Dear uncle/aunt/teacher/friend/neighbour/or to all those who think it concerns them,
I write this as I am overwhelmed by the concern and love you shower upon me (and on all those womxn who face a similar plight). Dearest ‘well-wisher’ marriage from your perspective might look like a necessary condition for maintaining my constructive and participatory role and identity in this society. Definitely, the significance of marriage is embedded within our cultural and traditional practices.
However, this dogmatic view of marriage does not explain your right to pressurise anyone to get married. An individual’s life on this land is governed by the Constitution of India, and if you are unaware, the constitution guarantees fundamental rights to its citizens not based on their marital status.
If I am not married by the time society wants me to, it means that I have other priorities or just that I have my doubts about this social custom. Don’t confuse me for a packaged food material that shall be left on the shelf forever if not send out (married off) before the date of expiry. My refusal to not consider marriage in the short run does not mean that I am engaged in a secret relationship. It simply means that I am not ready for marriage.
My choices do not give you any rights to automatically assume that there must be something wrong with me. Please understand that as an adult over and above the age of 18, I have every right to be taken seriously and a man’s validation through marriage will not make me a complete woman because I was never incomplete.
You might be afraid that if allowed to live freely outside marital bonds I might bring dishonour to the community/family due to the ‘uncontrollable’ female sexual thirst. For you, marriage might alone be an approved form for sexual activity. Then you are mistaken as consent is the lone and requirement for sexual activity. I do not need a ‘man’ to protect my modesty, as my body is my right and legal provisions are in my favour as well.
For us Indians, marriage has mostly been a lifetime commitment and often comes with a baggage of duties and customs in our society that can be suffocating and tiresome. The societal pressure attached to marriage is forcing us to consider marriage as a tangible threat. Intoxicated by Patriarchy you are giving women anxiety about remaining single.
You have no right to guilt us in living our lives in the manner we voluntarily chose. Marriage should be about companionship and not a race for acceptance. It is futile to marry someone to whom you are not attracted just because time is running out or because age is catching up. Loving yourself and being happy alone be the top priority rather than making marriage seem like the only “normal” choice for a happy ending. We, youngsters, deserve more room to explore what we want in life for ourselves whether it is our partner choices or be it matters relating to our sexuality.
I understand that you have expectations of when we should get married and whom we should get married to. But let me ask you what would be your gain if I seal the deal? Is it the good time we can have on my marriage eve or is it the food you can gobble in the name of my marriage…? In either case, let me know, marriage is not the only solution for some good time or getting some food, we can make some other arrangements. If that is not your botheration, then my life is not your business, you can keep your opinion to yourself.
Thanks & Regards,
A frustrated youth