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Interview With The Founder Of iitiimshaadi.com Reveals How We Share The Blame For This Misogyny

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By Krishangi Singh:

In most parts of the world, women, when being praised, are showered with compliments on their skills, beauty, work, talent etc., but women in India are appreciated by our society only when they do what they are ‘supposed’ to do. Words such as obedient, meek, proficient in household chores, good cooks and other such adjectives that glorify their ‘fitting in’ into the roles defined by our patriarchal culture are considered to be the highest honour they can achieve.

A still from the movie '2 States'
A still from the movie ‘2 States’

When we use such adjectives to appreciate the women around us, it shows how little we value them. Even television advertisements show women’s most prolific achievement to be ruling the household domain! With such perception of women, arranged marriages become the choice for most men in this country and their families when they look for a bride with such a specific job resume.

Websites such as shaadi.com and bharatmatrimony.com have come up with profiles of eligible gentlemen and ladies to find their perfect matches with millions of applications available, but sooner than later, more target specific websites had to sprout up.

One such website is iitiimshaadi.com. Yes, you read it right! This website’s target user group is men who are alumni of the two premier education institutes of the country, Indian Institute of Technology & Indian Institute of Management. Although it doesn’t limit itself to only these two institutes, it only takes in application of men with higher education from eminent national and international institutions.

So, why are we putting this website under scrutiny? Surely there are other target-specific matrimonial websites like secondshaadi.com and positivesaathi.com. The catch of this website, however, is that the male applicants with their fancy degrees from top-notch colleges do not look here for an intellectually compatible wife, but rather someone who would be willing to sacrifice her career & stay at home to do the household chores. The website allows women candidates to apply here without prominent educational qualification so long as they are willing to accept that their career will not be given equal importance as that of their husbands.

Yet, it will not be fair if I don’t bring to light the other side of the picture. On a phone interview with Dr. Ajay Gupta (Founder and Director of the website), I asked him his perspective about this one-of-a-kind matrimonial start-up:

Why did you choose to name it after IIT and IIM?

Dr. Ajay Gupta – We have not solely targeted IIT and IIM. We used the name of these two institutions in our website so that the audience can get the message that this website is only for people who have studied from premier institutions. If you see inside the website, you will notice about 100 other institutions listed along with IIT & IIM. Thus, it is an indicative name that we have used. It does not limit the field of studies as we have included top institutes of each field, whether it is sciences, humanities or theatrics.

Don’t you think it would be more prudent if educational qualification for men and women had the same bar, surely women will be more understanding regarding the work-load of their spouse if they both work on same level in the job hierarchy?

Dr. Ajay Gupta – What you’ve pointed out is relevant. The reasons for putting difference in educational standard for men and women are that the population ratio of women to men in such pre-eminent institutes is 1:5. Thus, if we do not lower the education standard for women, then there will not be enough women applicants to strike a balance with the male ones.

Do men registered on your website not require women who have similar educational background for intellectual compatibility?

Dr. Ajay Gupta – We surveyed around 100 men and asked them about how qualified they would want their spouses to be. The result of the survey showed us that only about 20% men said that they want their spouses to have same educational qualification as themselves. It is not necessary that an IIT or IIM graduate wants a wife who has graduated from the same college. Intellectual compatibility is required, but they could find it with an LSR graduate too. So, we have targeted the wants of all segments of men and women by lowering the education bar for women.

Dr. Ajay Gupta’s perspective cannot be discarded entirely. His argument is relevant and the fact remains that the statistics he provided are correct. After all, it is not his fault that men are okay with having spouses from varied educational backgrounds (which is actually healthy). The website he has set-up is only to cater to the demands of the public and run his business.

His actions and intentions are not to insult women, yet his misogynist tendencies cannot be ignored. It will nevertheless be wrong to blame this one man for something that the society has promoted for so long. We all have seen elders in our families asking our male siblings to aspire for these very colleges, whether for the sake of fat paychecks or a fair spouse. We have seen our friends and sisters get into arranged marriages where a major criterion for selecting the groom is his alma mater.

Misogyny is so deep rooted in our culture that it is no longer differentiated from our lives, yet sexism against men is present just as rampantly. When we criticize a start-up of this sort, we must remind ourselves that even though this website questions a woman’s intellectual capacities, it simultaneously judges a man solely on the basis of his higher education.

I fail to judge which one is worse.

You must be to comment.
  1. Babar

    This article is manipulative and takes away women’s choice to be what they want to be. If a wants to be a homemaker and chooses the comfort, peace, and security of her home over the gruelling hours in the office, why are people against it?

  2. Prashant Kaushik

    What rubbish. Stop throwing blames on the system.
    This iitiimshaadi.com or any other object of your criticism today, can’t survive even a day of its life, if the women community stand up to shun them away in totality.
    But, as long as there is greed for a quick shortcut to easy and rich life, so shall such concepts keep reanimating.

  3. women Hater

    Yet another article written by a frustrated feminist woman!

    1. Krishangi Singh

      In case you didn’t read the final arguement, please know that I’ve pointed out that sexism goes both ways.
      This isn’t frustation, just a clear picture of our biased attitude, Mr. Women Hater.

    2. Karthik

      Though the article you have written is good but it captures only what the men want. It should also have highlighted about the girl and her parents who have studied from good or elite colleges. If they are from IITs or IIMs,then they want the boy either from these colleges or reputed colleges so that he can match their status. Then the girl and her parents should also think whether they want a son in law who is supportive of her or other egositic person (maybe) who focusses on his career only.
      The article written is covering only the one side of the coin and not the other.
      And as long as we Indian believe that only highly educated persons are better and rest are not,such kind of services will also exist to meet the demands of people.

  4. Neha

    I don’t think that the man has misogynist tendencies. If the target audience of the website is men from iit and iim who want to marry a woman who isn’t from a really good university, then women who want to marry those kind of men will sign up on the website. Your argument is invalid, I don’t understand how the website is misogynist. Similarly, the argument could be turned around and we could also say that woman who sign up on that website just want men who went to a good university and will now (probably) earn a lot of money! Is not okay to have preferences?? This is pathetic, joining the website is a choice for both parties, it’s not misogynistic wth.

  5. Babar

    If there has to be equality in every sense, can you tell me why women usurp half of their husbands property at the time of divorce?

    1. Tulika

      That is a very narrow way of putting things. You cannot overlook other instances. I absolutely do not support women usurping half of their husband’s property during divorce. There are all kinds of people and haveing such typical stereotypes about women or men are nothing but disastrous. There are also women who are willing to provide financially for their husband. In short, not everything can be narrowed down to genders, it is the people. There are certain men who crave for dowries and there are certain women who want to usurp their husband’s property. Honestly, for a lack of better word, your shallowness and half knowledge is sad really.

    2. Babar

      You have mentioned that we should not overlook other instances, without really mentioning them. All you state is dowry, using it as a weapon to hide behind the fact that women do usurp half of the property of men during divorce. And if you are going to use dowry as an excuse for women’s repulsive behavior, then please allow me to tell you that women get clothes, jewellery, cash, and gifts for themselves and often for their whole families from the groom’s side during their marriages.

  6. manasi

    It is definitely wrong to “capitalize” on our society’s patriarchal system and let it perpetuate. Misogyny is deep rooted in our system is a fact and womens’ movements are fighting so hard against it. Through his enterprise, Dr. Gupta is validating and approving this kind of misogyny and is giving a huge set-back to all their efforts.
    At the same time I agree with what Krishangi has written:”When we criticize a start-up of this sort, we must remind ourselves that even though this website questions a woman’s intellectual capacities, it simultaneously judges a man solely on the basis of his higher education.”
    So this again proves me point. Dr. Gupta is not only letting the perpetuate misogyny, he is also perpetuating the patriarchy’s standard when it comes to treating its men – solely on degrees.
    So this enterprise is a big No-No not just for our women, but also for our men.

  7. Templetwins

    Indian women are hypergamous(marry up). Even if they earn a lakh per month, they want a husband who earns 3 lakhs. The society encourages women to marry someone, in order to increase their social standard. Many men prefer women who doesn’t earn as much as them, because men would still respect women who earns less than them, but on the other hand, women would find their husband to be less of a man if he earns less than her. Guess what people, it is ‘misogyny’ if that’s what women prefers. Men are not human beings, they are human doings, they are atm machines and wallets for these women, it can’t be ‘misandry’ and that last paragraph is simply a ‘lip service’, so the OP cannot be blamed for dwelling in her narcissistic bubble.

  8. Babar

    Women are Gold Diggers, and so are their parents. All parents want rich boys for their daughters, and women themselves prefer men who are ‘well settled’, have no hesitation in accepting clothes, gifts and jewellery worth lacs at the time of marriage, and are ready to usurp half of a man’s property in case of a divorce.

  9. Boris S. Kalita

    It is very obvious that the article is not about taking away what women want. Its about taking away what the misogynist section of the society has coerced them to believe since childhood and thus for once, letting them realise what they actually desire. Once that happens, it really should not matter if she is a homemaker or a corporate leader, as long as it is her own personal choice.

  10. Shruthi Venukumar

    My points of departure from the viewpoint in this article … a) Sometimes we put too much emphasis on educational qualifications, be it for men or for women. Mediocrity is no crime. Let’s not reduce seeking a soulmate to an exercise akin to fishing out the best candidates to an opening in the job market. There is no guarantee that comparable alma maters will lead to happy matrimony. In many cases, similar ambitions and drives could be disastrous and a point of incompatibility in itself. b) An increasing number of women these days are settling down (happily) with men who are “beneath” them as far as academic credentials go. c) Many people seek out “lesser” educational institutions out of interest and dedication to fields unattended to by elite institutions. They need not be an accurate watertight measurement of one’s intellect.

    1. Gaurav

      I agree with every single word you said but I would like to point out that Mediocrity has no place in the process of evolution and natural selection and therefore should not be considered for marriage as a process of reproduction. Even as a life partner a mediocre is not worthy of marriage this is because in the economy of tough competition a mediocre is less likely to survive or guarantee you a comfortable life. Not forgetting that a capitalist economy incentivises people to widen the wealth gap, be selfish without mercy to those who have nothing to eat.

      – A graduate from a top class world university

  11. virender yadav

    Great! This is the top online community portal for indian youth. Thanks …

  12. AgniR

    Misogyny is actually very deep rooted in the Indians and I am talking about both men and women. In any case this is a redundant argument and it seems it is going to stay so for many years to come.

    In any case, somebody on a online forum pointed out once: IITs and IIMs are not the hallmarks of success or even achievement. But yes, they are the means of achievements later in life. I hope Indians realize this sooner or later and act more sensibly.

    What people do not realize is that because India is a developing country and which is why Engineers and MBA graduates are given the importance that they are given here. I personally feel that expect for the medical profession (and that is if I must give some respect for merely being a professional in a field), is only worthy of respect.

    But the real question is, ‘Why are people judging and overshadowing qualities like as empathy, care and sensitivity because somebody went to an IIT or an IIM?’

    Recently, I read a story about a Robotic engineer whose name I have forgotten, he is neither an IITian or an MBA, but he responsible for fulfilling the massive demand for indigenous robot and the Indian Govt is his single largest client. This is what should be ideally considered an achievement! And please note: he is not an IITian!

    As for the creators of the start up, the less one talks about them the better. Resources are freely available for all to either counter misogynist attitudes or to reinforce them. They have clearly chosen the much traveled and but highly undesirable road!

    1. Rajiv97

      I am a graduate from a good engineering as well as management college, but unfortunately not the top ones. I also do not possess very good looks or very good height. I am a passout of a management institute which is listed in girls category but not in the boys one. I am doomed, should I stop aspire for getting married?

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