The Wardrobe of a Woman and the dignity and grace of the entire clan .

Some people believe that dressing modestly is a part of respecting the boundaries of marriage. “You’re married? You do not look like it,” is a phrase women hear even after a decade of being married. Especially in India, women have to look different once they are married. Once you tie the knot, your wardrobe has to announce your marital status.

A woman has to be a sari-clad, wearing sindoor and mangal sutra, but men can roam around the house in shorts and tees all their lives. There is no obligation for men to ‘look married’ and ‘sanskari’. Men can go on living their lives, nothing much changes once they are married but women become ‘ghar ki izzat’ (honour of the family) the moment she steps inside a new home. A woman is treated as a walking, talking platform meant to display her husband’s wealth.

A woman is treated as a walking, talking platform meant to display her husband’s wealth. The imaginary ‘izzat’ of the house is let down and the family has to face severe embarrassment if a married woman is spotted wearing anything western. The wardrobe of a woman can have a drastic impact on dignity and grace of the entire clan.

Imagine the world where men have to wear traditional attires, talk softly, cook delicacies, and make babies. Do you think men would be able to carry on with the weight of the world on their shoulders?

In ancient India, Hindu men and women adorned themselves with exotic jewelry around their bodies. Hindu scriptures talk in detail about how men relished accessorising themselves. Over a period, men stopped being decorative pieces but women were forced to follow the ancient traditions to keep it alive. It becomes a ‘talk of the town’ if married women decide to wear something un-traditional, they say things like – your husband’s age multiplies if you wear sindoor on your forehead.

Indian women nowadays are financially independent working as CEOs of reputed organisations but nobody can escape the pressure of becoming a sanskari bahu. You could be a miser, destroying families over trivial issues but not wearing body-covering clothes is illegal.

We are teaching our daughters to be independent so that their in-laws can tame them.

A woman could be earning better than her husband could but she is graded for culinary skills, alone.

“Oh, she has not popped out a baby in five years. There must be something wrong with her.”

“She comes from a family where values were not impacted.”

“She is a disgrace to our family- look at those skinny jeans, who wears those after marriage!”

Sadly, women themselves are carrying forward the tradition of taming other women like cows and buffaloes.

Originally published under my weekly column – Relationship Rationale at Different Truths

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17 thoughts on “The Wardrobe of a Woman and the dignity and grace of the entire clan .

  1. Tradition is like a jail from which only escapes by accessing economic power and education. In Spain we have been turning that situation around for the past 50 years and we are still moving very slowly. A hug.

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  2. We Indians are hypocrites. We say something, we do something, and we hope for something completely different. The existence of traditional and modern cultures together is what complicates things in the Indian society, often leading to friction between the two cultures. ‘Blind’ following of a foreign culture is only a passing phase in the societies that are dynamically evolving every day. Our society tweaks the foreign culture to suit the local traditions before it is accepted as a ‘way of life’ which eventually leads to more offenders and even more moral policing.

    It is saddening to see a country with such rich heritage of traditions and cultures being in the news for all the wrong reasons.

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    1. Yes. We are a country with the richest heritage and most of the things we have put behind the bars were acceptable and respected few hundred years back.

      Something happened when we started getting foreign rulers, we lost our balance and went a million years back.

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      1. Very true. Lemme cite an example. In the colonial era, british shortsightedness, greed and societal ignorance allowed a law to be introduced prohibiting women to own land and property. Giving men exclusive land and property rights as well as responsibility for tax/revenue collection created acute gender imbalance, marginalized women and set the Indian male up as the dominant legal and indeed social subject, creating the patriarchal country we see today.
        With the changes in property rights, girls and women , future wives were seen by men and their families as potential income; greed and social division was created, boys became a financial asset, girls an economic liability. Denied all access to economic resources many women became homeless, all were completely dependent on their husbands, and if they suffered marital abuse or conflict they had no recourse to law. As a result, a stream of gender and caste based social abuses was set in motion which rage throughout the country to this day.

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        1. It’s sickening and disgusting. They are the people who celebrated patriarchy, it’s evident through their practices, women were not given rights to educate themselves, forget about working.

          Quite the opposite, our women have been strong and independent in ancient times. But look what we did to ourselves in trying to become like – White People ?

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  3. Very true..Every custom, tradition had a reason behind it that suited the need of those days. The problems arises when those traditions, customs are taken as it is and are fed into this ever changing world, which in their current form may not be even applicable to today’s world scenario.

    PS – This post of yours was my inspiration to my today’s article 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Exactly jotted down the way it should have been put, Nikita.
    Being traditional should not be a mandatory clause to be signed after marriage, but a choice. But unfortunately that is not the case in India, currently. We have come a long-way down the lane when women used to be in worse conditions than this, and we are yet to cover another half-way to be considered as totally free beings. If we all stay together, we can surely cover that journey not in a lesser time, but in a better way too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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