number of paths along which she can channel her desires and ambitions, only some emotions that  she is allowed to feel and to always always put  her family  duties before her own self.

Even Strangers now take the liberty to comment, crticize, evaluate and pass judgments on me as a person based on how well I fit the ‘Dutiful Wife’ mode.People always start their stupid conversations with “now that you are married…”, ‘How you lived earlier does not matter but now you should…’, What did you cook today…, and give me utterly random advice on house keeping, parenting ( seriously?) , cooking, family duties… things that I consider boring, irrelevant or what I consider ‘ completely my own business’.

In reward for putting up with and perpetuating these insufferable ways of thinking, it shall glorify motherhood and woman hood, celebrate women’s day and all other related days with all the trappings of consumerist craze(including  special dinner coupons, all shades of pink merchandise and discounts on anything from nail art to auto mobile spare parts)You may think that I am over  exaggerating but this brings me to the very core of the problem. These aspects of ‘marital bliss’ and social conventions are so naturalised that even talking about them seems like ‘making a mountain out of mole hill’. We are conditioned to accept, follow and glorify what restrains and reduces us. Our suffocating corsets have become second skins to us. Most often the tyranny of marriage as an institution, is lost in it’s self – aggrandising projects of love, romance, duty and riding into sunsets. Who doesn’t want a ‘and they lived happily forever.’

This desire for institutionalized relationship is inculcated in us from a very early age and this inculcation goes hand in hand with the cultivation of acceptable gender norms and behavior.

Women have always been censored about what they wear, how they conduct themselves, what they think and how they express those thoughts. I have always felt rebellious and fought bitter fights even with my very liberal and understanding family members. They learned very soon that, on some things, I cannot be bent or broken but only be loved as I am. They sometimes choose to call me the tyrant, don’t completely agree with my logic or arguments, but credit to them, they have not alienated me.We fight, we scream, we argue and then we laugh, we hug and we love.

I don’t feel the need to justify my actions to anyone but I also don’t mince words when they invade what I hold sacred. Ever since, I announced my engagement, I have been making my standards on love and life very clear . But now I want to go one step further.. I want to share my experiences with other people and through it engage in the largerquestions that matter to me.. after all.. the personal is political..

My blog will also include other interests like literature, food and art. I am majorly into crafting and a self taught amateur painter..love to travel.. enjoy nature, watch people and animals.. love meeting new people… a bookworm.. an occassional poet and story teller….enjoy cooking (occasionally)…and also hope to share all of these with you lovely people out there..

P.S. If not for my wonderfully understanding husband who doesn’t give shit about my wifely duties/ responsibilities or my ‘feminine’ qualities…. and makes me laugh and makes me go mad..I would seriously be on my way to a lawyer for a divorce..

yours truly